Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:55 pm

Oh is there one this week Steve? Yes I have been a friend of Irish for a few years and have received the e-mail adverts.

Sent from my GT-S5369 using Tapatalk 2

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:28 pm

So what's next folks?

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:10 pm

Hi all. I only recently became aware of this thread on the forum. There is an incredible amount to comment on and discuss. I am simply up to my eye balls at the moment and have to head out for yet another night session in a moment. If you can be patient I will answer as many questions as I can and give my opinions in the next day or so. Sorry for the delay. Be in touch soon. John Quinlan.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:08 pm

Thanks John. I was hoping you would contribute.

David Norman wrote:So what's next folks?

David how about we wait for John's input and then see what everyone thinks. Does that sound reasonable to you/everyone?

Sent from my GT-S5369 using Tapatalk 2

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:31 am

Good question David and Hi John. As Divisadero said, great to have your contribution.

In terms of your question David, I think John Q's arrival is good and timely. I don't think for a minute there is a criticism of IrishBass here, I think Pat in Cork called it very well when he said one man can't do all of the work.
There is a good geographical mix of voices on here (and not just here). If we could help shoulder some of the weight of IrishBass and by doing so bring a broader geographical range of fishing experiences to the table (bad and good) and to the attention of the IFI and the Bass Policy Group, wouldn't that be a good thing. If this in turn created a more fluid back and forth exchange of information and ideas with the IFI/Bass Policy Group and others, that can only be a good thing.
What shape that takes could be teased out. An idea of membership sounds very interesting and has had positive feedback on here. I'm confident things like insurance could be overcome (I'm in that arena fwiw), I think the bigger challenge would be people rolling their sleeves up with an ongoing commitment. As the old adage goes, where there is a will there is a way.

Does this sound like a rough framework to build off?

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:47 pm

Hi all.

As usual when it comes to me and anything to do with bass conservation - I'll do as much as whatever I can do. I'm not a leader type individual as such therefore I like being asked or instructed to do things.

It doesn't matter what type of stuff - typing, writing, e-mailing, posting etc. or anything else that may come up.

I'm not sure what our strategy is but all our hearts and minds are certainly in the right place.

We can do it!

John D.


Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:22 pm

Actually now that I think of it I do have some idea as to what I think should form part of our strategy going forward.

1.) We should ensure as many if not all Irish food proprietors are aware of the Irish bass bye laws.

2.) We should fight hard to de-popularise bass as a dish and/or ingredient etc.

3.) We should try to educate the public better on the Irish bass bye laws - I've heard stories of mobile fresh fish sellers driving down from Kilmore Quay in Wexford to Greystones in Wicklow with fresh Irish bass as one of their main products.

4.) We should demonstrate a strong on-going vigilance towards any person or organisation actively seeking to change the current Irish bass bye laws.

Yours hopefully,
John D.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:14 pm

Hi All,
I'll try to cover as many points as possible but as I have a 3.45am start tomorrow morning I may need to keep it short. First of all, it's great to see that there are many people who want to become involved in protecting our bass stock. Let me begin by saying that yes, I do believe there is a problem with the stock and there has been a decline in recent years. I have spoken to quite a few people and had several phone calls from interested parties in the last few days. While not everybody seems to have had as significant decline as Jim, most people will admit that their catches are not as good as they were in the past and that bass are becoming harder to catch. When somebody of Jim's experience says that the stocks in the areas that he fishes in have dropped by such a significant amount we need to take notice. So what is the reason for this decline. The truth is nobody knows for sure but in my opinion the most likely culprits are angling related mortality and more significantly inshore illegal fishing. In truth, it doesn't really matter the cause of the decline, what really matters is what we are prepared to do about it.

I just need to point out a little about the bass policy group that I was involved in. The group was set up by Ciaran Byrne (IFI) to develop a bass policy for the future. After a lot of work a bass policy document was published and the group was disbanded and no longer exists. All the work I did and all costs incurred were entirely at my own expense. I have made some inquiries very recently about the status of the policy proposals and have been told that things are moving along. However it does seem that it is taking a lot longer than I originally hoped.

