When does it start and when does it end? - As a bass fishing guide its one of those most ‘frequently asked questions’ that I experience. For me operating a business based on fishing I find it necessary to provide accurate and real information to queries from customers based on what I see and experience during my working day on the coast. After all this is where and how I do my job.
This coastal intimacy allows me create a sense of reality for any travelling customer either from within Ireland or from elsewhere in the world. For me my guiding season starts on June 16th and ends on October 31st and has done so for the last ten years. Within those dates I manage client days accordingly – often making cancellations and moving dates.
I very seldom take international customers on guided trips to Wexford prior to June 16th or post October 31st as many years of experience has thought me that the fishing is simply too unpredictable, always has been and it looks like its staying that way for a while. Yes of course there will always be exceptional circumstances, like March of this year and April of last. Last year was great early and terrible later, with somewhat of a return in September! Reasons are many as to why, see this post here – Influences.
Of course this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go bass fishing when and where you want, especially if you live in Ireland close to the coast and don’t have to travel far – but, travelling to Wexford on spec from an international location with the expectation of a fully operable fly and lure bass fishery before May 15th – we would have a lot to talk about!
Some people, after much discussion and chat often wish to come just for the experience and to learn of the fishing anyway, a bit like Alan below - this is done of course, not regularly but done and all possibilities are discussed including the high likelihood of disappointment in fish numbers or the possibility the fishing just might click.
We are lucky as Irish sea anglers living close to the shore, we can pick and choose our moments, make a dash to the coast and catch some fish at different times. This is not always evidence of seasonal stability but more often fish are reacting to irregular early or late favourable influences.
Out of a personal rating of five I award April and May a score of 2 – its a speculative time of year after all, but from June 16th through to October 31st - is in my mind a defined and valid guiding season for the travelling angler. Within these days nothing can be confirmed other than optimal tidal periods but based on considerable guiding experiences I expect the fishery to be at its potential best between these dates, and sometimes even a little later!
For me the Wexford bass fishing season for fly and lure begins somewhere around mid April and ends during November or a little later, of course this is not the same thing as a valid bass guiding season.