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Press Release 24th September 2008


For the first time in its 23 year history, an Irish Boat has won the Rosslare Small Boats festival. In what was an extremely tight competition, ‘Screaming Reels’ from Rosie’s sea angling club in Cork won the competition with 26 different species of fish, beating 37 other boats from the UK.

Winners of the Rosslare Small Boats Festival 2008
Left to Right: Pat Doherty, Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Regional Fisheries Board (presenting prizes) Martyn Rayner, Seirt Shults, Neville Murphy all from Rosie’s sea angling club in Cork, and Phil Hallsworth, (organising committee)

The annual Rosslare Small Boats Festival, now in its 23nd year, proved to be a resounding success this year. Sponsored by Failte Ireland, Sea Angler magazine, Navman Electronics and Daiwa Sports Ltd, the event attracted more than 100 anglers from the Isle of Wight, Southport, Liverpool, Scotland ,Wales and Ireland.

All summer the weather conditions have been unfavourable for small boat fishing, however this week proved an exception with perfect weather conditions. Anglers launched their boats from Kilmore Quay and fished all along the Wexford Coast. The fishing was excellent and over 4 days there was a total of 41 different species recorded!

The competition was exciting from start to finish due to the close results each day. The overall results demonstrated this with first place going to ‘Screaming Reels’ (Martyn Rayner, Seirt Shults, Neville Murphy) with 26 species for 23.87kilos. They were followed closely in second place by ‘Sonic Blue’ (Steve Mills, Mike Hennessy & Patrick Cunningham, Isle of Wight) with 26 species for 23.18kilos. In third place was Lauren 2 (Matt Lowery, Andrew Thomas and Gary Houlcroft, Southport) with 25 species for 26.54kilos.

As well as the usual cod, pollack, dogfish, bull huss etc, some unusual species for the area were recorded including sea scorpion, sand goby, pipefish, clingfish and tadpole fish. There was one possible specimen fish recorded (it has to be verified by the ISFC) which was a Ballan Wrasse of 2.44 kilos, caught by Robert Torner from the Isle of Wight. The heaviest round fish was a conger of 8.26kgs caught by Matt Lowery of ‘Lauren 2’ and the heaviest flat fish proved to be a tie with both ‘Sandpiper and Screaming Reels’ catching plaice of 0.42 kilos. There are very few places in Europe that could offer this type of fishing. It was particularly pleasing this year to see Black Bream turning up in good numbers and it won’t be long before this species appears on the Irish record list.

The prizegiving ceremony took place in the Crosbie Cedar’s Hotel in Rosslare and prizes were awarded in a variety of categories including the best specimen, heaviest flat fish, heaviest round fish, winners from each day as well as the overall winners. The prizes were presented by Pat Doherty, Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Regional Fisheries Board and Orla Woods, Angling Product Manager, Failte Ireland.

The total prize fund is €13,500 for this competition and consists of a variety of prizes including fishing equipment products as well as substantial monetary prizes and engraved trophies. Sponsors for the competition in the UK included: Daiwa and Navman, Sea Angler magazine, Stena Line, Inserve Marine Technical Services Ltd. In Ireland, local sponsors included Failte Ireland, Rosslare Service Station, Londis, The Central Fisheries Board, the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, Kilmore Quay Harbour office, Self Catering Ireland and Crosbie’s Cedar Hotel.

Pat Doherty, Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Regional Fisheries Board was delighted to attend this event. ‘The festival is very important not only to promote the great sea fishing we have on the East Coast, and in particular, the variety of species available but also the investment it brings to the local businesses in the area each year. I would like to congratulate all competitors for their participation in this competition, with a particular mention to ‘Screaming Reels’, the first Irish boat to win in its 23 year history!

Sea fishing off South east Wexford allows for an angler to catch a wide variety of species including; coalfish, cod, conger eel, dogfish, flounder, gurnards, ling, plaice, pollack, pouting, ray, smoothhound, tope, whiting and wrasse. For information on all the best fishing on Ireland’s East Coast, please visit the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board website:

Next year’s event will take place from the 12th – 19th September 2009. The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board would like to invite all small boat anglers to take part. Further information is available from Ms. Josie Mahon, Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, 01-2787022 or


For further press information, please contact Josie Mahon, Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, 01-2787022/087 6538202

Josie Mahon
Eastern Regional Fisheries Board
15A Main Street, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin
Tel: 01 278 7022 Mobile: 087 6538202
Fax: 01 278 7025 website:


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