Monday 30 May 2011

When things were right

The normal sort of thing that goes on

From: <>

Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 19:39:55 +0100

To: <>

Could you tie me a cowens eel or Skoks eel


From: boat angling <>

Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 19:39:55 +0100

To: <>

Subject: Re:

I can tie anything ;-) except possibly my own shoelaces
I googled cowens sandeel and came up with a braided body sandeel ?


From: boat angling <>

Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 20:07:55 +0100

To: <>

Subject: Re:

Can;t find a skoks burrowing sandeel
this must be close ?

On 29 May 2011 19:50, <> wrote:

Imagine a clouser resting in position the fly head is at the bend the fly body perpendicular to the shank


From: boat angling <>

Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 20:48:13 +0100

To: <>

Subject: Re:

Easey peasey lemon squeezy ...   one of ?

On 29 May 2011 20:20, <> wrote:

That's it dude

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld


On 29 May 2011 20:53, <> wrote:

Six please

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld


From: boat angling

Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2011 9:18 PM


Subject: Re:

1st attempt .. tricky little bugger to tie
But i have it sussed now ,, dumbbell needs to be more towards hook bend and angle of tail meeds to be slighlty more acute
but thats it on a size 1 .... might work for white ones too
Hopefully gonna get out tomorrow ... Strangford


On 29 May 2011 21:35, Jim Hendrick <> wrote:

not been fussy its looking great

can you push it back more into the bend to stand a little more vertically – sorreeee

best regards - Jim@



From: boat angling

Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2011 9:37 PM

To: Jim Hendrick

Subject: Re: Re:

See if you read my email ..... ho hum
Watch out for mk2 coming to an email near you soon


cough and ahem.....and pink cheeks

best regards - Jim@


fuckin hell .. ye don't want much do ye  ;-)
Tell you what i'll come down and cast it for ye too
Pink cheeks ...  hmmmpphhhh

LOl I added pink dubbing in behind the eyes and the damn thing looks like its been hit over the head with a hammer now
I think i'll call it the ball peen  sandeel
Next attempt i'll put the dubbing in first so it subtly bleeds through the white ..
onwards and upwards

Thursday 26 May 2011

Tim Burton and fly fishing

If Tim Burton was to tie a fly would THIS be it – a sleepy Hollow Fleye – evidence is HERE

Season 2011

I'm afraid thats it for the season guys - all valid bass shore fishing days for 2011 are now fully reserved, I have no more space.

Remaining Workshop days are available between the 22nd and the 26th of August and the 5th to the 7th of September inc.

I want to say a quick thank you to every one for your business and the continued support of the fishery - as difficult at times as it might be to achieve, I wish tight lines and a safe season to everyone - heres to a summer of silver and spikes!

Bass fishermen will arrive from Ireland, Holland, Germany, Scotland, England, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland and France.

Bendy from Jim

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Some of my personal favourites for BFG’s

Surface lures

  1. Smith - Zipsea pop
  2. Megabait – Chihuahua
  3. Illex – Bonnie 95
  4. Luckycraft – Sammy 100
  5. Luckycraft – Gunnish 115
Diving lures
  1. Luckycraft – Flash minnow 110 sp + f
  2. Luckycraft – Slender pointer 112 sp
  3. Luckycraft – Pointer 78
  4. Luckycraft – Pointer 100 DD
  5. Illex – Arnaud smash minnow sp
My Desert Island three - or whats always in my box (I only carry six lures at a time)
  1. Luckycraft – Flash minnow for sheer reliability
  2. Illex – Bonnie 95 – Proven beyond any doubt since ‘03
  3. Megabait – Chihuahua – Does so much for so little that others cant
My number one choice and favourite lure of all time
  1. Orion – Sticker – From a fishing legend, friend and personal hero - learning to fish it in a way that gets unique results, has for me been one of great personal reward and satisfaction
I have seen these lures and many others take many thousands of fish over the years here in Wexford – I very much doubt that their efficacy will diminish as time goes by. These are some of the choices I make when I am lure fishing by myself – in reality now, more than often in fact, probably as much as 99% of my lure fishing is done on the surface – I don’t mind if I don’t catch fish a lot of the time, but when I do I like to see the take.
I choose my times to suit my preferences - its always a BFG - big fish game!

Saturday 21 May 2011

90 days at the Wexford test centre

DSC_0143With close to 90 days of saltwater guiding ahead of me for the summer season of 2011 its essential that I wear the right gear. Right in a way that allows me to do the job without having to consider getting cold wet and uncomfortable no matter what the conditions – If I’m any of those things when I am guiding then its going to reflect negatively on your experience.

