I started ‘test’ guiding during July of 2003 and went full time for the season of 2004. Previous to those years I already knew the fishing potential, I felt I just needed to supply and validate the ‘service’, fine tune it if you will! During that time since and for many years previous to when I started guiding, I have seen and experienced many weather patterns and their subsequent influences on bass fishing.
The requirements needed from a guided angling point of view were adjusted accordingly as I wandered lonely and empty shores for nearly five years (03-07) with eager happy customers from all over Europe.
This intimate interaction with influences and the many unique locations where bass are to be found in Wexford is one of the keys to understanding the fish and their behaviour, it takes a long time to witness, to feel, and to understand this. During 2007 something subtle changed.
Below are some extracts (2003 to 2012) from the Met Eireann weather summaries – for me the seasons through 2007, 2008 and 2009 were particularly difficult with an slight improvement through 2010. There has followed a continuous ‘inshore’ decline in accessible fish through 2011 and it now extends into 2012 as previously indicated on this website. Guided customers during early years of the new millennium enjoyed phenomenal fishing. This new ‘difficult experience’ is not necessarily evidence of a ‘collapsing fishery’ but perhaps a continued fish response to changing environmental and other influences that have occurred since mid season 2007.
So what are the big differences in the fishery? I started this blog at the end of 2007 probably as a result of trying to capture that history, a sense of the fishery in some way, and you can see the reports of weather impact. I feel its important not to look at short term periods but over longer ranges of months and indeed years to establish trends and valid experiences.
If you were fly or lure bass fishing regularly during those years before and over the new and early millennium you can no doubt share some of those great experiences and draw some valid comparisons between then and now! Later comparisons and experiences during the decade whilst valid are already on a downward scale in comparison to the earlier years.
How where and when the fish were present, what and when they decided to eat and even what they choose to eat in different places at different times! The numbers and the sizes of fish present, the quality, the evidence of visible forage, the conditions and water state, all are somewhat different at this time.
The graph HERE from October 2011 is an indication of expected versus actual fish caught through the 2003 –2011 period. Numbers and size of fish are withheld.
TEN YEARS OF MID SUMMER WEATHER REPORTS
Warm but dull everywhere – heavy and thundery rain at times.
Summary: July was a warm and cloudy month everywhere with dry weather at times, especially in eastern and northern areas, but also some heavy and thundery falls leading to localised flooding in places. The sequence of warmer than normal months throughout 2003 continued during July, with mean air temperatures around a degree higher than normal in most places
Photo : ‘Test’ group from France and members of the CFB – guided fishing.
Mild but mostly dull; dry in east and southeast
Summary: After a cool and very unsettled start to July, which brought heavy showers and strong winds, there were spells of drier and warmer weather during the later part of the month. Mean air temperatures overall were below normal across much of the country, however, and it was the coolest July for between 11 and 16 years at a number of stations. As the charts of daily values on page 12 indicate, both minimum and maximum temperatures showed a general rise during the month, but maximum values in excess of 20°C Mild but mostly dull – dry in East and Southeast
Photo : Geoff from 1st Voyages des Peches Article – guided fishing – Magazine article
Dry in North but heavy spells in south and east – warm and dull
Summary: Rainfall totals for July varied considerably across the country. Bands of heavy rain affected parts of Leinster and Munster during the last week, while other areas received little. There were exceptionally heavy falls near southern and south-eastern coasts on the 23rd/24th, while another band of heavy rain affected south-eastern and eastern areas on the 28th/29th. Severe thunderstorms developed over the southern third of the country during the evening of the 12th, giving some torrential falls locally, while a tornado developed during the same evening near Myshall, Co. Carlow (see page 2). This variation in rainfall totals across the country is reflected in the fact that, while it was the driest July at Malin Head since 1983, it was the wettest at Rosslare since records began there in 1956. The number of wetdays (days with 1mm or more rainfall) during the month was close to the normal range for July of between 9 and 13. July was a warm month everywhere, with mean air temperatures of around one degree above normal generally.
Photo: John from Canada, saltwater fly – subsequent cover Irish Angler magazine – guided fishing
Warmest July on record in places; sunny and mainly dry
July was another very warm, dry and sunny month, continuing the pattern of fine summer weather set in June. Temperatures were above normal throughout almost all of the month; they were around two degrees higher than normal overall at most stations and three degrees higher at Clones. It was the warmest July for between 11 and 17 years in most places and the warmest on record at Malin Head, Clones and Casement Aerodrome; records at Malin Head extend back to 1885. Kilkenny had a total of 29 days during the month where the maximum temperature exceeded 20°C, with 9 of these days exceeding 25°C. The period between the 16th and 20th was particularly hot, when daily maxima reached over 25°C generally and above 30°C in a few places, the highest temperatures recorded since the record breaking month of August 1995. The values of 31.0°C and 29.9°C, recorded on the 19th at……..
