Saturday 26 June 2010

On the way to the airport now to collect my first French party of 2010. We will be spending three days in the midlands fishing Pike and Perch both from float tubes and a lake boat. Then its off to some secret locations on the western seaboard for bass fishing for two days - before finally arriving home and spending the back end of the tidal sequence bass fishing in Wexford.

No doubt an interesting few days ahead - cant wait

Friday 25 June 2010

Forecasting the weather - June - 10

I came across a little book recently - Signpost to the weather by D&K Barlett. First published in 1949, I have extracted their forecasts for each month of the year. I hope you will enjoy their weather theories over the next few months –

The Month of June according to D&K Barlett with BASS indications by Jim Hendrick

This, normally, is the sunniest and one of best weather months of the year. Early heat waves often occur, particularly towards and during the latter half of the month. These, combined with the longer days, make it one of the most beneficial holiday months.

There may be occasional slight ground frost inland, but seldom if ever along the southern coasts. Some coastal fog may occur at times

The sea remains rather cool, warming towards the end of the month.

There may be frequent thunderstorms towards the end of the month. Sometimes there is one changeable period of a few days near the second week.

The Weeks of June

1st to 7th - Usually some bright sunny days, and occasional thunder. There are cool nights at times.

8th to 15th The weather is fairly settled, with increasing temperatures, but can feel cool in stronger breezes. Sometimes a changeable period occurs in this week.

16th – 23rd A good and fairly warm spell

24th to 30th There are sunny days with frequent thunderstorms.

Bass Fishing; The bass fishing season opens on the 16th of June and conditions should be nearly perfect now for their capture. Over the month of the close sea temperatures have slowly risen and light levels are at their highest. It’s often possible to fish three tides in some degree of light. Be ready and expect to catch fish consistently for the first time since September or October.

Rating 3/5

June Bass Fishing Experiences Here Here Here

Thursday 24 June 2010

A rare opportunity to change the world.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provides a range of statistics covering agriculture, food, animal health, fisheries and forestry in Northern Ireland...... DARD “proposes to bring forward proposals for new Sea Bass regulations in the Northern Ireland zone”. The introduction of regulations would also tie in with similar proposals being progressed by the Loughs Agency. The result would be a coherent conservation policy that would better protect Sea Bass throughout our coastal waters.

The Department would be interested in your views on our 6 proposals (detailed below), especially any possible impacts you feel they may have on fishing businesses, the environment or other activities associated with fishing or angling.

Proposal 1
A bag limit of 2 Bass retained over a 24-hour period – The fishery will be maintained as a recreational fishery and we believe that 2 Bass are sufficient for recreational purposes.

Consultation Question
Do you agree that the retention of Bass over a 24-hour period should be capped at 2 and if not what do you believe the number should be?

Proposal 2
A closed recreational angling season from the 15th May to the 15th June both dates inclusive–This is to protect spawning fish during the spawning season from May to June. Closing the fishery at this time will encourage an increase in stocks.

Consultation Question
Do you agree that there should be a closed season and is May and June the best period for this closure?

Proposal 3
Prohibition on first sale of Bass – This proposal would prevent the first sale of Bass i.e. from the catcher to the first buyer and will ensure that the fishery is available for recreational fishing and will prevent both recreational and commercial fishers from developing a trade in Bass resulting in increased landings above sustainable limits. Retail and wholesale sales of Sea Bass caught outside Northern Ireland would not be affected.

Consultation Question
Do you agree that the first sale of Bass should be prohibited and if not, why not?
If you own or operate an hotel or restaurant do you currently serve Northern Ireland caught Sea Bass?
If you have answered yes to the above question would a ban on buying locally caught Sea Bass affect your business?

Proposal 4
Prohibition on the retention of Bass less than 40cm length – As Bass are a slow growing fish this will allow more fish to reach maturity and contribute to the spawning stock for a longer time and thus increase the stock.