Standing up to 90 days of walking, wading, crawling, bending, lifting, stretching is no mean feat – add in rain, sand, rocks, barnacles, sun and saltwater and it can get very demanding indeed.

Lets say during a normal days guiding I spend 10 hrs. working in my jacket boots waders and under wader wear – so for my normal guiding season that's coming close to a 1000 hrs.

I don’t need gear that’s not going to last, perform or be unreliable. There are of course some constraints on the technology and I need to exercise some degree of care with my waders – there are physical limits as to what they can withstand, in other words I don’t expect them to be thorn or barbed wire or sharp rock resistant but I do expect them to be breathable and waterproof.

My jacket needs to be breathable waterproff and windproof and my boots need to be light and secure whilst provided good grip in what can be a multitude of different environments.

At the end of a long season its hard to say goodbye to old friends

Thursday 19 May 2011

The reds on top

Some interesting points about striped bass

....over winter striped bass are adapted to cease feeding by late November, and resume feeding once spring water temperatures elevate. Work done on YOY 'young of the year' (Hurst and Conover, 2001) indicated

  1. many temperate fish species lose energy throughout the winter relying on stored lipid reserves to fuel metabolism

  2. low environmental temperatures drastically reduce digestive enzymatic activity

  3. over winter feeding activity could increase when energy reserves become depleted, as gut fullness was negatively related to lipid energy reserves
I guess if we were to make some slight changes in timings we could be talking about another saltwater predator that evolved on this side of the world - occupying the same environmental niche, doing essentially the same things........

source Captain Al Anderson- IGFA


Looking for a fly reel that wont break the bank and yet stand up when you need it to time after time then look no further than this.

In the rough and tumble of an Irish saltwater environment the carbon composite is made to last and still look stylish.

Large arbor design the Loop Xact is the improved version of the older Evotec CLW. Made from composite, except the reel foot, handle and drag knob, these are aluminium. This reel is definetly made for tough conditions and is highly recommended.

Team it with a #8BVK from below and your are more than ready for bass on the fly.

Friday 13 May 2011


"Side-to-side movement is pretty intoxicating for any predatory fish."
So says Charlie Bisharat, inventor of one of the most revolutionary flies in recent memory, the Pole Dancer.

Leland on the Pole Dancer Striped Bass Fly

Born of Charlie's love for topwater stripers, the Pole Dancer was designed to imitate the action of conventional lures like the Zara Spook and the Lunker Plunker. As experienced bass and striper anglers know, this zig-zag, 'walk-the-dog' action mimics the movement of a wounded baitfish, and is far more enticing to big-shouldered fish than any ordinary in-line retrieve.

The Pole Dancer fly achieves this unique action in large part thanks to its conical molded foam head, which builds water pressure on one side of the fly when retrieved with sharp stripping motions and causes the fly to veer from left to right and back again.

For the Pole Dancer to achieve this action, everything about the fly must be in balance. To ensure this, the head is held neutral by weight placed toward the back of the shank, and tail materials are kept evenly distributed by a beefy monofilament anti-fouling guard.

Beyond these functional design attributes, the Pole Dancer has a few nice touches that are characteristic of almost any fly that's successful with predatory fish: big eyes and a red 'bleeding' gill slit add a level of realism that help seal the deal.

•This fly was developed by Charlie Bisharat while fishing the fertile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
•A defining characteristic is the conical molded foam head, which has a recessed concave cup on the underside
•Suggests any wounded baitfish on which an opportunistic predator might feed
•Ideal for pursuing stripers, largemouth, or any ambush predator: pike, muskie, snook, baby tarpon, peacocks, etc
•Pair with a heavy short-headed line to achieve positive turnover

Saturday 7 May 2011

Bass fishing and the Irish Times


Fishing . . . now that's bass

Tue, Jul 29, 2008 – Irish Times

From IT to tourism, Jim Hendrick is up to his gills with the demand for bass fishing, writes Michael Kelly

JIM HENDRICK was fishing with his young son recently at Forlorn Point near Kilmore Quay in Co Wexford when he suddenly realised that they were standing in exactly the same place where his grandfather taught him to fish when he was nine years old. It's a testament to the love that Hendrick has for fishing that he still enjoys it as a hobby, despite recently establishing a business around the sport.

When Hendrick decided to set up a business bringing shore-anglers from around the world to fish for bass off the Wexford coast, people told him he was mad. Fishing is a niche sport, they said, and saltwater fly-fishing is a niche area within a niche sport.

