Friday 31 October 2008

Bass fly fishing Ireland - P11 - When should I fish?

When is often a more important question than where if you are fly fishing for bass on the south coast. Not only must we be cognisant of season, but also time of day, time of tide, time of moon phase and even ‘time of weather’. Within these parameters there are also the questions of when should I use a particular line or a particular fly? When should I begin to make my first casts, when will the fish be here? So many whens !

There is no doubt we should fish as often and whenever possible, if only life was that simple! And of course if the activity of fishing is more important to you than actually trying to quantify your catch rate or success then when is a considerably smaller priority. Some of us just like to get out there and spend some time fishing full stop.

For those of us who take things with a view of continuous improvement then when plays a more important role. Below are some simple rules for people beginning to bass fish on the fly in Ireland

Ask when for season -
Season is April to December - with key times of June to October
Ask when for time of day -
A good time is during a change of light from dark to bright or bright to dark (dawn and dusk)
Ask when for state of tide -
Spring tides produce more fish than neap Tides
Ask when within tidal run -
Some locations fish best at the beginning of the tidal phase other at the fall of tidal phases - always look for water movement and motion.
Ask when during different phases of weather -
Bass are susceptible to changes in weather conditions, temperature, barometric pressure, wind direction. GET IN TUNE WITH THE WEATHER
Ask when do you change your fishing tactic, colour of fly, type of line.....
Never stay doing the same thing in the same place - keep on the move, observing, learning, changing and adapting and most of all enjoying the freedom that flyfishing creates

Next Month (December) - Seven over looked tactics

Thursday 30 October 2008

for Andrew and Philip

The importance of time is at its most obvious at births and deaths. A small, new baby has all of its vast time ahead of it, and a new child will also need large amounts of your time. When someone has died sharing you time with that person is no longer possible. At such moments of realisation, thoughts about your own allocated time and how you spend it can become both sombre and very personal.
Our everyday life is filled with events, people and places. Now and then we claim to live for the present, or at least want to strive to live in the present. But unless you know exactly what you are going to do tomorrow, next week, next month, next year your grip on the present can become weak to the point of invisibility. A modicum of expectation is essential for living in the present. Then, now and later are pivotal concepts to movements within life.
Each moment comes and goes, and only at the time of your choosing will or can you attach a signifigance. The smell, after rain in a dusty summer street, the distant sound of a train as it approaches the station to bring you to the city, the flock of birds arriving for the winter tired and glad to land. The smiles, the words, the fun the sad times - each moment that you have shared has defined you, not by what you are going to do or what you have, but by what you are because of these valuable moments. Memories are formed in the present, in your time.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Conditions South East Wk 44 - Update

I fished with Alan from Dublin yesterday afternoon. As you can see water clarity and conditions are much improved even since Sunday. This was probably the first tide with some degree of good clarity since early last week. I was a little optimistic yesterday and perhaps with the plummeting temperatures and a strong cool North Westerly I should have known better. It does however look good for the remainder of the week even if a little cooler I expect fish around once the water remains clear. A good tidal spectrum exists and it corresponds nicely with changing light. Remember too for those of you who like to experiment on the FLY the possibilities of whiting and coalfish even flounder will exist in the next few days and weeks. Fish deep and slow will be cold!!
Bendy Rods

Friday 24 October 2008

Conditions South East Wk44

At the moment things are looking slightly more difficult than normal! It could spell the end of consistent fly fishing for 2008 and possibly the end of lure fishing if it continues like this (except maybe soft lures) - but I will hang on for another few hours as things change quickly over the weekend!

I wondered about the Jacket too! Daire arrived from Cahir yesterday for a saltwater FF workshop - conditions were tough, in fact at times impossible but we had a great day.

Thursday 23 October 2008

Fishing Report - Mackerel on the fly - Childs Play

The surface of the water boiled with hungry mackerel, baitfish jumped for their lives and they swam as a tightly knit group believing in safety in numbers. But they had nowhere to go as the mackerel had them cornered in the little coves, they tear through the massive bait ball time after time, hammering the shoals, picking off dinner almost at leisure. Here they come again cruising at flank speed up one side of the little bay; the sprats momentarily turn the brown rocks silver in an attempt to avoid the saltwater tigers, they jump out of the water to escape.

A Mexican wave of tiny jumping and frantic fish spreads along the side, then across the shore and down the other side of the little cove. The water is full of tiny flashing scales, and green and blue striped merciless hunters.

The vast mackerel shoals on our shores during late August and September are a great example of a migratory fish. Mackerel don’t reside inshore but rather take advantage of bait movement. Here in Wexford the shoals generally don’t arrive until the first spring tides in September but further south they can be caught much earlier. If conditions are favourable they can be caught right through until late October. Of course it’s a great time for many anglers and the beaches of the south Wexford coast are often at their busiest.

