Bass Fishing Reality

Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:04 pm

From a Wexford perspective the Bass fishing has been absolutely terrible. The stark decline of the past few years has culminated into a complete slump in 2014. It annoys me when I hear the bass fishing here in South Ireland as being incredible.

I'm lucky to be in a position where I can fish everyday. I take advantage of every opportunity which arises to fish. This year fishing for me and the group I fish with has been disastrous. I gave up recording blank after blank just after the ban. Of late I've had little interest in rising with the sun or staying late into the evening searching for any fish. Its that bad its depressing.

Here is the reality.
I have had 7 fish since the ban lifted on the 16th June. 7. That's fishing an average of 4/5 sessions a week with the exception of the first week in July. Id be fairly confident that I'm fishing my marks correctly. I and my fishing buddies have a very good idea of where and when to go.

I can recall getting 7 between us the past few years and 7 EACH at least prior to 2012.

Its getting seriously worrying at this point. Previous years people were blaming netting, weather etc as the causes.
Yes, while netting could be contributing factor I find it hard to believe that there are nets on all my marks to result in the poor catch rate to fishing hours. Maybe I'm being naive??

Weather this year has been quite satisfactory with nothing like the rain of previous summers of 2012 and before.
Nothing extreme enough to warrant a complete blanking on the majority of outings.

Is it over fishing? I seldom meet people out fishing local marks.

I've no idea what is going on, what the reasoning is behind it or what solutions might ensue but I do know that I'm free this evening. Its lovely weather decent enough tide and yet I'm struggling to even bother heading out.

Anyone experiencing the same?

What has happened?

I'm sure the catch reports versus fishing hours from the Irish Bass Festival will make for interesting reading.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:20 pm

Well put pal sane here.
Yes I caught fish different times etc.
but even getting any fish now is a bonus. Yeah I get the pollack etc but no Macks ( well about 4 this year ) where as previous years I got bored catching them.
I'm the same as yourself

Will I eve bother going this evening with perfect tides and weather.
I always give in though and say f@@k it why not you never know.

I and my mate here have had blank after blank after blank in our known marks at different times.
And his posts on here verify that.

What's going on is right.

Wtf is going on more like it.

Overfishing by certain vessels

Weather global warning

Disrespectful anglers

Stupid fishing. ( met a guy last week stated that they got 200 Macks between the 4 of them.

wtf seriously could you do with 50 mackerel.
He didn't eat or like them he stated.

He's not losing feathers weights etc to be a do gooder and give away.

But like yourself is say. I love fishing going out on an adventure. Walking miles climbing over stuff bear
Would s*** his pants at.
Getting shocked off fences
Chased by bulls
Falling in water
Tangled up in rocks
Losing gear
Wasting money on petrol
Being burned by the sun
Sand in your underpants

But hey.

I love fishing


Especially when the kids get something

( and your cracking cause you blanked. )

Tight lines pal.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:03 pm

Well judging by your stats Im doing well.... Iv had 2 bass, in 4 session.....

I know a guy who is getting bass, 5 or 6 a night nearly every time he goes fishing in wexford... He brought his kids to the beach for an hour and chucked out a bait, Guess what, He landed a bass....

I was on a beach in cork last week and watched a guy cast a lure 3 times and landed a 5lbs bass...

People are reporting more bass this year than last, but AGAIN like I say every year. Just because your not getting the numbers you got the year before does not mean they are in decline. It takes allot more research than that.

They may be changing their migration path with this global warming stuff. Same as the mac, they are heading north because the water is cooler than ours now....

Why do we have this same conversation every year?

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:15 pm

I hear you Crevan. I was down in Wexford for two weeks recently and fish a couple of times. I would have aleast expected to see some fish swimming around, but no, none. More importantly, I've seen zero bait fish/sandeel in the water this year, save for one or two small pods in early April. I have been out a good few times for Seatrout also, and the reports are very similar, no fish caught. They are there, but seem to be feeding on other things.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:48 am

myworldfishing wrote:Well judging by your stats Im doing well.... Iv had 2 Bass, in 4 session.....

