Wednesday 30 April 2008

The Saltwater Guiding Service from SEAi.

Sea trout fishing Jim Hendrick
I started my saltwater guiding business during 2003. Along the wild and beautiful southern coasts of Wexford I spent time seeking Bass and Seatrout. I realised there was great potential for sportfishing and adventure with Saltwater Fly and light Lure
I have carefully developed and continued to build a customer base consisting of progressive European and Irish saltwater sportfishers.
My saltwater guiding services have continued to grow and develop and I constantly attempt to improve and add value to your angling experiences.

I believe that fishing is about the experiences, the things you see and hear on the way, there and back, the moments you have that fishing has given you, the places the adventure has brought you to, after all you have found yourself here!
The Service Overview
All travel is arranged both to and from your airport - Dublin, Cork or Waterford in our comfortable SUV.On your arrival you can relax in our quality accommodations based in a quiet mature suburban setting, a short walk from our town centre.Bass fishing Jim Hendrick
Information is provided in our SEAi info pack on your arrival and you can sample some of Wexford’s local breads, cheeses and Jams from our welcome basket.
Of course your fishing is matched to the optimum weekly tides and a printed plan of our daily activity and fishing requirements including regulations is provided and discussed in detail both on your arrival and reviewed on a daily basis.
Wexford town and all of its amenities is easily accessible, you are less than three minutes walk from all local restaurants, shops, pubs and many places of historic interest. 
I recognise that todays visiting anglers are not only interested in but expect the following from their guiding services
  • A modern approach to guiding coupled to a high degree of success whilst providing competent safe and insured angling solutions
  • An in depth knowledge of saltwater lure fishing, all its technologies, target species and maximum potential realised
  • An in depth knowledge of saltwater fly fishing, casting, target species and maximum potential realised
  • Educational facilities and opportunities incorporating leading edge methods and techniques with a view to improving angling skills
  • Availability of balanced quality tackle and equipment ensuring maximum fishing pleasure
  • Quality accommodation and hands on service and support facilities

The Guiding Service offers the absolute highest level of professionalism and customer service. When you book a trip with SEAi for Saltwater guided fishing, you can expect an experience punctuated by, and emphasised around you, your safety and enjoyment.
I am a fully insured professional guide with ten years of genuine angling and guiding experience along the coastline of South Eastern Ireland. Coupled to that I am qualified to train and I have just recently completed a Leave No Trace trainers course which I have incorporated into the guiding services.
Whether you are a seasoned angler or someone who is interested in either learning the craft of saltwater fly or lure fishing, or simply improving your angling skills, I hope your visit to Wexford and the SEAi centre can exceed your expectations.
My service offers a variety of bespoke guiding solutions catering to your needs, for example

  • One night stay and one day workshop - two four hour sessions with lunch €210.00
  • One night stay and one days workshop - one six hour session with light refreshments €195.00
  • Two nights stay with two days guiding - bespoke to your requirement €400.00
  • One week stay five days guiding - bespoke to your requirements - p.o.a with booking deposit
  • Also please visit for a new angling service for 2014
Bass fishing Jim HendrickTrips include provision of top of the range lines rods and reels, flies, lures and terminal tackle.

I genuinely take your safety, enjoyment and relaxation very seriously, and I will go that extra mile to ensure your stay is a memorable one - regardless of whether you catch one fish or fifty.
Regarding Cancellations
In the event of your unfortunate cancellation either in whole or part after your booking has been confirmed, you must inform us in writing or confirmed verbal agreement as soon as possible. If you do cancel I reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee on the following scale.

Amount of notice you give to us before your confirmed fishing date:

More than 60 days - loss of booking deposit only (€100.00)
29 – 42 days 30% or deposit if greater
15 – 28 days 50%
1 – 14 days 75%

The above terms relate to reserved daily guided fishing with light lunch and/or self-catering accommodation at No 7 St Johns Road. No refund will be given for cancellation on or after the confirmed arrival date. Cancellation charges are expressed as % of the total holiday price excluding insurance charges. Insurance premiums are not refundable or transferable. Any external arrangements regarding accomodation individual terms will apply.

