CATHAL HUGHES 'ROACH FEST' AT SUCK VALLEY

Cathal Hughes fished the 3 day Suck Valley Festival over the Bank holiday weekend. This was the first year of the festival which was fished on three sections of the river Suck.
Day 2 Catch

On Day 1, I drew peg 28 on the Dunamon section. This is a section I know reasonably well and felt that the fishing should be reasonably good. With this in mind I decided on attacking one swim at 12m, but if I needed to, I could add a section and fish past my feed which sometimes works on this venue. The rigs for the day were 1.25gm, 2gm and 3gm wire stemmed Gloucester floats with an olivette and droppers. I also set up a 7 metre Airity whip with a 3 gram slim float just in case it was solid. Even though the fishing was a little more difficult than expected, by loose feeding maggots over the ground bait, I kept fish coming for most of the day. I finished the match with 179 roach for a section winning 9.900kgs.

 

On day 2, I was going to the upper Emleigh Section that was won the previous day with 500 grams! Drawing peg 1 on a river is always a bonus, but with a hard day expected I still fed with caution.  I felt fishing this close would be the best option. Thankfully the fish had moved into the section and there were loads of bites to be had by all. By adding a section to a top 5 and short-lining it at 6 sections I could lower the rig into the swim which gave me better presentation over fishing a whip in the gale force wind. I finished the match with 230 roach for 13.740kgs which put me 2nd in the section behind Ian Kelsey who weighed 15.220kgs.  Ian's catch included a massive 1.550kg roach which is an 100gms better than the standing Irish record!

 

With a 3.5kg lead going into the final day I still had work to do and I was hoping for a high number in the section on lower Emleigh. Thankfully I drew peg 8 but with Rory Dunne who was in second place drawing the favored end peg 10, I knew I had a battle on my hands.  The day was completely different to the day before with the sun splitting the rocks and not a breath of wind.  I felt that these conditions would make for a difficult day, so again I fed with caution.   Seven jaffas were put in on a top 6 line, which I felt would be my bagging swim if there were loads of fish about, but as backup I cupped in only 2 balls with very little feed at 12m in case things went pear shaped.  The match started hard but by easing a 1gm shot rig through the swim at 12m, I kept a few small fish going into the net.  As the day progressed the fishing got a little better and I swapped the shot rig for a 2gm olivette rigged Gloucester which sped things up. Worryingly though, I could hear Rory bagging on the end and knew that he was eating into my advantage over him.  When the five hours were over I knew Rory had won the section and that it would be tight overall.  I was first to weigh and put 8.880kgs on the scales which was more than I expected to weigh. 

Rory now needed around 12kgs to win the festival and when I saw the scales settling at just over 10.5kgs I knew I'd done enough to win my second festival on the bounce.  Happy Days..

Day 3 Catch
Irish record Roach
suck valley presentation