The first Irish Bass Festival - all done........

So that's the first Irish Bass Festival done and dusted, and I give huge credit to the lads at Absolute Fishing for laying on such a fantastic event. The turnout at the Sunday night prize giving in the Grand Hotel in Tramore was brilliant and a few successful anglers walked away with a bunch of rods, reels, lures and Costa del Mar sunglasses. A big thanks must go to the bass nutters at Top Water Lures and also Costa del Mar for helping with sponsorship of the event and with around 120 entrants I reckon that the event was a great success. I met loads of good people and it was so cool to see a bunch of Dutch anglers over for the event - hope to see you all back here again next year and perhaps we might get the chance to fish together for a day or two.

The winning bass was a whopping 80cm/11.5lb fish that was taken on Saturday night from a rock mark out on the Copper Coast - I believe the successful lure was a Tackle House Feed Shallow. A big well done to the Irish lad who landed that winning bass. Second place went to a 77cm bass, and third place was Eric above with this 73cm/8lb plus fish that he took out on the Copper Coast on Sunday morning. I actually hooked a bass just as I was trying to reel in and run for my camera to get shots of him fighting his fish !! Eric took his fish on a Jackson Athlete lure, and he caught another couple of bass before that one on the (killer) IMA/DUO Nabarone 125F. My mate Andy lost a fish and then got smashed up by one on his beloved DUO Tide Minnow Slim 140. It was some close quarters fishing that was going to end in tears from time to time. I took my fish on Sunday morning on a lure that is never leaving my lure box these days - the IMA Hound 125F Glide. It still freaks me out how well that lure casts, cuts through the wind and just eats into a big sea, plus bass seem to love it. The junior section was won by a guy called Darra I believe (apologies if I have spelt your name wrong) - keep an eye out for this youngster because he's one cracking angler, and a big hi to his Mum for being such an awesome mum and driving him round all weekend and being out on the rocks with him. Outstanding if you ask me.

Overall the conditions were pretty tough, with a lot of bright blue skies, flat calm seas and crystal clear water - not ideal for bass fishing, indeed it's the final irony that a bit of summer turns up exactly when you don't want it, but lots of anglers went at it really hard and there were some seriously tidy fish caught, with the two biggest bass I believe coming out at night. Eric had his big fish on Sunday morning as the sea began to fizz up from the south west - proving yet again that it's all about conditions, conditions, and more conditions. When we went out fishing early on Sunday morning we just knew we were going to catch with the sea state, and although there was a lot of green weed in the water we managed to get the lures fishing and we got the fish. Good call Ger to go where we did - tucked right away along the Copper Coast at a couple of spots that I just can't imagine get fished very much at all...............

For something that started off as a mere idea in a tackle shop in Tramore I reckon that was some weekend. I know what it's like when you come over to a new place and are trying to find your way around and also catch some fish in what were some difficult bass fishing conditions, but I know the lads in Absolute Fishing and also many of the fantastic local anglers went out of their way to try and put visiting anglers on the marks and on fish - what happens after that is up to the angler and the fishing gods !! The two guys we fished with in Kerry at the start of last week hammered bass all weekend along their coastline and saw guess how many other lure anglers out and about ? Yep, not one !! Seamus won the best three bass combined at 199cms and his mate Aidan landed a 72cm fish as well. I think I might be heading back to that part of Kerry sometime soon.........