The Irish Bass group is purely a lobbying organisation and was set up in it's current format following lots of advice from people who had lobbied on fisheries issues right up to European Parliament level. Unfortunately, due to pressure of work recently I have been unable to give it the attention it deserves. I don't have any free time in the near future but I would love if we could have a meeting of all those concerned at the end of the season to push the group along and make it as influential as possible.

If we are to turn this situation around (and make no mistake it won't be easy) we need to focus on the people who already make the decisions on management and policy and also on those people who can influence them. We are talking here about the IFI, Marine Institute, Department of Fisheries, and Department of Natural Resources and very importantly any local TD that will listen to you. We desperately need some 'friendly' TD's to push our cause and help us out. This will only happen if we speak to them and tell them our story. This is particularly true of those of us who make part or all of our living from bass angling but all bass anglers have a role to play.

Finally, and most importantly of all, we need to stick together and speak with a united voice. Even if you are happy with your bass angling there is a huge benefit from working together to protect what we have and hopefully try and rebuild what we once had. I am more than happy to continue what I have done but more help would be a huge benefit.

Now time to get some sleep and hopefully I can find a few bass in the morning.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:39 am

John Q has said it all for me here...

The first thing is, we as a nation cannot fix or repair, what is going on in international waters... If bait fish are in decline, then we cannot fix that, what we can fix is our inshore... So it wasted breath and time talking about this problem, it's the same with the decline of salmon stocks...

I have listened to prominent committee members of various angling forums, talk and moan for hours, about how the netting of salmon off the coast of Greenland or the decline in Cree and sprat in the feeding grounds, has contributed to the decline in anglers, This is our island and we can only fix what is ours and the protection of every inch of coastline has to be our main priority...

In my opinion which you can agree or disagree with, the biggest problem is illegal coastline poaching, it is absolutely rampant, already this year i have reported four nets I have seen with my own eyes and I have also publicly posted illegal netting on my facebook dingle peninsula fishing page...

Through my various dealings with the fishery board I have gotten to know the fishery officers, they are understaffed and they do have a tough job but the reality is these are the people every single angler should know... Now they have told me they have things under control but they don't, it's just not physically possible for them to have things under control, there needs to be more fishery officers recruited which will not happen...

Through the facebook page which I set up, I believe that it has stirred the IFI up a bit, I have actually met the fishery officers out in the middle of the night twice on inch beach here in kerry and another beach...I am 28 years old and it have been fishing since I was four mostly with French tourists and I have never seen fishery officers before on a beach at three in the morning, I believe that there is anglers out there who are not afraid and feel they could contribute to the protection of angling...

Although I applaud john q's work with irish bass and various other ventures, there is only one way to stop illegal inshore nets and it's very simple, anglers come together as one and protect there own coasts, nobody should have there cars or houses damaged which has all happened to my family, if things are done right...

All anglers need to do is get evidence of illegal nets and make them public, everything should be kept anonymous for protection, get video and photo evidence of illegally tied monofillet all around our coasts and beaches and make people aware of what's going on... I for one, could bring people to hundred nets, around the kerry coast in the morning... Noting illegal would be done on our part...

Anyway I taught I would put that out there, do I believe that people on here will actually come together?

I don't know! That's gods will but I do know I will continue my little piece down here in kerry and I have no doubt I will see illegal poaching in the next three as I will be out in the ribs quite often..

Tight lines...

