Saturday 30 January 2016


Can we catch big bass consistently?

Is this a question we should be interested in?

Is it really that important that we pursue bigger fish?

Remember too in a healthy protected population of fish we could all be catching more and bigger fish – simple!

There’s a considerable angling challenge of course in pursuing bigger fish in a very much reduced population, which often leads us to conclude that once we catch one we have become better anglers. This is fine if we believe we have become a better angler than we have previously been because of the experience and focused effort but not so good if we think this has made us ‘better’, in some ways, than other anglers.

An angler spends forty hours a week for four weeks fishing for bass. He catches one fish greater than ten pounds each week. Without knowing the detail of his considerable effort we would consider him a master bass angler who has caught four specimen fish in a month! Perhaps we should read – after 160 hours of fishing he has caught four specimen fish.

Time on the water is one simple factor that will inevitably yield bigger fish to already capable and experienced anglers. The more time you are willing to invest the more likely it becomes that you will encounter bigger fish.

Some anglers who are prepared to spend a lot of time in pursuit of bigger fish will invest in specific locations with specific techniques, say eight hours a day lifting and dropping plastics in a current for five days to catch a ten pounder. We already know, and often too easily, that this is a deadly technique, so another capable angler spends two 20 hour weekends on the same technique and catches a ten pounder.

One angler catches a ten pounder after a week of fishing one angler after a weekend. It’s a question of perspective. But it is always related to personal effort and learning and technique and time on the water.

It’s probably inevitable that if we spend a lot of time at something we should also get better at it. This may not always be the case, but if we build on our experiences which have helped us to improve then it will be similar with bass fishing. The more time we spend and invest the better we become, if we are learning! To that extent we probably are catching two ten pounders in forty hours of effort. Or one fish in twenty hours of effort and so on.

We can get increasingly consistent with time effort and understanding. Our frequencey of capturing bigger fish will increase. What you do with this ‘learned consistency’ is for you to decide, you’ve earned it, you’ve done the time.

I once showed a very nice man how to cast a lure rod, how to control a surface lure, how to give the fish the bait. It took two hours. On the next tide he caught and landed an eleven-pound bass after twenty minutes of effort. He was happy beyond belief.

Within one year he was catching bass on the lure regularly

I once showed a very nice man how to cast a fly line, how to control a big streamer, how to give the fish the fly. It took two years. During the third year he caught and landed a ten-pound bass after eighteen months of effort. He was happy beyond belief.

Within three years he was catching bass on the fly regularly.

Both are now (if we were to think of it in such a way) on a one big fish every 50 hours and declining time routine ! – that’s if, of course, they stop and are bothered, which is doubtful, to count and weigh and measure that is!

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...