Saturday 22 February 2014

Coastal Tourism–Ireland?

Written by Gillian Mills –

The European Commission has presented a new strategy to support coastal and maritime tourism in Europe. Recognising the sector's potential for sustainable growth and job creation, the strategy outlines 14 EU actions 'to help coastal regions and businesses tackle the challenges they face and strengthen the sector's position as a key driver of Europe's blue economy'.

Included is a break-down of tasks that Member States, regions and industry stakeholders can undertake to complement the actions. 

The proposed actions include 'facilitating closer cooperation and dialogue across Europe between all coastal tourism stakeholders, public-private partnerships, promoting skills and innovation, promoting ecotourism, and creating an online guide to funding opportunities to help drive investment.

"Coastal and maritime tourism was identified in our 'Blue Growth' strategy as one of the key drivers for creating growth and new jobs, particularly in our coastal areas which often suffer from high unemployment," remarked European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki. 

Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Industry, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Antonio Tajani said he considered tourism to be a "fundamental economic leverage for growth in Europe, around which to build dedicated, consistent and integrated policies.

"A targeted strategy on coastal and maritime tourism highlights the potential of this important sector of tourism and the role it can play to fight unemployment, in particular among young people," he added.

The strategy also outlines challenges such a gaps in data and knowledge; volatile demand; high seasonality; a lack of adequate skills and innovation and difficulties accessing financing. 

'At the same time, it will make the sector's activities sustainable, preserve natural and cultural heritage, reap significant economic and environmental benefits, and help make the sector more competitive globally.'


Coastal and maritime tourism includes beach-based and nautical, cruising or boating tourism and is an essential driver for the economy of many coastal regions and islands in Europe.

It employs almost 3.2 million people, generating a total of €183 billion in gross value-added for the EU economy, representing over one third of the maritime economy gross product. Tourism is a growing business: in 2013, the number of nights spent in hotel or similar establishments reached a peak of 2.6 billion nights in the EU28, up by 1.6% from 2012[1].

Unlocking the potential of coasts and seas would contribute to the wealth and well-being of coastal regions and the EU's economy in general, while ensuring a sustainable and long-term development of all tourism-related activities.

The strategy is to be discussed at a Conference organised with the Greek Presidency on 10 March in Athens, which will bring together authorities and businesses and other stakeholders. 

Gillian Mills – Inshore – Ireland


Download of Full document available here -


Some extracts from

Study in support of policy measures for maritime and coastal tourism at EU level
Specific contract under FWC MARE/2012/06 -
SC D1/2013/01-SI2.648530

From page 5

“..although good practices has emerged in the past decades, mainstream business models in maritime and coastal tourism still seem to pose increasingly unsustainable challenges – although to different extents – due to persisting negative externalities in relation to social and environmental consequences for local communities, skills and qualifications of workers, consumption and exploitation of local natural resources.“

From page 16

Niche tourism12 is usually referring to such locations and/or services where “[…] profitability no longer rests solely on economies of scale and the exploitation of mass undifferentiated markets. Economies of scope, systems gains, segmented markets, designed and customised holidays are becoming more and more important for profitability and competitiveness in tourism”13. Niche maritime and coastal tourism therefore focuses on specific added-value services or locations attracting a potential lower volume of visitors, but which may value quality of services better than cost-effectiveness, due to higher spending willingness. This business model has largely benefitted from the recent emergence of new tourism-related social media and telecom services14, therefore allowing more selective and wealthy tourists to access highly personalised experiences through the emergence of dedicated “niche tourism” or even “luxury tourism” web agencies.

Examples of niche tourism are wellness and medical tourism, but also forms focusing on sports, adventure tourism, wildlife, eco,gastronomy and luxury tourism. Related tourism destinations and services are not necessarily grouped by geographic proximity or sea-basins, but are rather spread across coastal regions depending on specific added-value given by local natural and culture resources, or even local business creativity and ability to provide unique services and experiences.