I know a guy who is getting Bass, 5 or 6 a night nearly every time he goes fishing in wexford... He brought his kids to the beach for an hour and chucked out a bait, Guess what, He landed a Bass....

I was on a beach in cork last week and watched a guy cast a lure 3 times and landed a 5lbs Bass...

People are reporting more Bass this year than last, but AGAIN like I say every year. Just because your not getting the numbers you got the year before does not mean they are in decline. It takes allot more research than that.

They may be changing their migration path with this global warming stuff. Same as the mac, they are heading north because the water is cooler than ours now....

Why do we have this same conversation every year?

Thanks for the reply.

You've just highlighted 2 instances of people catching fish...all must be well so :)

Seriously though, its not just my own catch rate. Its the lads I fish with. Its other anglers, not just from my locality but further afield. My catch rates have been in serious decline since 2011.

Perhaps we are having the same conversation every year because something is happening to our bass stocks...

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:59 am

I'm in agreement with you Crevan. I fish the Wexford coast, and me and my fishing buddy have seen a stark drop in the amount of Bass we've caught this year. We know our marks well, but still after approx 15 sessions after the ban we have only caught 3 bass between us. Something isn't right, i thought 2013 was poor but '14 is terrible.. and don't get me started about the mackerel

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:34 am

Hi Crevan, I posted this on another forum you posted to, but I think its as relevant here.
Very well made points Crevan. The Irish Bass Festival is on this weekend. We already know that if you analyse the rod hours spent fishing versus fish caught, the statistic will be atrocious, as previous years. The question is, will this draw any concerned reactions?

Inland Fisheries Ireland are listed as one of the sponsors. Will they voice concern if the returns are a disaster or will they gloss over that and do as previous years, focus on the 'craic' that was had. As the fishing continues to deteriorate and few vested interests speak up about it, bass festivals may aswell be renamed beer festivals for all the fish that will be caught. We already have enough of them.

I've noticed the guys in Absolute Fishing coming into East Cork to fish, when they have this 'mecca' on their doorsteps. It's reasonable to assume they are trying to seek out new ground because local fishing has tanked. If I'm wrong, feel free to speak up.

When bass festivals in Ireland (such as the muted Hook Festival) were talked about/debated a few years back, one of the arguments for such a thing was that it raised awareness of bass, promoted bass to higher status, in turn promoting responsibility for bass, in turn promoting protection etc.
3 odd years into the Irish Bass Festival and I see no demonstration of any of the above points.
Ultimately, you begin to think its just a revenue driver. Again if I'm wide of the mark, I'm happy to have the debate.

As a footnote, bass fishing in Dublin has collapsed also. Anybody dedicated to fishing for bass for the past 10/12 years in and around Dublin will have noticed a marked decline in the past 2/3 years.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:43 am

It does seem to be sporadic. Some marks fishing great and in fact better than ever while some seem devoid of life. Wexford seems to be indecline from what I have heard over the past few years, for whatever reason. I wonder are bass moving further North..? The catches of bass and good bass from county Down upwards and Scotland etc are on the increase. I know bass have been here for years and are now available to Norwegian anglers, but I am seeing more and more bigger bass showing up in these reports. Maybe it because people are now putting in the hours on these marks, who knows. Our revent trips to Kerry have been a good example too, only a few bass for many hours and pups at that. I know another very good angler who lives down there and has said the fishing is terrible, no sandeels etc either. Perhaps the bass are folloing the sandeels but with 80% or more of their diet being crab im not convinced.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:42 am

Read this blog - A couple of very experience guys fishing out of jersey. Really worrying reading - ... nd-losing/

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:38 am

Haven't done a whole heap of bass fishing this year, but I will say that sea trout fishing for me in Dublin has been truly awful. I'm not sure I agree with Rory when he says that they are there (we often fish the same marks) as I have not seen a SINGLE fish jump this year which is astonishing and for me indicates their absence. It has been blank after blank with the occasional fish.