Because of their vast numbers, suicidal tendencies and sheer ease of accessibility, mackerel fishing is great fun for children who like fishing or would like to catch fish in the sea for the first time. Often within spitting distance, casting to hundreds of fish with the simplest of flies’ life can be fun in the middle of a blitz. The whole phenomenon is a big visual fishing treat. Standing and watching the water with my two guys, Dan aged eight and Ruth aged six, they would literally scream with excitement as the shoal moved along the surface of the sea towards us. ‘Here they come again Daddy, look. Look.’

And sure enough as the fish came closer not only could we see the surface of the sea boiling but we could hear it as well. The frantic baitfish swam as best they could, hundreds of mackerel charging at the shoal fleeing for its life, it sounded like the heaviest downpour you could imagine. They swam and hunted past us and were gone again. We turned all three of us and looked back up the shore anticipating the arrival of the next shoal and the excitement of it all.

Eileen had phoned me earlier that week from Cork to say Dan had been catching sprats in his swimming trunks during the evening and both he and Ruth were eager to get their rods from Wexford. I had two days off and decided I had better head down that way as they both sounded like things possessed on the end of the phone. They both told me stories of swimming in mackerel shoals, ’..the fish were all around us Daddy’!

I had a light spinning rod and some spinners and a #5 seven-foot fly rod loaded with a floating line that we used regularly for ‘exploratory fishing’. I’m not the kind of person to force the situation and both kids will tend to sometimes want to go fishing and sometimes they don’t. Admittedly spending a lot of time fishing with people, when you arrive home and are asked can we go fishing Daddy can we, can we? It makes me smile a bit. Neither do I force them or encourage my children towards any particular aspect of fishing but rather tend to steer them towards the activity itself. Fly or lure who cares at this point its better than sitting in front of the TV on a grey summers day!

What I want and would like them to learn is to carefully catch some fish, handle them with some respect and either kill one or two for eating or return them to the sea. I also want them to have as much fun possible doing this. Last year Dan had a problem with the killing of some mackerel that we had caught, so much so that he stopped fishing for the rest of the summer. I didn’t want this to affect his fishing adversely and had little chats here and there and let him reason it all out for himself, answering questions (when prodded by Eileen) regarding his ‘fishing logic’, farms, trawlers, etc. He arrived at a position where this year he instructed me that we needed only to kill two fish per person and only if we wanted them or we knew somebody else who did.

So off we went that evening on our great mackerel hunt. Ruthie with her light spinning kit and Dan with the rod with the ‘backwards reel’ as he calls it. I had been watching the wind and knew that in this bay as it blew westerly and offshore the sprats would ball up and swim tight to the shore. Personally I was thinking a little ahead I knew it would swing and increase southwesterly in the next few days, this created white water and confusion amongst the baitfish and fired up the BASS. We’ll leave that to later. Walking down the slope to the beach Ruthie said rather matter of factly, like a seasoned striper fisherman on the east coast of the US ‘they’re there all right’.

She had learned to spot individual fish as they cruised and picked off wounded or confused sprats, they were visible as individual splashes on the surface. I was impressed. ‘We’re not after those guys’ said Dan ‘we’re going to the creek to catch them’. The Creek as its known locally is a deep gully with high sidewalls that forms a natural collection area for sprats. Dan said to me that he could see the seagulls flying over the creek and that was a sign of fish. ‘That’s what grandpa says Dad!’ Good man Jim Powell.

It’s only a short walk but it takes us of the beach, which can become a little crowded and somewhat dangerous at times. But its somewhat easier and anyway a little walk never did anyone any harm. We arrived and sat down and watched. The seagulls had fallen back to another feeding spot and the bay was a dark mass of hundreds of thousands of sprats. And here they came, leisurely feeding at will, swimming through the bait ball stuffing themselves on small fish. I cast at first for Ruth and she retrieved the spinner, almost immediately a vibrating fish was on. The little rod rattled and shook as if electricity was passing through it and Ruthie fought her fish valiantly! I can feel him, he’s a big one Daddy a HUMUNGOUS one I think.

Then it was Dans’ turn, a fish every cast. I had de-barbed the hooks for safety and ease of release. I wanted them both to get used to feeling the fish in their hands and been able to hold them properly and not be afraid. With wet hands and a gentle grip they managed this many times although its not easy with a vibrating, electro fish like a mackerel. From then on we released all our fish simply by shaking them of the hooks and not touching them at all. Then I introduced the fly rod, Ruthie from a practical point of view said she preferred spinning.

