Thursday 31 May 2012

PBF - Shortlisted for Tourism Award

Wexford Business Awards finalists announced

Shortlisted Businesses demonstrate innovation, determination and resilience Over seventy of Wexford’s most innovative and resilient businesses from retailers to manufacturing have been announced as finalists in the 2012 Weuntitled(2)xford Business Awards in partnership with Wexford County Council, the Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford County Enterprise Board, AIB and Wexford Chamber.

The awards aim to recognise those individuals and businesses that represent entrepreneurialism, innovation, diversity and the talent needed to drive a business in today’s challenging environment. Commenting on the calibre and diversity of finalists, Madeleine Quirke, CEO, Wexford Chamber said, “In order to encourage confidence in Wexford businesses, we need to showcase and celebrate those businesses that have demonstrated innovation and entrepreneurship over that past year. With 14 award categories the awards are an excellent way for companies, large or small, to showcase their achievements.”

DSC_0676Having being shortlisted I will take this opportunity to demonstrate the innovative business / guiding practices here at SEAi. Its also a time for me to showcase the quality environment and sustainable guided bass fishing opportunities we have here in Wexford. This is why people travel from all over the world to visit SEAi. I will do this as I have done for the past ten years.  Much more than that I will further increase the awareness of the fishery, its special status and the socio/economic impact that it has in Wexford within circles of people that may not have been previously aware of its existence.

The possible association of a tourism award with a bass angling business would no doubt have very far reaching positive impacts for the industry – fingers crossed.

Interview Friday!

Angling and rural communities

Angling and Rural Communities One of the most important factors in promoting angling-based tourism in rural areas is balancing the desire for increased visitor numbers and associated economic growth with the potential social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts related to tourism development. This is a particular concern in rural areas where wild fish stocks may be more sensitive to increased angling pressure than commercial or stocked fisheries.

There are two related issues at stake:

• Whether developing angling tourism in rural areas creates too much ‘angling pressure’ and damages sensitive fish stocks or the environment.

 • What impact angling tourism has on the visiting angler experience, either through exceeding social carrying capacity or ‘over development’.

Increasingly, rural industries have to operate within parameters that conserve the special qualities of rural areas – and angling is no different. Angling tourism needs to function within the broader context of ‘ecotourism’, defined as supporting environmental, economic and social/cultural sustainability, if it is to be considered a viable component of rural development.

Our research has highlighted some common dilemmas: i) The need to implement sustainable management systems to protect fragile areas; ii) The need to mediate between the at times different aims of conservation, preservation and local development; iii) The need to encourage balanced, broad-based but community-focused economic growth.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Unexpected availability - July

I have some unexpected availability during the summer due to a cancellation. This means both the self catering house at No 7 St Johns Road and the guiding service is available from July 28th through to August 04th (6 days - 7 nights) This is over a great set of tides and will be available at a slightly reduced rate.

Should you feel like a bass fishing holiday in Wexford during that time - please don’t hesitate to contact me at the following

Mobile 086 3444557 -
Home  00353539123351

Best regards

Bass fishing in Ireland

Sunday 20 May 2012

Experience Wexford - a unique sportfishing environment

B(ass) = Mc2

Where M is mass of your lure and c = the speed of the current!!!! Pondering life's imponderables…..


DSC_1260-001Jim Hendrick Bass Seminar 011

Jim Hendrick Bass Seminar 023Jim Hendrick Bass Seminar 038

Jim Hendrick Bass Seminar 048

Thanks to all the guys who attended yesterdays free Intro Workshop as part of F.A.W. – it was a special day for me and I wish you all the best of luck with your bass fishing in the future.

Ken thanks for the photos and Dan for your able assistance, sorry we were a bit squashed I didn’t realise the numbers.

Thursday 17 May 2012

A time for reflection – click HERE

So its the ‘closed season’ again. May 15th – June 15th and I’m closed. This year its a little different though – on reading the Draft National Bass Policy one of the amendments might be in relation to this ‘closed season’ if it passes. Closed for spawning over an optimal time its a good idea and does force us to think a little.

Thing is, that optimal spawning time moves in relation to the influences – fish don’t use schedules. Many years fish have spawned before or sometimes spawn after the dates, so the policy is correct to suggest a re-interpretation.

