Posted 06:53, 28 November 2014
- Cricket fan or not, it cannot have escaped your attention that 25 year old professional Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died from being hit on the head by a cricket ball - check here for example. 25 years old, playing the sport he loved and he dies doing it - what a complete and utter tragedy. I am a big time cricket fan and I can’t really believe that a professional cricketer has died playing the game. Sure, you expect that batsmen are going to get hit from time to time, indeed fast bowling and the intimidation it can bring about are a part of the game - but a young batsman with his life ahead of him dying from a freak accident? It doesn’t happen in cricket, surely……………
- Do you ever look at whatever sport you might follow and remind yourself that for all the talent and skill these people have, for the most part they are mere youngsters with a life ahead of them after their professional sporting career is over. I love rugby and cricket with a passion, but there isn’t a professional rugby player or cricketer out there playing for any top tier side who is older than I am. All the more shocking is the fact that Phillips Hughes was only 25 and will play the sport he loved no more. Injuries are a part of what these guys do, but I can’t imagine that a batsman has ever walked out to bat and entertained the thought of dying from it. However scary the bowling was and however much these guys thought they could get hurt (the last Ashes series is a classic example), you don’t die from playing the sport you love…………
- It was a complete freak accident that I am sure is not about to change the way cricket is played. Accidents happen and this tragic accident happened to befall a young professional sportsman. Watch this short tribute video here and tell me you don’t choke up at what a hunger for life this youngster had. A life that has been tragically cut short. I feel for his family and friends. Phillip Hughes’ mother and sister were at the game when he was hit on the back of the head. I read the reports of the accident and fully expected to read about this cricketer leaving hospital with a few nasty bruises. Never did I expect to read that Phillip Hughes died.
- I’ll tell you who else I really feel for here, and that’s the bowler who delivered the fateful bouncer - Sean Abbott. Another youngster doing what he loved, and apparently a rising star of Aussie cricket. Fast bowlers bowl bouncers. It’s as much a part of their “job” as you doing what you do for your work. Batsmen expect to face bouncers and it’s all a part of the awesome sport that is cricket. But how is a youngster like Sean Abbott ever going to get over this? It was a freak accident and not remotely his fault, but how will he ever bowl fast again and be expected to bowl the odd bouncer when in the front of his mind will forever be the cruel fact that a ball he bowled ended up killing somebody? It isn’t right and I hugely respect how much the cricketing world is getting behind this guy, but how will he ever come to terms with it? Phillip Hughes, RIP. What a complete and utter shocker. It ain’t right, end of.
- Anyway, on Sunday night I am heading over to France on the Plymouth to Roscoff ferry. If the weather allows I will be getting out and taking some photos with the lad who designs the Fiiish lures, Matt, and then later in the week we have various meetings etc. at Fiiish HQ in Brest. Going to France is always cool as it is, and I can’t help but hope that I might get another taste of how awesome French bass fishing can be - as per our trip down there in November 2012 - check out some photos here. But as per Nick’s short video clip above from that trip, I am also hoping that the sea isn’t like this!! I will never forget those few days, and my respect for the way that some of these French anglers go about their sport is immense. I’ll try and keep the blog updated next week, as much as time and internet access allows. You all have a good weekend.
Posted 08:03, 26 November 2014
- I was out the other day in some conditions that were verging on unfishable, and it got me thinking about how some of the lures I was carrying were essentially useless when faced with the raging bit of sea I was trying to catch bass from. A really shallow diving hard lure is obviously designed to work near the surface, and if near the surface is very turbulent then for the most part it ain’t going to “grip” in - not the lure’s fault, rather our fault for putting on the wrong lure for the conditions. To be honest I was mostly checking out some new ground and working out how much sea it could take before filling up with colour and weed, but once more it rammed home to me how some of these little bits of (not cheap) plastic are often some pretty amazing little things really.
- I am sure like me you have a few lures that you turn to when conditions get really bouncy, and if we take various soft plastics out of the mix here, what for you are the lures that “bite” in the best? The lures that get you out there into a strong headwind, grip in hard on the retrieve and thus put you in with a shout at catching fish. How rough is rough I suppose, but you know what I’m talking about - those times you have to keep a close eye on the surging waves and have quite possibly getting the hell out of the way if required. These times though can be when serious bass turn up, as per the photo above - a 10lb south coast Irish bass taken on the MegaBass Zonk Gataride in that pearl colour if I remember rightly. Without doubt one of those lures for me that I trust to keep me fishing in these kinds of conditions………..
- I really like the look of the MegaBass X-80 Magnum, indeed it kind of crept up on me as one of the longest casting minnow type hard lures I have come across, and it just “bites” so hard into a sea and keeps you fishing. I know it might not look like it, but this thing just arrows into the wind. I haven’t caught a bass on this lure yet, albeit I probably haven’t given it enough time yet. Have any of you had good bass fishing on this lure?
- One of the hard lures I would never be without now when the conditions are on the bouncy side, the IMA Hound 125F Glide, or whatever variation on the Hound “family”. I just liked the look of this lure from the off, and it obviously helps when a new lure works almost straight away for you, as per the fish above. Confidence is key is it not? There’s nothing radical or very different about the action, indeed many lures are simply variations on another are they not, and by whatever process we stumble upon the ones that work for us. This Hound Glide gets me out there and keeps me fishing, and because I have caught on it before I therefore feel confident that the lure will do it for me if there are feeding fish around. It’s a missile of a lure. Obviously I am not remotely excited that there’s a slightly larger and heavier 140mm version of this lure coming out soon……….