I spoke with Pat Daly from Henry's the other day and he was incredibly pessimistic about the future of bass stocks. The word "collapse" was used several times. Pat is one of the best and most knowledgeable bass anglers in the country so to hear him speaking like this was, well, gut-wrenching.

Take a look at the WSF lure forum or the Jersey Bass Guides blog. Bass anglers in both countries are experiencing the same issues. Something is clearly up.

So is it a collapse in stocks, or is it just the weather? Is it a coincidence that mackerel, sea trout and bass are ALL scarce to date this year? Are the fish simply not here because they are elsewhere - rather than being non-existant? Time will tell I guess.

On an almost separate note....I don't knock bass on the head very often, one fish a year on hols in Kerry maybe - and have a 100% release record for sea trout over the past few years. I do not know how much we, as anglers, have contributed to the reduction in bass stocks (despite recent reports suggesting high figures). I don't know how much "celebrity" anglers have contributed to the popularity of bass fishing in Ireland and whether this has affected stocks in areas like Wexford and Waterford, which are clearly suffering. I DO know that all anglers need to start thinking about catch and release. I firmly believe that the majority of anglers in this country take home ALL the bass they catch. Its easy to blame commercials, poaching etc etc and take the view that one man cannot make a difference. But as Eoghan recently posted, if you start knocking fish on the head everytime you fish a mark, it won't be long before that mark is dead - youre shooting yourself in the foot with both barrels. Irrespective of whether this is a weather related "blip" or not, if you want your kids to catch bass in the future then it has to start with you, rather than just blaming everyone else. This point isn't really related to Crevan's post, but if stocks are being threatened then I still think its an important one to make.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:11 pm

" I firmly believe that the majority of anglers in this country take home ALL the Bass they catch. "

Do you really think so Steve..? Jeez I hope not. I often wonder how many fish are kept in the heat of the moment and regretted later.
If thats the case then anglers will definitly do serious damage to stocks. How many bass do they think are on their marks.?
True some marks hold or have the potential to hold massive numbers of Bass, but many localised marks would be easily fished out in no time if people are taking a few bass at a time.

There is nothing worse than telling someone "I told ye so" :-(

Another problem these days is you are not allowed to ask someone if they returned the fish as you are jumped on.
I have stopped doing this on the forums in the past while. Too much ignorance.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:16 pm

A really interesting and challenging thread no doubt. There’s a hell of a lot going in only the first few posts!

Challenging because of interpretation (s) of what constitutes quality bass angling and I guess people’s experiences relative to both this and to other peoples bass angling ‘hard experience’.

The relationship with the environment the influencing factors and the fish that some bass anglers have is very very intimate. Other anglers may find themselves fishing for bass on a more casual basis - however both are completely different.

Recreational angling for bass is different than ‘professional ‘angling for bass –

I have no doubts that Crevans fishing along with his friends offers a ‘true’ and valid perspective of the fishing on the SE coasts of Ireland. Demonstrated time is spent ON THE WATER. His friends, and he, are very capable bass fisherman at this time. The same applies to MackDublin, Pat Daley, others, time is spent on the water, investment is made over that time – valid comparisons apply to these people.
Unless you have spent that considerable time over a considerable period and I’m not talking about hit and miss episodes or being guided to honey pots with teams of four or five or a trip for four days in two months fishing, but regular daily fishing over a 100 day period in Ireland on the coast making your own investment for a number of years THEN you have a perspective.

These anglers (and others) and their objectives are very simple – they are doing their best to catch fish. There is no hidden agenda, no reason to do so other than the simple enjoyment and challenge of it.

Change that objective, change the reason why, change the angler’s mindset why, and of course the agenda immediately follows suit.

Some agendas are HIDDEN - unrealistic – inconsiderate to resource demands, investments, mismatched business models, associated but warped ‘conservation’ logic , EGO, .....

Bass fishing in my opinion has, since mid 2007 changed dramatically on the SE coasts of Ireland – the decline has been mind-blowingly quick and devastating – this is contrary to popular belief.

