Urgent - Email the EU Commission by 1st September 2016 and help save Sea Bass and sustainable Sea Bass fishing

The following is an email I received from the excellent Save Our Sea Bass website (SOS) - below their email I have provided links to the very well laid out and easy to follow instructions for sending your email to keep on pushing for better protection for the fish that so many of us love. Please, please do this, and let’s keep on trying to get better protection for the fish that so many of us love…………...

“Dear Save Our Sea Bass Subscriber - We have some important news for you.

On 30 June, ICES issued a new bass assessment.  It warns that the bass spawning stock is now at an all-time low and that there is now a risk that the stock's ability to regenerate itself is compromised.   ICES have therefore recommended a full moratorium for 2017.

We have previously advised the Fisheries politicians and managers that we should restrict the bass fishery to sustainable fishing only: recreational angling and commercial hook and line fishing (excluding long-lines).  This advice was not followed and, predictably, the stock is now in deep trouble and so a moratorium is needed.

We are concerned that, even now, the Fisheries politicians may give in to commercial lobbying pressure to allow unsustainable commercial bass fishing to continue.  We therefore need to send a strong and clear message to the Fisheries politicians and managers, telling them that their existing policy has failed and that from now on we want the bass fishery managed so as to deliver the greatest long term benefits to society, and that means restricting it to sustainable fishing only.

We hope that a moratorium will create some breathing space for the bass stock to recover.  But if it does, will we just see the fishery re-opened to unsustainable commercial fishing, so that the destruction of the stock can start over again?  We must not let that happen.

You will see that we have just completely updated the Save Our Sea Bass website.  We have also started a brand new campaign to email the Fisheries politicians and managers now that they are digesting the ICES advice and are considering how to react.  We would ask you to support this email campaign by sending an email and encouraging members of your family and friends to send an email too.  If you can help to promote the email campaign via social media too, that would be fantastic.

And finally, a special word for our French Subscribers and comrades in arms!  We understand that your Fisheries Minister, Alain Vidalies, is only interested in supporting the commercial bass fishermen and has no interest in listening to what French anglers or conservationists want.  However, he cannot act alone, he has to make his case on bass to other EU Member States and the EU Commission.  The more French people send emails objecting to unsustainable commercial bass fishing, the more difficult it becomes for Vidalies to sustain his argument - the other EU Member States in the negotiation will be able to tell him that he is not properly representing the wishes of the people of France.  We urge you to take part in the new email campaign and to spread the message widely across France

Best wishes from the Save Our Sea Bass team”.

Full details on how to send this email can be found here. Details in French are here. Many thanks.

Can you believe what we have to put up with from some of our clients?

This is an email I received from one of our clients the other day! Absolute bloody class…….

“Dear Mr. Gilbey - Whilst I am undoubtedly already overexcited about the forthcoming trip to Thatched Cottage in October for the excellent fishing tutorage, hospitality and camaraderie offered by John, Lynn and your good self, regretfully I have to raise with you a matter which is causing me much unease and distress about this particular trip….. your recently acquired French Pope-mobil like ‘vehicle’.

Upon brief research of various social media, including your very own blog, I don’t believe I am the sole incumbent of this feeling of disgust and revulsion at the sight of the %%$£@&* (French!) manufactured abomination you appear to find it acceptable to transport your paid up clients around the Kerry coastline. I note the undercurrent of ridicule that appears to be prevalent across many of these social media streams. Indeed, a recent contributor to your blog who refers to himself simply as ‘Joe’ comments “Am I really going to have to get in that ugly thing in October?”.  He is obviously too embarrassed to reveal his surname because he too is going to have to suffer the shame and indignity of being chauffeured around in this Citrus Berlusconi monstrosity (or whatever it’s called) which I am quite frankly flabbergasted you deem acceptable. I can only hope you are providing passengers with paper bags to cover their faces as they travel between destinations?

However, I do not wish to be perceived as a negative pariah towards this heap of French poo on wheels you are driving, and worryingly photographing with an unjustified amount of love and affection. Indeed, with this in mind, I am offering you a solution which I believe will satisfy future clients, save you from further social media ridicule and importantly save John and Lynn from any further agonising embarrassment when you rock up at Thatched Cottage. If you would kindly refer to the below picture I am offering you a suggested ‘paint job’ that I believe all clients, and indeed the angling community, would find acceptable for a man held in your esteem in the industry.

