Wednesday 27 October 2010


Lots of people have mailed me and asked about the ‘Stretching of the elastic’, the post that you can see here.On the day that I made the post, October 10th a high pressure system had been slowly moving down over Ireland and the forecast was that it would remain in position moving backwards and forwards only slightly for a number of days. The previous few days, as far back as the 04th of October in fact, had seen strong south westerly’s with low pressure systems tracking over the country – forcing me to make customer cancellations as a result of the deteriorating conditions.

From Sunday the 10th of October a calm period of cool north easterlies and easterly’s settled over the country. Wave activity decreased, air temperature dropped, winds dropped and the sky was blue and cloudless. Sea water temperatures were still at 13 degrees and were not liable to change only very slowly over the next few weeks. Up to as far as the 17th of October winds blew from the North, the North east and the east, never really going above force three or four. Water clarity returned after the days of calm and was almost pristine by Wednesday 13th. Andrew and I took a quick session on Tuesday morning and had several fish off the surface here – just as the last of the spring tides were running through. This period of calm coincided with a dropping to neaps tidal cycle. There was very little if any rainfall.

I still managed to get fish on the fly on friday 15th - bottom of the neaps
Typically in Wexford fishing neap tides is never as productive as fishing spring tides. As the tidal cycle then increased towards springs beginning over the period from the 17th / 18th the wind moved into a westerly or North westerly position and remained gentle. I spoke with several people over the week in relation as to what was going to happen next – the sequencing of events that leads to a bass bonanza. An extended period of high pressure had existed over a neap tide cycle and into the early days of the spring tide cycle. This returned clarity and calm to the sea and allowed the systems to return to ‘normal’ after a period of stormy weather.
This calm period was then to be followed, and it was forecasted, by a fast moving low pressure system that would quickly and suddenly change wind direction to a south westerly direction, increase and strengthen - this was to produce my favourite fishing conditions.

The forecast was for the big blow to arrive quickly on the south coast on Friday late morning or early afternoon corresponding to a rising spring tide approaching the top of its cycle. What this would do and depending on the arrival time of the system would be to generate ideal fishing conditions for bass. Coastal water would be clear and break white in the increasing wind strength; the sudden wave activity generated would provide cover to hunt and also create feeding opportunities that haven’t existed for a number of days. All this was happening over a single rising tide on a spring cycle. It was a perfect short bass fishing storm that was visible from as early as the 10th of October – 12 days previously; this was the stretching of the elastic. It snapped on Friday somewhere around midday of the 22nd.

The people with whom I discussed the above situation and were lucky enough to be able to get out and do it - all of them experienced incredible bass fishing for that tidal rise on the Friday. Fish were taken on surface lures, diving lures, plastic lures, metal lures – it was simply ON!

No angling lure or fly 'technology' can ever replace the hard won knowledge of how coastal environments and their many influences interact with your fishing.

Nature gives you these things for free.
from a southern facing coast perspective

  1. Sudden cooler flowing air over warmer water will make fishing difficult
  2. Sudden cooler flowing air over already cool water will make fishing very difficult (Spring - late Autumn)
  3. Sudden change from cooler air to warmer air over warmer/cooler water will create opportunities on the right tidal cycle
  4. Protracted periods of cooler moving air have more impact than shorter periods
  5. Sudden dropping air temperatures have less impact time during autumn than during spring or summer
  6. Impact time during autumn is shorter than during spring or summer
  7. Fishing periods during off-shore winds are more difficult than during on-shore winds
  8. Protracted periods of either off-shore or on-shore winds will affect your fishing
  9. Air temperatures increase/decrease much faster and are much more irregular than sea temperatures which are more stable over time
  10. Some stats from 2009 Here

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...