At this point in time Dan can lift and cast the head of a #5 and retrieve – enough to hook a mackerel and enough to get that ‘feeling’. He very much takes it or leaves it and that’s fine. We huddled together over little pools and I explained to them both how the flies and lures we were using fooled the mackerel into believing they were sprats.
We examined the mackerel we caught closely, marvelling at the colours, their big eyes and Ruthie remembers that mackerel have a spike too! We put one in a big pool and watched it swim around and around and I explained that they never stop swimming, we watched him powerhouse his way through shallow water back to sea and Dan says I’m going to catch him again and he made a cast and caught him again….

And then we had had enough, and already as we walked up the hill to the house in the autumn dusk the questions were fired, the conversation was fishing. ‘Where will we go tomorrow?’ ‘Do you think I caught the biggest one Dan?’ ‘Did you see me casting far?’ ‘How many did we catch Dad?’ ‘I’m not touching anneee tomorrow Dan’. Its funny now, listening as we neared the house, with the porch light on, I had heard similar words earlier that week, but from people a lot older than Dan and Ruth.

Monday 20 October 2008

'committed' bass fisher - should be!

Hi Jim

On Saturday morning I walked down to ......... with only the light of the moon. I could hear but not see large fish moving (probably large mullet). I had a few casts but with nothing happening I decided to catch a few Zs in the field where the hawthorns end, while I waited for the tide to turn.
I dozed off but was woken a few times by the sound of very big fish near the edge. it all felt very fairytale. It definitely wasn't the real world, where I assume people are certified for sleeping in fields.

Sunday 19 October 2008

October Bass on the Fly and Lure - A week with SEAi

A nice surprise in a holding area - Day One Oct 12

The week got off to a great start as I took this nice fish on Sunday morning. I was working with a good friend of mine - demonstrating a ‘how to’ approach regarding fish holding areas on the fly. Eventually after I got my cast going away from the key area we made a stealth approach to a nice lie and suddenly the fish was on! Its always much more fun when demonstrating when something like this happens and I think Paul was flabbergasted. And that was it for our very short session - the hollow fleye works again.

Landing gear

Redington CPS #7
Vision composite - #6/9
Rio Striped Bass Aqualux - #8 Inter-
BassFlies – 2/0 White, grey and lavender hollow fleye from Andy Elliott

Rain, more rain and then some wind - and fish, oh and flies! - Day Two & Three Oct 13,14

Colin Rigney from Blackrock joined me on Sunday evening, we had two days of guided Bassfishing on the fly lined up. Monday morning was spectacular with bright blue skies but a chilly westerly kept it a little cooler. We fished the rising tide over a normally prolific area and a family of seals closely accompanied us. Up to six seals were present at any one time – normally one or two wouldn’t bother the fishing but a family posed us some serious problems. We enjoyed the company though.

Colin and I fly-fished on Tuesday in extremely wet and windy but considerably milder conditions. As the wind reached force five and even six during the afternoon we weren’t to be deterred. Persistence paid of and we landed several bass in challenging conditions.

The fish were again taken on the lavender and grey/white hollow fleye.

Landing Gear

Redington Super Sport #9
Vision 3-zone carbon composite
Rio Aqualux Striped Bass Intermediate #9
Rio Hard alloy mono and Flourflex + handbuilt leader
Hollow Fleye - 2/0 Lavender/Grey and White tied sparse from Andy Elliott.


Conditions although mild were particularly tough. It blew hard all day (4-5 bft) and the rain fell very heavy, the fish were at 25 meters or more. Double hauling and casting backwards is a skill learned by right handers who want to catch bass whilst fly fishing on the Southern coasts - prevailing winds tend to be South or Westerly so its both safe and efficient. Waves were running increasingly bigger as the day progressed and as the tide rose the water was fizzing with oxygen, it remained clear for most of the afternoon. A patience game ensued in the heavy rain - it was just a question of when! We took all the fish on the same pattern.

Cooling conditions and chilling out! - Day Three & Four Oct 15,16

Andrew dropped in on Wednesday evening far a late season session of surface lure fishing. We had a quick chat and a cup of tea with Colin before he left for home. The fish were played hardball on Wednesday afternoon probably because of the sudden downward shift in temperature. After Tuesdays warm, wet and windy conditions things were now very much different and a little difficult with a fresher cooler feel to the air.