But who are you going to believe and why?

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:36 pm

Some of us cant get out for 100 days of fishing Jim, but you can still compare hours put in over a 4 day period against similar trips in the past. One reason we fish the same marks in Kerry is that we have invested a lot of time and effort to understand these marks and how best to fish them to make the most of the time we get fishing. I first fished Kerry when i was 21 and im almost 40 now. It has taken a lot of time to start understanding what the bass in this area are doing, also as anglers we have improved over time. I have fished kerry 3 times this year. No kidding I would say I fish 14 hours a day, for those 4 days at least, across a number of marks that we know the fish will frequent at a certain time. Quality hours, based on previous patterns learned over time so we can maximise our potential to get among the fish.
I like to think that over the years we have built up a realistic expectation of what to expect from the amount of effort put into our fishing.
It doesnt mean we cant give our opinion and contribute to what we believe to be diminishing stocks of bass.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:08 pm

E - I don't think it says anywhere you can't, the post is about a Wexford or SE location - my notes are in relation to the 'validity of perspectives' being expressed which you have addressed expertly from your own experiences overtime in Kerry, no ones doubting that!

There are differences between a visit to Wexford for a long weekend and someone who lives and fishes here much more regularly.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:06 pm

Closer to home - ... s-why.html ... -time.html ... guide.html ... shing.html ... sults.html ... shing.html ... eland.html
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:32 pm

Lastly from me for what its worth - This is a copy of a mail I sent last Sunday to

The Irish Bass Policy Group (David McInerny, John Quinlan, Shane O Reilly, Mike Hennessy, Dr William Roche, Dr Nial O'Maoileidigh,) Malcom Gilbert, several members of the IFI and other home based bass fishing customers.


I am writing this letter to call to your attention the serious concerns I have for the continued deterioration of the bass population as I have experienced it on the south and eastern coasts of Ireland. As you may know I have fished these coasts on a recreational basis since 1975, I am a bass fishing guide working and developing bass fishing on these coasts on a professional basis since 2002/03. My business South East Angling Ireland was established to provide both guided bass fishing services (fly and lure) and approved accommodation with a view to a holistic approach to the fishing, including airport transfers, provision of modern tackle and singularly strategic bass fishing solutions.

The profile of the traveling, affluent, adventurous and experienced European sportfishing angler was where my target customers lay and whilst historically Wexford may have had a small heritage in relation to bass angling the challenge for me lay in both attracting the correct customer whilst simultaneously demonstrating responsibly the remarkable accessible ‘new’ bass angling environment available in Wexford through my services.

This was a considerable business challenge as Iconic locations like the Kerry coast, the Dingle peninsula, still attracted by default traditional bass angling interests. Added to that challenge the profile of my customer needed to be correct in order to maintain a high level of ‘impact distance’. This meant that customers came to Wexford, fished for a week and left, simple. The likelihood of ‘local interest growth rate/impact’ was minimised.

Inclusive of the years 2003 – 2007 this was largely achieved through keeping a tight lid on advertising of services which was directed entirely at a European and US target audience through various magazine editorials. These were wide ranging and spread with the help of IFI and Failte Ireland between France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium, the US and Denmark. Up to this time, end of 2007, both the Irish and UK markets were not where I felt large number of ‘profiled’ customers lay, the market didn’t exist in the UK at this time as ‘modern’ bass lure fishing techniques only began to develop there from late 2007 / 08 in both the UK and Ireland.

I made a considered business decision that any associated ‘local’ advertising would have had a negative impact on my business through creating access to awareness and hence increasing ‘local recreational angling’ impact. Wexford is easily accessible.

However I did feel it necessary at the end of 2007 (for many reasons) to begin to increase the public awareness of the actual existence of an approved bass fishing guiding service and expertise that was available in Ireland at this time. I did this through Irish Angler Magazine, 2007-20011 inclusive. This was also achieved through the active development of my website from the beginning of 2008.

