The Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs (IFPAC) v British Pike Squad
Venues: River Suck at Glinsk and Ballyforan
IRELAND won the 19th International Pike Championships fished between the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs and the British Pike Squad.
The 10-man team won over two days in a head-to-head contest staged on the River Suck, but they had to to play “catch-up” after trailing GB by 23lb in the opening session.
|Match day at Glinsk|
The experienced Great Britain team was always going to be difficult to beat and showed their prowess on Saturday with a team catch of 139lb 10oz from the upper reaches of the river at Glinsk.
It was a great first day lead and the angler who performed best was Paul Danby from Burton-on-Trent, fishing for the GB Squad for the fourth time and catching a dozen pike for a 38lb 11oz total that included a best fish scaling 8lb 14oz.
The Irish team captain Eugene McCabe was stunned. With the advantage of being on familiar waters, he reminded every one of his team that their challenge was to catch more than 20lb of pike before they even began to compete in the second session.
Fishing on the River Suck
|The vanquished British team – still cheerful!|
Sunday’s venue took place along six miles of the River Suck at Ballyforan. It’s a move that obviously inspired the Irish team who quickly set about catching pike in grand style, finishing the day with a 187lb 5oz total.
Britain’s challenge evaporated with score cards that added up to only 103lb 8oz.
It meant that Ireland were the winner’s with a two-day total catch of 304lb 3oz against the British Pike Squad’s 243lb 2oz.
|Jody Kiernan – Every fish counted!|
Taking part for the very first time, Jody Kiernan became the individual champion with a 53lb 10oz total that included 21 fish.
The 25-year-old carpenter from Meath – a member of the Dun-na-Ri Pike Angling Club – is a talented angler and already successful on the pike angling competition scene, having two All-Ireland wins to his credit. It was no surprised when he waltzed into the IFPAC team at the first time trying to qualify.
Jody struggled to catch pike on the narrow waters at Glinsk but sheer doggedness helped him to return seven pike (the best 4lb) for a 15lb 11oz total. On Sunday the sport was much more spirited and when he switched from wobbled smelts to small dead roach he latched on to another 14 pike up to 6lb, ending the match with 37lb15oz.
The Jubilant Irish Team (L to R back) Paul Reynolds, Jody Kiernan, Paul O’Donohue, Robbie McShane, Larry Mulvaney, Robbie McShane, Jimmy Thompson (kneeling L to R) Ray Keyes, Pat Behan.
Drogheda angler Paul Reynolds was second overall with 50lb 8oz on his debut for the Ireland and gave a great account of his skills with 12lb 4oz at Glinsk then a terrific 38lb 4oz at Ballyforan. The second day was a slow starter for him but with small roach and perch (2.5 inches) on a sink-and-draw rig, Paul had 11 pike with a best fish of 5lb while watched by is 18 year old son and gillie, Daron Reynolds.
|The Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs|
|Eugene McCabe (Athy)||32-12-0|
|Jimmy Thompson (Dublin)||18-3-0|
|Robbie McShane (Ardee)||16-3-0|
|Paul Reynolds (Drogheda)||50-8-0|
|Ray Keyes (Tullamore)||34-14-0|
|Larry Mulvaney (Cavan)||13-3-0|
|Jody Kiernan (Kilmainham Wood)||53-10-0|
|Pat Behan (Dublin)||18-7-0|
|Paul O’Donohue (Dublin)||43-13-0|
|Micky Doherty (Drogheda)||22-10-0|
|British Pike Squad|
|Mark Lloyd (Loughborough)||12-10-0|
|Wayne Gorringe (Doddington)||22-3-0|
|Gary Edwards (Burton-on-Trent)||28-4-0|
|Daron Knowles (Long Melford)||20-9-0|
|Adam Holmes (Cambridge)||36-13-0|
|Andy Waller (Stourport)||30-6-0|
|John Currie (Norwich)||18-7-0|
|Louise Hunns (Wisbech)||12-7-0|
|Paul Danby (Stoke)||47-6-0|
|Alan Grant (Loughborough)||14-1-0|
Report and photographs by Dave Houghton of Active Irish Breaks