Wexford harbour was where I caught my first ever fish during my school holidays many years ago, a perfectly conditioned sea bass of about three and a half pounds caught in the upper harbour on a traditional lure known locally as the German sprat or Cebar. I was was ecstatic with my hard earned catch, that feeling remains to this day. I now visit the same location to fish perhaps only once or twice a year, often with the same lure too for old times sake.
Some time ago when browsing data I found the below report by Edward Fahy in relation to the Wexford Harbour fishery which proved very interesting for many reasons. Click on the link below and have a read for yourself.
” The Wexford sea bass (Dicentrarchus Labrax) fishery is operated during most months of the year with a high
season from May to October. The fishery commenced in the’ 1950s but has shown a decline
from the first years in which statistics became available. A proportion of the commercial
catch comes from stake and ring nets with a mesh size of 18.4 cm in the round. Both take
fish of similar fork length. Bass of 30-43 cm were the- majority of those retained and they
were mainly immatures. The smallest mature female examined in 1978 was a 6 + of 36.5 cm
fork length. The greater part of the commercial catch is taken by line’. Some details of the
biology of bass in south east Ireland in 1978 are given: the fish fed mainly on shore crabs,
sand shrimps and bait fishes. Sex ratios were approximately two females to each male.
Growth in the mid 1970s differed little from other decades and it is concluded that bass in
Irish waters conform to’ a single growth curve which is. temporarily altered by good or bad
growing years. ”
” Of the 184 fish examined in Wexford, 35 contained no food remains. Sand
shrimps Crangon vulgaris (Fab.) were numerically most important although some of the shore crabs Carcinus maenus (L.) were large (maximum carapace width 7 cm) and their total volume approached that of sand shrimps ”
Click here to see the full document.
Source: Marine Institute (Fisheries Bulletin No.3 1981 – Edward Fahy)