Just because you can see a stack of bass..............

............doesn't make them a pushover to catch !! Holy cow have we seen some numbers of bass moving around. In one spot specifically there are big numbers of large bass moving around and killing the odd bit of bait, but then I am sure you can imagine how frustrating it is not to be able to fish to them properly because there is so much suspended weed in the water. "Weedless" soft plastics are great in that you can essentially fish them over and through any kind of ground, but they are not weedless in the sense that they miraculously don't pick up those infernal bits of suspended weed that in the end drive you mad when there are fish around but you can't get at them properly - there was a little bit of fruity language going down I can assure you. Big bass but you can't get at them. Aaaaarrrrgghhh !!

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We had a situation yesterday morning where there were stacks of bass finning/sunbathing in front of us, but they seemed very uninterested in feeding. Eric did really well to nail one around the 5lb mark on the Hawg Wild 6'' senko, a soft plastic these lads fish really slowly on a straight retrieve, and believe me, I get to hear fishing reports from time to time that quite frankly fry my brain, and these lures have been responsible for a scary amount of big bass over the last year or so. The lads specifically like the way you can tuck the hook point away on these senkos and not affect the action at all, and it's this colour that they really like.

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I have been catching a few fish on these Fish Arrow Flash J 5'' things that I bought in the Art of Fishing a few weeks back (see here), and I have been fishing them in a very specific way - I am sure I'm not using them remotely how they are meant to be used, but after watching the lads slowly straight retrieving their senkos instead of twitching them around like I am prone to, I did the same to one of these Fish Arrow things and watched in amazement as it swam with the most awesome, lazy little slalom or "s" action literally just under the surface. Wind too fast and it "dies" up on the surface, but slow right down and the lure starts to look very cool indeed.....................

And it works big time. I had a bass of 5.5lbs yesterday morning that I saw flare its gills and smash into the lure it was that close, indeed this particular lure has taken a few fish for me on this trip in situations when it's been tough going - but then is that plastics all over ? Yes, I am sure there are plenty of other soft plastics that might work like this, but I bought the Fish Arrow ones and therefore they are the ones I have been using.

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I do get a huge kick out of getting a new lure and then catching on it exactly where I had hoped it might do the job. I did just that with this relatively shallow diving MegaBass Cutter 125 that I got just before Xmas, and although I caught bass on it straight away at home, in truth I was trying to save it up for one specific spot we fish over here in Ireland. I had a hit the other day on the Cutter 125 that was as savage as I can remember from a bass, and although it was "only" around the 5lb mark, it just about made my trip that I caught the fish from the exact set of rocks that I had spent time imagining in my head, with my new lure, and fished in the way that I had thought might work - rod tip up, slow retrieve, hang on !!

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What I actually did was cast the lure past Ger and say something along the lines of "look at that beauty in the water", and then on the next cast I put it out in front of me and got nailed. Talk about lucky timing !! Complete fluke I know, but sort of satisfying in its own way. Every time I come to Ireland I learn a whack load more, and my brain is close to overload with all the information I have been taking on board and processing in this (strange ?) head of mine.

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It has really stuck home to me on this trip how I need to keep a very open mind and sometimes almost unlearn bits and pieces of what I had perhaps presumed about bass fishing, because we end up doing stuff out here that a few years back I might never have imagined could possibly be a part of bass fishing if that makes sense. Look, I love blasting hard lures out into an open coast rock mark when it's fizzing for example, but there is just so much more to this bass fishing thing than that, and without doubt the whole soft plastics thing has got a lot to do with it in my book - and bass fishing over in Ireland really forces me to think on my feet and accept wholeheartedly that I need a different mind-set to back home - or is that me actually needing to apply more of what I learn and experience out here to the fishing back home ?

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Perhaps the biggest kick I have had so far on this trip was nailing a couple of nice bass the other evening not five minutes from where we are staying down here in Dungarvan at the Gold Coast Golf resort (plenty of details on going fishing in Ireland here). There is some stunning ground within easy walking distance from our front door and I kind of love the idea that we can get some great fishing right outside of where we are, and that within say a two minute radius you could be fishing surface lures, bumping plastics, cranking hard lures and slowly twitching soft plastics through the weed. But then this is Ireland and not for one second does this magical country cease to amaze me. Plenty more to come.............