Now there are several things I love about the world pairs, firstly the fact its all wild fishing on big expanses of water. So not only are you competing against the fish but the elements too! And believe me when the wind blows in Ireland it blows!On top of that for those not in the know the world pairs is decided on weight so in theory as a pair you are never out of it as theoretically its possible to win it in a day. This means you need to fish positively as in a weight match there is very little point coming back with just a couple of hundred grams. You might as well go for it and fish for a proper weight.
That said the way we like to look at it is to set ourselves a target weight as a pair each day. Targets will then be adjusted during the week depending on how a venue is fishing, plus what weight as a pair we think we will need to win come the end of the competition.
Tactics wise feeder and pole dominate but I do believe Ireland is all about fishing to your strengths and whilst I will mix it up a bit and fish both feeder and pole, Phil always fishes feeder and its certainly not done him any harm yet as his record is second to none as he proved in 2015 when we not only won the pairs but Phil won the Daiwa cup too!
Irish fishing also isn’t for the purists as with the fish being wild fine lines and small hooks play virtually no part! In fact quite often I find myself fishing an 0.20 hooklength and a size 10 hook with a single maggot for roach! With the fish being wild they have no idea what a hook or even line is, as they haven’t seen it before. Hence if you aren’t catching there is no point fining down tackle wise.
You see the beauty of Ireland is that the fish swim in big shoals so when they move in they tend to do so in big numbers and when this happens you need to make hay while the sun shines so to speak! Sometimes you can go 2 hours without a bite and then catch a fish every cast till the end and put 20 kilo of roach or hybrids on the scales!
So even if you aren’t catching its important to keep attacking the swim so that when the fish do arrive you are well placed to make the most of it!