In the context of all of the above its worth noting a recent comment made to Inshore-Ireland in an article regarding the collapsing Irish inshore fishery

“Also speaking to this paper, Eamon Dixon of the Erris Inshore Fishermen’s Association said it was only in the last two years that the Sea-fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has been in a position to address the problems.

But he cautions that the current level of control is not a deterrent as the agency is under-resourced, with too many areas to cover: food safety, sampling, EU audits and fisheries control.

“Unlicensed fishing is the norm in the inshore fishery, posing market risks and biological instability and a significant black market economy has developed. If we are serious about tackling this problem, Ireland needs to put real and robust long-term management plans in place on a species by species basis.” 

Source – Inshore-Ireland


A little bit of fishing in your day - Jim

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Monday 17 February 2014

Bending the sand

“One legged oystercatchers limping along a mirrored strand take off and land again and little waders run quickly in groups backwards and forwards reflected in the shallow waters. The curlews sudden startled cry, a fright, as you walk back a late October estuary the sky already darkening.

All these things bred into your skin into your person into to what you are, into what you have become over years – north winds, south winds, east winds, sunshine, frost, blue skies, rain, salt and sand. The shape, the colour and the sound of the sea the waves that break on the shore into white bass water where you know it will happen, you can sense it, and you know it instinctively.

All these things have built in me over many years – from these countless repeated and yet different experiences and messages I have a sense of where I am – I am home.

And into this you must add the fishing, what you know is what you know because it has been forged in this instinct and experience. You see the gulls struggle against a grey drizzly sky and you get the heavy rod, the #ten, and your heart is racing because its happening and you can be in the middle of it and you move so quickly you hardly remember getting there and you almost run to the location to get a cast off. This is where I am most happy, this is what I understand, have understood for a long time now.

The fishing and the fishing and the fishing. You wait for spring to come and you see the way the winter waves have bent the sand and the sandbars, the new entrances the new exits the different flow and where it was once safe is now dangerous or is now a new fish holding spot. Maybe this year the fish move differently into different places at different times, maybe not and the familiar anxiety and excitement around the arrival of a new season begins again”.

For more about what it means to be a saltwater guide working in Ireland go here

This is Fly – Feb-March ‘14


Sunday 16 February 2014

Inspired to a new EPIC level

Tim Harrisson and his Dad Colin were some of my customers during year two of my guiding service, eight years ago now - Colin's words below, received by a letter he sent a few weeks after his visit, still mean a lot to me. It was one of those magic moments. If I can achieve this on a day by day basis then I know I am doing my job properly.

“ thought us where the fish might lie, and how to cast to the right position and use the waves and tide to take the lure into the right place. The result of all that was that we were able to hook and land some unforgettable fish and those memories will last forever”

Colin Harisson pictured right - 2005 Then aged 69.


Tim Harrisson was duely inspired enough by what he saw and experienced in Wexford to go on later and establish his own very successful bass guiding business in Wales -

Now Tim has raised the bar even further yet again, he sent me this link to his new site completely out of the blue last evening, with some very generous and complimentary words included in this post Battered Bruised and Blind

“….When surface lure fishing for bass was known to a very few people (only around 8 years ago did the dawn break on us Brits) there was precious little choice available on the UK market. It was Jim Hendrick the original, now much copied and still the best Irish bass guide (find him here That taught me the marvel, the wonder and the addiction of the LC Sammy”. Tim Harrisson - 2014

Good luck with the new adventure Tim always great to hear from you.

Friday 14 February 2014

From Irish Bass to Cuban Trevally–Mr Joe c’est superb

1-fish (45)

I guess I’m regularly asked the most popular of bass fishing questions “Jim what is your favourite bass fishing lure”? There’s a post(s) on here somewhere where I answer that question and while its not definitive, it moves between three or four and I do have a great fondness for Orion lures, have had for a long time now and they have a special place in my heart. The sticker and the Joe are beyond doubt some of the best I have ever fished with.

