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?

Off for a couple of weeks of guiding work in Ireland, will blog when possible

I’ve been looking forward to this for ages, and yes, whilst it might be considered a bit strange by some to actively look forward to more work, these trips I do with John Quinlan of Thatch Cottage Fishing Lodge are an absolute blast and I love it. I leave home early on Saturday morning, do the roughly 4.5hr drive to Fishguard in my gloriously ugly but so bloody comfortable to drive new car, catch the 14.30 ferry to Rosslare in south east Ireland, and then if all goes to plan it’s another 4.5 to 5hrs of driving the other side to get to Kerry. Not the shortest journey in the world, but I’m used to it, and waking up to a Kerry dawn on Sunday morning will make it all more than worthwhile…………..

Our two girls have just got back from spending a week in France with a French family we know, so whilst I have only the one day with them before I have to head off to Ireland and I will miss them like mad, as a parent it makes me so happy to see them having such an awesome summer holiday. We don’t do wasted days here and I reckon they will need to go back to school for a rest at the end of these holidays! They do sometimes ask me why I am not on holiday with them, but they understand that dad has to work.

Anyway, as per usual when I am away on these trips, I will put stuff up here when possible, but please accept that time is somewhat limited. I would also like to apologise that I sometimes am simply unable to reply to all the emails and messages I get via this blog and website - I try my best, but I work on my own here and I just can’t answer everything that isn’t directly work related. I try, and I don’t like not sometimes being able to reply to people, but I can’t see a way round it. Please don’t think me rude if I have not been able to get back to you. I had best go sort the gear out for this Ireland trip now. Have a good weekend, catch up soon. Roll on Test Match Special for my journey tomorrow (another epic summer of cricket), and then the fascinating first season of the Serial podcasts that I can bluetooth from my iPhone to the stereo in my ugly as sin Berlingo - is that progress or what?!

I so wish that all treble, weedless and single hooks could be made out of whatever the hell Lunker City make their awesome Texposer hooks out of

If you use weedless hooks for your lure fishing, have you ever come across or used the rather awesome Lunker City Texposer hooks? A weedless hook that I believe was thought up nearly twenty years ago now, so it’s hardly new or cutting-edge, yet without a doubt it’s the one hook I use in saltwater that as good as refuses to rust up. OK, so it’s not as if hooks are the most expensive thing we might buy in our lure fishing, but yes, it pisses me off no end when hooks rust up and need replacing for the most part a little too quickly for my liking - and especially treble hooks on expensive lures……...

I am kinda assuming that the weirdly shaped but highly effective Lunker City Texposer hooks ain’t made out of moon dust, but why on earth do these not exactly very expensive weedless hooks hardly seem to go rusty at all, and if they eventually do, it’s either a long way down the road or otherwise you’ve lost the hook somewhere along the line and you’re using a newer one anyway. I happen to especially like the largest size Lunker City Texposer hooks for any soft plastics around 5’’ and larger that I might fish weightless and weedless, and I can buy a packet of five of these hooks for £2.99 right here - and going on how few weedless hooks I lose before I begin to think of how they almost refuse to rust up anyway, well I reckon that’s some decent value for money.

But if a hook design that is nearly twenty years old can and does last so long in saltwater use, then why on earth can’t other hooks do the same? It may be a little sad I know, but I actually dream of modern treble and single lure hooks that are made from exactly the same material as the Lunker City Texposer hooks. It’s obviously some sort of steel, but what on earth do they do to it to get it to last so long? Even when I crush the barbs on these weedless hooks (and I always do, and no, I don’t lose fish because of it), this doesn’t create a “rust spot”, yet crush the barbs on most treble or single hooks (and I always do) and I bet you that’s the first area which will show signs of rust.

I have a bunch of different weedless hooks and I especially like a certain Mustad one that fits one of those hitchhiker things on there (hook code 91768BLN if that helps, I picked a bunch up in the US a couple of years ago, I prefer the 6/0 for 5’’+ soft plastics), but as good as these hooks are, they will rust up around the eye area especially after a bit of time. Again you can argue that it’s hardly a big deal, but then I would ask why on earth the Lunker City Texposer hooks don’t seem to ever go rusty? I know that hook companies don’t exactly want their hooks to last forever and that saltwater is the ultimate killer of gear, but a twenty year old hook design lasting as well as it does compared to so many other hooks? And yes, I am waffling on about weedless hooks because the whole senko thing at night is becoming more and more addictive, and when something really gets to me like that, my brain goes a wandering!