Shortly after he started trading - season 2003, however, the first group of journalists came from France to experience bass fishing in the county and when an extensive feature about their experience was published in a French fishing magazine, (see Here) his phone started ringing. French anglers came in their droves, followed by Dutch, Belgians, Italians and Danes (and, more recently, the Irish).

It's a far cry from the situation that Hendrick found himself in back in 2003. A graduate of NIHE (now DCU) in Dublin, he had been working in manufacturing companies in Wexford in materials management and information technology roles - firstly in Wexford Electronics which he left in 2001 and latterly with Snaptite.

"I was brought in to help implement an enterprise resource system for Snaptite and I basically engineered myself out of a role. Once I had the system implemented, there was nothing left for me to do."

Out of work, he found himself wondering if it was time to move on from manufacturing and IT. "You can only take so much exposure to 'Jim, my PC is not working' before you get frustrated by it," he laughs.

"My wife Eileen is self employed. She runs an interior design business and when I was working, we were only really seeing our kids for a few hours in the evening. I started wondering why we bothered having kids at all if you weren't even getting to see them."

Like many people looking for their dream job he turned to his hobbies for inspiration and wondered could he convert his expertise as a bass fisherman into a fishing tourism business.

As if fate itself was knocking on his door, the semi-detached house next to them came on the market and the couple decided to buy it and use it as accommodation for visiting anglers - a risky proposition given the fact that Hendrick didn't have a job at the time. With the assistance of a Leader grant (the EU Community Initiative for Rural Development), they renovated the house to bring it up to Bord Fáilte accommodation standard, ready for the 2003 seaon.

But what type of fishing to offer his visitors? Having fished for bass all his life, Hendrick was inclined to stick to what he knew - but Wexford had little track record as a destination for bass fishermen.

"The focus in Ireland had always been on pike, salmon and trout but I had been to Texas and Mexico with my old job and I had been very influenced by the US anglers, in particular the technology that they use for bass angling. I met David Byrne from the Fisheries Board late in 2002 and I was asking him, why not bass?"

What's the appeal of the species? "For most anglers, catching a bass is a very big prize. It's an enigmatic fish. Bass fishing attracts a particular sort of angler, mainly young people. It's considered almost an extreme sport because bass grow very large and they are very tough to catch.

"It's physically very demanding. This type of fishing - where you are fly or lure fishing from the shore - is new and exciting and because the equipment is lightweight and easy to carry, they can travel all over the world with the gear. They are demanding tourists - it's not a case of them coming here and doing a spot of sedentary fishing. They come here expecting to catch bass."

His visitors typically spend a week in Ireland, fishing twice a day and visiting local tourist haunts such as Hook Head and Tintern Abbey. The bass season - roughly from April to October - is a marathon of sorts for Hendrick.

"There are very early starts because we fish very early in the morning and late at night. That means being up at 3am most mornings. You really could run yourself ragged in the summer because these guys are on their holidays and they want to have a meal and a few beers at night. I have to be careful of that!"

Like any tourism business, he is at the mercy of the Irish weather. While fisherman generally have the gear to make the sport weather proof, bass are heavily influenced by the weather and they tend to stay away from the shore when there is wind, rain and cold.

"It's very tough at times and some weeks this summer have been a disaster. I have had to ring people who were due to arrive and cancel due to the weather. You are literally losing thousands."

There are, however, always bright moments on hand to convince him that he has made the right move. He tells me of a recent visitor who had never fished before in his life and within four hours caught a 10lb bass. "It's very much right place, right time. I know of fishermen who have fished their whole life and have never caught a 10lb bass.

"When I see someone catch their first fish and they are clutching it to their chest with a smile as broad as a canoe, that's what it's all about. As long as that keeps happening I will be fine."

© 2008 The Irish Times

April weather summary

After a wet start, most of April was dry and sunny with above normal temperatures. Mean air temperatures for the month of between 10°C and 12°C were around three degrees higher than normal and it was the warmest April on record at most stations. At the long-term stations of Malin Head and Valentia Observatory it was the warmest April in over a century of record, but in some eastern areas it was not as warm as April 2007. Highest temperatures this month were recorded mainly on the 10th and during the period 20th to 22nd, when daily maximum values rose above 20°C. These were the highest April values for at least eight years in many places and Malin Head’s maximum of 20.8°C on the 22nd was the highest recorded for April since the station opened.

