IFD: Andy Boyce is one of Ireland’s top shore anglers, he has been fishing since childhood and won his first competition at the tender age of nine. Boycie is just returning to fishing after taking a break for a couple of years but I’m sure we will see a lot more to come from him in the future so now over to Andy….
What was your introduction to fishing?
To be honest I can’t really remember, it just seems to have always been in my life. My older brothers used to bring me and as a child I was always reading whatever I could find about fishing and what lived beneath the waves so to speak. I fished my first competition at nine years old which I happened to win and that’s what got me really hooked.
Where did you fish in those early days?
It was all the local marks from Shankill beach to Dalkey. At that age it was still a big thing for my Mother to let me get the DART on my own! As I got older I started fishing Greystones and doing overnighters, I was about 14 or so. With the competitions I started getting to fish around the country and that opened my eyes to what else was available and I was wanting to go back to these places for pleasure fishing.
Was there any early species you had a particular love for?
Yeah it would have to be congers. From an early age I just loved them, the first one I ever caught was 19lb and from then on I was conger mad. I had a particular session with Gibbo years ago in Cork. H ehad never caught conger and we only had 3 or 4 hours to fish before we had to leave again to pick up his girlfriend from college. We had 27 eels in three and a half hours up to 37lb. We had two rods out each and at times all four rods were going at the same time it was mayhem!
What is your favourite area of Ireland to fish?
It would have to be Kerry without a doubt. It’s the variety of species available, and how within a short distance you can be fishing for something totally different. Here on the East coast, if your not catching hounds, your fairly limited to what you can target. In Kerry you can change tactics and go for the rays, bass, congers you name it. Couple that with the scenery and it’s just magic, I would move there in the morning.
You also enjoy your boat angling, how did that come about?
My first boat trips I ever done were competitions in a club I was in called the Bray Outcasts. They had a boat section for juniors so that’s how I started going. Back then I was doing it as much as the shore fishing and I loved it. It was where I got my love of species fishing. Before all the LRF came in we were already doing it chasing the mini species in the boat.
What has been your most memorable session?
My most memorable session I’ve had in the last few years was only in the last month or two. It was a day session in Kerry for the stingers. I bought a guy with me who had never been to Kerry in his life, and him getting to see the fishing down there and the backdrop gave me more enjoyment than catching big fish. It was just one of those days where everything worked out. I got much more satisfaction seeing him catch his target species than if I had of just been fishing on my own. That session we had nine stingers, a few thornback ray and some congers. The biggest ray was 24lb, but on the next cast I had a fish that I reckon would have been nudging the 50lb, but as I got it in over the rocks, it took one last dive and snapped the line. I was gutted but it had been an exciting session, the 24lb had come in like a whiting compared to this thing!
What has been your favourite catch over the years?
I’d say it has to be one of the rarer mini species. Anyone can go fishing for the bigger species, the marks and methods are well known, but there is not much info on some of the smaller species. So it would probably be my tadpole fish. I only know of a couple of people that have ever caught one. I’ve had three of them and I’m very proud of those catches. I also love to fish for the specimen rockling species.
What other areas of fishing interest you?
I’d definitely like to get into the writing side of fishing. I was on one programme for pike fishing a few years ago, but I think I would like to write about fishing at some point in the future. I have read so many books about fishing I would like to try my hand at that and see how I do.
What are your hopes for the remainder of 2015?
I’ve set myself a goal for this year, and that was to get ten specimens for the year. I’m halfway there and over halfway through the year so we will see how that goes. I had given up fishing for the last few years and only got back into it this year in March. I was lucky and got two specimens straight off and it has been fun getting a few specimens since. We are off to Kerry soon so I’ve high hopes for that.
Well thanks for talking to us Boycie and hope you have a great Autumn
Hopefully so thanks lads….