The Fishing Requirements

Salt-water lure and fly-fishing along the south east coast of Ireland offers some of the most productive and unspoilt fisheries in Europe. There are many opportunities for not only catching some quality fish but also for catching some different sporting species like sea trout and mullet on the fly or indeed lure. Your hunting grounds are very special places and have proven over time to hold some excellent fish.
Bass Fishing Jim Hendrick
By putting into practice various saltwater fly-fishing and lure fishing techniques and methods South East Angling Ireland will ensure that you can benefit from this extensive knowledge. A committed customer service enhances not only your stay but my own experiences also.

Our principal target species is bass; sea trout, mullet and pollack are also available to the interested angler. Along the way we may also encounter garfish, mackerel, mullet and wrasse. Should you require any equipment such as rods reels or lines SEAi can provide them all. Simply inform us of your tackle needs and we will supply them for you.

Saltwater lure fishing tackle considerationsThe equipment required for saltwater lure fishing should consist of a lure or spinning rod, length of between 8'6" to 10'-0" capable of casting lures in the range of 10-30 grammes. A good quality fixed spool reel in the 3000 to the 3500 range or size loaded with 8 or 9 kgs braid is perfect. A range of diving and surface lures is also required and lure decisions can be influenced by the time of year and weather - for more details please call or mail me for best advice.

If you require a boat fishing session then a slightly different outfit can be used as we often need to cast larger lures in the 35-75 grammes range so a suitable rod is recommended.Braid strength needs to be increased too - about 15kgs is sufficient. Again advice on lures and lure choice and tackle can be had by mail or phone.

Saltwater fly fishing tackle considerations
Generally required is a #8 - 9’0” saltwater rod, a saltwater large arbor reel with 75 to 100 yards of 10kgs backing. Lines need to be of two types floating and intermediate and they need to posses the profiles necessary to cast large bulky flies at times! If we need to go deep a fast sinking line can be provided. The intermediate lines should have a sink rate of between 1 and 2 ips. Leader material needs to be a combinSaltwater fly fishing Irelandation of tough hard mono and a fluorocarbon or mono tippet. If you require any of these items for your holiday we will be happy to provide them for you at the agreed tariffs. A line tray is essential. Flies can be provided as a complimentary addition to you holiday. All lines and tippets can be IGFA approved if required.

The gear and accessories
The outdoor clothing you will need should consist of breathable wind resistant rain jacket and a pair of breathable or very light neoprene waders. Felt soled or a combination of studded and felt wading boots, a pair of Polaroid glasses, a cap and if you are travelling in autumn some thermal underwear. We recommend a layering system. If these items are not available to you then any suitable waterproof system can suffice shorterm. Sunfactor, a hat or cap and a digital camera are also recommended. Lots of locations require long walks to and from the fishing across rocky slippy ground - it is essential that you have the right footwear and clothing.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

destination (wexford) fly fishing

These are some stills taken from (above) a DVD I made with Marryat and Marc Petitjean...
as you can see his flies, material and fishing skills work not only in Wexford but all over the world. A great fishing companion, just ask him about my mothers home-made blackberry and apple tart!!

Sunday 27 April 2008

trout from a lake

David and I went fishing on Friday and Saturday, we were fly fishing for pike. Friday proved very difficult with wind and driven rain, the lake felt like a cold grey miserable place. There was a short window in the afternoon and we hit some fish - more of which later.

Saturday began a little slowly too but picked up speed throughout the morning and early afternoon. Unexpectedly a ferocius attack on Davids lure left us stunned and as he struggled to get his fine fish closer to the boat we could only guess at its size. Running repeatedly and fighting doggedly we imagined a considerable fish. Eventually landed, weighed and measured at 7lbs and 6 ounces going to 26 inches - an incredible brown trout under any circumstances.

Sunday 20 April 2008

Protection fatigue?

I’ve noticed that during periods of fine weather the number of phone calls I get increases dramatically. I guess it’s a normal thing; fine weather gets people thinking about fishing. Not all of the phone calls I get are in relation to business of course and for the past few years as many people re-discover bass fishing many of them are in relation to illegal bass fishing.

