Saturday 30 July 2011

There’s something about Marys!

Landing Gear

Rod : Illex element Rider S210M
Reel: Shimano Tecnium 3000
Braid: Power pro 8Kgs
Leader: Rio Fluoroflex plus
Lure: Illex Gambit Texan jig head 5.5gs and Olive 5" Waveworm

A big thanks to Bob and Ronan for the company craic and solving of the worlds problems.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Saltwater Fly and Lure - choices and decisions for bass fishing

Bass go about their business on a day by day basis and during the time they spend close to our shores their search for food is of prime importance to their survival. They store this bounty that they catch and eat as a lipid reserve to help them survive over winter in less than ideal conditions. Lower water temperatures during wintertime causes a slow down in metabolism and other processes, whilst during late winter and early spring physiological changes in preparation for spawning further reduce appetite.

They are opportunistic feeders the vast majority of the time and in a good example of the range of sources that they can consider as food a recently caught fish contained a large cuttlefish, a giant sandeel and two hard backed crabs and was also in the process of eating a 7” senko worm which he considered as another item on the menu!
The capture and storing of  ‘living’ energy is a full time job especially if you have competition from other members in your group trying to do the same thing!
Swimming along in a shoal of equally hungry fish their senses highly tuned to the capture of prey, the response to feeding opportunities is based around the following (not in any particular order)
  1. Movement (or behaviour)
  2. Shape
  3. Size
  4. Colour
Each of these elements ‘trigger’ a possibility of food. During opportunistic feeding times which is the vast majority of the time, bass will simply eat anything that is presented correctly, i.e. moving at the correct depth! But we all know that this is not always the case – how many of us have felt the frustration of fish, follow after follow with no take.
In this (selective) instance fish are responsive to movement and take up positions to eat but then refuse to do so – other elements in the make up of ‘prey characteristics’ become part of the decision to eat or not – that secondary trigger might be any one of the elements above – shape size or colour.
Fish see colour during daylight hours only – their eyes have evolved to perceive contrast and movement in ways in which we cant – detail is not perceived. I often hear anglers say I cant catch something on a ‘hot pink lure’ but this is only because we are limited to – ‘this is how we see it in our world’.
Fish living in the multifaceted and fractured world of an underwater environment may on occasion perceive ‘hot pink’ against an underwater background or light much easier than a grey or an olive. It gives you an angling colour contrast edge. During opportunistic feeding times you as an angler are not necessarily trying to present lures or flies that are ‘naturally realistic’ in terms of finish, there’s no harm in this but its not always necessary.
During opportunistic times if fish can see something better or more obviously against an underwater background and current light conditions by virtue of contrast and you then combine this with good movement and animation you are on a winner. Remember prey is always trying to hide, be invisible, you as an angler are trying to present prey that is more obvious to predators - don’t make it more difficult than it already is.
  • Predatory fish respond to movement
  • Predatory fish perceive contrast better than detail
  • During opportunistic feeding times fish competing for food rely on less of the stimuli to eat your fly or lure
  • Conditions will affect the way and where fish are feeding
  • Behavioural movement imitation can be significant
  • Make things easy for bass to eat your fly or lure

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Bass fishing heaven

Maybe for the first time this year it can settle into a pattern with some degree of consistency - lets hope so.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Bass fishing influences

DSCF1441In July and August, the largest fish, occasionally bass of fifty and even sixty pounds, rejoice the heart of the angler by surrendering to his skill, while in the Fall, although more numerous, they are smaller.
In both these particulars, the fishing at point Judith and West Island, and further Northward, differs from that in the vicinity of New York. Great success, however, depends upon several contingencies. It is supposed that the Gulf Stream, that prolonged current of the Mississippi River, which sweeps with its warmer temperature through mid ocean carrying a genial atmosphere and fertilizing showers to the otherwise arid shores of France and England, changes its course yearly, approaching our coast and sending its swarms of living creatures among the rocks of Narragansett Bay, or withdrawing so as to leave us desolate and to increase the severity of our winters.
We all know that our cold seasons differ greatly in intensity, and bass fishermen know that success in fishing varies equally; but from what cause these results flow, no one can positively say.DSCF1446

Robert Barnwell Roosevelt – The Striped Bass – Published 1865
Martin Alisson – Scotland – Wed Jul 20th – a tough cold week in Wexford.

Friday 22 July 2011

Soft plastic workshop

Landing Gear
Rod : Savagegear bushwacker
Reel: Shimano Exage
Line; Dynacable
Leader: Rio hard alloy saltwater mono
Lure: 7" Senko worm on Illex Gambit 5.5 gramme jig head

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Bass Angling Survey 2011

Inland Fisheries Ireland is to conduct a survey of bass angling in order to collect data on the nature of  recreational bass angling in Ireland. The catch and effort data will be reported to the EU under the Data Collection Regulation via the Marine Institute.

It is intended that the survey will be carried out by IFI field staff in the course of their normal duties and industry members (Bass Guides etc). Anglers will be given an opportunity to complete an online questionnaire which will gather socio-economic and catch and effort data.

