Thursday 30 June 2011

Zen and the art of making a cock up!

OR – several questions about fishing.

Ray Molloy's girlfriend thinks he looks like George Clooney, (when she has her eyes closed). Ray doesn’t admit to looking anything like George but does have a twinkle in his eye and a Sahara dry sense of humour.

Tom is Rays best buddy – Tom talks a lot when he’s not focused but becomes inscrutable when he’s in the zone. He’s also prone to sulk for short periods.

I could go on, wont, but will ask the question at this time ‘ When a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, does it make any sound?’ or put differently

‘When a customer catches and lands an eleven pound bass (on his first outing at a bass fishing workshop) and the guide has no camera to make a photograph does the fish really exist?

George, sorry Ray and Tom went through the ringer this morning at a bass lure workshop, influences, timings, seasons, tides, times, hard baits, soft baits, rods, reels, lines nothing exceptional here. Ray was a brilliant student scoring highly on attention to detail, class contribution and participation, Tom got lines!

We went to lunch in The Yard restaurant and then went to fish the rising afternoon tide. I went through the techniques with the guys. My spare waders were too big for Ray so he elected to fish from the shore. Surface lure, splashing, popping, walking, soft trotting lifting dropping jerk twitching stopping phew!

I set the guys free for about two hours to ‘do it’ for themselves and managed them only through the location development over the tide. Tom said he felt like he was going to catch a fish. Then we heard Ray shout from 50 yards – rod bent – ‘heehhh’ fish on! And it happened to be a very considerable fish certainly in excess of the magic 10 and probably somewhere just slightly less than the incredible 11.

I had left the camera at home, my phone (a new rule) was in the car, so was Rays! Tom was IN THE ZONE

Ray asked if he could hug me, I said 'briefly'. Tom called from afar we showed him the fish, I put the fish back – and then the fish swam away. I have several questions that I must ask -

The technique that Ray developed by himself called ‘Shagging the cat’ did it help in catching the fish? I think so.

‘Stop trying to hit me and hit me, or stop trying to catch me me and catch me, does it apply?

If I had remembered the camera would Ray have caught the fish?

Did Tom have a little sulk in the car on the way home?

A classic day of real fun and brilliant company – a fish to dream of again and again – it made life very easy indeed. I learned a lot.

For lessons in ‘shagging the cat techniques’ or a brilliant Taxi service Ray can be contacted at

Wednesday 29 June 2011

…..and an end.


Confident capable and at home in environments never fished or dreamed of before.

Two brilliant days of fun and exploration.

Sunday 26 June 2011

Taken from a guides diary 2008

Up at four o’clock to catch the early morning tide, we will fish for the next four or five hours in one of the many unique locations the south east has to offer. I get sleepy-eyed people into the car with gear already on and quietly we slip down the street and into the countryside away into the peace of a summer’s day, a rising sun over blue seas and golden sands. I remain with my customers on each session, each day throughout the week, getting to know them and their fishing patterns and expectations. I constantly provide advice on lure selection, casting, flies, lines locations, and best advice on any number of subjects.

It’s a week of mental and physical demands that need constant concentration, focus and attention, planning and re-planning to keep customers happy and safe for 10 hours a day for five days. Then of course there’s the fickle fish to deal with! There are times you need to be all things all of the time.

But I don’t want to do anything else. I have a huge sense of pride in being able to give people a unique, quality angling experience in the county where I was born. It is my objective to make that experience as good and as unique as I possibly can each time, for each group. To convey the essence of Ireland’s unique saltwater sport fishery sensibly and sustainably to the rest of the world is indeed a challenging occupation.

See the collection Here

Saturday 25 June 2011

A personal milestone

Probassfisher edges towards 10K page views per week - a demonstration of the significant number of people from the world over whom are interested in Irish bass fishing.

Thank you for spending time here, I hope it has been of some help and interest to you and please continue to subscribe via the e-mail feed on the right hand panel.

I am rebuilding my photo gallery as the business I hosted it with last has closed -
Regards and safe fishing - Jim

On the edge ~ always…

It could haDSCF1359ve happened at any time over the three days and indeed it sputtered into life a little on the evening of day three. The fact of the matter is that David never let the opportunity, if it existed, pass him by. He persisted, and when fishing is difficult this is what it comes down to. Focus and attention to detail can get you that one or two fish even very late in the game.

I went through the phases with him on each day through rising temperatures, falling temperatures, sun, rain, wind, blue sky, cloud, Northerly, Southerly, it was all there. Clear water, cloudy water, as my daughter says, whateverrrr…..! Overall conditions remained very very fishable and never really deteriorated severely; they only exhibited variability, constantly!