During the last weeks of March for example I received 3 calls connected to this subject from different people. These are not what I would term or call ‘I suspect..’ calls; these are confirmed sightings of the regular illegal activity of bass fishing. Boxes of fish been landed, nets been shot, fish been sold, vans coming to collect. People, make these calls to me, whom have consistently witnessed this activity over the same periods for many years in the same places – and this year is no exception it seems, the theme of this year’s calls is no different. The general content of these calls is that the people who have made them have been through the correct channels of the fisheries boards, the gardai, some people have even contacted local politicians and STILL the activity continues unabated. The question these people ask me is generally something like ‘…maybe you might be able to do something Jim…’ I keep hearing the same locations, the same descriptions, the same places, and the same activity, - the same exasperation and frustration is obvious from the tone of one caller to the next.

As an angler I sympathise and listen to the calls that I get, make some notes. I cant really do much either, lets be sensible here. Then I get more calls or people stop me in the street! In few weeks time I will close my small business for four weeks – this is the closed season for bass fishing – May 15th to June 15th. Closing a business for four weeks seems like madness but its one of the factors that I need to work and plan around until I develop an alternative solution. During these four weeks I will see some anglers fishing for bass quite openly – but what is really frustrating is the continued illegal netting pressure that operates during this time, closed or open the activity continues.

This year (2008), since Christmas, I have had 4 requests from potential visiting groups of anglers – two from Italy one from Holland, and one from France – to fish in Wexford during the period of May 15th to June 15th. These people are ALL fly fishers – single hook and have a C+R frame of mind. One of these groups would have had a significant impact on promoting bass fishing in Ireland. I have managed to re-negotiate one of the groups for guiding later during the year, the others I’m afraid will go to fish elsewhere in the world during this time. This is what the business has to deal with and absorb and it’s just an example. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for anything and I am not in any way advocating opening the closed season (god forbid) but maybe you can imagine my normal sense of frustration at turning away the business when its obvious that
  • The economic benefits from a personal point of view are good
  • The impact that the 4 groups would have on the local economy are considerable
  • The positive profile that would continue to be built around the bass fishery in South East Ireland through international editorial would be enhanced
  • Remember its a sustainable practice with little or no environmental impact
  • The promotion of Ireland as a world class angling destination would continue - knock on effects
but where it really hits and the frustration is magnified is knowing that during this time of the closed season, and during the entire bass season that the nets are out there killing hundreds of fish, with no management, no foresight, no sustainability, no planning -destroying another national resource with no consideration to any positive or creative possibilities.
So please keep making the calls, I will do what I can for as long as I can, as anglers I share in your frustration.

As a person trying to promote our country as a world class angling destination, with a sustainable plan with a continued positive impact on local communities maybe now you can share in some of my perspective too.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Salt Water Lure Fishing - P2 of 21 - Retrieves for early spring and cooler water

Since I've posted on SWFF tactics for colder Spring late Winter tactics I would like to mention today some ideas for SWLF at this time of year.

I have already mentioned 'weather windows' and this post is not specifically about watching weather patterns and then meeting with success (i'll do that later) but its more about a few ideas as to how. Weather windows exist throughout the season - even in mid winter .One thing is definite however and that is the amount of effort you will need to make at this time of year is considerably greater than the easy fishing of summer and early autumn when fish are more aggressive.

At the time of writing sea water surface temperatures are roughly between 9 and 11 degrees at the moment and this is just above the effective operating temperature for bass fishing. In other words fish should be somewhat active. Again i can only speak out of experiences here at Wexford for the following water temp ranges as described to me some time back by a fisheries biologist as best as i can remember, so generally speaking

At 5 degrees its the minimum acceptable temp for their existence or range
Below 8 degrees they seem to enter a state of suspension - slower metabolism (soft lures, suspended lures - maybe!)
Between 9-10 degrees late winter temps and depending on the day generally soft lures are best
Between 10-12 degrees you can catch them on diving lures and sinking fly lines possibility of surface too
Between 12-15 degrees you can catch them on surface lures and flies and most other lures
Above 16 degrees oxygen starts to becomes an issue and they are not present/ or feed in cooler waters

However winds have been predominantly Northerly and North easterly over the last few weeks and surface temperatures of the sea are a little down. I have a few notes from the archives that indicate my first surface bass fishing wouldnt generally begin with confidence in numbers until early May, and then its time to stop as the season is closed!