Respecting the close of the season empowers you (even if you may have questions) as an angler to pursue the ownership, the protection, and to challenge and to contribute to the changes that are necessary now more than ever to protect and develop this fishery - like a broken record I'm saying it again - we have something that the world wants these words are taken from a post made two years ago HERE and now maybe something is changing after all.

Time to to think about what it is as anglers that we don’t know. Areas in which we fish, when we fish and how we fish, HERE in this post is another reason as to maybe why we should consider areas of conservation for specific times – we don’t know much really, we are not well informed!

This blog is loaded with similar thoughts as to those expressed in the Bass policy plan, its logical as to why that might happen. Common sense I guess. HERE is an expression of ‘socio’ benefits, HERE antagonistic questions as to why not, HERE a sample among hundreds of economic benefits, HERE the experiences, HERE the first post made on this site, the work goes on like it has done for the past five years on this site and will continue to do so. HERE and HERE……….

The fishing is closely tied to all the experiences good and bad – sometimes HERE is just too damn close.

While our politicians debate bass fishing in the Dail as seen from the post below HERE , it might be no harm to take time out and remind them of your bass angling activity in this country and the special status of the fish – click below for a change! or

Monday 14 May 2012

Dail Eireann Debate May 10th 2012

Thursday, 10 May 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 764 No. 5

Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine Information Simon Coveney  if he will undertake new research to determine the stock levels of sea bass in Irish waters with a view to looking at the feasibility of allowing small boats to fish for sea bass for even a defined period of the year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23330/12]

Deputy Simon Coveney: This is a particulary sensitive issue. Irish vessels are currently precluded from landing sea bass under the Bass (Conservation of Stocks) Regulations 2006, S.I. No. 230 of 2006, and the Bass (Restriction on Sale) Regulations 2007, S.I. No. 367 of 2007. The complete ban for the commercial fishing of sea bass applies to Irish fishing vessels in all areas. These regulations were introduced as a co-ordinated set of measures with the sea bass fishing conservation by-laws. The by-laws imposes a bag limit on anglers of two bass in any one period of 24 hours and a ban on angling for bass during the spawning season, from 15 May to 15 June in any given year.

These measures have been in place since 1990 and were introduced arising from the dramatic decline of sea bass stocks in the 1970s. Bass in Irish waters are a slow growing fish and, at a recruitment age of roughly five years, are late maturing fish. The distribution of bass around Europe is found mainly in southern waters, including the inshore waters of the south west of England and the English Channel. It is farmed extensively in Mediterranean waters.

The Marine Institute carried out an annual bass survey between the years 1996 and 2007. This survey validates previous research on the species and indicates that the stock of bass in Ireland’s inshore waters remains greatly depleted since the 1960s and 1970s. In Irish waters, the available scientific advice is that the sea bass stock appears depleted and should be allowed to rebuild. The evidence suggests that sea bass in Irish waters do not exhibit the same strong recruitments as recorded closer to continental Europe and the species abundance remains depressed.

Studies conducted in the 1970s in Ireland when commercial netting was permitted by smaller boats found that the majority of net caught fish were immature. The shoaling nature of these immature fish close to shore coupled with the dependence on a good year class means that the sustainability of the stock can be disproportionately depleted by inshore netting when compared to other commercial species.

Additional information not given on the floor of the House

Studies submitted to my Department argue that the value to the economy of a bass caught by an angler and which is returned alive is many multiples of its value to the commercial sector and I am aware of a number of businesses, such as fishing guides, hotels and guest accommodation in the south, which are reliant on this bass tourism. I understand that Inland Fisheries Ireland, IFI, is currently undertaking a socioeconomic survey of recreational angling in Ireland. The overall objective of the survey is to establish the current volume and value of domestic and overseas recreational angling in Ireland. It will run over the course of 2012.
From a scientific perspective, our knowledge on the biology and stock dynamics of sea bass in Irish waters is poor. There is a need for new research in this area. Following recent discussions, the Marine Institute and Inland Fisheries Ireland are considering developing a research programme to deepen our understanding of sea bass. This will inform future discussion on policy and management of the resource.

Deputy Mick Wallace: It is clearly very important to protect the angling sector of the industry. There are huge benefits for the economy from angling. However, I get the impression that much of the research that has been carried out appears to have been carried out by the anglers. Since the regulations were introduced, Irish boats have not been allowed to fish off the coast, but things do not appear to have changed a great deal. Are the rules in place benefiting the stock? One would imagine that with less fish being caught the stock would be higher. The French and British boats are still allowed to fish-----

Deputy Simon Coveney: It is much further out at sea.