It was Tuesday afternoon that reaDSCF1326lly had my heart racing – a day that I often refer to as a big fish day and certainly the chance was there with everything falling into place but it was not to be. And that’s the way it played out over the three days, the possibility existed and we could have been lucky and eked out a bruiser or a wayward shoal, but it wasn’t from want of trying or tactics or effort or skill on David's part. He’s now the consummate bass angler, perfectly capable of anything.

ThDSCF1369-1ere were no numbers of fish in the systems but it always felt like we were just on the edge, very close, just out of reach, a fish away from making an experience a permanent memory.

And then at our feet a fish and another - David had hit them with his favourite method - soft baits.

But then isn't that bass fishing - always on the edge, always.

If you want to learn more about David's experiences and his thoughts on soft plastic fishing and presentations for bass then don't miss next months Irish Angler magazine - David is running a three part series packed with information about these techniques.

Some ideas for when its tough HERE

A settled period ~ perhaps!



In reply to your queries regarding the post below

A somewhat ‘calmer’ more settled period of weather seems about to move across and over the country for the coming days. Winds will move out of the Southwest on Sunday bringing a cooler Westerly and North Westerly airflow, with temperatures in the SE staying very cool.

After some days of very unpredictable fishing with few if any fish showing except on the odd lucky occasion, this period should certainly help a little – that is of course if it lasts!

Some previous posts regarding exceptions and weather/tidal influences

Monday 20 June 2011

Not catching

Not catching bass is an integral part of the fishing. It adds mystery and intrigue and forces us to apply reasons as to why. This of course is normal and many of our derived reasons are probably very wide of the mark - but it makes us feel better if we apply our fishy logics and thoughts to our 'failures'.

What it doesnt mean is that we are bad fishermen or I am a bad guide, or you havent got the latest hottest thing or we are doing something wrong.

These are wild creatures living in the ocean, swimming free around an island influenced by many many things.

What it does mean is that the next time we catch them the more we appreciate what we really missed - the fish and the experience.

Saturday 18 June 2011

Andrews first bass for 2011

dog fight and buzzards-5dog fight and buzzards-13

dog fight and buzzards-9


Landing Gear

Rod: Smith B90 RS

Reel: Shimano Twin Power 4000 (salt water)

Line: Daiwa tournament pro

Leader: Rio saltwater hard alloy mono

Lures: Orion Mr Joe

Its not easy out there at the moment on the open shore and from a fly perspective its downright damned difficult – at least the shift to westerly may help but it looks tough for the next few days into next week – lower water presentations with soft baits or sinking lines will help significantly.


Teccie specs on the twin power.

Born of the same engineering pedigree as the world’s number one threadline – Stella, the TwinPower carves its own niche amongst the range of ultra-high performance reels that Shimano has become renowned for.
The TwinPower will handle anything thrown at it and continue asking for more, displaying many of the same qualities that make the Stella so successful and Shimano a pioneer in heavy saltwater sportfishing and jigging applications.

Built on the “SR” philosophy (smooth, silent, strong and reliance), the TwinPower gets its unbelievable cranking power and strength from a heavy-duty cold-forged drive gear paired with a Brass pinion, near frictionless efficiency from intuitive design and reliability from decades of research and development unrivalled by any other manufacturer in the industry.
All these features are housed in a water-proof hybrid aluminium body which is then super-charged by the same Hyper-disk drag found in the Stella SW. Less wear on parts and effortless operation are thanks to no less than 11 Shimano bearings. Each reel also features AR-C spool design, Aero Wrap II, Rigid Support Drag, one-piece bail, Super Stopper II, Power Roller and Floating Shaft II.

I will find you and I WILL catch you

Saltwater fly fishing bass


Landing Gear

Rod : AV Jensen High Tide #8

Reel: Danielsson LW 6/9

Line: Guideline coastal #8 fast intermediate

Leader: Airflo 10’-0” saltwater tapered poly leader – Rio fluoroflex tippet

Fly: White mini sloopy droopy

One of the joys and the challenges of catching bass is actually finding them in new places.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Thursday 16 June 2011

Shut your eyes and see

"A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the JJ_finns_hotelnewspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."
James Joyce – Dubliners.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

May weather summary

Depressions over the Atlantic were the main influence on Ireland’s weather during the month of May, giving generally unsettled weather across the country with very strong winds at times.

The start of the month was relatively warm and dry, with almost all of the highest temperatures for the month recorded in the first week. These maximum temperatures were some of the lowest May maxima recorded in recent years, however; Mullingar’s highest value of only 17.3°C was its lowest for May since 1972. Minimum daily temperatures for the month were around two degrees above normal, with a number of stations recording their highest ever May daily minimum values. Overall, mean air temperatures for the month were above average everywhere, with Claremorris and Casement Aerodrome recording their warmest May since 2001.

