June 12, 2017 Last Updated 3:24 pm

* Join the Club!

Some anglers avoid clubs. Stan Ryan reckons that joining a club has many benefits...

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Why Join a Fishing Club?


It is a fact that many anglers are not in clubs. Many fish on their own while others meet one or two friends for outings.

Some anglers specialize in a certain type of skill such as lure fishing while others may chase a particular species such as bass. Some may feel that in this case it is a waste of time to join a club.

However there are many benefits to being in a club.

There are clubs for nearly every type of angler. Sea clubs offer both shore and boat fishing while others  just offer shore fishing. There are bass clubs, pike clubs, trout clubs, coarse fishing clubs……..in short there is one for everybody in the audience!!!


It's a friendship thing!

It’s a friendship thing!


It is good to have friends that share the same passion for a sport. Being a solitary angler can be a boring and maybe even lonely pastime. The likelihood of fish being landed is much greater when several people are out together. When out fishing on a day I am happy to see a fish landed by a fellow angler. At least it is clear that the fish are there!

Learning skills

While magazines and books can pass on some information there is nothing like meeting someone face-to-face who knows their sport. Many anglers learn how to make a trace and never deviate from that one set of end gear.  Over the last number of years reels, rods, lines, hooks and lures have all improved. Anglers can pass tips and recommendations to each other.



In any sport competition can encourage a participant to hone their skills more. It can also add a bit of craic to outings.

In general one or two anglers may win more competitions than fellow competitors. Watching why this is,can lead an angler to learn and catch more fish.

To some anglers it is important to win while others just enjoy taking part. Again angling moves from being a solitary sport to being a social event.


Fishing trips are not for every angler. However, I have fished around a lot of Ireland in outings and competitions. Likewise, an angler may get involved with fellow fishermen in going to various countries where fishing can be very different and may be of much better quality.

My Experience

My first cast was from the storm wall in Ardmore in 1962. Armed with a 6 foot solid fiberglass spinning rod, a small spinning reel and a mackerel spinner I joined the crowds thronging the wall and hauling mackerel out. That was it ……there was no going back!!

The sight of a bass being landed on Caliso Bay, that summer, by my father was absolutely thrilling. Although, it was a schoolie, to me it was huge and such a handsome fish.

The next year my father and I joined the Ardmore SAC . This meant getting to know local anglers and being introduced to the various beaches, methods of fishing, where to get the best lug worm and getting involved in competitions. My father was also a fanatical angler during the summer months and so we fished night after night, in the company of angling buddies, for bass. Other species were caught including some very nice plaice , flounders, dogfish, the odd ray and occasionally brill. While these were welcome for the table I certainly had no interest in catching them except in competition. Now of course it is rare to catch plaice on any of the local beaches and I managed to catch a tiny brill just recently …..the first in about 50 years!!

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I won one of the first competitions that I entered with a dogfish. Of course every fish had to be weighed in at that time and I can still remember the scales showing 1lb 11oz. My mother was delighted with the set of glass desert bowls that were on a chromed stand that was my prize.

My father originally came from Enniscorthy and as a young lad spent his time on the River Slaney fly fishing. So it was inevitable that these skills were taught to me. The cane rod was taken out and a plate was placed at the end of the garden. It took a bit of practice to put a fly in the middle of the plate and provided  hours of entertainment.

Our next door neighbour was a member of the Kilbride Anglers and so we joined this club. Watching a small brown trout that had just been hooked leap into the air shaking its head wildly was simply amazing. The Christmas pike competition came around in December. I had absolutely no knowledge of how to catch one but went into the ABC fishing shop in Mary’s Abbey and asked for a few lures that would suit. Spoons were the business back then and I bought a copper spoon and an ABU Atom. The latter was to bring me great luck and I won the competition with 4 pike. What is interesting is that nobody told me about a wire trace but no pike bit through the line!

There were no distractions like computer games. I had no interest in football. Fishing was what fascinated me . Growing up beside the sea ,once school holidays came my friends and I were out fishing and swimming. We were gone early in the morning and usually brought lunch with us. The quarry was bass and spinning was the main technique. Tobies and ABU Kosters were all that we used.

In my teenage years and while in college fishing outings were less frequent.


Years Later

Married and with children my thoughts again turned towards fishing. I enjoyed bringing my own kids on outings. It was mainly fly fishing for trout. Children can learn this skill with ease and my daughter landed many good trout.

While digging bait one day in the early 1980’s I got talking to another angler and he suggested joining the Borough SAC. The rest is history and I was back and hooked once again.  It was great to be back at competitions.


The Borough SAC was one of the biggest clubs in Leinster then and still is. Some anglers prefer shore fishing while for others a day out on the boat is what they like. Of course some anglers enjoy any type of competition or outing.  This club have 8 boat and  10 shore competitions per year. Several other outings are also organized on an informal basis. For instance there is an outing to Fuerteventura in mid-October 2017. This will be mainly to catch big rays , monkfish and whatever passes from the shore. In March 2018 eight of us travel to the Andaman Islands to battle with huge GT’s , Dogtooth Tuna and whatever species come our way.

It is worth looking at this clubs website http://boroughsac.club . The videos and photos give a flavour of our fishing.

My escape from city life is Ardmore and the fishing rod always accompanies me. There are still excellent fish to be caught from boat and shore. Having spent my childhood chasing bass on the various beaches I know where to fish in the various conditions. My boat is moored locally and again I know the grounds well.  Really, an angler is spoilt for choice in this area.

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Just over 2 years ago local angler John Cronin suggested that we might get Ardmore SAC back in action. So in December 2014 out first club meeting generated great interest.  Most shore competitions have 15-20 anglers out no matter what the weather. There are 4 boat competitions between May and October.  There is an interclub competition between Ardmore and the Borough SAC in October or November.

Both of these clubs have national and international anglers who are more than willing to pass on tips and skills to newcomers.  Ardmore SAC have quite a lot of junior anglers. This is important to keep our sport alive.

Anybody interested in joining Ardmore SAC can contact me on 0872374545 and to join the Borough SAC ring Tom Butler on 0877603873.

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