We had seen some fish and missed a few on Wednesday, but on Thursday morning we landed a number of beautiful fish as they got used to the 'newer' conditions and they returned to form a little. We managed to avoid going sub surface; a risk given the conditions but Andrew is a surface lure addict. This is Andrews account of his experience in a mail to me

really really had a great time wed and thurs. I dont know how you can keep going tho your a fit man. you will defo be knocking on the presidents door for the 3k grant when you hit the 100! Imagine the lures you will be able to get in 60 years time. Will the swim themselves on remote control?

i really appreciate you trying so hard for me in the two sessions. And as usual it paid off.

i was wrecked yesterday and struggled on the drive up. but im fine now. in fact im thinking of doing a runner this pm. hw at 1.30 if tide change brings the expected shift to southwesterly......................

love the fishing corners strategy.
enjoyed seeing them lunkers swim by
got good crack outa shifting that near in seal.

was amazed at the moon rise sunset moment, the dark sea and the white water fizzing over the rocks near sunset.
the company
the meal and conversation
the tips
the autographed articlefrom the kids
The quiet moments even tho i never really shut up

cuda done without:

falling down(again)
loosing bonnie
bending xwrap 13 walker
getting shock from fence
rolling in cowshite
having a stitch in every muscle in my body
getting lures stuck in the bumper of the car

Funny thing is the cuda done without things were down to me, the good things were down to you and eileen and the kids. looking at the lists above isnt it amazing what you can pack into 36 hrs? was driving home yest and everything looked and seemed weird, i cudnt talk to people on the phone. it was down to me trying to step back into the "real" world. It knida takes 12 hours or so doesnt it. dont forget, its the overall package.

Landing Gear

Smith Blowshot Smith Bayliner
Shimano Stradics, powerpro with fluoroflex leaders
Surface lures - sammy, spook and tanto.

A Galway man in Wexford!
- Day Five & Six Oct 16,17

Seamus Hartigan the Galway salmon fishery manager WRFB arrived on Thursday evening in
time for the opening of the Wexford Festival Opera. Eileen Dan Ruth and I accompanied Seamus to the opening ceremony fireworks, which were spectacular. Earlier that afternoon I had walked Seamus to a potential bass fishing location, taking him through fish lies, current developments, and fishing strategy. We were ready for Friday’s fly-fishing.

Friday morning was spectacular. Seamus was new to saltwater fly-fishing and over four hours slowly managed to get into the swing of things. I managed a fish of about 3.5 kgs just to keep things interesting and Seamus on his toes! We finished the session and had a short lunch at The Yard restaurant before session two. Friday afternoon and things were looking different as winds increased from the south and west. We had changed to a completely new location and a different fly-fishing strategy. Seamus had borrowed an integrated shooting head for this afternoon’s session and this helped his casting and presentations no end. I managed a nice fish in the early part of the session just to keep things interesting but as wind speed increased the water clarity diminished the fishing became more difficult, the sunset however was spectacular. David Byrne from the CFB joined us on Friday evening for a chat and a pint or two.

Landing gear

Redington CPS #7
Vision composite - #6/9
Rio Striped Bass Aqualux - #8 Inter-
BassFlies – 2/0 White, grey and lavender hollow fleye from Andy Elliott.
Comment - Its not always easy to catch bass on the fly. It can be a difficult task at times due to line management, casting, wind, footing, big flies and distant horizons. However, all the customers who visited SEAi this week either caught or witnessed the catching of bass on the fly. For many people who visit SEAi, realising and discovering the techniques and strategies creates the urge to try it again and again and then to succeed - it can be done!

3 Wexford men get lost in town! - Day Seven Oct 18

Three enthusiastic and beginner saltwater fly fishers attended a workshop on Saturday at SEAi. MJ, Michael and David (aged 16) whom are avid freshwater fly fishers now wanted to learn the requirements for fly-fishing in the sea. We spent three hours between 09:30 and 12:30 at the theory of Bass fishing on the fly and then we took ourselves to the sea to practice casting, techniques and strategies. After some initial difficulties in locating my house we had a wonderful day and the craic was mighty.

We covered topics like -tides,locations, safety, biology, timings and many many more!

Friday 17 October 2008

Autumn Silver and Gold

A very busy week spent saltwater flyfishing so far- with many great fish fish landed in different conditions and with different flies. See more details HERE

Sunday 12 October 2008

Saltwater Lure Fishing Fundamentals for beginners

Saltwater Lure Fishing Series - First published Irish Angler 2004

  1. Improve your saltwater lure fishing introduction.
  2. Lure and tackle choices.
  3. On the big blue.

Part One

There is no escaping them these days. Just about every fishing shop you go to has stocks and a vast array of fishing lures. As you walk down the aisles they regard you with large holographic eyes and strange tight smiles. When you are at home turning the pages of your favourite angling magazine they jump off the page - the latest and greatest, the softest and the hardest, the fastest and the slowest, the brightest the dullest, the ones designed by scientists, oh and in case I forget the ones that catch the angler as well! How does any angler have a chance – indeed how does any fish refuse such a plethora of ‘foodlike’ metal jigs, plastic and colourful jelly? As a full time saltwater guide I am not afraid to admit it. My name is Jim Hendrick and I too have a large lure collection, including ones that taste like Pernod!

