The bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

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The bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby JimH » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:51 pm

A thin sliver of silver moon provided enough light for us to see a little. It was all we needed. Casting regularly into the distance of the rocky bay, David’s lure splashed down once again and as he worked it closer we used our now highly tuned hearing to track its progress across the calm surface. We listened intently for that aggressive attack – that unmistakable sound - PHLOW, PHLOW! I anticipated a big fish under the circumstances.

The big fish never showed up, but that’s just one part of bass fishing for you! The heightened sense of anticipation and at the same time remaining realistic, enhances the experience. There is always the possibility of success when things are right, and even if it doesn’t quite materialise, the acceptance that both you and I having worked hard at the fishing without a magic end result does not lead to disappointment. Both of us have done our best. Its part of the service, part of the experience the close interaction leaves you with something meaningful, only to return in anticipation again.

David Norman chose to fish with me for three days fully utilising the guiding services for bass lure fishing. He had, over the winter considered other ventures – a visit to the spring show in Nantes, France for a weekend, a trip to the UKBASS AGM, but instead he chose to come to Wexford. The socio-economic impact of his visit over those three days, whilst by itself may not seem significant, but the ‘knock on’ effects of repeat business and referrals is considerable, not only to myself but to other small business’s in Wexford.

Look closely at David’s spend for his three days of bass fishing

Four nights B+B 200.00
Three days guiding 545.00
Evening meals and lunch 110.00
Local shop purchases 125.00
Miscellaneous spend 85.00

Tackle purchase at SEAi 135.00

Total 1200.00


David has contributed to the bottom line of four different business in the Wexford town area

www.cuasnog.com
www.probassbasfisher.com
www.theyard.ie
www.greenacres.ie

Leaving with something worthwhile after his three days fishing in Wexford encourages customers like David to return again and again. The low impact and sustainable fishing that he enjoys ensures that he can return next year to expect the same quality of fishing. The superb facilities and customer care David, and many others, have felt at Catrionas Cuasnog fills me with the confidence that once I dropped David at the door I knew he was been completely and competently looked after. The food and the services at both Greenacres and The Yard are exceptional and accessible – all of this and more is within 500 metres of SEAi.

On the opening day of the 2010 bass fishing season between seven thirty and nine thirty in the morning, David Norman caught and returned 18 bass to 5lbs. All fish were caught on surface lures in crystal clear water over a reef often in less than ten feet deep in an absolute pristine environment.
David fished with a seven foot rod and small spinning reel many fish were taken at less than 15 yards which were followed by other members of the shoal – we witnessed this many times and much much more over the three wonderful days.


Both he and I have memories that are priceless and beyond compare. Memories that will stay with me forever. It still continues to be an experience for me too.

Regrettably there is an inherent fear inside of me somewhere that speaks when I mention numbers of fish. I mention it here this time only to describe the quality of the fishery but I remain anxious that others would use the data and similar sources like it to build an alternative case for exploitation that would destroy the fishery in a very short space of time. Apart from that both size and numbers of fish don't impress me.

I believe that you cannot develop a quality recreational fishery and sing its praises and possibilities without having the support of comprehensive fisheries protection, management and education. In a country where Government policy makes no sense, interpretation of data can be used in all sorts of creative ways. Unless you have alternative reasons that go beyond concern, thought, and creating sustainable angling experiences into the future, it is absolutely necessary to be responsible in your portrayal, actions and interactions with the bass fishery in this country.

David will be back at the end of July. He has also booked for 2011 So have many like him.
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby kevin conlon » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:19 am

€545 for 3 days?...is that all :lol:
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby Tanglerat » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:24 am

kevin conlon wrote:€545 for 3 days?...is that all :lol:


Worth every cent, too. And I'm not laughing about it!
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby immunecfg » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:47 am

Guiding for tourists is a great way to find places you would not normally find, if it brings more money to the economy then its all good news. I enjoyed the read breaking it all down showing exactly what money went where; even anglers in the local area give to the economy with regards to Bass fishing.

It seems simple to see that Bass fishing to the local economy via recreational means would be far more valuable than commercial fishing.

I guess its not the anglers that don’t need convinced, rather the money grabbing politicians.
Species 2011: Bass (FINALLY), Mullet, Flounder, Mackeral, Pollock, Coal fish.