The core strength of the business lay in the availability of the fish along the SE coast in a multitude of exciting and different locations. Coupled to that was the strategic angling solutions I provided in order to catch the fish effectively (based on thirty years of local experience), the quality accommodation I provided in Wexford town and the accessibility to local support services.

Pre business establishment ‘test cases’ were run to establish the validity of the availability of the fish across the multitude of locations along the Wexford coast - estuaries, current, rocky shore, deep water, sand bars, etc.

The rate of return was calculated very simply as I spent more and more days fishing with customers the key catch base was running at an average of fish per hour per customer. In some locations this could be as high as 8 in others as low as .5 – this depended on the type of location, timing and also the size of fish anticipated or targeted. This was communicated to the customer in relation to their expectations on a day by day basis, but always ‘under estimated’.
It is also important to note that years prior to opening the business this base was strongly in evidence.

The factor that most changed these numbers in relation to catch return at any time was weather of course but this was always a minimal impact on a general day by day basis with the odd exceptional week of complete wipe out.

Location footprint and location frequency was kept to a minimum as I fished across an empty coastline for five years.

The base calculated from 2002 (intro only), into 2003 (beginning), and through the following years 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 remained within 15% +/-25% of my expectations for customer returns. When it didn’t it was always attributable to other external factors.

The operational constraints of the fishery were recognised and established from year one of the business. Growth was restricted by the tidal environment but customer yield was kept high to maintain validity of financial return. There was always the option of an offshore boat to realise the potential of neap tides but this venture has not been pursued as yet. This would effectively increase the business by 50 %.
It is important to know at this stage the weekly guiding service only ran on optimum tidal times (alternate weeks) – approximately 70 days. This was extended at times to over 100 days when conditions were better earlier and later or combined with workshops. This is probably the fullest valid guiding window of opportunity for the south east.

One week June
Two weeks July
Two weeks August
Three weeks September
Two weeks October

On average a visiting group consisted of two people and the majority, 95%, up to this time (2007) were very experienced lure fishermen.

Fishing six days a week for two people at a base of 1.4 fish per hour averaged a seasonal return for 1200 fish. (+/- 200). Many of these fish occupied a similar size bracket. Taking into account the many variables some weeks consisted of only one angler some weeks consisted of three anglers and some weeks were more difficult than others from a perspective of weather, this high return rate NEVER deteriorated below a valid key catch base of average 1.0 per hour for nearly five years.

During 2007 the return rate for the second half of the season deteriorated suddenly by 50% and more (this was under normal expected angling conditions and customer profile) It was also the first of a sequence of very wet summers.

Based on catch returns during the years from 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 and including 2014 to date the catch rate has declined and has continued to decline on a yearly basis to the extent that the recreational bass fishery along much of the south eastern coastline has in my own experience suffered a complete ‘collapse’.

*During 2011 there was an indication of some improvement, however 2012 proved worse than 2010.

For a typical example of this, as it has continued from as early as last week, - Two UK anglers from Wiltshire – lure fishing for six days guided by myself under the best times locations and conditions in Wexford, Waterford, and Cork investing a combined 120 hours of fishing effort for one fish caught – TOTAL. This is now not unusual.
Prior to and including 2007 for the same investment of 120 hours somewhere in the region of 120 fish could easily be expected as a return.
The above scenario is repeated time and time again and the expected return rate has gone from

1.3 fish for one hour investment
1.0 fish for thirty hours of investment – this varies but never significantly increases and hasn’t done so for more than seven years. The fishery has continued to decline very quickly.