Most stations recorded between three and 14 ground frosts during the month, around average for the time of year, but with little frost observed near the Atlantic coast. Rainfall accumulations were below average at most stations this month, receiving 40% to 90% of normal, but totals were above average for the time of year at Belmullet, Malin Head and Claremorris.

Almost all of the month’s rainfall fell during the first half, with heavy falls during the first week, some with thunder. Most stations recorded between four and nine wetdays during the month (days with 1mm or more rainfall), around half of the normal number for April of between 10 and 13 wetdays. Sunshine totals were above normal across the country, with highest monthly totals in the east.

Dublin Airport and Casement Aerodrome both had their sunniest April day on record on the 28th, while Belmullet equalled the highest ever daily value for April with 14.1 hours on the 29th.
Source Met Eireann

Friday 6 May 2011

What we dont know

Putting your fly or lure in the right place at the right time is great way to catch fish. One of the most common questions I'm asked at my workshops and through e-mail relates to choosing the correct fly or lure at any time for the circumstances.

Those circumstances can be as wide as water colour, depth, speed of current, weather conditions, tidal flow and on it goes. You can do one of many things and make it very simple - fish soft plastics bounced and twitched on the bottom (break your wrist and nothing more) lift and drop in the killing zone and there is no doubt you can catch many many fish. Of course there is a degree of knowledge required as regards timings and a fair degree of water craft and practice and time invested to do this but you dont have to know too much of anything else to have great fun and to catch a lot of bass.

It appears to be fashionable at the moment to knock this technique or the people who practice variations with bigger or smaller soft baits for bigger or smaller fish.

From another angling perspective putting out a fly line and fishing a clouser in the zone and getting it to behave in a similar manner happens to be a more challenging pursuit, for many reasons. And the inevitability here of course is to draw comparisons between the techniques or worse still to divide anglers into segments based on technique and then attach greater or lesser extents of expertise to those anglers and techniques. Even more silly is to think that anglers who practice one or the other and catch large numbers of fish have greater or lesser degrees of 'angling superiority and ability' - effectively dividing anglers into a class system based on techniques or numbers.

Its obvious that to physically and successfully cast a fly on a fly rod into the sea and catch a bass requires more skill than casting a soft bait on a lure rod to do the same thing, but with a far lower catch rate - and what difference does it make really? The choices we make regarding our fishing techniques are our own to learn and discover and practice and perfect as we prefer. Some require more knowledge and effort, others dont. But all require time invested in the fishing environment.

The one element that seems to be forgotten in this frequent bullshit debate of 'bass fishing technology preferences', the most important one, is the fish and its appreciation.

We have a fantastic national resource on our hands in bass fishing in this country. New technologies now allow us to present to fish in many different locations with techniques that have not been possible before allowing us to catch more fish, bigger fish, more mature fish more regularly than ever before. But we dont know how many are out there.

What we do with those fish is our responsibility as anglers, we need at times to proceed with a degree of caution. But we dont know how many we kill or when or what that impact might be.

The fixed spool reel didnt spell the end of angling as was feared by many when it first appeared - nor will soft plastics. There is anecdotal evidence that bass in Irish inshore waters have 'recovered'. But we dont know to what level.

That recovery is nothing in comparison to the abundance of the species that my father would have witnessed as a young man in Wexford. There is no current scientific evidence or political interest to map the scale of that recovery having had twenty years of protection. But we dont seem to know how to leverage the benefits.

Neither is there a will to examine the extent of the blatant clandestine illegal fishery as it continues to contribute to the failure of the fishery to recover even faster. We dont know its impact or true scale.

Much comment is made as to the effects of recreational angling in comparison to commercial pressure - and as the interest and accessibilty to the fish increases so too will the recreational impact. An illegal 200 metres of net in one shoot does immeasurable damage, a re-opened commercial fishery would destroy the species in perhaps two seasons. We dont know if the commercial ban is firm for any period

Recreational impact at this time is at a minimum in comparison to the above. Most bassfisherman I know are C+R oriented and handle fish with care, most will kill a fish for the table very irregularly, most observe the closed season. Some of course dont and have various illogical reasons for not doing so. The closed season begins on May 15th but in fact fish are spawning since mid April because of current conditions.

We dont know the possible effects of growing recreational pressure on important locations on a species like bass in Irish waters.

What we dont know are a lot of important things -

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Tough times



During these conditions we have no choice but to get on with it as best we can. After a long spell of very settled warm weather the systems are again proving variable until the middle of next week – challenging to say the least.

Monday 2 May 2011

I'm buying one (or two) of these! - BVK Series

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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...