Monday 30 April 2012

Saturday 28 April 2012

Wexford Biodiversity draft plan and Bass conservation

You may remember I brought your attention to Wexford Co Councils biodiversity plan from January of last year

When all submissions to the Wexford Biodiversity Plan have been received and reviewed, a draft plan will be compiled. Following on from this a public meeting will be held to discuss the Draft Biodiversity Plan and to seek further comments.

Wexford Co.Council has now published its draft biodiversity plan – from a bass conservation perspective you may be interested in page 96 and indeed throughout the document there are references to bass and their continued protection. The full document is available to download below and from Wexford Co.Council website.

There were 58 submissions from a bass angling perspective of a total submission number of 99. This is significant.

From Page 96 of the document

Submissions Numbers 22-78 

individual submissions various Re: Conservation of Sea Bass stocks
• Maintain Legislation to Protect the SEA Bass from Commercial fishing.
• Importance of Recreational Angling to the Local Economy/Tourism
• Illegal Fishing/Netting

Its important to remember at this stage that this is a draft document and taken from page 49 we have another opportunity to

Review Data and Identify Gaps

Objective 1 - To identify Biodiversity information and fill data gaps for the County, to prioritise habitats and species for protection and to inform conservation action and decision making Actions Partners/Funding Thefile,20294,en

Bass fishing

What does the world tell you about the fish, even when you are nowhere near them?

It tells you different influences apply for different places..........the crane, the streetlight, the church.

The wind , the place, the wave.....

Friday 27 April 2012


Once we get past the next 24 / 36 hours then, fingers crossed we are into a genuine period of possibilities for a few days - but dont count on it holding.

Thursday 26 April 2012

On a small journey

DSC_0234Fishing with bass flies bought from a shop can provide good results for the fly angler. Working with somebody like Brian Healy who can realise your specific requirements adds a dimension that’s simply not available anywhere else. Hence a degree of uniqueness and quality is added to the mix.



Tying the bucktail deceiver  third in the sequence above (hollow style– from B.Popovic) in a range of densities simply allows the creation of a fly that’s easy to cast, has a superb profile (s), doesn’t foul and can be presented at different depths, representing many food items.



Tailoring that requirement to specific locations and conditions is fast becoming an obsession for me.

The size and shape of the fly is almost unlimited – movement, control and selection is of course is up to you!

Long bunches of bucktail using specific hooks can produce flies up to 10-inches in length. Other natural or synthetic fibres produce even longer flies. All remain easy to cast.

The bucktail selection also affects the bulk and silhouette of the fly. Bulky flies are best tied with crinkly bucktail. Using a finer and somewhat straighter bucktail the tier can produce slimmer, skinnier imitations. Changing the density of material of course will affect the definition of the silhouette of the the fly – more material a stronger visual presence is achieved less material a more vague and translucent effect is the result.

So you want a dense fly with a strong profile and silhouette that gets down AND pushes water – simply add tungsten beads to the mix……it goes on and on.

Any of these simple changes produce different results under different circumstances.
So many things to do, so little time!


A short note

Thanks to bassfishingcork for the mention on your site - bendy rods for 2012, Jim.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Wanted – One Saltwater Fly Fisher

The rain will push northwards on Wednesday morning and will become widespread by the late morning. It will be a wet and windy day, with heavy falls especially in the east and south of the country where some localised flooding is likely. Winds will be strong and gusty and from the northeast. Highest temperatures of 7 to 10 degrees.  

Outlook Heavy rain will continue to affect parts of the east and south on Wednesday night, with an ongoing risk of localised flooding. Lowest temperatures of 2 to 6 degrees in strong northerly winds. The rain will persist on Thursday with the east coast being the most affected with further heavy falls. Elsewhere the rain will be lighter with some sunny spells at times. Highest temperatures of 7 to 12 degrees in strong northerly winds.

The wet and windy weather will continue on Friday with widespread rain and fresh northerly winds. This will keep temperatures at 7 to 10 degrees. However on Saturday the rain will ease off, with showers developing and more in the way of sunny spells. Temperatures will rise a degree or two and will reach 9 to 12 degrees, however the fresh northerly winds will still be blowing. On Sunday it looks more rain is on the way with all parts being affected. The unsettled weather will continue into next week too.

Source - Met Eireann

I'm looking for a 'serious' saltwater fly fisher to help another angler and I make a short film about the experiences of fly fishing on the South East Coast -

  1. Enthusiasm (endless)
  2. Sense of humour (good or bad)
  3. SW fly casting and fishing ability in most conditions
  4. Lots of patience
  5. Creativity
  6. Knowledge of multi media technology
  7. Similar state of mind (?)
  8. Must love SWFF
  9. Did I say patience
  10. Lack of fishing, tackle or any other ego!
If you are interested then please don’t hesitate to contact me @ 0863444557

Sunday 22 April 2012

Bass fishing

A fish's survival depends on its ability to feed successfuly. Fish exploit instances and situations that give them the very best intake for a given amount of energy output.

