October Bass Festival at the Hook Peninsula -Having been invited, I attended a meeting this morning in Fethard as part of a working group involved in creating a Bass Angling Festival on the Hook Peninsula. Many aspects for the proposed development of the Festival were discussed.
I emphasised my usual cautionary approach to 'development' of the fishery, and having built a small business that utilises the reasons why many people want to come to Wexford and to fish bass, I expressed and re-emphasised that many bass anglers simply like the environment, peace and a sense of isolation combined with a chance of exploration and the challenge of the fishing.
Those same people contribute to local economies throughout the season on a day by day basis in many Wexford coastal communities without using my services or having to experience it through the medium of a Festival.
Anglers use the peninsula and the facilities provided there all of the time, they do so on the basis that it is simply what it is and it already provides what they need. Indeed many are not necessarily bass anglers. Not everyone is aware of this.
This doesn't mean I am opposed to the Festival, I think its an opportunity for the Festival committee to demonstrate and to add and include other bass fishing related activities, some evening presentations, local history workshops, tours of the Peninsula to provide a sense of the magic, the spirit of the place. An inclusive experience for people.
I personally feel we have many local people who could make considerable and interesting contributions to the Festival - Billy Colfer (historian), Jim Hurley (naturalist), Kevin Dundon (chef), among many others too, promoted responsibly through Irish angling press it could be a real opportunity to showcase local expertise, talent and environment.
As a Wexford person who has invested ten years of my life in bass fishing in the area and many places in close proximity , how much I can contribute I'm not entirely sure as its the busiest time of year for me - I do know that the dates the Festival is on I will be just finished working with two returning Dutch visitors!
Friday October 26th - Sunday October 28th