Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thought for food.

       During the big blow we had recently it was again noticable that Kinsale harbour was devoid of any French and Spanish trawlers sheltering from the weather. There would normally be half a dozen or so of the same boats who have been calling into port for years.
     We used to be friends with a crew of French guys and shared pints and laughs through the bad gales over a couple of winters. Unfortunately at Xmas time one year they didn't make it back to port and their boat sank 30 miles offshore with the sad loss of all onboard, I never brought myself to make friends with any other crews since.
        Aside from the potential dangers of fishing off Ireland what else is causing the disappearance of foreign trawlers from Irish water?
    Oil costs and the poor prices they are getting for their fish back home,due to world recession, have now made it unviable to visit our waters so a lot of foreign boats are just not coming here anymore.
  Our own fleet are also finding oil prices are having a major impact on how they fish.The small sandy bays around my local coastline used to get trawled regularly by the inshore fleet "having a look" to see what was about. Nowadays every single tow cost so much in fuel that only the main fishing areas, with a more guaranteed catch return, are seeing any trawling activity.
     Ofcourse the benefits of this situation are starting to be felt by anglers with plaice fishing showing big signs of improvement in said bays along with dabs ,codling ,gurnards and other species.

Gill netting has also taken a hit with such a reduced effort out of Kinsale it's practically non existent nowadays. Consequently there has been an explosion in the hake stock off the southwest coast with vast amounts of fish being reported.Cod are supposed to be around in much better numbers aswell but I will wait and see before I start celebrating that news.
    I hope the wrecks continue to get a rest from the netters and given time the fishing will improve on them also, those that aren't too broken up or disintegrated anyway.

  So a strange silver lining in the clouds that is oil prices , unfortunately no such good news on the shore angling scene .
     The local Gilthead population are now being fished to extinction by brainless anglers , and with angling journalists getting in on the action I can only hope and pray I don't see any articles in the media giving away information to other greedy individuals.
     Anglers from Dublin were fishing one well known WestCork mark recently and just killed everything they caught,including gilties and schoolies, and all taken from a small sensitive stretch of water. With no small/young giltheads showing anywhere locally it looks like the end of the road for this beautiful and hard fighting species in Cork?
     Some Eastern Europeans gangs continue to decimate some areas with a thriving trade being done with their local chinese restaurant , they can be seen on some marks practically fishing/killing around the clock and not a thing being done about it , and the mess! well I better not get started on that one :-(
     Probably not the most PC of posts I've written and I apologise if I offend any of you, but I'm just reporting on what I have found is happening in my area , you may be experiencing similar situations where you are?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fishing On-line

I'm back in the 21st century after some computer problems. It feels good to be online again but I didn't really miss it as much as I would have expected........it eats into your fishing time.
    If  I'd been reading the catch reports of late it might of put me off going bass fishing too. I don't know if we missed a red-tide scenario down here? but we've honestly found fairly consistent fishing this year, weather allowing!
              Our worst guided day out of the season  produced one bass of around 4lb and two mullet about the same size ,we switched target species in the afternoon as conditions were very weedy on the day. Apart from that trip we've generally been getting between 5-7 bass over a full days guiding . Ok granted its not the big numbers we were finding in 2010 but the fish are still a decent average size and customers have been re-booking so we're pleased enough. The fact that we're not a full-time operation probably helps with consistency, for obvious reasons.
     Its the same story with our personal fishing and that of our close friends with fish being found in East (mostly on bait) and West Cork (mostly lures). I think a lot of the guys who are catching fish are just keeping quiet about it , again for obvious reasons. A lot of people want it given to them on a plate and the net has proven a useful tool for gleaning such info. Some of the more popular marks have been getting immense angling pressure because of clues given away in catch reports and I don't think we will be seeing as many posted in future.
     Its guys who are putting in the effort who are getting rewards and are just keeping quiet about it . Thats how it appears to me in my immediate circle anyway, apologies if this goes against the grain of others experiences this year but I'm not going to make up poor fishing stories just to fit in with the general consensus.Saying that though , I do feel for anglers who are finding their haunts devoid of fish and hope and pray it is mostly due to the crazy weather that climate change seems to be bringing us, the other possible reasons for a scarcity along the coast are too upsetting to contemplate at this moment (We have netters and spear fishermen here too).No-one complained about the steady bass fishing that was to be found through last winter so hopefully things are just messed up at the moment.
  Yeah the weather is unsettled and this always has a detrimental effect on bass fishing which is a shame, but you can't have great seasons without poor ones , its not a computer game.