Thursday 25 January 2018
The richer the experience that was offered to the guided angler the greater was the chance of diversification into the local community and the support of ancillary services. Good food, good traditional music, immersion in modern Irish life, quality Irish made product, indeed visiting anglers couldn’t find this ‘uniqueness’ at home, hence it created a special trust between guide and angler. The foundation of any guiding service.
There needs to be a reduction in the the modern craven urgency expressed frequently in the over utilisation of angling journalism and various media as a means to secure customers or build 'angling credibility'. A decrease of the obsessive culture of ‘self with fish’ portraits or look at my new gear obsessions might serve long term and sustained development better rather than quick fix ego shots.
The facilitation of manipulated social media reportage that serves no real end in achieving competence proves ultimately fruitless and in fact damages the fishery.
There’s a fine line between selling the fishing and managing the corresponding impact on your future clients realistic expectations. A good guide will always try to strike that balance especially when linked with important locations, the fish that live there and their continued protection management.
Not all locations are equal...hard choices and decisions need to be made with long term sustainability in mind.
“EVEN AFTER SPENDING A LIFETIME OF FISHING FOR BASS IN THESE VENUES I REALISED EVENTUALLY THAT WE WERE SIMPLY SCRATCHING THE SURFACE OF POSSIBILITY, IT WAS BOUNDLESS IN TERMS OF TECHNIQUES, METHODS, PRESENTATIONS…”
The portrayal of the fishing and the fishing environment must always reflect a performance risk accurately and fairly to visiting anglers.
In other words, it was not always easy for an international bass angler to come to Wexford to catch bass at the drop of a hat. It could take time and effort, patience and depending on circumstances this could have been days, weeks or even years.
‘AT THE TIMES THE SUN
DOES SHINE AND EVERY FISH IS BIG
AND SILVER AND EACH CAST
PRODUCES A MIRACLE, OR NEARLY, AND MEMORIES ARE FORGED IN GOOD COMPANY AND SURROUNDINGS.IS IT HOW YOU GOT HERE?
OR IS IT ALWAYS THE FISH? ’
Sunday 24 April 2016
I believe that bass fishing is about coastal experiences. So much of the fish is about the places where we find them. The things we see hear and smell on the way, there and back. The moments, the company, the fun, the challenges we face, the learning, the environments within which we find ourselves trying and reaching further, creating the memories and some of the understanding we now have that the fish and the fishing has given us.
I prefer now after all these years to fly fish for bass and I can be found at www.jimhendrick.com
Tuesday 16 February 2016
On a summer strawberry pickers salary, I learned to be careful and clever with the gear I had. There were days with many fish, days with few and lots of days with none. With the Berkley I would also use simple light terminal tackle, paternosters and ragworm or crab, rolling and watch leads. But spinning the Krill and Toby were always for me what I enjoyed most. I had two types of fish to catch the easy ones based in and around Wexford harbour and the difficult ones based south on the coast at Kilmore and Rosslare. Difficult because it involved a 15-mile cycle, twice!
Over lots of time I developed different skills with each of the lures. They fished differently of course and I felt I could catch fish on most occasions with what I had learned. Any of that arrogance of competency was destroyed early one morning in the company of Clive Gammon at a reef near Rosslare as I stuck a Krill in a rock on the first cast, the least said the better!
I fished then with the attitude that the fish were always in front of me and it was up to me to catch them. I believed they were there swimming, hunting, waiting. If I was fishing and not catching it was because I wasn’t good enough or the fish didn’t want what I was using or they saw it too frequently or whatever.
I still fish like this today, I believe they are there. But now I believe that in many situations rightly or wrongly of course, that if I’m fishing and not catching that I must ‘fish’ less and spend more time waiting before I cast again. In some instances I’m impacting the fish if I continue to simply cast.
So I stop casting and I start fishing…
Saturday 30 January 2016
Can we catch big bass consistently?
Is this a question we should be interested in?
Is it really that important that we pursue bigger fish?
Remember too in a healthy protected population of fish we could all be catching more and bigger fish – simple!
There’s a considerable angling challenge of course in pursuing bigger fish in a very much reduced population, which often leads us to conclude that once we catch one we have become better anglers. This is fine if we believe we have become a better angler than we have previously been because of the experience and focused effort but not so good if we think this has made us ‘better’, in some ways, than other anglers.
An angler spends forty hours a week for four weeks fishing for bass. He catches one fish greater than ten pounds each week. Without knowing the detail of his considerable effort we would consider him a master bass angler who has caught four specimen fish in a month! Perhaps we should read – after 160 hours of fishing he has caught four specimen fish.
Time on the water is one simple factor that will inevitably yield bigger fish to already capable and experienced anglers. The more time you are willing to invest the more likely it becomes that you will encounter bigger fish.
Some anglers who are prepared to spend a lot of time in pursuit of bigger fish will invest in specific locations with specific techniques, say eight hours a day lifting and dropping plastics in a current for five days to catch a ten pounder. We already know, and often too easily, that this is a deadly technique, so another capable angler spends two 20 hour weekends on the same technique and catches a ten pounder.
One angler catches a ten pounder after a week of fishing one angler after a weekend. It’s a question of perspective. But it is always related to personal effort and learning and technique and time on the water.
It’s probably inevitable that if we spend a lot of time at something we should also get better at it. This may not always be the case, but if we build on our experiences which have helped us to improve then it will be similar with bass fishing. The more time we spend and invest the better we become, if we are learning! To that extent we probably are catching two ten pounders in forty hours of effort. Or one fish in twenty hours of effort and so on.
We can get increasingly consistent with time effort and understanding. Our frequencey of capturing bigger fish will increase. What you do with this ‘learned consistency’ is for you to decide, you’ve earned it, you’ve done the time.
I once showed a very nice man how to cast a lure rod, how to control a surface lure, how to give the fish the bait. It took two hours. On the next tide he caught and landed an eleven-pound bass after twenty minutes of effort. He was happy beyond belief.
Within one year he was catching bass on the lure regularly
I once showed a very nice man how to cast a fly line, how to control a big streamer, how to give the fish the fly. It took two years. During the third year he caught and landed a ten-pound bass after eighteen months of effort. He was happy beyond belief.
Within three years he was catching bass on the fly regularly.
Both are now (if we were to think of it in such a way) on a one big fish every 50 hours and declining time routine ! – that’s if, of course, they stop and are bothered, which is doubtful, to count and weigh and measure that is!
Forwarded to - The Irish Bass Policy Group (David McInerny, John Quinlan, Shane O Reilly, Mike Hennessy, Dr William Roche, Dr Nial O'Ma...