Over the next few months or so I hope to be able to help you in many aspects of your saltwater lure fishing. We will look at your lure choices and decision making, tackle and equipment that will help you achieve the maximum enjoyment from your fishing, and discuss many angling tactics to improve your catch rate. One of the key factors in successful lure fishing is understanding your target species, where they are and what their regular feeding, breeding and moving patterns are. With this knowledge and the information you can garner from these few articles you can successfully apply competent and efficient lure fishing techniques to your fishing.

There are a few things I would like to mention at this early stage regarding protection of the fish and indeed the angler when lure fishing. Most modern lures carry at least two and more often than not three treble hooks. These hooks are incredibly sharp and penetrate very easily. One lure can effectively be armed with nine hooks. When a predatory fish strikes or hits these lures its often with a lot of force. As a result of this attack hooks can become embedded in other areas of the fish other than the mouth region. This often causes unnecessary damage and death to the fish because of the following

1. Two or more barbed treble hooks are stuck in the fish’s body.

2. There is a protracted period of hook extraction from the fish

3. There is excessive and uncertain handling of the fish out of the water.

If you are considering lure fishing please also consider the following in order to nurture the saltwater sportfishing ethos. Remove all barbs from your treble hooks by flattening them with a pair of pliers. This will allow a very fast hook extraction with no pulling or ripping. Time spent extracting the hook from the fish is reduced to almost zero. Get into the habit of always carrying long nosed pliers. When you land a strong swimming species like a sea bass they will often thrash and splash around. Do not use a landing net – there are too many places for hooks to get tangled and you guessed it - stuck back in the fish while you try to get the lure free. Unsuitable landing nets remove slime and often damage fish. Uncertain and nervous reaching for the fish to control him will often lead to hooks been stuck in an anglers hand as the fish shakes his head to free himself of the lure. De barbing the hooks will help you in this instance.

Be confident in your control of the fish by thumbing him or by use of a boga grip. This is an invaluable tool that will allow you to quickly get the fish under control, weigh him, remove hooks etc and return him to the sea in less than 10 seconds.

Always try and remove the hooks from the fish while he remains in or at least partly submerged by water. The use of the boga-grip here is invaluable. Place you light spinning rod under your armpit in a tight grip, hold the boga in the same hand as you have the rod under, reach for the fish, grip and control him and remove the hooks using your pliers with the other free hand, release the boga trigger – fish drops into the water and swims away. Twelve seconds – a little room for improvement I think. When you capture a fish that you consider is worth photographing a little planning often helps the fish the photographer and the angler.

I find that I carry a small digital camera inside my shirt pocket all of the time when fishing. The camera is inside my chest waders and often inside my jacket, very safe. The strap of the camera is attached to a neck lanyard (like at pop concerts etc). The lanyard is always around my neck and is long enough to allow freedom of movement with the camera. I can simply pull the camera out of my shirt pocket by the lanyard, it slides out easily and I am then ready to take my photo. I can simply drop the camera back inside my waders after the shot and then return the fish. If you are fishing with a friend alert him before you land the fish that you want a photograph taken so he can be ready and in position to help. It does no harm to discuss and practice fish holding positions etc. Positioning, and remembering important factors like the angle of the sun before you go fishing will prove invaluable – a photograph in the fishes natural environment always looks great. Do not labour over your photographs and time should be kept to minimum. One portrait, one landscape and one change of position should be enough. Remember too that your trophy photograph will last forever and can be shown to hundreds of people, dead fish only last a few hours.

If you are fortunate enough to have found what looks like good lure fishing areas you should think carefully before telling too many people. There are a few points to bear in mind here as to why you should do this: Firstly some species are localised and very slow growing in their habitats. Bass for example take a long time to mature and are often subject to over exploitation. Always take care not to fish some special venues too often. Try to practice good catch and release policies and try to minimise unnecessary stress to fish. Bass, although they are very tough, you don’t want them to endure too many captures. You also don’t want to ‘over lure’ or spook the fish. The fewer lures they see the more likely they are to take yours. Make your own decisions about your sportfishing and exercise practical and thoughtful considerations.

