Wednesday 25 February 2009

Bass fly fishing Ireland - P13 - Where are the fish?

Lure fishing for bass in the sea whilst difficult at times, and fly fishing too with its greater challenges should not to be viewed as impossible tasks. They do however require some particular skills. Casting yes, presentation yes, patience yes, but the essence of this post is based around the knowledge of 'where the fish are'.
If you spend some time with succesful fishermen and you happen to have found one of them who will talk sensibly about his experiences over time, you will quickly learn that they have several unique abilities. One of them is that they instinctively seem to know where the fish are, or rather they know where the fish are going to be! The 'where' is not specifically like what we have mentioned before HERE but rather the 'where' along many miles of coastline (be it estuaries, current, rocky headlands, open beach) at any particular point in time during the day. This of course doesnt mean that ALL the fish gather in one location that is privy to only a few people, but it does mean that at certain times under certain conditions, you are more likely to catch fish at location X rather than Z.

Lets go back to our 'virtual' rocky point - its 5 in the morning (June) and the wind is blowing easterly with a rising tide. This means that three major influences are sourced from a singular direction - the rising sun will shine from the anglers right hand side, the wind will blow from the anglers right hand side and the current will be flowing from the right hand side. This little scenario presents a particular set of circumstances to the bass angler -

  1. At this time of day the sun is low on the horizon for some time. When currents flow, fish tend to point into the direction of current and in this case when they point into the current they will also be pointing into the sun. They will experience lots of light in the water in the direction they are facing for the first few hours over dawn. Their field of vision is bright.
  2. Wind blowing in the same direction as current flow tends to 'flatten' the water and if atmospheric pressure is dropping both the volume and speed of the moving water may increase significantly as a result of this.
  3. Depending on the strength of the wind and whether the angler is casting lures or flies his mainline will be affected by both wind and current. As a consequence so will the presentations he makes to the fish with the fly or lure. A lure moving in a head on collision with a predator does not induce many takes!

During the periods of dawn and dusk contrast should play a significant role in your lure and fly colour choice. With fish staring into the sun against a lighter bckground a darker lure or fly will appear more visible. Bass tending to hunt mid or low water in these conditions may need to change position more frequently to view prey from different angles to make determinations. Having to change and jostle for position will expose them to the strengthening current, this current as I have mentioned may be stronger because of lower atmospheric pressure and wind force and hence the fish may not spend as much time as they would hunting in this local as they are expending energy. In other words this simply may not be the place to fish today! Fish holding lies are often volatile and based on subtle external influences that can change from hour to hour and day to day!

Appearing to have what can seem like the fishing powers of a Jedi Knight is based over years of experiences coupled to a high level of sensitivity towards many of these influences.

Next - Making the best of the circumstances

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Bass fly fishing Ireland - P12 - Influences Tidal Flow

Tidal flow and fish position relations

There is a significant relationship between tidal flow or states and the positions that fish take up during that flow. Not only do they take up different positions but they do so at different times in different locations often within very localised areas.

This is especially true for bass and learning these relationships is one of the major keys to success for the fly and lure angler. One of the first of these tidal influences that the bass fisherman learns is that fom the shore neap tides are often not as productive as spring tides - simple. You can follow that with something like full moon tides are not as productive as new moon tides, equally as simple, and reducing tides over a moon are often better for bigger fish. Before you synchronise your watch and go fishing to the latest fashionable tables rest assured you dont need to now much more than the above. What can bring you much more success than any 'galactical optimisation software' is learning and understanding fish behaviour in the phases of a tide over a location within any lunar cycle. In the diagram above we are at a hypothetical rocky point at low tide. Water is indicated blue, sand yellow and rocks are a darker colour
To your left the diagram indicates the same location much later in the cycle of tidal development. Tidal streams are in full flow and currents, eddies and back washes are all in action. Fish are to be caught here too.

Below is the tidal data for Rosslare during July 2009. Spring and neap tides are indicated and the early spring tide is clearly visible as been somewhat less active than the later spring tide of the month. The locations indicated in this example will fish differenty on each day over the spring tide cycle and indeed differently within the same month.
The diagram of the full tidal flow above would look similar on both spring tides but in fact the water flow, strength and volume would be completely different.

Reading the previous posts HERE regarding tidal flows could help you determine when to fish your favourite location. With the third and fourth hours of any tide coinciding with maximum activity, bear in mind each location has its own patterns and its own reasons for fish to be in its vicinity. Food, shelter, breeding, resting some locations provide them all others just one or two. If you would like to discuss these or any of the other similar posts below or indeed the many other aspects of bass fishing in detail then why not try one of my courses - HERE or HERE or maybe even try a one day guided fishing trip.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

In Bassfishing Files

Fly fishing for bass is not always about casting and retrieving, you need to control how your fly and fly line are affected by many and various factors - waves, current, wind, eddies..
coming soon

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...