Saturday, December 15, 2018

2018 Season Review

As the year draws to a close I'm reflecting on what has been another voyage of fishing discoveries combined with a good dose of familiar routines that have served me well over the years, that I continue to refine. As always it came down to the weather and associated conditions, when it did all come together catches were quite good but overall 2018 cannot be considered an epic bass fishing year for me here in beautiful West Cork, when compared to previous years in recent memory. I did less trips away to other areas instead focusing on expanding on what I have here which I will continue to do in 2019...

Guided Fishing & Workshops - As ever I really enjoyed meeting and working with a growing number of visiting anglers who made the experiences a real pleasure, despite some very challenging conditions at times! To summarize everyone left with fish or a knowledge boost or both and had great fun along the way as did I   

Kayak – Inspired by the kayak fishing adventures I undertook with Steve Kean of in 2016/17 I spent a lot of my personal fishing time exploring areas that are inaccessible by foot, made many discoveries and found some wonderful new fishing opportunities. I'm already preparing to expand these activities in 2019 - Can't wait!

Cape Cod Canal - I was fortunate to make another trip to Cape Cod in 2018, primarily to fish the famed Cape Cod Canal which is a unique fishery indeed. 7 miles long, 350 feet wide and 30 feet deep, opened in 1914 having been built as a shortcut for shipping it has also become a mecca for Striped Bass fishing to the point of extreme crowds and over fishing but on its day huge Striped Bass, often taken on surface lures, can be caught, not to mention all the other species that are constantly passing through. It was an amazing trip and a privilege even if the fishing didn't fully live up to expectations due to weather conditions and a lack of sizeable bait fish species in the canal at the time of my visit. I had a great time, learnt loads and hope to return for that all illusive 50lber...😉

Lures & Tactics - Again in 2018 I found myself  reaching for Hard and Soft Needlefish lures, along with some trusted metals, rather than traditional hard plastics surface and diving lures but I find myself using them far less especially in the sometimes heavily weeded conditions we can get here in high Summer. I did more fly fishing this year than ever before as it suited the locations and conditions I found myself in very well and thoroughly enjoyed. Lots more of that to come in 2019!

Now Taking Bookings for 2019 - Drop me an early email at 
to secure Guided Trip or Workshop over prime tides in Beautiful West Cork!

Thank You to everyone that joined me in 2018 and a big Thanks also to;

who kindly supported us in 2018

Cape Cod 2018 Photos


Sunday, November 12, 2017

My Season of 2017

 My Season started far earlier than normal this year but it wasn't to target Bass, having got some up to date advice from UK Mullet specialist Colin Macleod I got going in Jan with the fly rod and almost immediately found success with both Thick and Thin Lips but was unable to build any consistency with these notoriously fickle creatures, despite having plenty of opportunities to capitalize, but it more than kept me busy for a few weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a huge amount in the process. I will be doing more of this for sure!

The Bass fishing kicked off pretty much on time towards the end of May and it was all action from then on. I did the majority of my fishing after dark from a wide range of locations pretty much all of which produced when the conditions were right and I added a few new ones along the way. The average size of fish was up on previous years the being around 3-4lb and upwards!

The biggest change for me in 2017 was the lures I used, I'd pretty much settled on a reliable selection of soft and hard baits over the previous years but that all changed this year with the dawning of a Hard and Soft Needle revolution which swept across the sport of UK/I Bass fishing. Stand outs for me were the Albie Snax from Cape Cod based Fish Snax Lures (Soft) and the 27g Westin Kongetobis a Scandinavian Sea Trout Lure (Hard) which is very similar to the Bass Bullet of old but more easily found and made in a range of great colors. 

Visiting Anglers were more of a focus this year as I worked on growing my Coaching & Guiding operation
! I have to say I had a great time meeting other keen anglers and sharing some hard won knowledge with them out the coast. I look forward to doing lots more of it in 2018 !!

A Boat Trip, I finally got the call to fish on Peter Aspinwall's boat via local species hunter and friend Izaak Bradley and despite a heavy cold (Possibly man Flu) and torrential rain we had great fun all morning, boating and releasing quality Bass on float fished live Sand eel which was a real eye opener to me in many ways! Oh what fun we had :-)

Trips away were fewer than in previous years due to the Coaching & Guiding commitments but I had a great time as always with John Quinlan at Thatch Cottage, Kerry and some less than spectacular trips to the Copper Coast that were saved by meeting up with other hardcore Bass Anglers like Keith & Kenny along with other locals, some old friends and others who became new friends.

This year I was lucky to return to the fabulous Cape Cod via Boston for a holiday with my Wife during which I managed to fit in plenty of fishing including two lure & fly Striper sessions on the flats with Steve Kean along with my first sessions on the legendary Cape Cod Canal one of which was with local legend and true gent Redtop Bull, this turned out to be another huge eye opener as to what goes on at this totally unique place, can't wait to go back!

On returning from Cape Cod and having toyed with the idea after seeing the possibilities for our Bass Fishing I finally decided to invest in a Kayak from Bantry Bay Canoes in Bandon. I think this may have ruined everybody's season actually as from the minute I left the shop with my fine new vessel the wind howled relentlessly meaning I only got one test paddle in and zero fishing done from it but at least I have all the basics in place ready for next year...

So all in all a really interesting year on all fronts, lots of new experiences met some great people, caught a stack of decent Bass (Some with stripes) all of which were released, what more could I have asked for? Roll on next season !!