Travelling light is one of the key benefits of lure fishing, little more than a small rucksack, two lure boxes, a bottle of water, suntan lotion and your rod and reel – what more do you need, some spares perhaps? Because you can often travel further and into places you wouldn’t normally venture when angling make sure you always tell someone where you are going and at what time you expect to return. Bring a mobile phone too in a sealed waterproof bag. A slip or fall in a remote area could prove fatal so always fish safely. Be aware of the state and heights of the tides, have an accurate idea of the weather forecast and never take chances on cliffs or rocky promontories. Always try and fish with a friend if you can.

So back to the lures – you’re walking down the angling shop aisle when you spot something that looks like a cast off from the latest Star Wars film. Its long, has flashy yellow spots over a light purple body and has two propellers back and front. You wonder does it take batteries and how hungry does a fish have to be to eat it? As it turns out, hunger is only one of the huge numbers of factors that drive a fish to attack a lure. Research into fish behaviour has been revealing other ‘triggers’ that fish find hard to resist, ‘triggers’ that lure designers might and often must use to blind a fish to the sharp truth about what really awaits it on the end of an anglers line.

With huge amounts of money been generated in the recreational angling arena, some lure manufacturing companies rely on science and computer design, rather than a simple ‘lets make one and see what happens approach’. In their quest to develop the most alluring of lures many companies will go to the far extremes of Computer aided design, colour physcology and visual spatial analysis. Many of the industry researchers' investigations focus on fish behaviour to guide the development of lures and their behaviour in or on water. Many other companies focus on the angler and force him subliminally to purchase lures based on what’s appealing to him or her. And as for trying to understand what goes on in anglers' minds when they're choosing and purchasing lures . . .. Well that discussion is probably more suited to a different type of publication!

To determine what turns fish on companies develop prototype baits in a variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and colour schemes, these prototypes are often given to trusted guides to test in various fishing situations. But before looking for live reports from the field, however, the designers put each lure through an assortment of lab tests. First, they examine its motion in a tank of flowing water, a fluid-filled version of the wind tunnels that aeronautical engineers use to test aircraft and automobile components. Slow-motion video recordings taken from several angles reveal a lure's movements in three dimensions and show, for example, how much a lure wobbles, or doesn’t, how it twists, stops hovers, sinks and how fast it swims back and forth, up and down

Often after tank trials come tests with live fish. Sometimes the artificial baits are towed past fish in a long, straight tank. In other tests, they're hauled around in circuits for a specified period of time at different times of the day. The researchers then compile statistics on how well a lure grabs a fish’s attention, or how a fish reacts to different lure travelling speeds and ‘swimming’ behaviour, colour and appearance.

Finally, in the most enjoyable part of the research-and-development process, for those designers and researchers interested in fishing, the baits are put to the test on lakes, streams and in the sea. It’s possible that amongst the best and most imitated lure manufacturers, for a lure to spend several years on the journey from conception through to final production. This factor should be one of the strongest points in assisting your decision-making regarding lure choice and purchase. Reputable companies make reputable lures. With so much information and choices decisions are difficult to make. In the next article we will discuss lure types, which ones you should use and how to use them correctly.

Thursday 9 October 2008

Bassfishing Files Now Open

Hello and welcome to all of you who are reading this post. I'm glad you have found your way here and thank you for your continued interest not only in SEAi but in Bass Fishing in Ireland. Over the last few months I have been busy slowly building a resource for my website visitors that is a little more oriented towards bass fishing.
In particular I would like to share information that is relevant to bass fishing on fly or lure in Ireland. Included in many observations will be many topics like those below

phases of the moon
wind and other weather influences including water clarity and watercraft
fish activity
methods, techniques and equipment
flies and lures used and tested
The 'fishy feel' factor for days ahead - my best opinions on chances

If you have a specific area of bass fishing interest or would like to see something here or on these pages then please do not hesitate to post and share it with us.
I will try and answer any questions as best I can or at least point you in a good direction if I cant! By making this 'blog' more live and interactive it will help fishing experiences for all of us.

Bendy Rods Jim

Conditions South East - Week 42

We're getting to that time of year when its supposed to be getting more difficult. After tomorrows big blow the water will definetly cloudy up but its followed by a calm period and rising Spring tides which might help to clear conditions - this is October but it sounds like many reports I made in June or July and August.

It may be a litle cooler than normal and light conditions are lower but this doesnt mean the fish aren't there - they are, its just has been so difficult for the last six months to find them that I no longer consider the weather difficulty as a barrier but rather another challenge - as if we needed one.

Fish are fewer in number (dont laugh) but the quality is superb - I hooked and lost one this morning in about three feet of water both of us were asleep I think, I would guess the fish at around the 8lb mark. He was on the bottom of a long deep trough.

