Articles

  • 31

    Dec
    2016
    Specimen Hunters Year 2016
    Specimen Hunters Year 2016   As we reach the cusp of the end of another year, I like to reflect on how I performed as a dedicated specimen hunter in Ireland. As always on this occasion, I will try and squeeze a year’s worth of angling into a single blog.       It was, as always, an interesting year, travelling the four corners of this beautiful country in search of fish species and meeting the colourful angling characters that Ireland has in abundance.   M...

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  • 30

    Nov
    2016
    The art of specimen hunting
    The art of specimen hunting   There are many different disciplines in angling. In and around the island of Ireland, and I am generalising here, these boil down to game, coarse and sea.       Of course, these can be broken down further into Salmon, Sea Trout, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout in the game category, an impressive variety of freshwater species in the course section with dedicated anglers concentrating on particular quarries such as Pike, Carp, Bream etc., and ...

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  • 21

    Nov
    2016
    Grey Mullet, it's a learning curve!
    Grey Mullet, it's a learning curve! It is no secret to any who know me that Grey Mullet are one of my favourite species in Irish waters.   As an all-round angler, the attraction I have to these stunning, silver torpedoes is not difficult to fathom.         Their stream-lined shape, diamond-patterned scaling and horizontal bands, seemingly air brushed by nature over a background canvas of silver-grey and cream, would give them pride of place in any tropical salt-w...

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  • 12

    Oct
    2016
    The hunt for a Specimen Skate
    Specimen Skate This particular species has been off the target list since 1972 in a bid to show support for its necessary conservation. However, new thinking by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee has allowed length-based measurements to be accepted, with certain Shark, Skate and Ray species.       This is excellent news as much needed data can now be collected on habitat, size and population around inshore waters of Ireland, all within the protection of the fish themselves. ...

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  • 23

    Sep
    2016
    Kerry Trip
    Kerry Trip What can I say about the Kerry shore-line from an angling point of view that hasn’t been said a thousand times already? She is indeed a mistress that will capture your heart and soul, yet slap you in the face as quickly as reward you.     The Kingdom of Kerry is famous for its stunning scenery, extensive mountain ranges that plunge into the Atlantic Ocean, seemingly endless miles of surf beaches and of course all four seasons in a day. The micro-climates here are ...

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  • 2

    Sep
    2016
    Common Skate, a new specimen category
    Common Skate, a new specimen category   As a specimen hunter, it is a rare occasion to hear of a new targetable species on the Irish Specimen “hit list”.         However, since 1976 until now, Common Skate have been suspended due to important conservation measures. The act of weighing such a large fish on shore would obviously be detrimental to its well-being, and so it was deemed necessary to remove it from the list.   Recently, the committee h...

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  • 23

    Jul
    2016
    Sid's Specimens (archive 2011)
    Sid’s Specimens An archive article originally written for Irish Angler Magazine, 2011.           Living in County Down, as I am fortunate to do, I am privy to a beautiful and scenic part of this island of ours. With Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains, we have more than our fair share of areas of outstanding natural beauty to admire. However, as an angler that enjoys all disciplines of the sport, it pains me to say that County Down lacks one vital ing...

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  • 16

    Jul
    2016
    Carp (archive article 2010)
    Carp (Archive article from 2010)   It doesn't seem like six years since I wrote this for Irish Angler Magazine, but the dates don't lie! This was the winter of snow and ice, one of the coldest on recent record.         Well, it’s been a long time coming, but the temperature has finally crept up! Since January, I have stock-piled some fabulous JRC carp tackle to play with, but with all this exceptionally cold weather we have experienced through-out the count...

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  • 15

    Jul
    2016
    Wearing my guiding hat for a day
    Wearing my guiding hat for a day   Although having been sponsored by Pure Fishing, one of the largest tackle companies in the world, for many years, I have never had the opportunity to fish with its main agent in Ireland, David Wilson.           I have known David for a long time, and we have often talked about the merits of a day out on the water, but for one reason or another, it just never got off the ground. However, a recent phone call from him offered ...

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  • 11

    Jul
    2016
    Fenit re-visited
    Fenit re-visited   Almost one month to the day, I had to have a return visit back down to Fenit. The venue and the fish species therein had worked their way under my skin and nothing would do until I had one more shot at glory for the year.     Back home my brain had melted and the tranquillity of Tralee called out, and I soon found myself standing at the slipway I had left behind four weeks ago. I could neither afford the time or money spent to get here, but here I stood de...

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