- One of the first hard lures that began to appear on my radar as one of those rougher weather specialists if you like was the DUO Tide Minnow 145 SLD-S (sinking), and yes, the different Tide Minnow codes are bloody confusing. I do like white lures in murkier water and I have always regretted not buying a white version of this lure when I saw it in a tackle shop but thought nope, I’ll get it another time - and some swine of an angler had gone and bought it when I was next in there!! DUO lures are just class bits of kit and you’re not going to far wrong with this one when the sea starts a pounding.
- How about the IMA Sasuke family, and specifically for me the 120 and 140 models which over time I have learnt to trust implicitly as bass-catching weapons? The MegaBass X140SW of course has to come into the mix, and the 120mm sinking Jackson Athlete minnow is one I have done well on. There are a few Daiwa lures from Japan that look pretty awesome, but I haven’t seen them. Same with Shimano. I am of course very sure that there are any number of really “grippy” hard lures out there that I haven’t seen or used, so please feel free to tell me what works for you in those rougher conditions that this time of year tends to be about. I also keep meaning to load the arse end of the bigger 7’’ MegaBass DOT Crawler with a few rattles and give it some decent water time in rougher conditions. The season ain’t over yet……………
Posted 09:25, 24 November 2014
- Never has our ability to be able to do so much groundwork before we actually go fishing been greater, but as much as we can so easily and efficiently access information via the internet and fishing magazines especially, yet again it has been rammed home to me yet again only recently how nothing can actually beat getting out there and having a proper look. A resource like Bing maps is simply incredible with us being able to look at a straight forward map, a bird’s eye view, and also the O/S maps on there, but how about getting in and out of fishing spots at different stages of the tide? Ah, good old fashioned walking and scrambling around - it warms the cockles of my heart on a cold Monday morning………..
- I love going looking for new ground and fishing different spots. I like fishing with friends but I don’t particularly want to have stacks of other anglers around when I am out on the coastline, and I find exactly the same thing when going to the beach with my family - thank god the majority of people are pretty lazy. The further you walk, the less people you see, it’s always the same all around the world. Most people just don’t like walking very far or doing something different, and I can’t help but rejoice in this.
- The bit of coastline that is most local to me can produce some good bass fishing sometimes, but without a doubt it’s been far more fragile since those storms of last winter. Things start to fizz up nicely and large parts of my local stretch simply blow out. It seems to be getting better, but it will depend I am sure on how this winter pans out now. To find decent looking water I have essentially had no choice but to go looking a bit further and try to find areas of shallowish ground that had deeper, rockier water close in that was not going to colour up so easily. I spent some time on Bing maps and chose to start looking at some ground that was further west from a couple of marks I have fished a fair bit.
- I’ve done trips to various beaches with my family and then nipped off with Storm for an extra bit of walking to go check out bits of coastline. I have jumped in my car and driven down various lanes and dead ends while looking for access and parking, and then jumped out with Storm and simply gone walking and exploring. I’ve gone fishing and then just kept on wandering and scrambling to familiarise myself with the terrain. My interest was initially pricked by various details I found on Bing maps (or Google Earth etc.), but that research only gets you so far. Getting out there and physically checking things out - surely that’s a big part of fishing?
- Now I’ve probably found and fished say five different marks on this bit of coastline. I have had a heap of wrasse on a couple of them especially, and I have either caught or seen bass caught on all of them. I can’t pretend I am there yet with the ins and outs of each spot, but I feel that we’re starting to get to grips with them, and most importantly for me is the fact that in certain wind directions and big fizzing seas I can fish away in some pretty stunning conditions and feel like I am in with a good shout. One of the spots in particular is a decent hike, but I love that kind of thing, and of course my dog literally jumps for joy whenever I pull up there.
- I have done as much looking around as I can on the internet at this bit of coastline, but that only gets me so far. By really looking around I have found all kinds of paths and different points of access, and I feel that this puts me in good stead for the future. One particular part of this coastline looks pretty stunning for bass fishing when it really fizzes up and makes other places unfishable, but my initial looking around had thrown up only one way in there, and I was being forced to fish around the LW because a deep gully was blocking access - when I wanted to concentrate a bit of effort around the HW and then back.
- I was down there on Saturday morning, and whilst the fishing was absolute pants, to me it ended up being a very worthwhile few hours. I was sitting down having a my glorious cup of coffee (see here) and taking in the rather lovely morning warmth and light, and I was scanning the cliffs to see if I could see another way in that would give me access to the ground over the top of the tide. I was looking and looking and I then suddenly noticed a bit of a colour change in the vegetation. Was that a bit of a path?
- Well the only way you find out is by getting off your arse and having a look. I finished my rather lovely cup of coffee, left my fishing gear where it was, and went to have a look with Storm. Lo and behold it’s a well hidden path that now gives me pretty easy access into all this ground at whatever state of the tide I want, rather than being forced into certain times because of the other way in. Now the fact that there’s small path there I am sure means that other anglers must fish here, but it’s not as if I am going looking for “secret” marks. I am just trying to expand my horizons and give myself all manner of options to get out fishing in different conditions, and for all the resources out there these days, you’re never going to beat actually getting out in the fresh air and having a good old fashioned look around - and I need to do more, because there's a load more good looking ground around here and I need to see if I can find a way down to it...........