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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby petekd » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:04 am

Nice piece there Jim and in reponse to the remark on cost, I think thats pretty reasonable in all fairness for 3 full days if thats someones main source of income.
Fluff chucking is the new black..... Rampant Wreckfish is a fly angler in denial :D
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby JimH » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:15 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys.
I'm not sure whether the cost is interpreted as too cheap or too expensive - in respect of the following this is what is provided on an average guided day

Two four hour sessions - which frequently extend into five hrs
Transport to and from the venue each time
Optimisation of your session based on location selection - thirty years of genuine learned experience on the Wexford coast
Public liability insurance whilst fishing and travelling
Minute by minute interaction in terms of technique, presentation, retrieves, lure or fly choice, distance etc
Supply of backup and support material rod, reel, line lures and flies
Light packed snack and drink
I do not fish when guiding so focus is on you
Seven years experience as a professional bass fishing guide
Continued back up support via e-mail or voice
Advice as regards quality equipment future choices
Enhanced learning experience to improve your own fishing

Remember that 99.9% of fish returned alive - zero impact on the resource!
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby alby » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:30 pm

kevin conlon wrote:€545 for 3 days?...is that all :lol:


I've been fortunate enough to fish with / be guided by Jim. For what's provided and the knowledge gained, it is genuinely brilliant value.
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby shamoo0804 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:49 pm

At €180 a day I'd say its money well spent.

Great post Jim, a very interesting read.
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby round_ourway » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:18 pm

Seriously thinking about booking a day the next time we are down in wexford.. The amount of time spent running around not knowing if a place was going to reward us or not or even what the best tactics were for the said area.. I would say alot less stressful also...
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby willie bendit » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:24 pm

1st post,new to site,so here goes,well done,Jim H. as usual,a considered,and intelligent post by an intelligent and considerate angler/conservationist,and no,Im not related to Jim,or have no connection to any of the sites mentioned ! Jims articles are always thought provoking.keep it up. :D
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby nicefish » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:27 pm

Is there a refund if you blank :lol:
The best things in life aren't things.
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby jw » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:35 pm

i agree with the general point above that commercial fishing is economic
stupidity. somebody told me in a pub, so the figures might not be exactly
accurate, that in florida when commercial fishing was banned within 30 miles
of the shore, which was reserved for recreational, the economic contribution
from the resource rose from 1.5 billion to 6 billion

my own interest is in deep sea fishing, and gillnetting the wrecks and selling
the specimen pollack, ling etc for 30 cent a pound or whatever to the french
isnt nearly as worthwhile as flying them over for a week to catch the same fish
on rod and line
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby JimH » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:37 am

Again thanks for the replies - its interesting to hear opinions in relation to angling guiding in this country. The example above is just one of several that will happen over the next few weeks. David was an single individual - my next group are three french guys whom are third time repeat visit customers.

Their itinerary is as follows

Arrive Dublin saturday
Fish Monaghan and Cavan for pike until tuesday evening
Fish Wexford for bass Wednesday to Friday
Return saturday

So this is an even more valuable group, probably multiply the numbers above by a factor of three only this time its across two counties and a multiplicity of small service business.

Including - hiring a boat in Cavan and a charter in Wexford also

This is where genuine financial impact can be felt as well as all the positive experiences made of the country during their stay - thats why they are here I guess

This is the part of the job that many people don't see. By making a lasting quality impression people will return. 80 % of my job is getting on with selling the country and its quality fishing whilst trying to strike a balance with providing unique locations with little impact and at the same time great service.

The financial contribution of this single group impacts across 7 different small businesses - putting resources into THIS country where we need it right now!

This work goes on all the time, with some guides - often not seen or heard of. Its a very difficult but extremely satisfying job.
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Re: The Bass fishery at work in Ireland - Experience & Economics

Postby hugo » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:23 am

jw wrote:in florida when commercial fishing was banned within 30 miles
of the shore, which was reserved for recreational, the economic contribution
from the resource rose from 1.5 billion to 6 billion.
.......gillnetting the wrecks and selling
the specimen pollack, ling etc for 30 cent a pound or whatever to the french
isnt nearly as worthwhile as flying them over for a week to catch the same fish
on rod and line

Hadnt heard of the Florida move, thats a really good idea. And yes, it would be another good idea to put some of the south coast wrecks off limits to commercial fishing, it would boost angling/diving and even allow the fish to breed a bit more.

Problem with both is how do you treat the small inshore professional or part-time fisherman? Another buyout? Seems to me the last one just created a whole new generation of poachers. Rather than just sweep them aside and tell them their way of life is over, might be a better idea to involve them in any changes. But how?
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