Sunday 29 September 2013

End of 2013 closing in but very busy for 2014!

Bass fishing in Ireland with Jim Hendrick

My guided ‘season’ hasn’t much longer to run at this stage, and in fact many days have been ‘put back’ and left open until 2014, but bass fishing possibilities for the interested angler can remain good up to Christmas time and who knows what may happen?

I have been very busy over the past year and even busier since the beginning of September now that the final year of my tourism development BSc degree has kicked into place. This is probably reflected in the lack of text posts on the website during 2013, time is scarce and valuable!

Both of this years semesters deal with creating authentic, empathetic, genuine and influential experiences for and with customers, in fact authentic experiences seem to be emphasised throughout the syllabus and combining these strategies with a strong local network base is the basis of the final submission. This final submission will close the last year and indeed the BSc degree program in April 2014. Where has the time gone?

At times I think I may be a bit mad but later this week I will also hope to complete the Leave No Trace advanced trainer course. I have been waiting three years to be part of this opportunity and it falls nicely (even if at an extremely busy time) into how I want to develop the business into the future. This is probably the first time that leave no trace principles will be carried into an angling / coastal ethos and it will be an interesting and challenging few days for the group and myself.

Leave No Trace Ireland is a network of organisations and individuals with an interest in promoting the responsible recreational use of the outdoors. As increasing numbers of people seek the beauty and exhilaration of outdoor recreation, our collective mark on the environment and its natural processes, increases. Litter, disturbance to vegetation, water pollution, wildlife, livestock and other people are all indicators of the need to develop a national ethic that protects both natural and cultural heritage. Techniques designed to minimise the social and environmental impacts to these areas are incorporated into the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics Education Programme as seven Principles.

I hope to carry those seven principles into my guided angling services and into the future of SEAi. Guiding is a lot more than simply bringing people fishing it should be an experience and with the LNT principles I’m sure I can enhance that experience into the future. I will also be able to deliver and teach Leave No Trace short Programs. Worth considering too are the angling principles of the FFF seen here.

Ireland's countryside and marine environment is undoubtedly a high quality natural resource, both spatially extensive and diverse in nature. The extensiveness and diversity of the resource base lends itself to the provision of opportunities for a wide range of countryside and marine based recreation activities for both the local population and for an increasing number of tourists.

As pressure on our landscapes and seascapes from recreational use continues to increase, it is necessary that a national system is put in place which will ensure that visitors to the Irish countryside, whether locals or tourists, visit with care.

Working with some European journalists to develop that tourism potential of our seascapes in the past few months has proven both challenging and interesting. With a changed fishery that is more demanding than ever, at times it proved to be very difficult, in fact most of the season it remained as tough as I have ever experienced it.

The latest edition of Voyages De Peches (see above left) includes an article of our experiences on the South Eastern coastline this summer including locations from Waterford Wexford and Cork, what a week that was! Hopefully it can only serve to assist all of us engaged in the Irish angling tourism business!

Friday 27 September 2013

A gift of flies

I received a present of the flies above on Thursday from David Gaudochon. Not only are they Jack Gartside patterns but they have been tied by Jack Gartside himself. David and I spoke at length of the relationship between the spirit that is inherent in something made by a tier that you connect with and then consequently how you fish with a feeling that is like nothing else. Both Brian and Andy do this for me.

Jack is most famous in my mind for the creation of the gurgler fly.

Jack Gartside is counted as one the most innovative and prolifically inventive fly tyers of the modern era. He got his first fly tying lesson in 1956 from Ted Williams, the great Boston Red Sox outfielder. That served as the beginning of a professional tying and angling career that spanned more than 50 years. Jack was one of the first fly tyers profiled in Sports Illustrated magazine (Oct. 12, 1982). His best-known original patterns include the Gurgler, the Sparrow, the Soft Hackle Streamer, and the Gartside Pheasant Hopper. His designs have been featured in Eric Leiser'sBook of Fly Patterns, Judith Dunham's The Art of the Trout Fly, Lefty Kreh's Salt Water Fly Patterns, Dick Stewart's Salt Water Flies, and Dick Brown's Flyfishing for Bonefish.

Sadly, Jack died in December 2009. In 2010 he was selected into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame. It was a long-standing desire of his that his work and this web site continue to be available after he was gone. And so it is.

