Angling Notes: ATA calls for independent research on numbers of bass caught and sold

The Angling Trades Association (ATA) in Britain has reacted strongly to speculation about the number of bass that anglers catch and sell. Despite their inability to offer a scrap of evidence, some commercial fishing organisations have been attempting to highlight the illegal practice and exaggerate its likely importance.

Now the association is calling for independent research to uncover the facts.

The topic of illegal fishing and unlawful sale of catches were key subjects discussed during a recent meeting between the Angling Trust (AT) and several national fishing organisations.

Despite agreement to denounce all forms of illegal fishing, there remains the spectre that the restrictions on anglers’ rights to retain the bass they catch could be used as a spearhead for the imposition of catch restrictions on other marine species caught by recreational anglers.


ATA’s chairman Naidre Werner said: “The ATA has been steadfast in its support for the AT’s moves to build bridges with the commercial fishing sector. However, Government policies must be evidence-based and not founded on speculation.

“We are urging the Government to immediately initiate research to examine the extent of any ‘problem’ of illegal fish sales. This will help inform future policy decisions and enable organisations representing the recreational sea angling industry to initiate action to stamp out the practice.”

“The ATA is a strong supporter of the principle of sea fishing sustainability, and it stands squarely behind the campaigns to ensure that our sea fish stocks are available for enjoyment by recreational anglers.

“Research into the economic worth of those species captured by recreational anglers shows that the economic activity associated with recreational angling equals or exceeds that of commercial fleets.

“Policies based on rumour would jeopardise not just anglers’ sport but also affect the livelihoods of charter-boat skippers, coastal hotels and B&B’s, tackle shops, tackle manufacturers and all the other industry sectors who rely on plentiful fish stocks and the freedom to catch them.”

David Mitchell, AT's campaign manager, said: "Selling fish from an unlicensed powered vessel is a form of illegal commercial fishing which damages fish stocks, damages licensed fishermen's businesses and damages the reputation of the £2bn (€2.5bn) recreational angling sector which gets unfairly tarnished by these allegations."

Sourcing fish stocks

Following the statement from

Inland Fisheries Ireland

to close all of its fish farms, as referred to in last week’s

Angling Notes

, Nara’s secretary,

Joe Keena

, points out that this will “have a national effect with in excess of 100 fisheries being unable to source fish to stock their waters”, he said.

Man fined over pike

At a recent sitting of

Ennis District Court

, Judge Aonghus McCarthy convicted a man for breaches of the Conservation of Pike bylaw 809, 2006. The man pleaded guilty and fined €600 for the offences and a further €600 in legal costs.

Judge McCarthy heard evidence outlined by fisheries officers relating to a patrol near Lough Inagh, Co Clare. Four pike were seized, three of which measured over the size limit. Under the pike bylaw it is an offence to have more than one pike and/or have a pike greater than 50cm in one's possession.

David Walsh Memorial

Super fishing continues on Lough Mask despite the icy north winds and temperatures failing to reach double figures, according to fishery officer

Ronan Cusack


Ballinrobe & District Anglers held the David Walsh Memorial two-day competition over the bank-holiday weekend. The event was again a huge success with excellent fishing and supported by 84 anglers from across the country.

First place went to John Murry (Sligo) and Frankie Guilfoyle (Ennis) with 13 trout for 10kg, which included a fine fish of 3.2kg. In second place were Ronan Cusack and Frankie Guilfoyle Jnr, also with 13 for 7.25kg, while Noel Moran and Tom McMahon finished third with 11 for 7.1kg. Top club rod went to Ronan Cusack with seven trout for 4.3kg.

Olive hatches have been sporadic, but hopefully will improve as the weather is set to improve.

Few fly on Sheelin

On Lough Sheelin, fly life is scarce, with most of the action happening below the waterline. But anglers reported sightings of fish breaking the water for small buzzers in Chambers Bay and Bog Bay. There were also small hatches of olives in sheltered areas but, as yet, there is nothing substantial around.

The best flies were the Klinkhammer, Sooty Olive, Dabblers, Black Pennell, Hare's Ear, Connemara Black, Buzzer patterns, small Humungus, Diawl Bach, Stimulator in green, Bibio and Golden Olive Bumbles.

Areas that yielded best results included Bog Bay, Lynch’s Point, Chambers Bay, Holywell, back of Church Island, Goreport, Corru, Wilson’s Point and Sailors Garden.

Good day out on Corrib

On Lough Corrib, Tom “Doc” Sullivan reports of a good day’s fishing in the


Anglers’ Annual Wet Fly competition with 30 rods catching 45 trout. Results: 1, Gerry McDonnell, 4 fish, 3.4kg; 2,

Joe Quinn

, 4f, 2.8kg; 3,

Martin Kinneavy

, 4f, 2.5kg. Average weight equalled 0.68kg.

In the Oughterard area, 24 rods participated in the International Angling/Golfing competition, catching 45 trout over the two days for 25.4kg. The winning duo were Gerry Dixon (Oughterard) and Johnny Flaherty (Renvyle) with 11 fish.

Big pike landed

Geoffray Begard of


Fishing Trips

Ltd ( caught a magnificent pike of 9.97kg (22lb) last week on Lough MacNean. “Call him a cross-Border pike, I launch the boat in the North and landed him in the South,” he said.

Super salmon

Congratulations to

Mario Corona



who caught a super salmon on the


Salmon Fishery last week. Mario was given a birthday present by his son to come to Ireland and fish for salmon for his 80th birthday.

"I will never forget the look on his face during the fight, and the relief when he got it into the net," fisheries proprietor Glenda Powell said.

Boat prize

Lough Conn and Cullin anglers two-day fly fishing competition will take place over the Whit Weekend (June 4th-5th). The event offers a great weekend of fishing and a huge array of splendid prizes including a McCabe “Sheelin” boat as first prize.

To secure your place, contact Orla at 087-214 4395 or Pádraic, 086-605 2687.