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:16 am

Hi Dan. I,m not sure what you mean by international waters. If you mean beyond EU waters then let me state without fear of contradiction that bass are NEVER caught there. Certain commercial interests put out the story a couple of years ago that large quantities of "Irish bass" were being caught outside our territorial waters but showed no hard evidence of this whatsoever. Following lots of research including all Marine Institute research data and UK and EU catch data it is obvious that bass are somewhere between very rare and non existent in Irish offshore waters. However this suggestion that they are being caught by other countries seems to have gained credibility and is now being used as justification by some (both commercial and recreational) to plunder and sell inshore bass. In my opinion we as anglers should not help their cause by accepting this suggestion in the face of hard evidence to the contrary.
While I am very much in favor of anglers getting directly involved in trying to stem the tide of illegal fishing, people need to be careful. There are without doubt certain elements in the illegal fishery who will not hesitate to use whatever force necessary to protect their source of income. No organisation should encourage people to put themselves in danger. Their is also the liability issue that has to be considered. You mention yourself that you have had repercussions with your actions. If the direct action that you are advocating was encouraged by any organisation then they could be directly liable for any consequences. As you suggest their may be ways around this but they need careful consideration. In my opinion it makes much more sense to work much more closely with those who are paid and trained to do this job and try to make their job easier and more effective. A bass angling group from each area should have regular meetings with the IFI to co-ordinate effective policing.
Once again a meeting of interested and concerned anglers like yourself is needed to get things sorted.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:30 pm

Good to see you on here John, and great to see so many willing anglers ready to come together for the sake of bass conservation in Ireland. I think now is as important as ever to get all parties together in a room and bash out some ideas of how to move forward. As you said John possibly at the end of the season. As I have said in my last two posts on a different thread that a united voice from bass anglers across the county will be a much more powerful lobbying tool and this is something we really need to look at developing.

And John I hope you know there are plenty of people who can share some of the burden involved in running such a group or developing Irish bass into the future.

Hope you find those bass...


Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:19 pm

What I meant by international waters was we cannot control the overfishing of bait fish which is then used in fish meal... Atlantic salmon are coming back to rivers half starving because of this... Lots of conservationists will argue about this subject all day long but it's out of our grasp, what I believe we can and should control 100% is our coastal water...

I believe that anglers who fish a certain area have the right to be able to protect that area if they have the ability to do so... The facility or organisation should be set up for volunteers to do this completely anonymous to there peers...

I understand completely what you mean by the problems this may encounter, through my own experience people must be completely anonymous to poachers... The reason my family were put under attack was because of my fathers ego and his complete stubbornness to control and defeat poachers single handily.. In the end he paid the price and he understands that now...

I am not saying people go out now like vigilantes but it is an approach that needs to be looked at...There noting worse when you ring the hotline like I did last week, and I could see three lads pulling a net in cromane at low water in the middle of the day, I was told that two officers were on holidays and one which was based in Waterville wouldn't be there for a few hours...

I was out cycling and could see this from the road, I wasn't generally looking out for this activity...

I believe that there is no actual contact within anglers and the fishery board with regards to protection, I find when you talk to the fishery officers they are very dismissive but the reality is anglers are in the know and generally care about our marine habitats...

Your point john q about an organisation set up just for protection of bass is fantastic and I believe it's sole purpose should be to not enforce the eradication of fixed illegal on our coastline but to make sure illegal nets will be made public through social mediums... This will then put pressure on the fishery board to actually make a difference...

If this problem of illegal netting is resolved, I believe that stocks would increase... I am willing to do anything for this cause and I would be willing to drive anywhere for meetings to set this up off my back no problems..

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:05 pm

The vigilante thing is just too dangerous in my opinion. It is also a good way to get the authorities to act. But against you! I do admire your passion and energy though Dan. Let's hope we can achieve something this time where that passion can be safely chanelled. I've no doubt you are willing.

Sent from my GT-S5369 using Tapatalk 2

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:23 pm

Ummm. Yeah. Direct action, vigilante action, careful now, mind how you go......

Here's a tale of such stuff, in a freshwater river water keeper for salmon type of scenario.

Our local river, well you wouldn't at all have been surprised to find nets on it. The poachers used to prey on other poachers, believe it or not. It was a wild west situation.