Saltwater bass flies

Hand tied in Ireland and custom built to order - available here.

Friday 20 April 2012

Bass fishing

Fish are not smart they are instinctive. Bass anglers need to be smart to grasp that instinct.

Think, imagine, apply sensibly and creatively your own experiences and influences to your own fishing. No two anglers, situations or indeed locations are the same.

What's different for you is not always similar for me so why waste time refuting generalisations?

Wednesday 18 April 2012

A favourite fly

Tying a flatwing - here

Bass fishing

Ask yourself the questions, what am I doing here at this time and what brought me to this place?

If its a simple reason/s there's no complexity.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Bass fishing

The key to catching any fish prone to tidal and weather influences is finding them in the midst of those influences. Sometimes, just sometimes they're simply not there in any numbers or indeed at all.

Exceptional fishing happens, good and bad, early and late, big and small, a common part of frequent normality in a wild environment.

Saturday 14 April 2012

Early days

Having spent a few pleasant days working this week its noticeably cool but very nice out there. Winds have blown consistently from a Northerly direction since late March and after a little exceptional weather in the latter days of the month during which we caught some fish things are 'Spring' slow here in Wexford.

Water conditions are crystal clear with only a few indications of shrimp, sandeel and immature flounder showing but its still very early, with strong cold air running over cold water it never makes things easy.

I never expect too much at this time of year from a bass perspective, and its probably not until the next set of Springs that I would anticipate to catch some numbers of bass with confidence and even then its always touch and go. See indications here

But its great to be out and with a few customers who are willing to try for an early bass or even a possible seat trout or mullet I had a great week of trying some new gear and locations. I continue to experimental fly fish as much as possible and I am still modifying our seatrout bass and mullet range of flies. I had some interesting fishing on Sunday last watching fish track the fly inch by inch for maybe 10 feet but not eating - next week is the last of my semester so school's out for Summer at last!

Interesting possibility on Monday......but in reality its still very difficult out there for your unit of effort.

If you would like a relaxed estuary fishing/workshop Spring day then please take a look here

Monday 9 April 2012

The benefits of angling - One 3 year research project

Angling tourism can be developed through: provision and presentation of information using state of the art technology; increased public access to angling; development of a broader outdoor tourism portfolio; the clustering of businesses and co-operative competition; and community land ownership

Angling tourism needs to be developed sustainably, maintaining a balance between ‘development’ and environmental and social management factors.

From fishing for Answers the final report.

Fishing for Answers summarises the key findings from three years of research on the benefits angling delivers for people and their communities. It focuses on angling's contribution to six key areas: sports participation; health and well-being; the natural environment; community development; tourism and rural communities; and young people.

Final Report of the Social and Community Benefits of Angling Project

Section 5: Angling tourism and Rural Areas

The entire Document can be found here to download

We asked anglers in our Assynt Anglers Survey in 2010 to identify the most important things about angling in Assynt. The results are presented in the bar chart below. Although the catch-related aspects of the angling experience – most notably the quality of fish stocks – perhaps inevitably received a large number of 1st place rankings, the remoteness, fishing mountain lochs, being able to fish without seeing others and the scenery in which people go fishing scored highest overall. These results suggest that anglers who visit Assynt value the social isolation and the quality of the landscape at least as much as they do the actual fishing.

Sunday 8 April 2012

The You

In a cool North Easterly and bright conditions Jerome and I spent a pleasant afternoon getting a sense of the requirements. There are times when I’m reminded that its the most difficult and challenging way to catch fish, the casting the waves the water the basket the line the leader the retrieve the wind the fly the environment the you…

It takes time.

Friday 6 April 2012

Five years of April showers


I'm into the fifth year of this website, and my tenth season working at guiding for bass starts today. My customer is Jerome Caparros from France and we will only tentatively attempt bass on the fly today .

Wishing you all a happy Easter -

Wednesday 4 April 2012

What we do: Sustainable seas. But where is angling?

...Our wallets are therefore powerful weapons in the fight to create a more sustainable future. The IWT does not advocate an end to fishing. We believe that fish is an essential part of our diet, culture, society and economy. It is vital for the survival of coastal communities all around our island. However, the type of fish we eat, particularly by knowing where and how our fish has been caught, can send a strong signal to decision makers that change is urgently needed. Having said that, making choices at the fish counter is not easy and so much more needs to be done to inform the public about the impacts of these choices. The IWT is therefore delighted to publish Ireland’s first consumer’s guide to sustainable seafood. Because the information is not always clear cut we have developed a traffic light system. Green, Amber and Red.

AMBER – this may be OK to eat but we don’t know enough to be sure. Little is known about the state of the stock, the way it is fished causes damage to the marine ecosystem or there is enough evidence to suggests that stocks are declining.

Bass are currently classed in this system as Amber

Taken from the Irish Wildlife Trust - Article Sustainable Seas 

One of the many questions from the Environmental Pillar Submission made recently caught my attention. The entire .pdf can be located here

Q10 Suggest ways we can foster and / integrate marine policy and planning in Ireland? With less resources, how can we do it better?

