Small boats warning in Rosslare as Screaming Reels takes poll position with new record of 22 species

FOR the fourth successive year, Screaming Reels achieved pole position at the Rosslare Small Boats festival in Co Wexford. The boat from Rosie's SAC in Cork created a new record for the competition with 32 species, beating 35 other boats from Ireland and Britain.

Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), Fáilte Ireland, Daiwa Sports (UK), Lowrance and Sea Angler magazine, the event, now in its 29th year, attracted more than 110 anglers from Liverpool, Isle of Wight, Southport, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

For the first time in many years high pressure meant competitors were blessed with sunshine and light winds. This meant boats could be launched from Kilmore Quay, enabling anglers to target all species. With excellent conditions continuing all week the final day was exciting with 41 species recorded.

Overall results revealed a very tight finish, with top spot going to Screaming Reels with 32 species, second place to Sea Witch from Wales with 29 species, and in third place Nirvana from the Wirral SAC with 28 species.


A number of streaked gurnard were caught, making it a new species for the competition coupled with tadpole fish, black goby, black bream and painted ray. Five specimens included a red mullet (0.80kg), ballan wrasse (2.3kg), black bream (1kg), cuckoo wrasse (0.56kg) and pollack (5.5 kg) – all specimens to be verified by Irish Specimen Fish Committee.

The heaviest round fish went to Keith Gray from Liverpool with a conger of 8.65kg and heaviest flat to Richie Stead for a turbot of 0.70kg. James Cherry (16) from Co Meath won best juvenile with 18 species and the top women's prize went to Sue Tait from Predator 2 with 24 species.

Redmond's The Bay in Rosslare Strand hosted the prizegiving ceremony and additional sponsors included Wigeon's Rest Tackle Shop, Shamrock Tackle and Kilmore Quay Harbour Office. More than €1,200 was raised for the Oncology Unit at Wexford General Hospital. Total prize fund amounted to €12,000 plus fishing equipment and engraved trophies.

IFI director Brian Beckett presented the prizes and and thanked all competitors for their invaluable contribution to the Irish economy estimated to be €130,000.

Next year’s event is scheduled for the September 5th to 12st. Further information available from John Belger (

Climate change

Salmon Watch Ireland is hosting a half-day conference in the

Salthill Hotel



, this Saturday, from 2.30pm- 5.30pm. The conference will focus on measures required on river systems to mitigate the impact of climate change on salmon stocks.

Speakers include Dr Ted Potter, Cefas (UK) on The threats to salmonids resulting from climate change; Prof Martin O'Grady, IFI on How Irish river managers are responding to climate change" and Simon Ashe, Ballynahinch Castle, on What the Ballynahinch system is doing to cope with climate change.

Admission is free but those attending should contact, as soon as possible.

Acoustic tags

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) recently opened a new laboratory at its research facility on the River Erriff at Aasleagh Lodge,


, Co Galway. International sea trout expert Dr Graeme Harris congratulated IFI on its renewed focus on sea trout and emphasised the importance of world class science on this iconic species.

The new study, which saw the release of sea trout fitted with acoustic tags, aims to investigate migration, distribution, habitat usage and survival of sea trout and salmon smolts in the marine environment on the west coast of Ireland.

The Erriff fishery is located at the head of Killary harbour and was purchased by the Irish State from Lord Brabourne in 1982. A downstream fish trap has been at Tawnyard Lough exit since 1983 which allows assessment of sea trout stocks.

IFI’s Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “We have prioritised research on sea trout and are fortunate to have these excellent facilities. IFI is committed to applied scientific research that is designed to answer important conservation and management questions.”