In order to facilitate this survey, which Shane O Reilly is coordinating, a meeting of the appropriate IFI staff and the industry is required to explain the process and commence the survey.

The meeting will be held at 2pm on Tuesday 19th July at the Commodore Hotel, Cobh, Co. Cork.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Bass fishing Wexford -

Martin Allison – Scotland, kicked off his four day stay this morning. We decided to go soft as Martin hasn’t had much exposure to the techniques and methods used.

The pin tail is a soft jerk from Illex with a ringed section over the last 2 cm of the body then finished with a short needle which vibrates at the slightest stimulus. This is the perfect model for weightless or drop shot fishing and is best worked slowly through weed beds or on a light jig head in clear water or when the fishing is particularly difficult.


I rigged the pintail on a Texas jig head. This head gives you all the advantages of a Texas style rig combined with all the presentations of a jig head.

The triangular shaped head gives you two key advantages:

1) Stability and excellent presentation of the bait on the bottom

2) It helps with a swimming jig action on the retrieve.

The Texan hook benefits from the patented “Aeropoint” system and is made from strong wire with an extra large gape to guarantee a better hook penetration and hook hold.DSCF1420

Martin took a few moments to get into his stride and after a short warm up we were into fish in pleasant sunshine and broken cloud. We took and missed several fish – all part of the game.

DSCF1421We changed colours and the range of the jig head weight throughout the session and tide moving from 1.8 through the 3.5 and onto 5.5 grammes.

Colour choices were chartreuse tail, blue w/Holo, and pearl white.









Illex soft baits and jig heads are available at Henrys Tackle and SEAi

Thursday 14 July 2011

We could be doing something similar in this country BUT...

We are curtailed as usual, and we haven't got the balls to use Irish people working on the ground in the industry for years to help promote it. No, we leave that up to 'experts' from elsewhere.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Is Wexford's biodiversity an economic engine ?

June weather summary 2011

Unsettled weather in June led to almost all stations recording above average rainfall amounts for the time of year, especially in the south. Shannon Airport experienced its wettest June since 1998, while due to thundery downpours in Belmullet on the 21st, the highest daily rainfall for the month of 34.7mm was recorded, its highest at the station for June in 25 years. Mean temperatures this month were lower than normal for June, with temperatures across the country being around 1°C below average. Shannon Airport, Valentia Observatory, Roche’s Point, Dublin Airport and Belmullet all reported their coldest June since 1972.

Almost all maximum temperatures for June were recorded on the 3rd, during the period of high pressure at the start of the month, while the majority of minimum temperatures were recorded between the 9th and 12th, when the country was affected by cool northwesterlies. The minimum air temperature of 0.5°C at Mullingar on the 10th was the lowest recorded for June in 20 years at the station, while both Valentia Observatory and Claremorris had their lowest minimum temperatures recorded since 1991, with values of 4.6°C and 1.0°C respectively. Grass minimum temperatures recorded in the Dublin area on the 10th were the lowest for June in over 40 years.

Despite below average temperatures, sunshine for the month was above normal everywhere, but it was still the dullest June since 2005 at Knock Airport with 134 hours reported. The highest daily sunshine was at Casement Aerodrome on the 3rd with 15.9 hours, while the value of 13.5 hours at Cork Airport on the 3rd was its lowest June maximum daily sunshine since 2003.

Monday 11 July 2011

Cistin Eile-A great Wexford restaurant

We took a fish last week (see post below) and we had it cooked specially in a local Wexford restaurant by Chef Warren Gillen. Jobst, Selby and John really enjoyed another aspect of the Wexford fishing. See a review of Warrens restaurant below.

logoWarren Gillen has a well-earned following in the South-East and many happy diners who remember his previous restaurant in Wexford Town, La Riva, will be delighted to see him back as proprietor-chef of Cistin Eile.

A long, narrow premises on several levels separated by a few steps, it's a simple little place with nothing wasted on the decor - green gingham style oil cloths on the tables (but good glassware and china) - and the focus very firmly on excellent food, pleasant, attentive service and good value.

Reception is friendly and prompt - Warren also greets his customers himself and later checks on them at each table, as has always been his way – and new arrivals immediately feel at home.

Warren is a great supporter of local and artisan producers and his short, interesting menus have a sense of place and promise contemporary Irish food with a rustic tone.

A speciality of Tony Butler’s black pudding with apple purée and cabbage salad makes a particularly pleasing starter, and you will find dishes not often seen on other menus and inspired by tradition, such as grilled Doyle’s corned beef sandwich with onion relish, or liver & onions with grilled bacon & porter jus.

Fish cooking is deceptively simple in the hands of this accomplished chef and, whatever he is cooking – Meyler’s natural smoked haddock chowder, perhaps, or grilled hake with broccoli, salted alomonds and orange butter sauce - his skill is in producing dishes that are richly layered with flavours yet always enhance the delicious seasonal (and, often, less expensive) ingredients he has so carefully selected, and never seeks to overpower.