Jack is the author of Striper Flies, the first book ever specifically written on fly patterns for striped bass. Another book, Striper Strategies, was described by reviewer Steve Raymond as: " of the most remarkable striper-fishing manuals to see the light of day," and by reviewer Tom Meade as "Blessed with bright writing, keen observations, and the most concise advice a striper hunter can find."

Other books by Jack include Secret Flies, The Fly Fisherman's Guide to Boston Harbor, Scratching the Surface, Fly Patterns for the Adventurous Tye,r and Original Salt Water Fly Patterns.

Thursday 26 September 2013

Awesome McMurphy–a testimonial I guess!

Just a quick email to say thanks really, now that I have returned and the brain has had time to process all that went on.  As ever it was great to have my annual pilgrimage to Wexico, that goes without saying, however its the small things that always gets me.

Firstly, I would like to say thanks for keeping it all going during what was a hectic week for you with the unforeseen circumstances at home.  You could have quite easily said to me.....there is a lot going on, would you be happy enough to spend the week at Mrs Nesbitt's.  However, you didn't and your perseverance was noted and very much appreciated.

Another thing that made me happy was to see you fBass fishing in Irelandishing now and again, you do a lot of hard work, under difficult circumstances with the fishery in it's current state and possibly take a lot of the verbal drivel from online sources too seriously.  It was great for me seeing the bend in that fly rod, the tail hanging out of the striping basket and then my dubious ability with a Nikon camera.  It's terrible when the photographer has to encourage the subject to smile!  Though I cannot talk as I am just as bad.  The pic of me at the …… location is the only pic of me with a fish and a proper deep/happy smile.

It is a testament to your ability what you can do with that feckin fly rod........even with the French collection I was whipped!  Imagine......outfishing the client!!!! (JOKING)

The support team!  As ever I am always made to feel very welcome at St John's Road and Eileen did a great job looking after me, plenty of coffee and a hot dinner back at base, what more could I ask for. 
WillBoB.......You can pass my regards to William for taking me in and like yourself, making me feel so welcome......I hope to fish with him again next year! 

What I have learned......I always pick up something new and currently the head is fizzing with ideas.....there is a package en route from Bears Den fly tackle!  Watch this space......I am going to create an abomination of a lure!
Finally, as I stood on the Stena ferry on the Monday morning, a heavy heart was felt!  There is only one real answer for me to feel totally better again, remove the casualty from his current environment...........look out, i may be living approximately 197km from Wexford in the new year.  The sight of that Cork coastline was too much, anyhow, it could be good......just think how many new spots I could find.  Then you could bring the fly rod, I'll supply the Lucozade and the jelly sweets and we could chase some shakey headed silver killers!

Get yourself and Eileen out to the Yard and enjoy a good steak!

Sunday 22 September 2013

Play misty for me

Some nice fish taken yesterday evening on the Cork coast on the fly in very ‘bassy’ conditions. Again thanks to Alan for the quick photos.

My usual and well established colour blend of lavender and grey with a hint of chartreuse is working very well at the moment. Last evenings fly was a slight variation on this as we have added Marabou to the mix – I can almost fish the fly stationery at times and still expect takes.

Landing Gear

Rod – Lefty Kreh Ticrx #7

Reel – Vision Nite

Line – Rio Outbound short # 6

Leader – Five foot poly and Rio fluoroflex plus 4.5kgs

Fly – Deceiver / Semper blend

Friday 20 September 2013

Autumn dreams begin


Bass fishing Ireland

Bass fishing Ireland

Bass fishing wexfordAn early morning start today to catch the change of light, resulted in this nice fish on the fly.

Drifting the fly through the current onto a known lie resulted in a gentle yet powerful take that left me in no doubt I was into something special.

I fished the mini chartreuse and white flatwing on  Rio Outbound short F/I with a five foot poly leader and 10 inches of Rio Flouroflex plus carbon.

Casting ‘upstream’ and mending when possible it was the first time I had fished for some time due to a lot of guiding days – thanks Alan for the opportunity and the rare photos too.

The fish measured 72 cms.


Landing Gear

Rod – Lefty Kreh Ticrx #8

Reel – Vision Nite

Line – Rio Outbound short # 7

Leader – Five foot poly and Rio fluoroflex plus

Fly – Mini flatwing

Thursday 19 September 2013

Full moon fever

Bass fishing wexford


The factor that most affects how an ocean fish feeds is environmental; saltwater angling success depends on a knowledge of the water and of how various gamefish react in that water.