Notes - Anglers
• Fish can be caught at times in much localised areas (for instance Splaugh rock) – reefs, current and structure at very specific times. This is not testament to the fishery as a whole. In other words vast areas of coastline hold no fish where previously there was a healthy population
• Local ‘expert’ anglers can have access to these fish but this should not be confused with the ‘general’ bass angler who should at least be enjoying a modicum of success
• Similarly boat angling over offshore reefs or at the mouth of estuaries with soft plastic techniques is not representative of the fishery as a whole

• Depending on the year of beginning to bass fish (the new generation of anglers) the entry was made on a sliding scale if made post 2007. In other words I encountered very few if any bass anglers on the Wexford coast prior to 2007 whilst post 2007 this number increased locally year on year – valid comparisons regarding the fshery need to be made over valid time frames.
• It’s possible for an angler to express ‘good bass angling experiences’ say in 2012 if he started in 2010 – this is not a valid comparison

Notes – Locations / habitat

• There are two extremely special locations on the Wexford cost that still have a population/ number of very big fish – these are very small and difficult to determine locations which may in time help preserve them from rampant local recreational pressure.
• I have guided on these locations once a month for two hours on previous years but will no longer continue to do so
• Modern lure fishing techniques create easy access to larger mature breeding fish of which there is a high angling impact
• All possible high yield locations on the south eastern coasts are now common place knowledge
• Social media quickly highlights any availability of fish on any location

Notes- Illegal fishing and retention

• Whilst there is a lot of catch retention I do not believe it is responsible for the decrease in numbers (there is a high recreational impact however both from poor C+R and retained fish)
• Whilst there is a lot of continued localised illegal netting this has been in existence for many many years, it does have an impact but I don’t believe this has increased by any significant level to cause such a decline in the Wexford region.
• There is evidence of increased and continued illegal netting on the East Cork coast
• Spearfishing is also increasing in popularity
• There remains the extended periods of bad summers 2007 2008 2009 and 2010 combined with two significantly extreme winters which amounted to an extended period of five years ‘poor’ conditions. Whilst I have no scientific evidence of the possible impact on the dynamics of the fish my instinct is that the SE bass population may have moved as a result and to where it was subsequently impacted upon commercially.
• Certain sections of the angling media will portray the quality of the bass fishing as being extremely good whilst neglecting the valid unit of effort (often extraordinary)required to produce any fish. There is often no management in respect of these special locations where large fish reside and a tendency to ‘forget’ the lack of fish on the wider coast.
• Genuine anglers on the ground with good and valid experiences are recognising similar instances.

Since 2003 over three hundred tourist anglers from Europe and the US have used the services of SEAi for guided bass fishing in Wexford. Easily twenty different publications have published positive editorial of their experiences distributed throughout many countries. Video footage has been made and distributed. Many Irish and UK people have attended intro Bass fishing workshops and perhaps as many as half again have partaken in bass fly fishing workshops. Numbers of guided Irish and UK customers remain small with less than ten active people.
Recent 3- day workshops include partnering with Irish fly casting and fly tying experts providing a total saltwater fly fishing solution.
The current situation is certainly a very difficult challenge for me and my business due to the decreasing numbers of fish. And to be honest here there’s no avoiding it, bass are largely absent from our coasts at this time. Talking about it openly has its risks and of course its own complications regarding the possible reasons any or all of which could be a cause for their absence.
Whether it be a natural phenomenon, a change in behaviour or something more serious it’s largely extant around the normal prolific ‘bass coasts’ at this time. For me I need to strike the balance between fairness and expectation with customers currently arriving at my door.
Again yes there are fish to be caught but the unit of effort is enormous, has been for weeks and weeks, in fact years, seasons. I have been personally motivated over the last twenty day run by the positive attitude of my customers, their eagerness to learn new techniques, presentations, casting, and even new locations. As a bass fishing guide I have had to push all my timings, options, variations in equipment and solutions, techniques and experience to be at its very best.
But two anglers for 120 hours of effort for one fish doesn’t make any sense from an angling business perspective. And this is not a singular story but commonplace at this stage.
As a person who largely makes his living from Guided Bass Angling well I guess it’s a very different and worrying perspective than that of a recreational angler. In an unregulated environment mercenary guides from both Ireland and the UK appear and disappear often offering various business models founded on reduced rates or a no catch no fee basis – this does nothing for the guiding occupation as a whole and in fact has a further negative impact on the environment and the fishing.
Having invested heavily in personal development and in the business (just completed a four year BSc degree – Tourism enterprise management at WIT) As a way of trying to ‘manage’ the decline I have reduced guiding days over the past few years, but now I am faced with little or no option at this time but to consider closing the business permanently at the end of this season.