In Briefing Document II each marine sectors is presented in turn with no conceivable attempt at assessing synergistic or conflicting interests and needs. In order to achieve integration the plan will have to be discussed by all stakeholders in inclusive manner, while addressing environmental, resource
and financial restrictions. Such an approach would help to reduce duplication, improving efficiency across sectors, and planning.

I can agree with this provided each marine sector and all stakeholders are presented, yet there is scant mention of angling or angling related activities in the midst of any of this!

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Messing about

There’s something pleasant about being out on the water DSC_0141and when that opportunity is combined with fishing then its a real pleasure. The small boat has added another dimension to the angling for me and I'm happy to spend time simply exploring and mapping whilst I can.
Adding the boat does create launch and recovery time but then there’s the added dynamic of been able to go where and when I like. Combined with a picnic of homemade food a Kelly kettle a little sunshine and the sound of skylarks what more is needed for a complete day.
Fly casting for bass  on a southern facing shoreline is always going to present problems to all but the most accomplished of casters. Orienting ourselves with the wind at our backs is now on option to take some of the difficulty out of the fishing from time to time.
So I look forward to a little more manoeuvrability and different options for my customers and their fishing during the summer and into the autumn. I’m reminded that I don’t ever have to go far to catch fish.
For an early season estuary foray please mail me at or call at 086 3444557
Bendy rods for 2012 - Jim

Monday 2 April 2012

Bass fishing fly kits

Its great to be working with Irish people,working on new ideas and creating opportunities here, so I guess it was a natural thing when Probassfisher and Viseprey teamed up to offer a range of saltwater flies for bass fishing. Certainly the flies have been very successful along many of the south and eastern coastlines from Wexford, Waterford, Cork and into Kerry. That evidence is visible throughout this site, with lots of 'fishing work' actually done and hard won data learned on the ground, these are not the latest hottest items with a facebook solution.

Our collaboration has focused on the correct fly selection for increased success according to your specific location and the bass fishing requirements at these locations during the season. Hence there are some subtle variations within the kits.

It is also the intention to provide saltwater fly kits for solutions to your Mullet fishing, sea trout fishing and a tentative attempt at some Gilthead bream, bearing in mind the GHB is still very much experimental for us.
Many flies from these kits will cross over to different species at different times, for example some of the seatrout flies will cross over into early season estuary bass solutions

You can order your fly kits for a particular location, time or species or you can simply peruse the recommended lists and order what you need to fill the gaps in your fly box. There is a minimum purchase quantity of eight flies.

To many anglers Wexford and bass fishing are an integrated saltwater fly fishing opportunity, but within that circumstance mullet, seatrout and gilthead bream are all potential targets.

It is the Wexford Bass Collection that we offer first as a fishing solution for you, the following are highly recommended where  – (o) = optional fly from your choice.

Up flies
Mini Flatwings              2 X White and lavender
Mini Flatwings              2 X Sandeel type blend
Mini Flatwings              2 X Dark blend (o) 
Deceivers small            2 X White
Deceivers small            2 X White and chartreuse
Deceivers small            2 X White and olive (o)
Deceivers Medium         2 X White
Deceivers Medium         2 X White and chartreuse
Deceivers Medium         2 X White lavender and grey (o)
Bucktail Deceivers        2 X White
Bucktail Deceivers        2 X White and Chartreuse
Bucktail Deceivers        2 X White and Olive (o)
Hollow Fleyes              2 X White and Grey
Hollow Fleyes              2 X White lavender and grey
Hollow Fleyes              2 X Orange and black (o)
Hollow Fleyes              2 X Hyper green or pink or orange mix (o)

Down flies

Clouser minnows        2 X Olive and white
Clouser minnows        2 X Blue and white (o)
Clouser minnows        2 X Chartreuse and white
Half n half                2 X Chartreuse and white

Total 40 flies in the collection – with the option to mix the set down to 26 flies as a minimum

Offering the additions of the larger flies below if required for later in the year or for attempts at bigger fish

Large Flies
Flatwing (launce)    8 – 9 inches
Sloopy Droopy  6 – 7 inches
Semper type tied hollow – 5 – 6 inches

Its difficult to appreciate the quality here, it is exceptional. For further details please contact me at I will include more photos on Thirtyards later.


stripers1When I started fly fishing for bass there were few if any sources of help available. One of the first works that I came across was Stripers and Streamers from Ray Bondorew which I purchased from the US. It remains in a prominent position on my bookshelf and gets taken down again and again. Ray Bondorew is the creator of Rays fly above right.

Its distinctive simplicity and clarity of approach in a 'quiet' way still influences me today. I got this e-mail from Ray yesterday
Greetings Jim, I've occasionally come across your site and have noticed some interest in some of my patterns and book,
I just began a new website that I think those "across the pond" on your site may find interesting.
Ray Bondorew
Author of "Stripers and Streamers" r

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...