Catalogue cover

I got hold of a copy of the new Veals 2008 Bass catalogue today, with a photo of mine on the cover, and plenty more inside. I really like the choice of photo as it works well for the landscape format of the catalogue. And there is a huge amount of bass fishing tackle inside - check out their mail order website here. These are the guys I get my much loved Maria Chase lures from.

A couple of friends of mine had an incredible catch of 19 small-eyed rays the other night off a rock mark in North Cornwall. The rays may have been of no great size, but that is incredible shore fishing in anybody's book. I have always had a soft spot for small-eyed ray fishing, and one of my favourite marks of all time has to be the well known Skate Rock close to Treyarnon Bay in Cornwall. I used to spend a lot of time up there and we had some awesome fishing over the years. I have sensed a bit of a revival in the numbers of rays around over the last few years, and I hope it continues.

Check out a plaice fishing feature of mine in the new issue of Sea Angler, on pages 120, 121, 122 and 124. Whilst they are not exactly the most "explosive" of fish to catch, there is something very special about seeing these flatfish.

With the current explosion in light tackle bass fishing interest, I am really glad to see that Mel Russ (Sea Angler editor) has gone and "discovered" the delights of fishing with surface lures. I note that he was fishing with one of Ireland's top bass anglers, John Hall. Check out some stuff I did with John a few years ago, click here. Little can beat fishing with topwater lures anywhere in the world.

There are a bunch of my photos in the current issue of Trout Fisherman, check out pages 42, 43, 44, 45 and 46. Words are by Nick Hart.

Anyway, enough about fishing. How about a bit more metal ? Anybody who has been into metal long enough to witness the "birth" of thrash metal will have several Testament CDs in their collection. And they are back with a stunning new album called The Formation of Damnation, check here for a few samples.

If you do not have Slayer's historical album Reign in Blood in your thrash metal collection, then please leave the building and close the door. I will never forget listening to that album for the first time, and back then I believe I bought it on vinyl. I would argue that nobody has ever bettered it as a pure thrash metal release. Yes, of course, it's in my top five of all time.

All we need now is for the (once) mighty Metallica to release an album that can come close to their first three masterpieces. What on earth happened to these guys and their recent output ? Go back and listen to the awesome Master of Puppets to see just how good they once were. I don't own any of their CDs after the Black album, and even that I rate as somewhat suspect.