Deputy Mick Wallace: Yes, it is past the 50 km mark. Given that they are allowed fish there, do we know that letting small boats fish off the coast, even for a short period of the year, would definitely impact on the angling industry?

Deputy Simon Coveney: These are fair questions. We are trying to take a cautious approach towards this stock because it is very vulnerable. If we start catching them commercially again, we could do huge damage and they would take a very long time to recover. They do not grow quickly, unlike other stock that can recover quickly. It is not just the inshore fishermen and the smaller boats that are concerned about this. I have been asked about this by the owners of bigger boats also, who are actually discarding large volumes of bass which they catch while trying to catch other fish. They say it is crazy because they must dump dead fish over the side of the boat, and ask if they can be allowed to bring in a small quota. The danger with that is that if one agrees to allow a certain quota of fish to be caught, one sends a signal that it is okay to start catching bass commercially again. One is then into a quota management situation for a very delicate stock. I would be slow to do that.

We must make decisions on the basis of science and information. We are currently in discussions with the Marine Institute on ways in which we could conduct scientific research on the bass stock. I am very protective of this stock. First, it is very valuable. Second, it is very important for both angling and tourism. That is not to say it could not be very important for commercial fisheries as well, but I would require convincing before changing the current approach towards banning the commercial netting of bass given that it is such a delicate species.

Deputy Mick Wallace: While I obviously do not agree with overfishing, could more research be carried out to ascertain the best thing is being done?

On a different point in respect of angling, I was contacted by a person from Wexford, Mr. Ashley Hayden, who maintained that the angling industry in Ireland is worth approximately €100 million. He reckons south-east Ireland potentially has a world-class angling product but that it is poorly developed and marketed, with the result that only 5% of Irish tourist anglers stop in the south east and generally only do so for a single bed night. Mr. Hayden personally visited a major angling association in south Wales with a membership of 3,000 and over the past six months, has managed to get 300 people from this association to come to the south-east region of Ireland for a week. As they spent an average of €1,000 per head, he reckons doing this has brought approximately €300,000 into the local economy. He thinks a professional should be appointed in the south-east region to promote angling and to further develop what he did himself.

Saturday 12 May 2012

A season

When does it start and when does it end? - As a bass fishing guide its one of those most ‘frequently asked questions’ that I experience. For me operating a business based on fishing I find it necessary to provide accurate and real information to queries from customers based on what I see and experience during my working day on the coast. After all this is where and how I do my job.

This coastal intimacy allows me create a sense of reality for any travelling customer either from within Ireland or from elsewhere in the world. For me my guiding season starts on June 16th and ends on October 31st and has done so for the last ten years. Within those dates I manage client days accordingly – often making cancellations and moving dates.

DSC_1199I very seldom take international customers on guided trips to Wexford prior to June 16th or post October 31st as many years of experience has thought me that the fishing is simply too unpredictable, always has been and it looks like its staying that way for a while. Yes of course there will always be exceptional circumstances, like March of this year and April of last. Last year was great early and terrible later, with somewhat of a return in September! Reasons are many as to why, see this post here –  Influences.

Of course this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go bass fishing when and where you want, especially if you live in Ireland close to the coast and don’t have to travel far – but, travelling to Wexford on spec from an international location with the expectation of a fully operable fly and lure bass fishery before May 15th – we would have a lot to talk about!

Some people, after much discussion and chat often wish to come just for the experience and to learn of the fishing anyway, a bit like Alan below - this is done of course, not regularly but done and all possibilities are discussed including the high likelihood of disappointment in fish numbers or the possibility the fishing just might click.
We are lucky as Irish sea anglers living close to the shore, DSC_1178-001we can pick and choose our moments, make a dash to the coast and catch some fish at different times. This is not always evidence of seasonal stability but more often fish are reacting to irregular early or late favourable influences.

Out of a personal rating of five I award April and May a score of 2 – its a speculative time of year after all, but from June 16th through to October 31st - is in my mind a defined and valid guiding season for the travelling angler. Within these days nothing can be confirmed other than optimal tidal periods but based on considerable guiding experiences I expect the fishery to be at its potential best between these dates, and sometimes even a little later!

For me the Wexford bass fishing season for fly and lure begins somewhere around mid April and ends during November or a little later, of course this is not the same thing as a valid bass guiding season.

