You are on page 1of 3

Back cast

I think its probably easy to interpret what some people say or write in
fishing and then apply it as a rule, even if it is a generalisation or some-
thing that applies to particular circumstances. When this is done of course
it is often perceived as an ‘issue’ for anglers to go out and ‘break’. This
attempt to ‘break’ the ‘rules’ is often done on the basis of nothing like
what the original words might have meant. Unless of course it’s a
blatantly obvious statement. PROBASSFISHER E-Zine
I saw one of these blatantly obvious statements on another forum
recently – ‘- if bass will take a shallow feed then they will also take a Bass Fishing in Ireland
surface lure’. Its simply not true. Sometimes they wont. Notes observations tips and techniques

The big fly big fish is another one of these debates that will continue to
rage, and yes of course we have all done the contrary – and if we are
clever anglers we will fish after the circumstances.

I like to use Andy Elliott's flies in certain places here in Wexford at certain
times. Most of the flies are in the six to eight inch in length category and I
fish with either a #8 or #9. In this type of fishing where I intend
purposefully to catch (I hope) a big fish – I very seldom make regular
casts. I sit and watch and make maybe five casts in one hour, maybe I
choose to move a little………..I take my time and wait for situations to de-

Have I taken bigger fish on smaller flies? Yes, many times in many places,
do I feel more confident fishing slightly bigger flies in the circumstances
above? Yes. Why? Under the few circumstances/locations above I have
caught bigger fish with bigger flies – simple. But it doesn’t apply to the
whole of the Wexford coastline all of the time!

The only rules that need to be broken are ones that you interpret as such!

Bendy Rods—Jim Hendrick

Text and Photography - Jim Hendrick
January & February edition 2010
Tidal Influences on bass fishing - Part I Tidal influences on Bass fishing - Part IV
Tides and the weather The sandy shore, shallow white waters and crystal surf

Weather conditions have a significant impact on both tides in general and My father tells me of the times he cycled home from fishing the surf at
on how they flow and move. This of course will influence your fishing de- Curracloe in Wexford. It’s a round trip of about fifteen miles but his
cisions and indeed the fish. Sea level will tend to rise or increase in the friends and he made the return journey more difficult by having bass tied
direction that the wind is blowing, and hence lowered in the direction to the handlebars of their black Raleigh bikes. These weren’t small fish
from which the wind has come. Sea water can be 'pushed'. The stronger and often there were a lot of them, it was 1958 when bass blitzed the
the wind, the longer it blows and provided it blows in a pretty constant seas summer surface like they are supposed to, signs of a healthy popula-
direction the greater this 'push' can be. A changing or constant wind direc- tion.
tion can create a degree of confusion as regards tidal height predictions
and their interpretations. He has fifty two years in perspective

Tidal heights are predicted using an average barometric pressure status - Clive Gammon and Des Brennan were fishing Splaugh Rock
1013. When the barometric is rising or higher than normal, tides will tend
to be lower than predicted. Similarly when pressure is low or dropping By the time he reached home his 'handlebar' of fish was often diminished,
tidal heights will be greater than that predicted. A change in barometric too tired to carry them all the way to Wexford he simply knocked on doors
pressure of 35 milibars will cause a subsequent change of 1 foot or 0.3 along the way home and gave them to people. They fished, his friends and
metres in tidal levels. This is not an immediate change but rather happens he the way they knew how – early in the strong wind pattern - greenheart
over a period of time. rods and fixed spool reels and lugworm cast only into the clean white surf
at the Raven or at Culletons gap.
So bearing in mind the following
Today we overlook this great bass fishing opportunity in our quest for es-
Wind direction tuary and rock. I know the fish don’t shoal like they did in the old days
Wind strength but there is something special about imagining what it must have been
Wind direction 'longevity' like. Shallow sandy water presents its own tough opportunities and chal-
Atmospheric pressure - lenges.
Atmospheric pressure activity - +/-
Spring or neap tide and phase When moving waves heading towards our beaches reach shallow water the
Wave type and direction friction against the sea bed causes the waves balance to become upset.
Orbiting particles within the structure change and the speed of the wave
All of these factors will greatly influence your fishing and indeed the fish. decreases. Becoming steeper until the point at which they break and fall
Just because your tables say 2.2m at 16:10 doesn't necessarily apply to over. The total stored energy of the wave is released and most of us at
the real world. some time or other have experienced that crash and boom, the power of
the surf.
A word of caution - dropping atmospheric pressure combined with strong
breezes and Spring tides can make for dangerous fishing situations. On the open sea a moving wave will often break at winds speeds of force
seven or greater, this breaking water will move ahead of the wave and the
energy is passed on to other passing or overtaking waves. The death of a
wave occurs in shallow water when all of this aggragated energy or force is
released onto the shore. This is a wave of translation.
Tidal influences on bass fishing - Part II (cont’d) Tidal influences on bass fishing - Part II
Tidal streams wind and waves Tidal streams wind and waves.

