IFD: When Not being one of Ireland’s busiest DJ’s, Rory long has always been an angler at heart. Growing up on the banks of the Grand canal in Dublin, from an early age Rory was immersed in fishing.
From those days on the canal to fishing in the Junior World Championships fishing has drifted in and out of Rory’s life with the good times and the bad, so now over to Rory for his interview…
What was your first introduction to fishing?
I grew up beside the canal there along the fifth lock, so I was over there morning, noon and night as a kid. The parents would have to come over to get me to make sure I went to school as I’d be always out early looking for a fish.
There was one spot that we used to go and there would be loads of little perch underneath some overhanging branches. I’d go up on my tiptoes with a load of garden worms. I’d drop one in slowly in front of the perch and I was still so young that if I got one, I’d run back to the house with the small perch in a bucket to show everyone!
How did you get more seriously into the fishing?
I done that laid back kind of fishing on the canal for quite a few years. Then I started seeing some matchmen in competitions on the Bluebell stretch of the canal. They were using poles and stuff like that and I was only ten or eleven, so that made me want to get some better fishing gear and get more into it.
Eventually I joined the Dublin Coarse Anglers when I was about thirteen and started fishing the Winter league with them. I done ok as a junior and as I got into it more I started winning matches and enjoying that side of things. I was getting to fish places like Blessington and the canal around Daingean, Enfield and all around that area.
Then I met up with some guys I knew from Ballyfermot who were in the Phoenix Coarse Anglers so I joined that club. We used to meet up and go fishing all over the place with the waters around Mullingar a firm favourite. We fished Slevin’s, Shever and Lough Patrick and places like that. We fished Ballinafid but it wasn’t for carp but the other coarse fish that were there. We had our first carp at Galmoylestown. We were still doing comps and I was lucky enough to win the All Ireland when I was just sixteen up on Lough Gowna in Cavan. From there I entered the juniors in the World Championship qualifiers and went on to fish for Ireland four times, twice in the World Championships and twice in the Home Internationals.
But then I found nightclubs and drink and women and that was the end of the fishing for the next few years!
You have had some great catches of tench and bream, can you tell us about fishing for these?
When I turned eighteen, everything got put on hold. I wasn’t fishing so I sold all my gear because it was just taking up room in the house. I took a break away from fishing for a few years. Then my brother passed away, it was either go down one road or another….so I got back into the fishing again.
I started fishing a lot for tench and the bream more or less came along while tench fishing, I never really targeted the bream though I had some nice ones to over 9lb. So together witht the tench I had some nice bags of fish.
How did you get more into the carp fishing?
Back in the infancy of carp fishing in Ireland, all we really heard about was Galmoylestown as it was the one that got mentioned in all the books. Then there was a little pond in Ranelagh that help carp. We used to get the 18 bus over from Bluebell to fish there. The Phoenix park was rumoured to hold carp as well. To us these were still mythical fish that were nearly impossible to catch! That was the early days for me before Maynooth fishery came along. It was just messing about back then we were just kids really and then of course the match angling had took over from my end of things.
So when Maynooth came along I had taken the break from fishing with my work as a DJ, my brothers death and a host of other things. So one day in Southside angling, I seen some pics of carp and there was my old classmate Dan O’Kelly. So I started going out there with Dan and on my first night I was delighted to catch my first 20.
Among the other carp you had out there you had the lakes biggest resident, big hole several times, what was she weighing back then?
I think the first time I had Big Hole was in the summer of 04 I think or maybe 05. She was 26lb 7oz. I only actually got a yearly membership once, in 2010 and I put a good few hours into it. I had her again at 35lb 12oz and I just missed out on the lake record at the time by 2oz. I had her a month later again, on a zig this time and she was back down to 34lb 14oz.
You have also fished in France, where did you go over there?
I’ve done a couple of trips to France, we went to Brigueuil in 2007 when Dan was still working there. We went to Margot in 2008 and then back to Brigueuil in 2011. This year we have another trip booked for October to a lake with fish up to the 70’s.
What has been your favourite catch over the years?
In December 2004 I had a 30lb pike. My PB before this was 16lb so before I ever got the 20 here I was with a 30! I was on my own out on the boat fishing a deadbait under a float when I hooked into her. While playing the fish I still couldn’t get a glimpse of her and when I did I couldn’t believe it. I realised I had forgot the net so I had to chin it, and I’ll never forget the size of her mouth and head. I sacked the fish and went back to shore to my two mates where we measured and weighed her at 30lb and 47 inches before getting her back in the water. That fish just blew me away.
Then one I put a lot of work into one season was a specimen perch, which I did eventually get. I was working in Clondalkin near the Naas road, and I used to drive down to the Barrow to be there for first light and yet still have to be back in time for work. Then after work I’d head back down again. I done that sixteen times that season. I ended up getting one 3lb on the nose, a 2lb 12oz and a few other nice fish.
If you could relive any session what would it be?
That’s a hard one, I think it would have to be some of the sessions where I lost a fish and was left wondering the size, especially with the tench. I remember hooking one large fish in particular that came straight to the surface and looked almost black and huge. It hit the surface then just went, and there was nothing I could do to stop it, so to get another chance at some fish like that would be a session I’d like to relive.
How does the fishing and DJing go together?
Well for me it’s the Ying and the Yang, that’s how I got to do a lot of fishing was I was working weekends and fishing midweek. I’d get away on Sunday afternoon and fish till Thursday morning before work again on Thursday night to Saturday night. These days I’m working almost everyday so I’m not getting much fishing time which has been a killer.
I like my own company and the quietness of fishing. When I’m fishing I don’t drink I just get stuck into what I’m doing and keep my eyes on the water to see whats happening in the swim.
What would you still like to catch?
Just the same as what I’ve always done. It would be not to set weight targets but cracking a new water and just spending time on it. The more time you spend on a water the more you get to know it and get a feel for the place. You will see the fish moving or rolling on the surface and you get to know the feeding times etc. and that for me is the buzz I get from fishing. Your first run from a new water is always a special feeling.
Well Rory thanks for talking to us and hope you have a great year
No problem Paddy anytime mate