I believe it would somewhat hide the vehicle’s true origins and it could be easily rebranded as a ‘Berlinkomomo’ with minimal eyebrows being raised – in fact, I am sure it would be positively welcomed. Please note the lure inspired roof rod tube offered as a sensible ‘option’ for this customised vehicle. Your comments on this matter would be truly appreciated and I hope you can complete the suggested remedial action for all your client’s benefit before your October trip to Thatched Cottage. Yours sincerely…………”

Have a good weekend!

Is there a link between seriously bad weather and Guinness?

I don’t drink so I am merely an observer here, but out here in Ireland we have been on the end of a few days of truly dreadful weather - the sort of weather that winter would be proud of - and I have noticed an interesting correlation between when the weather just gets that bit too much and retreating to the pub to partake of a bit of Guinness which every single person who comes to Ireland tells me with joy in their eyes is way better than the Guinness they serve in the UK.

We made firm plans to go out bass fishing on the last night of our first group’s trip, but we went down to the beach where we had been getting a few and it was as good as unfishable. The wind’s seriously picking up, the sea is mildly alarming, but at least it’s not raining. No worries, this is Kerry, John knows every single nook and cranny, and off we went to find a bit of shelter. So we’re heading out there, I am driving behind John, but now it’s blowing at least a constant force 8 and the driving rain is doing that horizontal thing straight across the windscreen. We pull up at the mark, but John doesn’t turn his car off so I pull in alongside - there is dissent in the ranks! An executive decision has been made to give fishing in this truly horrendous weather a bit of a miss and retreat to the well known Rosie’s pub and see whether the stories about Guinness in Ireland really were true. I nurse my really exciting orange juice and wonder if I should think about taking up drinking again……….

Now I seriously feel for our second group who have so far been desperately unlucky to have their first two days essentially ruined by a perfect summer storm of serious wind and silly amounts of rain. We have tried our hearts out but almost everywhere we have fished has been in bad condition via the winds and rain water pouring into the bay via the rivers and streams. It’s looking a lot better out there today, but yesterday afternoon the executive decision was made to retreat to Rosie’s for a while, and yes, sample their Guinness which I am told is about as good as it gets, even in Ireland. Bear in mind that when the decision was made to retreat, we have been trying our hearts out for hours in some of the worst rain you can imagine, combined with a howling bit of breeze that of course drives that rain in and finds the gaps in your waterproof clothing (this new Vision Kust wading jacket I have been trying out for a while now is doing really well, but yet another pair of wading boots I have also been trying are on the way out). Credit to the guys for going at it as long as they did to be honest. Slapping on the suncream the other day out here feels like many moons ago, but the weather changes fast round here and conditions are starting to look rather interesting. Summer eh?

A few photos from two days of guiding out here in Kerry

What a blast. A thoroughly nice bunch of people, a quiet corner of Ireland that continues to grow on me the more I get to know it, and my time to work with anglers face to face and try to help them a bit with catching a few fish and lure fishing in general. Did I tell you that I love my bit of work I do out here with John Quinlan? Anyway, because it’s hectic and I have very little time, below are a few photos from the first couple of days of the trip - more to come……...

First light, first morning, Kerry showing off!

First light, first morning, Kerry showing off!

Richard with a bass of 5lbs, taken on the most stunning looking white coloured IMA Komomo Slim 130 - yes, I am going shopping..........!

Richard with a bass of 5lbs, taken on the most stunning looking white coloured IMA Komomo Slim 130 - yes, I am going shopping..........!

So much fishing out here, and it never ceases to amaze me how few anglers you see out and about.

So much fishing out here, and it never ceases to amaze me how few anglers you see out and about.

Bass on!

Bass on!

Water tends to find a way in...........

Water tends to find a way in...........

Dan with a bass he nailed on weedless soft plastic. The lad can fish!

Dan with a bass he nailed on weedless soft plastic. The lad can fish!

Another perfectly ordinary spot to stop for a bit of lunch and a cup of tea! Look at that ground behind the guys.

Another perfectly ordinary spot to stop for a bit of lunch and a cup of tea! Look at that ground behind the guys.

How did that get in there?! Ugly as sin but the best car I have ever owned. Drove for ten hours on my own in it on Saturday and it was as easy as you like. And now I am photographing my car - is that daft or what?

How did that get in there?! Ugly as sin but the best car I have ever owned. Drove for ten hours on my own in it on Saturday and it was as easy as you like. And now I am photographing my car - is that daft or what?