Rainfall totals and number of wetdays(1.0mm or more) recorded for May were well above average in the western half of the country, but it was another dry month in the east and southeast. Accumulations of rainfall for 2011 so far of between 200mm and 300mm in these areas represent around 75% of normal for the five-month period. Dublin Airport recorded only 67% of its long-term average for this month and also recorded its lowest daily fall for May since 1998 of 5.7mm.

Sunshine totals were near average across the country except in the south and southwest where it was a dull month. Valentia Observatory measured its dullest May since 1981, while Shannon Airport’s highest daily sunshine of 11.5 hours was its lowest such value for May in 46 years.

Mean windspeeds for the month were all above average with several stations recording their highest mean winds for May for at least 25 years. The highest mean monthly windspeed for May ever recorded in Ireland of 19.4 knots (36km/h) was measured at Malin Head, while Belmullet measured a record-breaking May gust for Ireland of 78 knots (144km/h) on the 23rd of the month.

My first summer without Davina.

Ragworm, senko worm, illex, tippex, flatwing, spring, neap, east, west, hard or soft - have a safe summer of 2011

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Illex lures


I dropped into John O Briens Angling and Outdoor centre in Waterford today and was pleasantly surprised to see some of my old favourites in stock - Illex lures.

I found both surface and diving lures with all the essentials like the Bonnie, Water Moccasin, Water Monitor, and the little fished but deadly mudsucker. I had to resist - again!

This fish below was taken during the early years with my good friend Jean Yves on a bonnie 128 wakasagi - believe it or not I still have the lure and its seldom out of my BIG fish box!DSCF1281

See the Voyages des Peches article 2003 for more details. They still look like some of the best after all these years and are mentioned regularly throughout this blog.




Progressive fly fishermen are chasing bigger, faster, more obscure species around the world and in their backyards alike. They require a superior product made in the U.S.A.

Cheeky Fly Fishing has identified and brought to market exactly what progressive fly fishermen demand: fly reels for every situation, from bluegill to shark, that are incredibly strong, lightweight, and durable, have a MAX Arbor, a ton of line capacity, and are maintenance free.

No other reel with an arbor as large can claim such a drastic strength to weight ratio.

Take a look HERE

I have that Christmas eve feeling !



Lucky Craft Sum Malas

Sunday 12 June 2011

Environments and fishing

"People can join all the groups they want but the most important thing people can do is be honest and look within to make sure they are doing all they can on their own. This means using common sense when fishing."

Read these pages HERE

Sunday 5 June 2011

Pike fishing in the West of Ireland

DSC_0016The second fish I hooked was different. We drifted back over the zone, the water depth shallowed up to about fifteen feet, gleaming white sands and bottom features becoming very obvious. I could clearly see vertical columns of weed, rocks as big as cars, rippling fields and waves of golden light. The underwater visibility once again blew my mind. I cast and counted then retrieved and within thirty of forty feet of the boat I could see my fly tracking close the bottom. Strip strip stop, strip strip stop, opening then closing, breathing – enticing.

The fish not so much as swam but rather, sidled up to the flyDSC_0079, stopped, bristled ready - tensed.

Appearing from behind a pale cream coloured rock, I had that same familiar feeling of ‘brain refusing to acknowledge or comprehend what was going on’ and hence was going into some sort of protective mode of disbelief which stops itself from frying -

But yes it was a big fish, yes it was inches behind my fly, and yes I was in fifteen feet of water and I could clearly witness what was happening. I could see the fly, I could see the fish then I couldn’t see the fly and suddenly I felt the fish on. Moving very quickly to my right, my fly line tracing through the water leaving a skinny bubble trail – zzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiipppppppppppp


I heard myself speak as I eased and controlled the fly line under tension from my hand – and then the drag started up

‘John, take a look at this quick’ I sounded in hindsight, remarkably calm

Two other fish had joined mine and were trDSC_0035acking him as he sped across the white bottom, twisting and turning in a strange ballet threesome of escape and inquisitiveness. The fish were about 5 or 6kgs and their light, smashed up blonde and green patterns of colour at times rendered them invisible in their world of gold and silver.

I was pike fishing in the west of Ireland in one of the most remarkable fishing environments I had ever seen.

Landing gear

Rod: AV Jensen High Tide #8

Reel: Vision XLA

Line: Teeny T300

Leader: Rio alloy hard saltwater mono with Rio powerflex wirebite tippet

Fly: Tied by Rudy Van Duijnhoven

Thanks Brian for making it happen

Thursday 2 June 2011

a day a place a superb fish

Landing gear
Rod: AV Jensen High Tide #8
Reel: Vision XLA
Line: Teeny T300
Leader: Rio alloy hard saltwater mono with Rio powerflex wirebite tippet
Fly: Tied by Rudy Van Duijnhoven

Fish: Pike ~/= 10kgs

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...