Consultation Question
Do you agree that Bass less than 40cm should not be retained and, if not, what size do you suggest?

Proposal 5
Prohibition of fishing for Bass, within the Northern Ireland zone by any means other than rod and line. – This measure prevents fishing by intensive methods such as trawling and drift netting. Intensive methods would encourage retention of fish above the bag limit and illegal sales of fish. Fish stocks will be conserved to a level that sustains a viable recreational fishery, which may increase tourism in coastal communities.

Consultation Question
Do you agree with a prohibition on fishing for Bass by any means other than Rod and Line, if not, why not?

Proposal 6
Prohibition on the retention on board of Bass by any UK sea fishing vessel within the Northern Ireland zone – This measure will ensure that Sea Bass are not retained on board any UK sea fishing vessel within the N Ireland zone. This measure will further discourage fishing for Bass by intensive methods and reduce the temptation to catch and sell Bass, helping to conserve Sea Bass stock.

Consultation Question
Do you agree with a prohibition on retaining Bass on board any UK sea fishing vessel?

Summary of 6 Proposals for Protection and Conservation of Sea Bass

1 A bag limit of 2 Bass retained over a 24-hour period
2 A closed recreational angling season;
3 Prohibition on the first sale of Bass
4 Prohibition on the retention of Bass less than 40cm in length;
5 Prohibition of fishing for Bass by any means other than rod and line;
6 Prohibition on the retention on board of Bass by any UK sea fishing vessel within the Northern Ireland zone.

Sea Bass is important to our angling community and is considered a prize fishery by this group and sea angling for Sea Bass could provide an additional opportunity for the development of angling within some parts of our waters and could enhance income to our coastal communities through chartered fishing trips for both local and European fishers and an increase in angling tourism.

Following the consultation we will consider the responses before making final decisions on new measures.
The consultation will run from 2nd June to the 24th August 2010 and DARD would be interested in your views on the proposals contained in the attached consultation document.

Response should be sent to Dan McEvoy by email, fax or post.


By email to:
By fax to: 028 9037 8323
By post to:Dan McEvoy
Room 427
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road

Responses received after the 24th August 2010 will not be considered.

Monday 21 June 2010

Fear of what exactly? A simple example.

A thin sliver of silver moon provided enough light for us to see a little. It was all we needed. Casting regularly into the distance of the rocky bay, David’s lure splashed down once again and as he worked it closer we used our now highly tuned hearing to track its progress across the calm surface. We listened intently for that aggressive attack – that unmistakable sound - PHLOW, PHLOW! I anticipated a big fish under the circumstances.
The big fish never showed up, but that’s just one part of bass fishing for you! The heightened sense of anticipation and at the same time remaining realistic, enhances the experience. There is always the possibility of success when things are right, and even if it doesn’t quite materialise, the acceptance that both you and I having worked hard at the fishing without a magic end result does not lead to disappointment. Both of us have done our best. Its part of the service, part of the experience the close interaction leaves you with something meaningful, only wanting to return in anticipation again.

David Norman first chose to fish with me for three days fully utilising the guiding/workshop services for bass lure fishing during 2009. He had, over the winter considered other ventures for 2010 – a visit to the spring show in Nantes, France for a weekend, a trip to the UKBASS AGM, but instead he chose to come to Wexford and to fish with me again. The socio-economic impact of his visit over those three days, whilst by itself may not seem significant, but the ‘knock on’ effects of repeat business and referrals is considerable, not only to myself but to other small business’s in Wexford.

Look closely at David’s spend, for his three days of bass fishing he has contributed to the bottom line of at least four different business in the Wexford town area

Leaving with something worthwhile after his three days fishing in Wexford encourages customers like David to return. The low impact and sustainable fishing, the opportunities to learn, the uncrowded environments that David enjoys ensures that he can return next year to expect the same quality of fishing. The superb facilities and customer care David, and many others, have felt at Catrionas Cuasnog fills me with the confidence that once I dropped David at the door I knew he was been completely and competently looked after. The food and the services at both Greenacres and The Yard are exceptional and accessible – all of this and more is within 500 metres of SEAi.

