Am 19. und 20. Juli findet in Irland die 4te Feeder Weltmeisterschaft statt. Im Vorfeld gab es am WM Gewässer, dem Inniscarra Lake, einige Veranstaltungen, die Aufschluss über den Fischbestand und die WM Strecke geben.
Venue: Inniscarra Lake, Coachford, County Cork, Ireland
Inniscarra Lake is this year’s venue for the 4th FIPS World Feeder Championship and with a record 21 teams having already registered an interest in competing this year, it is expected to be a fantastic event! This very popular venue is host to several festivals throughout the year and is renowned for its wonderful Roach and Bream fishing so when the opportunity to attend the first festival of 2014 on this venue arose we jumped at the chance!
We travelled on the ferry over to Dublin and we found that the 280km drive south to Coachford was extremely easy especially on the toll roads which have been created. In fact, around 200km of that journey was all on the toll roads which only cost us €8 for the entire journey! The scenery was wonderful and it really gives you a great impression of what a Green a beautiful country Ireland is especially during spring time.
As you’d expect, we were greeted with the legendary Irish hospitality and all of the locals were very friendly and very helpful with information. We actually stayed at a little bed and breakfast called O’Callaghans which is perfectly situated on the cross roads in Coachford. This is a very friendly Bar which also serves wonderful food and drink and is sure to be the place we’ll be staying at for the upcoming World Championships in July. Bed and breakfast here only cost us €30 per night and the lovely owner Eileen even made us a packed lunch each day as well!
The hosting of this World Championship is to be a huge event not only for County Cork but for Ireland. As part of the agreement of the event being staged here, an investment of €400,000 has been made to create an access road to the lake purely for match fishing and will boast 200 uninterrupted pegs with parking behind each peg. This will make this a fantastic match venue for many years to come and will hopefully be the stage for future World Championships for both feeder and float fishing. The access road is currently 6 weeks into its estimated 9 week completion so it should be finished by the time of the next festival at the beginning of June.
The St Patricks festival is a 3 day individual contest which is ultimately decided on the highest combined weight of an angler over the 3 days. This event however allows anglers to use any method and with this venue being dominated by pole fishing throughout the summer months it was interesting to see how the feeder would compete with the speed of the pole anglers. The fish on this lake can often be caught at close range so ‘speed’ fishing with 6-7 metre whips was expected to be the main method. In some areas though especially where it was shallower, the fish didn’t come close in so a feeder approach was best in those areas.
This lake is actually a flooded valley and this has meant that there are still remains of old buildings, woods and tree stumps in some areas meaning that it can be quite ‘snaggy’ making feeder fishing quite difficult but the majority of the pegs were clear of any obstacles. The lake bed slowly slopes away to an average depth of around 6-7 metres within a 50 metre cast. The average width was around 200 metres wide but one stretch close to the soon to be developed match length is only 100 metres wide.
Going into this festival, the water temperature was still quite cold and we had heard that there hadn’t been any Skimmers or Bream feeding so we expected it to be a Roach competition and how right we were! The Roach which were being caught were very small and averaged about 50g which meant that it was essential to catch them as close in as possible in order to give you a chance of building a good weight. This meant that the draw was very important because in some areas you could catch these Roach at 8 metres but in other areas you needed to go out to 45-50 metres in order to catch them which obviously made catching them a lot slower.
Even after the first day is was clear that Roach were the target and they could be caught on the pole on about 50% of the pegs and some of the Irish anglers who know the venue very well caught plenty of small fish by casting the feeder around 25-30 metres. The Irish fished this line with soft 11” feeder rods with a 1 ounce tip but if they were faced with a peg that had snags close in or if they had to cast further out to find the fish then they switched to a 12” rod. For speed purposes and for good bite detection they used braid on their reels with a 6 metre length of 6lb mono as a shock leader. The anglers we watched all used open ended cage feeders of between 25-30g. The hooklengths they used were usually around 1 metre in length to begin with but they would soon shorten this to 50-60cm if they started to get plenty of bites. Bonus fish were extremely rare but we there was the odd 400-500g Perch caught but on the final day we did see a couple of 500g Bream caught. Maybe these Bream appeared because of the amount of bait which had been going in or maybe it was because they are just beginning to arrive as they do at this time of year.
The festival soon became a complete fish race and the anglers who got their heads down each day and caught as many of those small as possible where the ones who did well. By the third day, anglers who had fallen behind on the overall weight tally began to try fishing for Bream in a bid to try and boost their weight but it soon became clear that the bigger fish simply weren’t their yet. Another important lesson learnt was that once the fish turned up, you had to catch as many of them as fast as possible before they ‘drifted’ off out of the peg. Some of the Irish anglers who fish here regularly are extremely good at this and the winner over the 3 days was the fantastic Cathal Hughes who finished the festival with a total of 28.700g which was made up of Roach all caught mainly on the long pole. Runner-up was English angler and Preston Innovations backed Will Freeman who caught well on both feeder and pole to finish with 27.550g.
It was a very well organised annual event and a special thank you goes out to the organisers Tommy Lawton and Mike Stone and if you’re interested in keeping up to date on all of the festivals this year in Inniscarra and the build up to the World Championship you can ‘Like’ the Facebook page ‘Inniscarra Fishing Festivals’ for regular updates and photos.
All in all it was a very interesting initial insight into what looks like a very exciting venue. If reports are correct, this lake is packed with fish and by July we could see a wonderful World Championship in some of the most beautiful scenery Ireland has to offer.
The next main event here is the Ottewill Trophy which takes place in June and it has now been decided that this will be a feeder only event making it the perfect showcase event for nations wanting to practice on the venue just before the World Championsips.