When waves pushed by the wind run against a strong tidal flow or stream, The friction of wind on the water creates the waves that we see crashing
like the tide running out of an estuary, the wavelengths also become onto our shores. When and where wind and the sea meet, the energy of
shorter, the waves more steep and higher and hence they are more liable the moving wind is transferred into the surface of the sea. This is the rea-
to break. This situation can also be aggravated by uneven or shallow bot- son why at sea level the strength of the wind is considerably less than say
tom structure – having wind-assisted waves running against the tide can at even thirty feet; some of the wind energy is lost and captured by the
create fantastic bass fishing situations. Following the breaking wave pat- sea. When a gentle breeze first starts to blow over a calm sea ripples are
tern as it moves may assist you in finding fish more regularly. Conversely formed, as the wind strength may increase or continue these ripples
wind blowing out of an estuary with a ebbing tide increase wavelengths transform into little waves and eventually into waves proper. As the side
and reduces wave heights but may assist in ‘emptying’ the estuary faster of the wave that ‘receives’ the wind is affected most by it, the wave col-
than normal. Adjusting your fishing times to the patterns of how different lects more energy on one side than the other and so will tend to grow in
winds and tides will create different types of waves and wave breaks will size.
see you catch more fish.
This process does not continue indefinitely however, as the wave grows in
Tidal Influences on bass fishing - Part III size so does its speed ‘across’ the sea increase. Its speed of movement
Waves and bars and breaking water relative to the wind speed plus the loss of energy due to motion within
the wave keeps the waves at heights related to particular wind strengths
Frequently due to local configurations of many factors like wind, sea whilst in open water. There is a state of equilibrium reached and unless
floor, tides and flows - waves may be seen to break more frequently at the wind increase or decreases the waves remain at a fairly steady size.
regular distances from the shore – a sand bar may be forming or perhaps
has already formed. Small waves travelling in the direction of this sand Lets imagine waves generated by a recent force four blowing constantly
bar may pass over it without breaking, but as we have mentioned below for the past five or six hours in a southwesterly direction. The waves in
they will be affected by it, inevitably they will be slowed and their wave- the sequence will all look pretty similar. The wave heights will be the
lengths decreased. same – the distance from the top of the wave to the bottom of the troughs
following the wave. Their wavelengths – the horizontal distance between
Larger waves moving in from the sea will break on or at the bar as soon as two crests will be very similar, and the frequency at which they pass a
the water depth reaches less than 1.3 times the waves height. Breaking particular point will also be the same.
waves with their forward momentum will push large quantities of water
over the bar and inshore creating rising levels of water. This water has to What we see happening on our shore is the change in shape, appearance
return seawards and often does so through channels scoured through nar- and activity of the wave as the depth of water changes. As soon as an
row sections of the bar both by waves and returning water. ocean wave enters a water depth that is less than half its wavelength it
will begin to slow down, get taller, and change shape while at the same
This can be a dangerous place to fish, keep in mind the factors from Part I time its frequency will remain the same. The speed of the wave entering
as well as these -scour holes, drop offs, and currents will be plentiful – shallow water is slowed down as it gets ‘tripped up’ by the grip of the
but – because of these circumstances and in the right conditions and at shoreline floor. Relative to other waves, as they slow down, the wave-
the right times fish will be holding up here and they will be hunting ac- length decreases and as it moves into continuously shallower water it be-
tively. comes more and more unstable, increasing in height until eventually fal-
ling over when it reaches a water depth that is less than 1.35 times its
height. This is breaking wave action.