On the opening day of the 2010 bass fishing season between seven thirty and nine thirty in the morning, David Norman caught and returned 18 bass. All fish were caught on surface lures in crystal clear water often less than ten feet deep in an absolute pristine environment. This was a unique experience for David, for me as a guide I had seen it many times before.
David fished with a seven foot six light rod and small spinning reel many of these fish were taken at less than 15 yards which were followed by other members of the shoal – we witnessed this many times and much much more over the three wonderful days.

Both he and I have combined memories that are priceless and beyond compare. Memories that will stay with me forever. It still continues to be an experience for me too.

Regrettably there is an inherent fear inside of me somewhere that speaks when I mention numbers of fish or try to portray the quality of the fishing available. I mention it here this time only to describe the quality of the fishery but I remain anxious that others would use the data and similar sources like it to build an alternative case for exploitation that would destroy the fishery in a very short space of time.
Apart from that both size and numbers of fish don't impress me.

I believe that you cannot develop a quality recreational fishery and sing its praises and possibilities without having the support of comprehensive fisheries protection, management and education. In a country where Government policy makes no sense, interpretation of data can be used in all sorts of creative ways. Unless you have alternative reasons that go beyond concern, thought, and creating sustainable angling experiences into the future, it is absolutely necessary to be responsible in your portrayal, actions and interactions with the bass fishery in this country.

David was here for the first time in 2009 for a two day workshop, he was back at the end of July 2010. He has also booked for 2011 So have many like him.

Sunday 20 June 2010

NEVER judge a book by its cover

  1. Older lures in your box dont just stop catching fish
  2. Newer lures dont catch more fish
  3. Loss of a lure 'finish' doesnt affect a lures catch rate
  4. Loss of a lure 'finish' may in fact, enhance a lures catch rate
  5. Expensive lures are not neccessarily better than cheaper lures
  6. Price is not indicative of effectiveness
  7. Do not confuse 'lifelike' with 'realistic'
  8. Trigger points exist
  9. 'If it ain't chartreuse it ain't no use'.......what colour is the sun? for Bass its WHITE
  10. YOU are the lure

Friday 18 June 2010

Flora & Fauna

Having caught landed and returned quite a few bass in the last few days, (i've lost count now) David and I were also lucky enough to have seen and recorded the following

Red Kite
Herring gull
Black backed gull
Black headed gull
Common seal (at 10 feet)
Meadow Pippit
Common terns
Sandwich terns
Oyster catcher
Yellow wagtail
Mallard duck

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Seriously though....

I hope everybody has a great season for 2010. My feelings lean towards a summer of silver that I havent seen since 2006 - stay safe and bendy rods to everyone who enjoys this blog.

Bloomsday tomorrow

Do fish ever get seasick?

Ulysses, ch. 13, "Nausicaa,"

Monday 14 June 2010


Havent you heard
Its a battle of words
And most of them are lies...

Thursday 10 June 2010

Wednesday 9 June 2010

8 years, 8 Fish, 6 Days to opening 2010

Fish Three
Marc Pettijean at Bannow Estuary
White gurgler fly 2/0 - July 2005

Conditions South East - Week 23

General : A lot of dry weather in store with temperatures around normal (mid to high teens) or slightly above at times. But a few weak weather fronts are expected to move down from the north over the weekend and early next week, but amounts of rain should be very small. Winds mainly from a northerly direction but generally only moderate in strength. Thursday night will be rather cool with clear spells. Lowest temperatures 6 to 10 C.

Friday will be a dry, bright, day in most places, with sunny spells at times. But increasing cloud will bring some showers to the north and northwest later in the day. Top temperatures 15 to 21 C., best over Munster and south Leinster. Friday night will have a mixture of clear spells and cloudy periods with a little drizzle in places, with lowest temperatures 7 to 11 C.