Lou Tabory - Inshore Fly Fishing

Friday 13 September 2013

Unsung heroes and heroines

It has been a bit mad here of late. We have just finished trying to make a bass fishing film for French television. I say trying because it’s always going to be an interesting project and the best laid plans evolve and change plus adding the personality of grumpy Jim capricious fish and film producers under pressure it’s a rollercoaster of trial and error. We got what we needed and the Irish coastline from many different aspects looks great, the fishing as always is based in reality.

bass fishing WexfordOil was laid on the water with the considerable help of David Byrne from IFI (an old stalwart). William my brother who is becoming a great bass fisherman found all the pieces of the jigsaw with straight edges. Philipe and Philipe worked non stop, but none, absolutely none of this would have made any sense if it wasn’t for the person so often on the ground at base camp. I guess there’s a lot I could say about that help, the phone calls, the preparation of food, the changing of arrangements, the listening, and the incessant fishing talk, the bloody boredom!

I simply couldn’t do what I do without Eileen Powell. Happy Birthday!


The post I made below is not so much about the articles as it is about another person on the ground. Patrick Browne works tirelessly at Irish Angler to make the articles and the magazine come alive. There are times no doubt, which are also shared by people who have had similar experiences; when there is a special feeling of seeing your work in print. Patrick brings another dimension to that, a certain empathy for what you are doing that is difficult to explain.

At times I look at Irish Angler and then inevitably draw comparisons to other angling publications. Is any one magazine ‘better’ than any other? I guess it depends what you want from your publication and anyway I always like working as much as possible with Irish business. 

For me I hope to work with Irish Angler and Patrick Browne for a considrable while yet!

The journey continues today and after the past five days it will seem a bit more like normal, another customer arrives in an hour for a week. David Gaudochon is here next weekend with IFI for five days promotion it’s pretty much nonstop on the ground really.....

Friday 6 September 2013

Then and now – From Irish Angler 2009

Bass fishing wexford

Four years ago I wrote these 12 articles from an idea by David Dinsmore editor of Irish Angler – what words would I use now if I had to re-write them I wonder? Some I wouldn’t change at all…

‘…..The portrayal of the fishing and the fishing environment must reflect the ‘performance risk’ accurately and fairly to visiting anglers. We all know yes, that at different times bass can be caught with different methods. All anglers have their preferences and the more sporting the method employed the more the weather can impact negatively upon that method.

It will force you into circumstances where you need to ‘angle’ much more creatively and efficiently. By combining the environmental impact and the challenges that the weather creates for lure and especially fly fishing, this fusion of influences must somehow manage to enhance the experience. In other words, it’s not always easy to come to Wexford to catch bass at the drop of a hat. It can take time and effort, patience and depending on circumstances this could be days, weeks or even years. When it’s difficult it’s the smaller decisions, the glimpses of fish in a wave, the perfect cast into a gale, the surface strike in pouring rain –moments of genuine satisfaction that make bass fishing what it is.’

The Diaries

Thank goodness its flyday

Wednesday 4 September 2013

The summer of 2013 the pattern of (7’s) and some hope!

I smelt the smoke from a chimney for the first time in ages this evening, it got me thinking.

If you had been bass lure fishing from the shore on a regular basis between the years 2000 and 2006 you will have had the experiences to measure and compare those years to the period say between 2007 and 2013 inc.

When David Byrne from IFI first fished with me one morning very early in the millennium I cast an ABU krill three times on 15lb test mono and on the fourth cast I landed a six pound bass, this was not exceptional the fish were simply there – in all of the systems most of the time, right up to the middle of 2007! If you hadn’t fished that early period and lets say you started bass fishing in 2007/2008 you still had a wonderful time over the next few years, the fact is its a remarkable comparison to the previous seven years for anybody who can make it.

I’ve have always held the belief and have had the on ‘the ground experience’, to a large extent, that the weather impact since 2007 including two remarkable winters have had a cumulative impact on the bass fishery. The same point of where we are today is shared on many aspects of the coast by many people, hidden routines and patterns are not obvious to us.

Its not about night time fishing – always expect to catch more bass at night, or slack tide fishing – sometimes fish behave differently and we attribute this to a further cracking of code in the excitement of discovery, or fishing in tight channels when the tide is out, or boat fishing or fishing with soft plastics – these things are always more productive – the fish are not onshore as a general protected population should be, its simple really!