Some moments here and here

The photo to the right was my first introduction to the Mr Joe back in late summer 2003 – this is the original resin model as cast by Eric. Ten years later during the summer of 2013 Sakura released a modified version and lo and behold the 10,5 cm (23g) version rapidly became a competitor for a top place lure for me (not easily done in my house) mind you! Its not going to replace the original Joe (nothing ever could) but it does add a dynamic that is different perhaps its the sound that’s generated by the new version (similar to the sound of a sammy or bonnie for that matter). I can strongly recommend the white and the white and chartreuse version at 10.5 cms especially on rough days…….the best really!

1-Voyages_de_Peche_Sakura_Sakura_Mr_Joe_poisson_2Digne réplique du leurre artisanal en résine Orion Mr Joe, la version Sakura se distingue avant tout par un corps en plastique et l’ajout de petites billes bruiteuses. Conçu avec une armature intégrale « full wire » ce stickbait coulant peut résister aux mauvais traitements infligés par les prédateurs tropicaux. En version 10,5 cm (23 g) ou 12 cm (35 g) ce leurre surprend par ses qualités balistiques : il fuse vraiment très loin, et droit ! Premier gros point fort. Une fois qu’il touche l’eau on le laisse couler quelques instants et il nage ensuite en « walk the dog » à la perfection lorsqu’on le récupère en imprimant des petits coups de scion. Le Mr Joe est donc une véritable arme secrète pour attaquer des postes ou des chasses de loin en bateau ou depuis le bord avec des conditions adverses tant il se lance bien ; il s’est révélé formidablement efficace (en coloris blanc ou blanc/dos cha1-Voyages_de_Peche_Sakura_Mr_Joe_poissonrtreuse) aux îles Bijagos et à Cuba notamment car très peu de poissons locaux le laissent passer sans lui donner la chasse… Et lui mettre un bon coup de dents ! Egalement testé en Irlande, il s’est avéré être un vrai « joker » les jours ventés avec une mer agitée. En fait, ici à Voyages de Pêche, on se demande bien où ce leurre ne serait pas « prenant » tant il est bon !
Rapport qualité prix très intéressant : 12 et 14 € (NB : Armement à changer si on vise des poissons musclés avec une tresse de 30 lb et plus.)

Thursday 13 February 2014

The little Red Book of

Bass fishing in Ireland"... too many self-professed experts have made too much money complicating this sport. In reality, fly fishing is a lot simpler than many people think. You don't need to know the Latin names of every insect, nor do you need to make 70-foot casts, in order to enjoy yourself.

The true path to enjoying fly fishing lies in every angler's spirit."

Kirk Deeter – The little red book of fly fishing.



“…the due diligence paid by both authors in breaking down the basics of gear, reading water and thankfully, etiquette, is solid stuff for anyone. At pocket-sized, it carries comfortably in a day pack for alpine or tidal missions beyond the world of wi-fi” – JG @ FFJ

Monday 10 February 2014

Bass Fishing in Dublin.

Just been talking to Henry from Henrys Tackle in Dublin. I wanted to collect a new lure rod from him, rang him to tell him I would be up to collect it (romantic weekend away) and then promptly got roped into something by both Pat and Henry. I’m in trouble, bigtime!

End result is I will be in Henrys shop on Saturday 15th from about 10:00 to 16:00. If you would like to discuss any aspects of your bass fishing, that you might think I could help you with, on either Fly or Lure then why not drop in for a chat.

In fact because its a special year for me – if you do drop into the shop put your name in the hat for a free draw, PRIZE One FREE days guided/workshop on fly or lure in Wexford.



Saturday 8 February 2014


Recycled commercial fishing net material used in angling solution!

Any body that  knows me well also realises quite quickly I have a sad obsession with fishing bag solutions. The latest one to catch my eye is Fishponds Encampment Lumbar Pack. Apparently more flexible than a veteran yoga instructor this bag is one of the latest entrants into the Most Versatile Pack contest. Bass fishing with Jim HendrickThank god for such a thing!

Sized for a couple of fly boxes and all your accessories, yet with enough support for heavier loads, what caught my eye too is that it's constructed of recycled commercial fishing net material (Cyclepond). Fishpond are helping remove old nets from the ocean and beaches by creating a value for them and their high-tech recycling process uses 27% fewer natural resources and reduces greenhouse emissions by 28% compared to using virgin nylon. 