Who knows what next week holds (south south westerlies, overcast, cool, the normal) but I wish you

Bendy Rods

Wednesday 8 October 2008

The Sloopy Droopy !

Is this my favourite Bass fly? It certainly is one of four at the moment - more in Bassfishing Files during October.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

The Season 0f 2008 - a review!

Coming Soon

Wind, rain, more rain, and then some more wind, followed by cloudy cold water - the experiences and the lessons learned in the toughest year yet - 2008!

From one extreme to another - a challenging and interesting season!

Visitors from - Denmark/France/Italy/Holland/UK/New Zealand/Ireland/Scotland - I share theirs and my own experiences on fly and lure!

Fishing Report October 07 - A Big Fish on the fly

On the particular day of my catching this fish I was guiding three men from Bordeaux. I didn’t deliberately set out to catch it nor was I fishing at the time, I generally don’t fish whilst guiding. We were fly-fishing in a small estuary and had already fished through the optimum time for fish quantity. I had instructed the three guys to move towards a corner where there is a slow reverse tidal flow and it is often the last opportunity before I say the window has passed and call a halt to the session. Some fish often tend to hang here after they have spread out over the estuary with the rising tide.

I put the three guys in position and on the first cast Edouard had a little fish of about 1.5Kgs. Then after 40 minutes no more action. I always keep my own rod rigged and ready for use in case a customer has a problem with his and a quick exchange is necessary. I had my Redington #7 ready, lined with a Rio streamer tip and a Rio saltwater tapered leader. This was loaded on my Danielsson LW 6/9. No fly was attached.

I was standing behind and somewhat away (200 metres) from the three guys avoiding back casts when suddenly there was a massive surge and splash of water down to my left in a shallow section of weedy water. Then I saw the fish’s tail and dorsal fin cruising through the weed very slowly – I immediately suspected he might have been hunting for small seatrout or mullet. Dominique also saw and heard the giant splash but couldn’t identify it as a fish. He was to far away to take advantage of the opportunity as I called to him.

I immediately ran to my rod, tied on a bucktail deceiver in lavender/grey and white and walked slowly in the direction of the fish and the weed bed. I could see him clearly now as he had emerged from the weed somewhat and was cruising down the outside using the tide to push him along. I had no basket and felt that wading to him would probably spook him and so I remained on the beach at ankle depth, walked along at fish cruising speed, stripped the line to about 25 yards, hoping it wouldn’t catch in the weed during the cast. I made one false cast to get the head out then cast with a slight mend to place the fly in front of the fish and the line closer to shore. Remarkably for the circumstances the fly landed about three feet to the right and about five in front of the fish. I made one strip and stopped and figure of eighted. Then the fish took the fly.

The time it took for the fish to realise it was hooked appeared to be quite considerable although it was probably only three seconds or so. The power of a big fishes tail when he swims away using the tidal flow is quite considerable. He swam towards deeper water and began using the tide running up the little estuary. It was a dogged slow and hard fight, with short powerful runs, rather than the usual more frenetic type you get from smaller more energetic fish, and in the end he gave up rather peacefully but thankfully not exhausted either. That big eye made contact of some sort, we quickly made the photographs and he slowly swam off.

Landing gear

Redington CPS #7
Danielsson LW 6/9
Rio Streamer Tip - #7 intermediate/Floater combination
Fly - Oceanflies white, grey and lavender bucktail deceiver


I hadn't intentionally set out on this particular day to catch a big fish, but rather the opportunity was presented to me. The best tactic I can advise is try to remain calm and avoid getting flustered. Try to read the situation as quickly as possible before the opportunity passes. My big fear was spooking the fish and realising that I would probably only have a 'one shot chance' at him. The cast was VERY important and it was probably one of the best of my life so far - especially as i'm partcularly weak at 'reach casting'. I knew where I wanted to put the fly - I was conscious of the coiled line lying in the shallow water surrounded by weed, I was conscious of not lining the fish loading the rod and making a slight change of direction with a 'reach' to put the fly in a position so it would pass across in front of him rather than towards him, I was also conscious that behind me were three customers who werent really sure what was going on and were now moving in my direction - the violent nervous shaking wasnt helping either!

Monday 6 October 2008

The pier in Howth

If you drive onto the pier in Howth right NOW you will see a blackboard with the following details outside a well known fish distributor

Fresh Line caught sea bass @ 19.95 euros per Kilo inside the plant is the following blackboard details Wild fresh sea bass 24.95 euros per kilo

Farmed sea bass is also available at 12.95 euros a kilo

Does anyone know the actual source of the fish?

