In terms of the ongoing study - We are now into our second year. The results from the first set of fish has been astounding. You will appreciate that I cannot say too much as the scientists are studying data and preparing papers. However the amount of fish that have returned is astounding and the fidelity that the fish have to their location is incredible. It will highlight the fact that Bass are very vulnerable to being wiped out locally. Do you remember that mark where you were catching a few Bass regularly until somebody told somebody else and somebody else started to “take a few for the pot” and now the mark is barren? Well that mark may never return to its former glory, never!
I tend to notice more and more lure anglers heading out at night. Is this more recent trend putting a gloss on the figures for catches? Are guys catching more Bass but doing in the hours of darkness rather than the traditional times?
The Bass situation has occupied much of my time in differing ways over time... I could probably continue with questions and observations for much longer than this already long post!
Facinating post Jim
,I too have been following this thread with great interest and sadness.In relation to my local venues in east cork ever since 2007 the signs have been ominous due largely to the ridiculous amounts of heavy concentrated bass netting along the ballycotton to roches point stretches year in year out by the same individuals that has wiped out thousands of bass.
Remember the EAST CORK BASS ALLIANCE,this was set up with the best of intentions to try help stamp out illegal activities especially once the end of October spring tides arrive.Lets call a spade a spade apart from a few successes here and there the main culprits have yet to be put out of action despite many many many accurate and correct upto the minute tip offs,can anyone answer why not?
Your a 100% correct in the reference to bass been very localised.How many of us are guilty of making the "mistake" of innocently passing on information following approaches via pm after a successful outing and sharing online,i know I did and over a few seasons started to meet more and more anglers on the marks I used never see anyone and when I got talking to them quickly found out they too had been given precise and hard earned imformation from certain sources that only recently found out themselves about venue secrets.Unfortunately whilst the majority of anglers would return everything a lot of others would return tide in tide out taking their allowed 2 fish quota regardless of size.Now only recently im getting back on the rocks after a few years off
and ive met a few of these new/old faces I encountered a few years back and all moaning about the lack of fish.
What the hell do you expect is my reply,the last time I met them these guys thought nothing of taking any bass they caught and when asked why?i was told sure the place is stuffed with them and im not breaking any law
They still cant see that they too have contributed to the problem,its all the netting is their excuse.
Im sure this is the similar case all over the country,ignorance is bliss!
What has really been sticking out to me is that a lot of the marks I used regularly fish seem to always have anglers on them day and night,and from what ive experienced we are all working very hard just for a few fish,things have really changed in a few years
Thankfully I found a few old diaries from the mid 90's that had a few "lesser" mark reports and ive tried them over the past month and whilst not hectic I and a "trustworthy" friend have had very consistant fishing of a few nice fish per session.These marks were considered 2nd rate back in the day but not anymore and interestantly despite a lot of netting locally over the years the numbers of fish hasn't decreased or increased since those mid 90's early morning sortees,i wonder is it the lack of anglers using these marks and taking fish.Thats the only thing I can think of to be honest as nothing else has changed.
I don't mean to be an even bigger kill joy but on top of the current drop in catch rate,id be genuinely worried about the 2009-2011 year classes due to the harsh winters.I'd imagine these broods suffered a very low survival rate due to the cold temperatures.This doesn't bode well at all and will lead to even poorer returns in the coming years.
This thread has many excellent points and views and im hopeful that if even a fraction of the effort that has gone into promoting the bass fishing along our coasts through the tourist and angling magazines etc can be redirected towards preserving what we have left then its not too late to turn things around,before we are remembered as the generation who allowed the welfare of the bass to slip through our fingers and become consigned to the olden days.
Im not as able bodied or agile as I used to be but i'll certainly be more than willing to help out anyway I can but we all need to stand together so as to make sure what we have we hold