Mostly dry and bright on Saturday with some sunny spells, but cloud is likely to increase in the north and northwest, and some rain is likely there late in the day or after dark. Top temperatures 14 to 18 C., generally, but around 19 or 20 C., over more southern areas in sunshine.

Sunday and Monday are likely to be fairly cloudy days with some light rain and drizzle in places. But rainfall amounts should be small and some dry, bright spells will develop at times, giving a little sunshine in places. Top temperatures in the mid to high teens.

Significant importance on current North easterly direction

Monday 7 June 2010

Sunday 6 June 2010

Bass fly fishing Ireland - Part 24 - Leaders

Building my saltwater leaders

Material used for #8 lines

Rio Hard Alloy Mono – 33lbs
Rio Hard Alloy Mono – 22lbs
Rio Fluoroflex – 12lbs or <= as required Tying in a Leader with a dropper –

Take the spool of Fluoroflex and strip off the length that is needed for your tippet plus a return length for the dropper approximately 32 inches. Bend the Fluoroflex at the division of 8 inches and 24 inches. Form a bent loop. Take the Rio Hard Alloy material of 22lbs and reverse Allbright the mono leader to the tippet – and cut the Fluoroflex at 24 inches or your required length from the spool. Strip 2.5 feet of the Rio 22lb spool – Bend the mono to form a loop. Take the Rio Hard Alloy material at 33lbs and reverse Allbright the 22 lbs leader to the stiffer section of 33lbs mono – and cut the 33lbs section at five feet. Tie in a perfection loop at the end of the leader.

Seatrout leader - with dropper

Reversed allbright and
Non slip loop knot
Perfection loop


Tuesday 1 June 2010

Maybe the next time.

There is no doubt that as a bass fishing guide that I regularly and actively experience special places and times in my day-to-day life. The light upon a series of breaking waves, or the white water at a time of tide is enough to set my heart racing, bubbling and raging currents force me still to push a little, stay just a little longer, make one more cast. The ice cool north easterlies tempt me to try whilst the sun is shining, even though I know it's often pointless. I jump from rock to rock still expecting something, often achieving nothing, and am still very happy. I now know my fishing places so well I am safe yet still frequently mesmerised. I am more often than not, alone.

This year, this season of 2010 I am doing a little bit more for myself, more for my own fishing, more for my own fishing time and what I choose to do with it than I have done for a long time. On many many occasions I have brought fishing clients to locations that are special to me only to feel disappointed when they don't clue in, or they overemphasise things that I know are not really important. We get ready, we go, and we fish at what I often consider to be the closest and most intimate angling interactions you can have with the natural coastline of Wexford.

What I sometimes feel is not my clients fault.

My investment in the place is different than theirs. The intrinsic simple beauty, sometimes wonder and even occasionally a geological or natural mystery, these things most people can easily appreciate. However the time spent unlocking some of the fishing secrets, casting and re-casting into the ever-present wind, rain and more wind when sometimes 40 feet is a miracle. Days spent without fish, days spent with tangles, and poor loops, days and days spent when you feel you are going backwards achieving nothing, days spent talking to nobody but yourself along a wild windy sunny shore. Days spent learning. Days when it works and there is no one but you to realise the measure of the success. How can your client be aware of this investment? They often can't of course or at least don't give it much thought.

My own expectations of people's reactions to the fishing and the environment are of my own creation born out of hard won hours. I often simply expect too much from people. I cant expect all clients to have the same reverence for places if their single expectations are fish on the latest gear in a matter of hours.

What this has taught me is to invest even more time with people whom are interested in talking about, discussing and trying to understand and relate to the natural influences and beauty that make up such a huge amount of the fishing. The important things. The white water, the rock and the current, the wind, the cast, the line, the fly and maybe the next time...

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...