This small restaurant is serving the best of contemporary Irish food prepared by a gifted chef who enthusiastically promotes local ingredients, and merits wider recognition.

With an outstanding kitchen backed up by well-informed and pleasant staff, and offering great value for money, the world will surely beat a path to his door.

Wine is supplied by Jim Neville of Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford, whose brother has a vineyard in Langeudoc, Pat Neville Domaine Aonghusa. The list is quite short but will be added to in time; meanwhile it is very adequate.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Another day at the bass fishing office


Its not a nine to five nor a Monday to Friday job. Its the greatest and the worst job in the world and at times I know if I stopped it wouldn't and couldn't be for long.

I’m sitting here now marking off the days that have already passed by since March. Remembering each one and the highs and the lows.

So many hours spent securing those days, worrying about them living in anticipation and hope and more anticipation. Then they are gone and I’m left with all the experiences.

I’m stopping for a few days now as its been a bit hectic – John, Paul, David, Ray, Jobst, Selby, Fintan………..its time to think a little, recoup for a few days tidy the gear and put the memories down, catch up on mail etc. Not quite half way yet not quite leaky smelly waders and broken gear repaired yet not quite panda eyes Ibuprofen and red bull breakfast time yet! Thanks so far.

thank goodness

Bass World–Saltwater Fly Fishing Wexford 2011

bass fishing in Ireland

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Three of their five a day




Dallas: Something has attached itself to him. We have to get him to the infirmary right away.
Ripley: What kind of thing? I need a clear definition.
Dallas: An organism. Open the hatch.
Ripley: Wait a minute. If we let it in, the ship could be infected. You know the quarantine procedure. Twenty-four hours for decontamination.
Dallas: He could die in twenty-four hours. Open the hatch.
Ripley: Listen to me, if we break quarantine, we could all die.
Lambert: Look, could you open the god-damned hatch? We have to get him inside.
Ripley: No. I can't do that and if you were in my position, you'd do the same.
Dallas: Ripley, this is an order. Open that hatch right now, do you hear me?
Ripley: Yes.
Dallas: Ripley. This is an order. Do you hear me?
Ripley: Yes. I read you. The answer is negative.


I have some pet hates they are not big ones but they do exist. Matching the hatch for bass fishing is one of my favourites, opportunities for matching are often few and far between. Its very rarely these fish on the Wexford coast can afford to be selective. I ‘opened the hatch’ on a bass that we caught this morning and I found the following

A cuttlefish (.75kgs) two hard backed crabs and a giant sandeel – selectivity is generally not an issue!

The fish will be prepared in a local restaurant later today.

The Wexford Worm


Selby Knox from Bristol took this wonderful 4kgs fish this morning on a 7 inch Senko worm. The worm was fished weedless with an owner weighted twistlock hook.
This Weighted Twistlock™ hook employs the same hook as the 5132 Twistlock™, but also features a non-movable weight attached to the shank. Designed for both fresh and saltwater fishing. The hook’s added weight helps to sink or “swim” the bait into the strike zone. With its Twistlock™ “Centering-Pin-Spring” (CPS – patent pending), baits can be “permanently” secured by inserting the pin in the center of a soft plastic, which can then be screwed on the Twistlock™ coil spring to rig perfectly everytime! Ideal for weedless style fishing without having to add a separate weight. Great for fishing into deep cover and optimum fish lies. “Open” gap allows for more positive hook sets. Features include a 30° eye-bend, XXX-strong forged shank, Super Needle Point, and black chrome finish.

You can see more detail HERE for rigging and swinging worms and other lures too

The method Selby used is one which I demonstrate  to my customers regularly and is closely related to the techniques of swinging flies for bass. Sometimes bass don't want retrieved lures they simply want food to drift to them with a drag free presentation, naturally under current. Having discussed drift and tidal flow and angles of all sorts of complexities Selby got my drift - retrieve free he hit this and several other fish too.

Monday 4 July 2011

The importance of good loops




Jobst Seevers travelled from Kiel in Germany for a three day saltwater fly fishing holiday – he’s in pursuit of bass and has done very well so far taking fish both yesterday and today.

Best fish today ran to 3kgs

Friday 1 July 2011

Illex element rider now available at SEAi

ELEMENT RIDER S210 and S240 plus a range of hard and soft baits from Illexab_asso_5913_08ab_asso_5913_06
The S210 is designed specifically for fishing with soft lures like the Nitro Soft jerk and a Lightning Head. Can also be used with conventional lures in standard sizes! The ELEMENT RIDER S 210 H has been specially designed for vertically working heavy plastic lures.
Designed for casting from the shore the S 240 M and MH optional has a powerful yet light blank and is surprisingly sensitive through the tip section. Can be used to cast plugs and lures between 10g and 30g surprisingly long distances. The tip action is perfect for positively animating lures and the blank has plenty of reserve power ...

For more details go HERE

Life is freakin' good

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...