Jim Hendrick

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:00 am

I was bowled over when I heard of what you are considering doing a few days ago.

Jims posts provides the best indication of how bad things have gotten.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:58 am

A well written, balanced opinion of the facts, as with anything like the truth it will be ignored, not enough votes attached to the problem.
Jim, you can only do as much as you have done, dont stop,though the fishing will be that more difficult, there will always be that special day when the unexpected fish will turn up. Its depressing, but you really think humans would learn from past mistakes, but we do not. You just have to see whats happenning to the mackerel stocks, unbelievable.
There's always hope that we might just get a Td with the will to listen and act, :shock: :shock:

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:47 am

Guys – many thanks, putting the fish aside for the moment, the difficulty that I’m having as a guide, which is on top of anybody else who is an angler is increasing ‘expectation’ management. I have always tried to be fair with customers cancelling when I could, indicating the state of the fishing, what we might need to do etc. This is the job. But increasingly what’s happening is that customer’s expectations are pitched extremely high in relation to the fishing whilst there is a considerable ‘under estimation’ concerning the difficulty, challenges, both physical and mental in relation to what’s actually involved in the fishing.
Any guide working by himself is only as good as he can be; his daily decision making is based on instinct experience, customer requirements and location management. He brings his customers to the locations he sees fit for purpose and that will fulfil his plan. Generally this works if he knows what he is doing. But now as the difficulty increases what decisions can he make as multiple locations fail in their ability to produce fish.

He can put customers daily and repeatedly in the few locations that might hold fish.
He can put customers on prized locations that he knows hold few but good fish - risking further exploitation.

A single person operating as a guide with a fixed base doesn’t have a ‘live’ network of support angling along the coast on a day by day basis facilitating his customer requirements.

He wants his customers to try and enjoy the varied environments where the fish live, catch them when challenged, under a normal days fishing, safely, and he wants also to protect the few last bastions of remaining strongholds of a deteriorating population.

What actually happens in trying to achieve these things is a very much decreased return catch rate for customers and then doubts appear in the customers mind in respect of other locations that seem to be enjoying the ‘best bass fishing in Europe’ whilst he is not! What the customer doesn’t realise is that the location that is enjoying the ‘best bass fishing in Europe’ are where people are often teamed up in ‘four or fives’ for countless fishing hours far exceeding the resource abilities of any guide. Or these locations are honey pots or these are the last few locations that hold some (possible the last) of the bass resource.
I went to the Bahamas to catch bonefish on the fly – I went to Navan to catch pike on the fly, I went to BC to catch steelhead. All of these locations have a strong population of fish. I wouldn’t want to spend my money where there was no fish; I want a location where there are fish that at least that I could attempt to catch….under default circumstances.

From a tourism perspective what has this meant for Co.Wexford for instance, both social and economic?

Taking the numbers attached for me on a recent trip to Mayo this was my daily spends as a guided person. This doesn’t include any gear bought in preparation, presents, or any other miscellaneous spend on tourism activities. So using that base for visiting anglers.

There is also the consideration of associated spend where visiting anglers do not use a guide but still stay and spend locally in the local environment. This I cannot calculate accurately.

These figures do not include journalists, film makers, workshops, or fishing tackle. Or the associated growth impact from these services.
So we could say that from one very small business easily a sustainable MILLION euros has disappeared out of the local Wexford economy with the disappearance of the fish. One can only estimate the wider spend this has through the country

I guess as a country and the state we are in we can afford to do this….abandon sustainability (admittedly with work to do) and the quality tourism and angling product for what?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:54 pm

maybe you are a bit too caught up in the advertising narrative of the lure manufacturing companies,
my experience is there are loads of bass around if you fish with bait