In the face of the report below - what exactly is going on?

illegal fishing?

Press Release Tuesday, 30th September 2008

Illegal Fishing no Longer Socially Acceptable

Illegal fishing is posing a threat to fish stocks nationally according to the Central and Regional Fisheries Boards. Illegal angling and netting activities have been detected all across the country by the staff of the Regional Fisheries Boards on both inland and coastal waters. Protection patrols have resulted in the confiscation of 18,770 meters of illegal nets and the detection of 649 violations. More species are being targeted by illegal fishermen and anglers, including endangered and conservation species. Poachers are not only targeting salmon and sea trout but they are also taking bass, pike, eels and coarse fish.
Dr Ciaran Byrne Chief Executive Officer of the Central Fisheries Board said “illegal fishing is no longer socially acceptable and it is a shame to see our natural heritage being destroyed by a small number of unscrupulous people. The staff of the Regional Fisheries Boards, the Naval Service, Air Corps and An Garda Síochána are doing a fantastic job in combating illegal fishing and in protecting our natural fisheries heritage.”
In recent weeks the South Western Regional Fisheries Board seized illegal eel nets on Inniscarra reservoir in Co. Cork which contained hundreds of eels which are an endangered species. This illegal catch was reportedly destined for overseas markets and an ongoing investigation is being carried out by the SWRFB.
In the Northern Regional Fisheries Board area Fisheries Officers have made a number of apprehensions for illegal fishing in Inver Bay and have also reported an increase in the illegal netting of salmon in a number of rivers particularly in the Donegal area. This escalation in illegal fishing has been linked to a substantial increase in the price of wild salmon in recent years and has also been driven by the increase in unemployment due to the recent economic downturn.
In the Cavan / Monaghan area Fisheries Officers have seized a large amount of angling equipment targeting valuable coarse fish stocks from many of our premium coarse fisheries. A spokesperson from the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board said “we feel that many of our premium specimen fish waters may have been badly damaged by this activity”.
In a bid to cut off potential markets for illegal catches, the Fisheries Boards continually inspect sales outlets with 997 inspections carried out to date this year.
Dr Cathal Gallagher Director of Field Services with the Central Fisheries Board said “as well as depleting our fish stocks, illegal fishing has much wider effects than it may at first appear. It has the potential to have a negative impact on ecosystems and it damages tourism revenues. The Central and Regional Fisheries Boards work tirelessly to detect and deter this illegal activity while developing and conserving this valuable natural resource.”
In combating illegal fishing the Central and Regional Fisheries Boards are employing a number of different strategies including boat patrols on inland waterways and at sea, as well as extensive foot patrols along rivers and lakes, on a 24 hour, seven day week basis. The Boards have also deployed new technologies in dealing with the problem of illegal fishing with the use of surveillance cameras and sophisticated night vision equipment yielding results. In addition to detecting and preventing illegal netting, Fisheries Officers carried out a total of 9,315 licence and logbook inspections and 490 on the spot fines have been issued by the staff of the Regional Fisheries Boards for a broad range of fisheries offences. Several prosecutions are also being processed through the courts.
In protecting salmon and sea trout stocks at sea the Boards use rigid inflatable boat patrols (RIBs) supported by two large patrol vessels (LPVs). Patrols to monitor illegal fishing at sea are run in conjunction with the Naval Service, Air Corps and An Garda Síochána. To date 4,500 nautical miles have been patrolled at sea by the LPVs and 350 checks carried out by the staff. The Boards have also expanded their capability to counter illegal fishing on inland and coastal waters through joint helicopter and aerial patrols with the Air Corps. To date ten aerial patrols have been carried out with the Air Corps and 56 patrols days have been provided by the Naval Service.

The Central and Regional Fisheries Boards while strongly enforcing legislation are cognisant of their role in conservation of our fisheries resource. The Boards believe that a key element of conservation is education. The officers of the Regional Fisheries Boards have already visited one hundred and fifty schools this year with their ‘Something Fishy’ educational programme and additional visits are planned prior to the end of 2008 and early in 2009. The Boards have also embraced the shift in the demographic make up of our population with fishing information provided in multiple languages on websites and many fisheries around the country.

Thursday 2 October 2008

Saltwater fly fishing in October

Despite the cold Northerly and North westerly gales, we're having a pleasant week of bass fishing on the fly. The winning combination of Rio's streamer lines and grey and lavender bucktail deceivers cant be beaten. Edouard, Dominic and Jacques from France have not only taken several bass on the fly but its also their very first bass of any description. A challenging and very interesting week so far! Species landed - bass, pollack, and sea trout at the sea and pike and brown trout from the river - all on the 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...