Traditional methods of fishing at this time of year involve casting and retrieving - casting and retrieving with lots of different types of lures - tobies, krills, rapalas etc. But what if we were to cast and not retrieve or at least retrieve much more slowly and EFFECTIVELY - it could take us three minutes or more to retrieve our lure. So what are we doing?

We are presenting the opportunity to the fish to strike the lure for much longer periods of time. Rather than casting and pulling lures at speed past slow and often sluggish fish we are giving them the opportunity to take at their operating factors and not ours. 

In order to achieve this we can fish with suspending jerk baits. These lures do not float or sink but rather suspend at the depth to which we fish them. We make our cast, tighten into our main line and feel the lure engage - a few deliberately slow turns of the handle will get the lure to swim and dive - and then we stop and wait and.........wait, but maintaining contact with the lure - gently we fish it home. Adding a little speed will drive the lure deeper and as we make the stop again and again the 'active roll' of the lure when suspended is enough to entice a cooler water take.

Then of course there's always soft plastics...coming soon

Next month (May) - fishing ultralight

Sunday 13 April 2008

Spring light at the cut

You may have read the second posting I ever made to this blog back on the 12th of January called winter light at the cut - it was a cold dark miserable January day. These photographs were taken under different lighting conditions and just shortly after the cut had been made - 3 months later.

Bass fly fishing Ireland - P3 - Where is my fly?

Flyfishing in cold, late winter time or early springtime at sea in Wexford can be very difficult and even downright disssapointing for the fly and lure fisherman. Its my belief that of all the bass fishing conditions that exist (except maybe cloudy brown and weedy water) saltwater fly fisherman dislike cold water and cold winds the most. I have witnessed a lot of fisherman become so frustrated over these late and early periods (late Winter / early Spring) that it makes them stop fishing during these parts of the season completely. From December through to late April is often avoided by many saltwater fly/lure fishers and in fact its not until the warmer months of April May or June that many will begin their fishing at all.

I can understand this and there have been several points in time when I felt this way too but through some perserverance and sometimes with a little hard work and if you want to pursue winter fishing from time to time, there are some good tactics that can greatly increase your chances - difficult as it is and few as they are!

There are other apects to this early and late season fishing that are beneficial too -as you make and complete your early or later sessions, you also get back into or stay 'in the groove' much earlier and longer than your warm water friends! Sometimes over a lazy and slow winter, picking up and starting that fishing momentum can become a difficult thing! A bit like the late Winter or early Spring fish who are often a little sluggish, probably somewhat slow moving and generally finding things a bit difficult - shake off those 'comfortable' feelings and get out there....during this time you will undoubtedy hit some 'weather windows' or 'moments of magic', extended periods of mild reasonable weather can create chances over time.

This might only be a few hours of exceptional conditions that suddenly bring fish on (in fact it might be worth considering they may in fact be spawning, they are physiologically ready!) or suddenly you have success out of the blue - mark it down as something to watch out for in the future. Its something to amaze your friends with.

'You mean you caught fish in the middle of February in an easterly you hear them ask' - 'its not possible' they say. You know it may not be very frequent but it is very possible. The reason - you are actively engaged and in tune with your fishing the conditions and the circumstances that led you to the fish.

Fishing in the 'off season' always seems to be a little better when the water temperature is steadily falling as in late Winter (December January) and not rising as in early Spring (March April). This often means that weather fronts are becoming a little more unstable and it’s not often bright and sunny for a number of consecutive days. Winter and Spring terms are used loosely here.