Some of us got active, and organised, and committed. That was the best important bit, committed. Now, I can't recall precisely the last net lifted from the river. Apparently, the bad boys were so hassled at being annoyed by us they've moved on to easier pickings - other rivers, and out at sea.

Couple of hairy, "interesting" encounters before that, though.

Those criminals want to operate in the dark, at night, unchallenged, unhindered. The very last thing they want is continous confrontation.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:30 pm

Question Tanglerat. Did you or your friends have the legal protection of Waterkeeper status (I think they have changed the law but in freshwater you used to be able to legally apply to become a volunteer waterkeeper). Or did you go completely off the reservation (i.e. vigilante)?!

Sent from my GT-S5369 using Tapatalk 2

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:36 pm

We were/are waterkeepers.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:36 pm

Having said that, on occasion club members were with us and they weren't warranted.

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:01 pm

Okay. An important distinction there. At least you have some authority in the eyes of the law whereas anyone considering taking on the bass poachers would not. I've no doubt it can be dangerous work though Waterkeeper or not.

Sent from my GT-S5369 using Tapatalk 2

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:45 pm

Lads if ye read my comments i stated that what not to do was become like vigilantes...

In my opinion we need a forum, organisation, committee or something along these lines... Were people feel safe to report poaching activities, a place where pictures and information can be shared online.... Everyone anonymous...

There should be no names mentioned... I feel that although the fishery board officers are doing there jobs to the best of there abilities, they simply do not have the man power... There will be no recruitment of full time officers for the foreseeable future... Look back through my comments where i reported netting in cromane last week and there simply was no fishery officers on call they were on holidays... So in the end, noting was done, also this is not getting at the fishery board, they very hard working individuals with a tough job... We have the work alongside these people there is no other way...

What about if i took pictures of the net in cromane...! "Which at the time i actually would have done but i had no camera"

Where do i share these pictures? See what we are doing at the moment is ringing the hotline and when sometimes "not all the time" we don't see action, being taken we are actually becoming resentful... Then we coming on here or other forums and completely degrading the fishery board when in actual fact its not there fault at all... They simply don't have the people on the ground...

Take for example boat owners who come across nets on a regular occurrence, obviously ring the fishery board hotline but also have a place online where they can share pictures or information... Again completely anonymous and there will be absolutely no pressure put on any angler to take action...

Year on year i here anglers complaining the fishery board this and the fishery board that, i was like that myself until i decided to take action myself, which i will continue to do.. I posted one picture of yougfellas netting the milltown river, this picture was not taken by me, it was actually sent into me... I posted it online and that week alone i met fishery officers twice in the same area of that river...

There is only one way forward in my opinion, again my opinion maybe worthless or worth while that is completely up the reader, we as anglers are answerable to our own areas, ringing a hotline which we should do on all occasions is not enough, we need to document illegal poaching all over the country and bring it to safe medium where we can make this info public...

We can meet politicians till the cows come home, they will simply do noting, only maybe bring it to dail eireann if there lucky get two minutes to speak and thats it...

We need to be whistleblowers in a sense and obviously the fishery board will not like that but it needs to be done...

Everybody can remain anonymous, there shall be no harm done, thats the clever way and the proper way...

Re: Bass Fishing Reality

Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:09 pm

It's interesting, hearing dan's experiences and advice and comments.

Around here, we make no bones about who we are or what we're about. Everybody knows what we're doing and what we're involved in. Which can be funny, like the time I had a poacher complaining to me about the activities of another one & friends. I'd just missed catching him red-handed, but he gave me some excellent intel and I was able to confront and curtail his (the other one!) activites within 4 days. As the first one said to me at the time - "I'll only nick the odd fish by rod and line just to put a treat on the table, but yer man is going to empty the river with his carry-on."

We're a reasonable sized Club (about 100 members) and there's enough locals in it that we have a sizeable number of the locality on-side. Pretty important that, too.