I’m sharing similar experiences with many anglers who fish on the same coast as I do. But speaking to a colleague today who has told me that he has witnessed vast shoals of bass feeding on fry ‘offshore’ all summer fills me with a high degree of hope.

We have a remarkable fish that we don’t fully understand', one that I feel can adjust to patterns in ways we aren’t even aware of. I think they can ‘shut down’ for extended periods and simply wait and whilst the opportunity presents itself they feed, sleep and have sex! Perhaps this remarkable summer has given them an opportunity to ‘bulk’ up on fatty rich food an opportunity that perhaps hasn’t existed for them for quite a while, maybe as much as four or five seasons, why would you run inshore if there was easy pickings offshore and you felt hungry, had done for a while? –  I’d like to see a scale sample from a series of fish from next year and look to see the growth patterns!


From Met Eireann – The summer of 2013 and (7’s)

Mean air temperatures were above average everywhere ranging from 14.4°C at Malin Head to 16.3°C at Shannon Airport. Carlow (Oak Park) had the warmest summer conditions (compared to normal) with a mean temperature of 16.1°C, +1.2°C above its average and its warmest since 2007 (6 years). A small number of stations in the West Southwest and Midlands reported their warmest summer in 10 to 18 years, while most remaining stations had their warmest since 2006/2007. Overall, all three months predominantly were above average except for some parts of the Northwest and West which had below average temperatures in June and August. July had the warmest conditions (compared to average), with differences of +2.5°C or more in parts and with nine stations reporting heat wave (5 consecutive days with maximum temperature over 25°C degrees) conditions from the 7th to the 13th. Many stations reported it as their warmest July on record. All available seasonal highest maximum temperatures were recorded in July with the season’s highest maximum (available so far) was 31.0°C recorded at Dooks, Co. Kerry (climate station) on the 19th, its highest July and summer maximum since 2006 (7 years). Fermoy (Moore Park) recorded a highest maximum of 28.9°C on July 10th, its highest for summer since 1989 (24 years). Most other stations across the country reported their summer maxima as their highest in seven to 18 years. Summer lowest minimum temperatures were all recorded in June, with Mountdillon reporting lowest temperature of 2.8°C on June 5th.  

Rainfall was below average at all stations except for a few isolated stations in the South and Southwest. The lowest rainfall total and percentage of Long-Term Average (LTA) was at Johnstown Castle, with 130.5 mm and 57%?of its LTA, its driest summer since 2000 (13 years).The low summer values at the site were partially attributed to drought conditions (15 consecutive days or more with 0.2 mm rainfall or less) experienced at the station between the 4th and 20th of July. The highest summer rainfall total was at Valentia Observatory with 317.2 mm and 103% of its LTA,  reporting nearly 50% more than its average in June and its wettest June since 2007 (6 years). The majority of stations had their driest summer in seven years. The highest daily fall of summer (wettest day) from data available so far was 62.5 mm at Ballincurrig (Peafield), Co. Cork on July 24th/25th, its highest summer rainfall since 2005 (8 years). 

Sunshine totals were all above average everywhere, with percentage of LTA values ranging from 101% at Valentia Observatory to 120% at Cork Airport. June and July reported sunny conditions everywhere with dull conditions dominating in August. Cork Airport reported the highest summer sunshine hours with 603.1 hours, 265 hours recorded in July, the highest amount of sunshine ever recorded for any given month since the station opened in 1962 (51 years). Knock Airport reported 475.2 hours of sunshine, its sunniest summer in 16 years.  The sunniest days this summer were mostly recorded at the beginning of June with Cork Airport measuring the sunniest day (from available data) on June 4th and 7th with 15.8 hours. Belmullet shared the second highest summer daily sunshine amount with Knock Airport with 15.7 hours, Belmullet’s highest since the summer of 1995 (18 years). 

The maximum sea surface temperature of 20.0°C recorded at the M4 and M5 on July 17th and 26th, respectively, were the highest ever recorded in Irish waters.

The Poulter Index is a method of rating the summer weather (June to August), using a formula based on mean temperature, rainfall and sunshine for selected stations, i.e. the higher the index, the 'better' the summer weather.

This year the index was above average and it is considered to be the best summer since 2006 (7 years).


The fish will be back in late September / October to some extent in greater numbers than they have been (not difficult) (1 > 0) and all will be forgotten by November - until 2014!

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...