Are anglers’ worries just a knee-jerk reaction,or is there something wrong with our bassshing? Jim Clohessy talks bass, or rather lackof them!
Hey Minister! Any FisH?
The Dinghy Angler
like to be upbeat in my articles. I like to be positive aboutall things shing. Most of you will know that I have seriousissues centred on bass shing. I just cannot get enough of it. I love everything about bass. I do not think there is a sh to compare in terms of ght. I love the fact that bassshing takes on more of a hunt than shing for more “normal”species. Early in the year I was incredibly upbeat about thecoming season’s bass shing. Up until May 15 (start of closedseason) I had caught more and better quality bass than any previous season. I must say I was buzzing with anticipation andlooking forward to the remainder of the summer.Te season reopened mid-June and I could not wait to getback on the water. When I turned my attention back to bassit was like all had changed and the sh seemed to have otherideas. It appeared as if they were not around at all. It took a bitof time to get things sorted in my head, but one question wasscreaming to get out – where are our bass? I spend a fair bitof time online. It can be an eective method of nding out if some of my fellow anglers are catching a few bass. Lots of my Facebook friends will post up pictures of some of their catchesand it makes for a nice diversion. According to some, the bassshing was great in Waterford and Wexford. It looked likeCork was the only area suering from a lack of sh.Initially I thought it was just me! I began to question the way I sh. I began to question the areas I was shing and Ibegan to question my lures. Luckily, I maintain a photographiccatalogue of the bass I catch. I can analyse my catches and fromthe pictures I can tell where I was shing and the conditions I was shing in. I’m doing nothing much dierently than I wasdoing last year so it is not my techniques. Yet still bass are thinon the ground. I’m using the same or similar lures that I wasusing last year. In fact there are some lures that I’m using thisyear that I would reckon are even better, so I would have anexpectation that my catches would at least remain consistentand maybe even increase. ackle shops around the country have copped on to the lure shing craze and most are getting well stocked with soft plastic lures alongside some cracking hard lures.Like all bass anglers around the country I waited, watchedand listened. Bass anglers are generally a fairly chatty bunch!Tey might not tell you where and when but they will certainly tell you if the shing is good and will probably give you a goodidea of what techniques are working. I noticed a decidedly quiet period online. Catch reports were few and far between.Tere were some jingoistic reports of catches but few wereaccompanied with concrete evidence of veracity. Tere is noexcuse for lack of photos! I contacted a few anglers I know well and made discreet enquiries. Yes, more anglers than meare nding things tough. Eventually I spoke with anglers fromfurther aeld and for sure the bass drought extended certainly along the whole south coast.I spent a week in east Cork, something I do each year. Tis“family holiday” is blatantly organised around some superbtides. It is a time when I can get some really targeted sessions inand my expectations are always high. Over numerous sessions,sessions where you would bet your house on catching a few bass, I managed only a few sh. All told for the week my catch was six bass. A paltry return for the eort I had put in.ypically, I would rise early and be on the water for rstlight. Tis coincided with high water – really classic basscatching time. I worked very hard, moving between mark and mark. I tried my usual soft plastic lures. I thrashed the water with some of the best hard plastic lures that money canbuy. I found that I began to lose more lures than normal as I
has bn anIish Angl cntibut sincits launch in 2004. Whn itcms t small bat anglingth’s littl that Jim has ntdn. H’s always tid tkp ahad f th gam intms f sh catching. Fmbginnings in th club scnt spcimn hunting andth fntic wld f spcishunt cmptitins, Jimhas badnd his tak nmdn dinghy angling, butbass shing with lus allygts him ging.
Bab caugh ba! W caugh wh ah umb w wuld xpc a h m f a bu h hkd ilad !