Angling Notes: Dublin’s Stephen Glynn wins European title
Raheny man was victorious at European Shore Angling Championship
Stephen Glynn, 2019 European EFSA shore champion
Ireland has a new European shore angling champion. Stephen Glynn from Dublin won the prestigious title at this year’s European Shore Angling Championship (Efsa) in Akureyri, Northern Iceland. The Raheny ace also became the first Irish angler to win the event.
Seven countries participated – Iceland, Germany, Netherlands, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland with 55 competitors making up 11 teams. (Each country is allowed two teams).
Travel arrangements leading up to the competition required adjustments, which resulted in practice days reduced from three to one full day and an afternoon.
Fishing during practice was quite good with some fine cod, coalfish, dab, long rough dab, starry ray, whiting, scorpion fish and wolf fish captured, notably a fine 6kg wolf fish for Stephen Glynn. Dabs were also prolific averaging about 45cm.
The opening ceremony and peg draw took place at the Hotel Kjarnalunder and following formalities the anglers enjoyed a welcome reception with finger food and refreshments.
Day 1 saw fishing from piers in the Akureyri Port area. Combined with a strong and biting north wind it proved to be very challenging. Those pegged at either end of the piers (zones) found fish early on, whereas those towards the centre struggled.
Some good fish were taken including dab, rough dab, cod, scorpion fish, whiting and starry ray. The highlight for the Irish group was a zone win for Seán Murray, however, the teams finished back in 6th and 7th place.
Day 2 had the anglers in the small village of Hjalteri. The recent addition of rock armour to the sea defence was an ominous sign and very quickly reports were coming through that tackle loss was in the extreme. Well prepared anglers quickly adapted using heavy mainline and lead lifts to overcome submerged obstacles.
Some notable fish were landed including an 80cm cod (about 10 kilos), a 48cm dab and 55cm whiting. Average catch was 15 fish per angler, which was a notable reduction than at previous events when numbers were in the 50s.
It was a better day for the Irish with Stephen Glynn taking a zone 1st and Paul Tyndall a 2nd zone. The teams, however, still remained in 6th and 7th position.
The venue for Day 3 was along the shore of the estuary in the town centre of Akureyri. This venue was always going to be a struggle and so it proved with only 41 fish recorded. It was a big disappointment to those fishing and it turned the whole event on its head due to the number of blanks suffered.
There were, however, some notable performances by the Irish contingent with Stephen Glynn recording another zone win with the best catch of the day on five fish, Ken Forsyth and Shay O’Neill (zone 2nd) and Paul Tyndall and Mark Shortt (zone 3rd).
Overall, a total of 1,183 fish were recorded and species included dab, rough dab, cod, wolf fish, scorpion fish, whiting and starry ray.
The presentation dinner in Hotel Kjarnalunder was followed by the prize giving ceremony and, for the Irish, there was both elation and disappointment. The A team of Stephen Glynn, Ken Forsyth, Paul Tyndall, Mark Shortt and Shay O’Neill finished joint 3rd on 89 points with Germany A, but lost out on a medal on countback.
The individual result gave great cause for celebration when Stephen Glynn was announced as the European Shore Angling Champion for 2019 taking the gold medal and pin.
Runner-up was Bjorn Hansen with Nils Grunwald in bronze position, both from Germany. The team event was won by Netherlands A, followed by England B with Germany A, in 3rd place.
At the conclusion of the presentation, the championship flag was passed to Efsa Ireland chairman, George McCullough to signal next year’s event in Ireland on the south east beaches of Wexford and Wicklow from 28th to 30th of October, 2020.
The Government’s action plan to tackle climate change has been welcomed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) who, earlier this year, introduced energy efficient vehicles with a view to achieving a 24 per cent reduction in the C02 emissions from its fleet.
With 5,600km of coastline, 70,000km of rivers and streams and 144,000 hectares of lakes and ponds, the 300 fisheries staff use vehicles to carry out their work. In addition, the organisation has implemented a fleet management system to ensure the vehicles are being used appropriately and that driver safety remains a priority.
Dr Byrne, IFI’s CEO, said: “As an environmental agency, we are very aware of the critical nature of climate change and the impact it is having on our fisheries resource. When it comes to fisheries protection, we are reducing our consumption by 50 per cent on sea patrols by introducing new state-of-the-art RIBs as fisheries protection vessels and carrying out patrols via kayaks and bicycles.”