Bass will start to move inshore during the Spring (April / May in Wexford) and there are one or two reasons why I think they are moving. One reason is to find the warmer water to spawn, the second, is to find food, as the chain kicks into life. Food sources have probably diminished over the long winter and forage has been greatly reduced due to lack of sunlight and cooler temperatures at sea. It may be one of the reasons that during 'weather windows' fish move out of and then back to their winter haunts, they are chasing food. They are never too far from shore.

Learning about prey behaviour means you learn about your quarry - and if fish are there they will eat.

I look for shallower water, and I definetly start looking for water clarity if possible. I'm fishing at depth in some current where possible.

Its difficult to know exactly what is the most common food source for fish are at this time of year. Crabs, shrimp little juvenile sandeel are probables. Throughout the wintertime when water temperature is cooler, I suspect predators are on the deeper bottom offshore and most of the food sources have already been greatly reduced. During early spring I tend to use smaller flies that are imitation of shrimps and small sandeels that I see along the shoreline. Be aware that the type of bass strike or take you will experience will tend to be more reactionary and sometimes slower rather than the sheer massive aggressive hunter strike that you will experience during mid and late summer.

To get the fly to fish it means fast intermediate or sinking lines with clouser minnow types fished on or near the bottom - inched along or fished strip and stop.

The retrieve and the fly line will put your fly in the right fishing position. So where is my fly? At this time of the year it needs to be close to the bottom! There are two fishing actions to make. One is the long strip you make with your line hand to move and pull the bait through the water. This is the initial 'triggering' method helping to grab the fishes attention. The second action is the stop or pause. This will allow the clouser to 'drop' to the bottom. So the fish has seen the fly swim and drop, maybe once or twice. It is during this 'fly activity time' that a bass will make the initial decision to take the fly, more often than not on the drop or pause. Pausing for 8 - 10 seconds is a good idea - even more, and sometimes Inching the fly along the bottom after the drop can result in very delicate pick ups by fish - be ready.

Remember fish are somewhat lethargic and don’t swim around chasing and using lots of energy in colder 'later' water.

Tactics to use in terms of the retrieve and helping to put your fly in the right place, with short leaders
  • make longer slower strips with less time on the pause or stop
  • make shorter strips with more time on the pause or stop
  • increase the time of the bottom 'inching'
  • add some stopping and starting to the bottom 'inching'
  • slow down - A LOT!
Next month (May) - Help - what type of fly?

Thursday 10 April 2008

first signs of madness

This is a copy of a mail i got yesterday

Heh Jim

Just got one in ............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 'bout 45cms. Old guy there before me with that casting style where you have the lure just off top of rod got one first. But i felt if he can get one so can i. Spotted his lure a small black and silver, the fish he had caught had at least 6 green sandeels in his gob. I fished and fished, my hands cold my back sore, was gonna call you for some support, just then another lad came along and had a taz dev on and said he had some success with it last year, i had tried all my small lures at this point so i found a green an silver taz unopened at the bottom of the box and stuck it on. First time i ever used one, cast it out the wind hit it it was like a frisbee and went about 20 yds. I thought to myself " thats trying to make its way back to tazmanian thats some yoke" but then bang and i was on to this fine fish. He didnt put up a great scrap, i had clutch on very light following your advice and he was mine. I measured and tagged him and bagged him for the old man who will be trilled. Its 20 years since we caught seatrout in .............. so he will be delighted.

BTW 1 barbless hook worked no problem.

Im so exited.


this is a follow up mail i got this morning from the same patient I mean person

Morning Jim

I was lying in bed last night just about in the transfer/twilight zone and i was dreaming about the seatrout catch, i has reeling in the spinner in the dream and then he took it, so i struck! i dragged my hand across the sheet at 200mph and the sound of this woke me and the mrs my heart was pounding i thought i was gonna have a coronary or something. She said what are you doin, i said nothing, she said were you dreaming about your seatrout so i admitted to it and explained that the brain files away the memories and events of each day when you sleep and that this was so exiting for me that my brain gave me another chance to enjoy the moment. We had a good laugh about it!


Am i nuts?

I leave the diagnosis up to the professionals....calling soon I'd imagine.