Photo: Diego Farnetti Italy, Cpt John Devereux – soft / hard lure fishing offshore – guided fishing
Another very wet month in east and southeast mostly cool but sunny
After the very wet weather of most of June in the east and south of the country, rainfall totals for July were again exceptionally high in the same areas. Like the previous month, high pressure remained well to the south of the country, allowing an uninterrupted succession of depressions with their associated frontal systems to move over Ireland until near the end of the month. These produced spells of rain or showers each day, with some locally heavy falls causing flooding, while there were severe thunderstorms and reports of tornadoes on a number of days. At least 1mm or rain was measured on each day at one or more stations in the 49-day period between June 11th and July 29th. Early summer rainfall totals (June and July) were more than 250% of normal over parts of Leinster
Photo: Michele from Belgium – soft plastic lure fishing offshore – guided fishing
Very wet and dull in most places: becoming warm after cool first half
Much of the first half of July was wet and relatively cool, but warmer and drier conditions developed until the last few days of the month, when rain or showers again became widespread. High pressure was responsible for the settled conditions in the period after mid-month, but low pressure to the southwest of the country at both the beginning and end of July brought some heavy rain or showers in all areas, with thunderstorms on several days. Rainfall totals for the month were above normal except in parts of the west and northwest and were more than twice the July normal at stations in the east and south. It was the wettest July for more than 30 years at many stations in the south and southeast.
Photo: Niall Kelly, Carlow –saltwater fly onshore – on the water workshop
Wettest July for more than 50 years in places – near normal temperature and sunshine
Apart from a short spell of dry weather between the 7th and 9th, rain or showers were recorded on each day during July, resulting in record high monthly totals at some stations. The weather pattern of the previous two summers was repeated, with Atlantic depressions tracking over or close to Ireland, producing substantial falls of rain at times, with frequent thunderstorms. The north and northwest of the country fared relatively well, however; in these areas the lowest rainfall totals were recorded and both mean temperatures and sunshine amounts were well above normal. Over twice the normal July rainfall totals were recorded over most parts of the country, with more than three times the normal amount in parts of Leinster and Munster. It was the wettest July for over 50 years in many places and the wettest on record at a number of stations, including Valentia Observatory, where records began more than a century ago.
Photo (above): David Norman, Cork - at his first Bass Fishing Workshop – on the water bass fishing workshop
Photo (right): Alan O’Neil, Waterford – at his first saltwater fly fishing workshop – on the water bass fishing workshop
Warm and dull: very wet in places
July was the first month of 2010 which was dominated by weather patterns associated with Atlantic depressions. Slow-moving frontal systems brought significant falls of rain at times, while most days were cloudy but mild, with south to south westerly winds. Rainfall totals for July were above normal everywhere and were more than twice the average at some stations; it was the fourth successive July with rainfall totals much in excess of normal over most of the country. Unlike previous years, however, the relatively dry weather of the preceding months of 2010 and consequent high soil moisture deficits helped to prevent significant flooding during this month.
Photo: Casper Hansen Denmark – Saltwater fly onshore – guided fishing
Dull and cool with below average rainfall in parts
The majority of mean air temperatures for the month were lower than normal, with most temperatures across the country being between 0.5°C and 1°C below average. Dublin Airport reported its coolest July in 46 years with a mean air temperature of 13.8°C, while some stations in the south and southwest recorded their coolest July since 1988. Almost all maximum temperatures for July were recorded during the periods of high pressure in the latter part of the month, while the majority of minimum air temperatures were recorded on 6th, 22nd and 23rd. The lowest minimum air temperature during July of 4.7°C at Casement Aerodrome was the lowest for the station in 27 years, while Cork Airport’s minimum air temperature of 6.2°C was the lowest measured at that site since 1965
Photo: John Hardy, Bristol UK – Saltwater fly onshore – guided fishing
All mean temperatures were below average with differences from average largest in the North and Northwest, up to -1.9°C at Markree. Mean temperatures for July ranged from 12.6°C at Knock Airport, its coolest July since 1998 (14 years), to 14.9°C at Shannon Airport. Malin Head reported a mean temperature of 13.0°C, 1.3°C below its average and its lowest July mean temperature since 1972 (40 years). Most remaining stations reported their coolest July in at least 10 to 24 years. Monthly mean maximum and minimum temperatures were below average.
Rainfall was above average nearly everywhere, except at Finner in the Northwest which reported a long-term average (LTA) value of around 95%. Remaining stations reported LTAs of between 100% and 200% with highest percentage values reported in the Dublin area, Midlands and Southwest.
Photo: John Rix, Chichester UK – Saltwater fly offshore – guided fishing