COS: Hi Lisa, first of all congratulations on winning the 2021 Master Angler. What does winning it mean to you?

LG: I am delighted to have won the Ladies Master Angler 2021 as this is something I have been pushing myself to achieve.  I have been trying to win this trophy for the past 5 years or more and it’s always eluded me one way or another. 

The Master Angler is that one trophy every angler wants to win but for me it’s about self-belief and determination.  I like the challenge and build up to the Masters, the preparation, bait gathering and planning.  Over the years I have sacrificed family time, career progression and money to travel throughout Ireland to compete so to finally have won makes all the hard work worthwhile.  This year was made extra special by having club member Raymond win the Men’s Master Angler and our club put in a stellar performance across the ladies and men’s section.

COS: It’s such a tough competition. What rod and reel did you use the weekend?

LG: My set up for the Masters weekend was a Grauvell Telkon Surf Advantage II 4500 paired with Shimano C14 and my other set up was Yuki Maserati 4.5 again paired with a Shimano C14.

COS: Top quality set ups for sure. You have already fished internationally on a couple of occasions, what would you say was your highlight so far? 

LG: My definite highlight was being part of Team Ireland when we won the World Championships in Ireland and I managed to bag myself an individual medal on home turf. The work effort from the IFSA and Team Ireland around this event was monumental and to win made it even more special. I can still remember the nerves before my first match and the rush of adrenaline when the whistle went on the final session. That buzz of electricity while receiving your medal was such a rush and I was beaming with pride for weeks after, I don’t think anything has come close since!

Lisa and Raymond with their trophies.

COS:That definitely makes it special. So what got you into fishing in the beginning?

LG: I come from a family of anglers and as far back as I can remember my Dad had me out fishing.  We spent most weekend’s pleasure fishing and eventually I got introduced to club matches with Glengormley & District SAC.  I competed up until my teenage years and then took a break but came back to the sport in my late twenties.

COS: Italy 2023 is a big prize how does it feel to be captaining the ladies team at the World championships? 

LG: I am honoured to Captain the Ladies World Team, It is such a privilege to represent your country at any event but to have the opportunity to compete at the World Championships, representing Team Ireland, is a golden moment.  Italy will offer excellent venues against world class anglers and Team Ireland are looking forward to the challenge. 

COS: Women in angling is definitely on the rise, what do you think can be done to encourage more girls and ladies to fish? 

LG: Ladies angling is definitely on the rise, however, more needs to be done to sustain the numbers of women and young girls taking part.  I think more from a grass roots level can be done to promote women in sport by putting women into leadership roles throughout clubs. Women’s Liaison officers could  take a more pro-active approach and be more involved to promote female participation by promoting body image, social stereotyping and overcoming the male dominated sports culture. An increase in media visibility showcasing recent success stories with female participation across all age groups by maybe hosting podcasts or  even simple things like interviews like this. 

COS: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat to us and best of luck in the upcoming events.

A good points scoring flounder for Raymond

COS: Hi Raymond First of all congratulations on a fantastic performance at the master angler. It was a tough weekend, how did you feel when you saw your pegs? 

RC: When I saw my pegs, to be honest, I thought I would be really up against it. The first session, well it was much of a muchness were you got pegged. You just had to catch as many flats as possible. But for the second session, I was concerned that I had drew a peg too far up the beach and it would be damage limitation. However, the whole zone fished really hard and my 6 counting fish and 4 undersized turbot was enough for another zone second.

Again, for the last session I figured I was too far down the beach and I expected it to get tougher the further down you went. Luckily, I seemed to land on a peg holding enough fish to finish second again but as expected a lot of anglers just past me had a really tough session.

COS: How does it feel to be the captain of the world championships team and are you looking forward to Italy? 

RC: I feel so privileged to represent and captain my country and to be honest it hasn’t sunk in yet. However, it does feel amazing and to be heading off to Italy well I just can’t put it into words how much I’m looking forward to it.

I think I’m more looking forward to the fish offs than the guys actually fishing it, to find out who will comprise the rest of our team.

COS: The fishing was tough the weekend what was the highlight of the comp? 

RC: Even though the fishing was tough I was able to keep the scorecard ticking over frequently with some lovely 30cm plus flounder and some smaller ones, thus I was able to enjoy the whole experience but, the highlight for me was the presentations where it was confirmed my club Glengormley and district SAC had achieved 1st and 5th in the mens and Lisa’s 1st in the ladies event. For me, it was extra special to be able to celebrate with all my club members who had also had a successful weekend.

... Then there was a double shot!

COS: How did it feel to get the first fish out of the way on the Sunday knowing you were leading over all? 

RC: Yea I knew I was leading the comp going into the last session, but I also knew we were to fish the last leg on Benone, where a lot of people have had an awful last session in previous years gone, including some blanking to completely drop out of contention. So I knew anything could happen and when the match started and everyone around me had at least one fish including the guy to my left bringing in a double, including a 41cm turbot, whilst all I could catch was the rig belonging to the angler on my other side, it did cross my mind will Benone strike again? 

So after 3 blank casts and most other anglers with fish I finally had my first fish on my 4th cast but I still knew I was playing catch-up. A double hook up next cast really boosted my confidence and another 4 fish was enough for second in zone for the third consecutive time.

COS: What rod and reel did the business for you?

RC: I used the same rod and reel all weekend and never felt that I needed to change to be honest. The rod used was an Akami dynamic multi tip. This handled everything asked of it over the weekend The reel is a discontinued Penn affinity 7000lc which has been well used and outlasted more expensive reels.

COS: Thank you Raymond and best of luck in the upcoming matches. 

Raymond with his Master Angler trophy