Tuesday 8 April 2008

chasing saltwater silver - the elusive seatrout

I had the opportunity to fish two times this week and decided to lure fish for seatrout. With cool northerlies and north westerlies plus bright skies it was never going to be too easy. The sea has run crystal clear and remains 'cold' so I felt that fishing slow and deep was the order of the day. A little lift and drop on the bottom and then I had a some luck yesterday with two little fish of 34 and 35 cm's - I fished with a Shimano tecnium 2500, Smith Trout n Spin 8'-0" minnowing rod (casting 2-10 grammes), 3kgs bs braid, fluoroflex plus leader, and Smith trout 'n surger lures - 6 grammes, 6.5 cms.

what I saw today - April 08

Saturday 5 April 2008

what we saw today the dog and I

I'm afraid the dog was hit by a car today (driver didn't stop) and has a badly injured leg, bruised but not broken! So 'what we saw today the dog and I' will be reduced for a while to what I saw today - I'm not even sure if he pays that much attention to the things I see to be honest - he's usually off at other things.

Engelse-drop or the English Drop

We had some fun with this little surface fly last summer - the Dutch name of the Engelse-drop is derived from a sweet which is available in Holland called the English drop. The colours above are also the colours of the sweet (look closely at the pic) - this fly was given to me by Jos van der Wouw and the tying sequence will be available in the gallery at the following link in the next few hours-

have some fun on the surface with them

Friday 4 April 2008

Bass fly fishing Ireland - P2 - The instinct of the decision

There are times when you open your fly box and reach for a fly to tie on; and you have instinctively made the right decision. The fly fishes well, it casts well under the conditions and ultimately produces a result for you. This quick decision-making is done without any long gazing into the fly box and trying to decide on colour or size or type but rather extends from the confidence of experience that is now second nature to you and your fishing.

You have spent your time on the water under many different conditions chasing many species. Some days are good and some days are bad - depending on your expectations of course. In terms of getting fish on a hook the reasons for not catching fish are equally as important as the reasons for your successes. Doing the same thing incessantly to no real end with no real result is soul destroying. While we don't need to operate like scientists, some analysis as to the reasons of success or failure is important.

This analysis if you want to call it that, fine tunes us and focuses our attention on many factors. Wind direction, temperature, light conditions, tide, moon, time of year and fish behaviour etc and in this case the fly choice. We cannot wait for all of these factors to be in their optimal positions or 'best levels' and then decide to go fishing - it simply wouldnt happen, but we can learn the influences of each element and hence make valid angling decisions.
So when does the Type become more important rather than the Where or the How? My 'go to' BASS fly is a white and chartreuse deceiver pattern on a size 1/0 hook. Nothing very revolutionary there, but it could also be a white and chartreuse clouser minnow. Already there's an option. Two very important flies - two decisions, and then more when you add colour and more when you add hook size!
I have already said my 'goto' fly is a white and chatreuse deceiver - but it is only my choice on unfamiliar ground. When fishing a new area for the first time this is my choice. If i catch fish on this fly at a venue (never more than 3) then I may change to a different pattern. If the subsequent pattern doesn't provide results under a similar time frame, in the same conditions then i will change again, and again. This may result in you been able to determine an optimum fly for a particular set of circumstances.
If you cast any fly and you catch some fish then its one of those days - if you cast only a particular pattern that catches fish (where others havent or in greater numbers or in an accelerated time frame) then its time to sit up and take notice. Visiting the venue on other occasions under similar circumstances may well confirm this for you. Now your 'goto' fly for your new favourite venue might be a cockroach or a black deceiver. Depending on the circumstances!
So you arrive at your fishing you open your box and out comes your singular choice from a range of patterns - you have caught a lot of fish in your last two visits using this fly and you confidence is high - then something changes - you dont catch any fish - you try changing a little bit but no luck!

Next month () - where is my fly?

New Website

The beginning AND the end…

Forwarded to - The Irish Bass Policy Group (David McInerny, John Quinlan, Shane O Reilly, Mike Hennessy, Dr William Roche, Dr Nial O'Ma...