The ELP is fitted with water-resistant zippers, cord loops for securing yet more gizmos, and nifty zippered pockets along the lumbar straps for quick access to the important stuff.

Im gonna have to stop this!

Thursday 6 February 2014

Catching the fish, fundamentals.

“Fish don't care who you are or what you've done.bass fishing with Jim Hendrick In order to gain the most from our personal fishing experience we would be well advised to take our lessons from the fish and not from touters of popular and trendy secret information. Granted, a small part of this information is valid, but much of it is a marketing smoke screen. The business of fishing is big business and it is not about catching fish but rather catching the attention of the fisherman for reasons of their own. Experienced fishermen are the ones who know about catching fish, ask them how to do it.

We tend to make fishing more complicated than it is. Year after year the same fishermen catch 90-percent of the fish. They do it by using their intelligence and by being alert to what is happening at the moment. They have learned the fundamentals and they make sure they put them into practice. They know how baitfish and gamefish interrelate; they are aware of the normal patterns of fish migration; they understand the physical and mechanical limitation of their tackle and learn from their experiences not from their routines”

Ken Abrames – StriperMoon Fundamentals

Wednesday 5 February 2014

50 days and (some) nights too

It’s simple really, I have my head down; have had for a while and I guess it’s a case of having to do what’s necessary for the moment but I’m nearly there, I can see light at the end of the tunnel! This is the last semester of my degree programme, thank god, but with it comes a greater effort needed to clear this last hurdle before completion at the end of April, it occupies a lot of my time. After four years it’s in sight at last.

On top of that I’m lucky to be working in a very flexible situation for a company here in Wexford. What started as a planned short winter ‘system implementation’ consultancy has now extended into or morphed into a much more demanding and yet satisfying role in project management at the company. We have managed to agree a ‘flexible’ work schedule that allows me to fish and work to a large extent when the season is running through 2014 and beyond.

Thing is, the third item, the fishing and the fishing business needs its own momentum maintained. I have had to relax off this for a while and I guess it’s evident from the lack of posts of any content on Probassfisher. This is a risky business as any slip or lack of focus in the fishing business and it goes backwards very quickly. But I have no intention of letting that happen. In fact I will have a lot to celebrate in 2014.

As I have completed ten years of international guiding and enter year eleven a few things are coming to an end and are being completed, some are changing. I am fifty this year and intend to do a LOT of personal fishing, something that I have missed really badly working as a fishing guide, I’m not complaining mind. Normally my guiding season runs to about 70 days of guiding plus maybe 20 SWFF workshops depending on the nature of spring and late autumn, this year I’m cutting some summer time for my family and myself, a personal birthday present, I’m catching up!

On top of that I started working with Glenda Powell in mid last December with the intention of completing the APGAI instructor’s programme. This is the last piece of a long and difficult jigsaw that hopefully I can complete before the end of 2014. And that’s it, no more. With a completed BSc degree in Tourism enterprise management, advanced trainer leave no trace, trained to train and hopefully the last hurdle, the APGAI completion, I will bring these along with the Season 2014 plan to move and develop the fishing into 2015 and beyond.

Bass fishing Ireland

The 50 days and nights of 2014 that I’m keeping for ‘me’ is of course an opportunity to fish in places and with people all along the coasts of Ireland.

I recently met and chatted to a young creative Wexford film maker. We have a schedule of sorts laid in for 2014 for a short film on Irish saltwater fly fishing that I hope we can make together and with other people too. It starts later this month with some of the tying sequences being shot, but not in the usual manner!

I’m seriously considering moving to on a semi-permanent basis, this is a small project that has evolved over two years and I think the 50 days (and nights) of personal fishing, my thoughts and techniques will feature on THIRTYARDS rather than probassfisher, perhaps only for 2014, who knows?

With European magazine editorials lined up, customers too, working with the Marine Institute, Glenda, 50 days of fishing freedom, developing THIRTYARDS, coastal destinations and making the film plus lots more I have a happy and busy year to look forward to.

Who knows I might see you out there!

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...