Fisheries awareness week

Bass fishing open workshop

Summertime, makes me feel fine.


The first of the swifts of summer arrived in Wexford this morning, about ten days later than I first recorded them in 2009.

Alan pictured above jumped, slipped, slithered, walked, fell, splashed, boated, drove, casted and casted all along the Wexford coast over the past three days. We found loads of clear water, deep water, brown water, current, breaking waves, shallow sunny sheltered coves and sandy estuaries.

The fishing remained very difficult. After a ‘turn-on’ on Tuesday they ‘turned off’ again like it does a lot of the time so early in the season.

And in reality there is only so much that one angler can do under the circumstances.

But boy did we have fun and the things we saw and experienced…..well Alan can tell you all about his PB landed on Friday afternoon.

Wednesday 2 May 2012


I enjoyed a brilliant day today with Kevin Cronin, polar explorer and sailor - we went south out of the influence of the persistent north easterlies

Kevin and the other brave Polar team adventurers can be seen here

Landing Gear today

Rod: Illex element rider 220M
Reel: Shimano twin power
Line: Sunline monster 8 kg
Leader: Rio Fluoroflex 7 kgs
Lure: Illex I-Shad - Illex Gambit jig head

Sunshine, ‘secret’ locations and blue skies lead us to fish today in the improving conditions. God knows its been difficult enough for the past few days and now with a bit of luck it might hold over this set, but I’m not holding out too much hope regarding the weather.

Fly and lure fishing were the order of the day and its Kevin’s first bass he’s caught in more than forty years – it was worth the wait and now a long fishing summer and autumn lies ahead for him to enjoy.

Thanks for making it easy.

Spooled material

Main Image

Scientific Anglers is pleased to announce it's redesigned tippet spool and updated label graphics. The new spool features an independent, free wheeling hub that allows the tippet spool to spin freely when joined together. The hub can be retracted to become flush with the spool body when used alone, or with other tippet spools on the market. Each of the spools are colour coded to correspond to the tippet material type. Green for freshwater nylon, blue for saltwater hard mono, and orange for fluorocarbon. The spools are also moulded with UV inhibitors to help protect the tippet from degenerating UV rays. Built into the spool rim is a razor to cut the material right where you want it. The tippet material is managed by a colour coded tippet retainer band that also has the size of the material printed on it.

Tuesday 1 May 2012


During 2007, 2008, 2009 the Jet Stream has been at an abnormally low latitude across the UK, lying closer to the English Channel, around 50°N rather than its more usual north of Scotland latitude of around 60°N. However, between 1979 and 2001, it has been found that the position of the jet stream has been moving northward at a rate of 2.01 kilometres (1.25 mi) per year across the Northern Hemisphere.

Source Wikipedia
Fish Returns


Sometimes somethings just fall into place

Follow me, follow you

Bass will follow your fly and lure many times without taking. How many times this happens when we don’t see the phenomenon we can only guess. On the rare occasion when we are lucky enough to witness the behaviour its very exciting and interesting.
  1. The fish follows for a short period and then suddenly veers away at speed. The fish has seen you – Action – lower your profile, check your clothing colour and fishing position.
  2. The fish follows for a long period very close to the fly or lure and swims away slowly without a take. The fish is inspecting the bait closely, doesn’t see you, is interested in what it sees but not sufficiently for a take. Action – check for any bait present and change colour of fly or lure to match – move towards more translucency and constancy in your speed of retrieve
  3. The fish follows a distance from the lure and swims away after a short period. The fish is interested in the bait but is not convinced. Action – check for any bait present and change size,type and colour of fly
  4. Groups of three or four fish follow but don’t take. The fish are feeding selectively Action – find the bait present and match it as best you can
  5. The fish follow regularly for long distances but don’t take even after adjustments have been made. Fish are interested but not hungry Action – increase speed of retrieve or fish two flies, lure with teaser OR – change to a less dense fly of minimal material
  6. The fish is visible you have cast to him but he wont take – The fish is spooked and will move off Action – stop casting and wait for 15 minutes then try again
No two circumstances are the same and generally most bass will show an interest in your fly or lure sufficient for them to eat it. If you are witnessing a LOT of follows with no takes then always try adjusting what you can change - your retrieve speed, the size, colour, type and shape of fly or lure are all yours to control.

Some thoughts about colour decisions 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...