Like leading a horse to water......

    A seriously easy journey to get to Belle Ile, and sharing a cabin on the ferry with Graham was pretty good as well - it's amazing what a sleeping pill and ear plugs can do !! The weather was roasting when we arrived, so we were taken out on a boat for a few hours by Yannick Cordier (the boss of Ultimate Fishing) and a friend of his. I nailed my first ever French bass (only small) on a new lure I got hold of the other day, a Maria Fake Baits. (strange name) Seems to work nicely, a bit deeper than the Maria Chase BW. We also caught a load of big garfish on lures. But this was only a little warm up....

    Excuse the order of the photos because they are not sequential. First thing Friday morning we were on the rocks with Yannick, and there was a little bit of life to the sea which there had not been when we arrived. I give Graham huge credit, for within ten minutes he was calling me on the radio (we carry them for helping with photography) to say he was into a bass. Like leading a horse to water - Yannick had brought us to a big stretch of coastline and said fire away, and Graham had looked around, sniffed out a decent bit of ground, and nailed the fish. I think he had eight bass on the trot, nothing above about 3lbs, but all very feisty and in great condition. The lure was non other than the Tackle House Feed Shallow in a white colour. Yannick nailed a few bass on one of his favourite bass lures, a Duo Tide Minnow Slim (the 125mm size I think, need to check), but even he was pretty blown away by Mr. Hill smashing all those fish on the Feed Shallow. I charged around taking photos and fished when I could, so it's no shock to hear I caught no bass yesterday morning - but I got some cool shots. Needs must.....

    We searched hard for some more bass yesterday, but the weather went completely still and lifeless on us. Just when you want a bit of wind and life and it all dies a death !! One very cool thing we have done was to get a guided tour around Ultimate Fishing with Yannick himself, and if you are at all interested in high-end Japanese lures and all those awesome red rods, then you will understand when I refer to that hour as close to being in heaven !!! Neither Graham or I have seen that many lures or red rods in one place, indeed we talked about bashing Yannick over the head and running off with the whole lot of them !! Honestly, the both of us walked around with our jaws on the floor. You should have seen the rows and rows of hard and soft lures, and the boxes and boxes of MegaBass XLayer soft plastic lures.

    One thing that both Graham and noticed was the incredible number of Zenith Z-Claw lures that were on the shelves, plus thousands of Duo Tide Minnows. Both ranges are huge sellers for Ultimate Fishing, and obviously Mick in Jersey does loads of this gear right here. Yannick told us that the Z-Claw is about his biggest selling surface lure in France, indeed I saw him nail one yesterday afternoon (see the top photo). This lure looks stunning when it is worked slowly and very deliberately, and it creates a stunning wake effect that obviously turns the bass on big time. Another lure on the shopping list !!

      Above is Graham putting the gears on another French bass. This island is stunning, seriously, I am going to bring my family out here for a holiday one of these days. It's like a little piece of pristine France - unspoilt, a stunning coastline, and miles and miles of bass fishing everywhere you look. We need the weather to behave a bit more for us, but Belle Ile is a little slice of heaven. Easy to get to, really friendly people, fantastic food, just plain awesome. Even in this brief time I can see how good this place can be for bass fishing, and they also have stacks of shore fishing for species like big sole, congers, wrasse, turbot, pollack, bream etc. Too much to do, too little time....

        Above is the Ultimate boss man Yannick clambering down the rocks to get to a bass he nailed on one of his Duo Tide Minnow lures. It's interesting to see the way he works the lures, and once more I am learning a hell of a lot about these modern styles of lure fishing. But I think Yannick was really surprised to see Graham smashing the bass by cranking the Feed Shallow lure. I suppose we all learn off each other. As I said, like leading a horse to water......

          We all went out before first light this morning, and the three of us nailed a bunch more bass - again, nothing big, but good fish on various lures. At the moment the rain is lashing down and we are waiting for the tide before we head back out again. Guess what was in Yannick's lure box this morning ? Graham and I spied a brand spanking new Feed Shallow in there, but I guess the boss can take his own lures off the shelves !! It's not a hugely popular lure in France, but obviously a bunch of us lot in the UK really like it for "our" bass fishing. Anyway, better get back to it. More reports when I get a chance.