Very prevalent this year are juvenile bass in the 30-40cm bracket, according to scaling data most were spawned in 2012 making the majority around five years old for this year class. Only time will tell of course but early signs point to a decent year class. But it’s good to see them all same, there have been years fairly recently when they were very scarce, for sure. Sampling surveys carried out in various estuary systems by the above agencies in Ireland show how fickle the years are, though no surveys were carried out between 2009 – 2012 the harsh winters over that period took there toll on newly hatched bass young as they drifted helplessly in the surface layers of the ocean in their first few months of life, with the knock on effect of 3-4 missing generations of stock. Scale sampling tells us a lot, for example 2 sets of scales I sent in last year revealed a big difference between two bass of the same age, both were spawned in 2011 one was 48cm, the other 37cm, a difference of 11cm. Where a juvenile spends it’s first few years has a big bearing on it’s growth, & I’m sure it’s success as a breeding adult. After five years of age, growth slows down with the onset of maturity, & breeding… So respect them, they’ve done well to get this far. Handle them with care….