Memories of perfect days to keep you going

Now that we are moving into summer and the weather is just so lovely and warm (ok, bad joke, what on earth has happened ?), my mind often turns to what we might know as "perfect fishing sessions" - those hours or days when everything just goes perfectly. Weather, fish, people you are with, location, everything just comes together to produce a bank of memories that you can turn to and relive when you feel like it. Right about now in fact with this last blast of winter. I was recently going through a bunch of bass photos to send to a client and my mind started to wander..........

This particular day was 20th July 2008, just one out of another great week in south east Ireland - a generally rubbish summer weather wise, but we got lucky and hit it right. A bunch of us scrambled down a short section of rope early on that particular morning, clambered around a corner, and straight away we could see fish topping and moving around. I am not hugely into completely flat calm conditions, but the presence of lots of mullet and bass breaking the surface had my adrenaline levels close to overload, and that was before I had even cast a lure out. I distinctly remember Trevor and I wading quietly along the beach and suddenly seeing a number of bass around the 5-7lb mark come rushing in after some small mullet. They were literally around our legs. You don't forget that kind of thing in a hurry.

I like being around anglers who fish hard - you can probably guess that I choose to fish with people who just get on with it. Trevor smashed a number of bass that perfect morning, including this one you can see above. No real monster, but just a serious amount of fun. To see bass and (huge) mullet moving around in front of us as the tide ebbed kept the heart rate up for those few hours, and I even managed to nail a half-tidy fish myself - in between taking a lot of photos. But in all honestly, it was Trevor and Graham who did the business that particular morning.

I do remember Trevor catching a lot of bass that week, and it was the first time that I had really come across the Tackle House Feed Shallow, as you can see in the fish's mouth above - every single bass the guy caught that week came on the Feed Shallow (see here) and it has always stuck in my head. Word travels fast in fishing, and since then I have classed it as one of those "don't go bassing without one" kind of lure. It's just one of those classic bass-catching machines for shallow, rocky ground especially, although Trevor nailed a number of estuary fish on it as well.

Everything about that morning was as perfect as a few hours' fishing can be - stunning weather, exciting ground that got even better as the tide continued to drop, lots of fish moving around, some nice bass coming regularly, plus we saw some truly monster mullet (south east Ireland has such insane potential for mullet fishing). I am guessing that where we fished has hardly ever seen a fisherman. If I had these kind of flat calm, big blue sky conditions at home I would tend to freak out slightly, but this is Ireland and anything can and does happen. The topping on the proverbial cake came when Graham shouted over that he was into a better fish......(on the Feed Shallow, the Mullet no.11 Feed Shallow pattern is consistently one of the really successful colours).

I gave Graham around 9lbs for this particular fish - I remember lots of fishing sessions, and especially via my photos, but this morning is right up there on my list. I just wish I had been standing next to Graham when he hooked this fish - he was casting and straight retrieving his Feed Shallow around a bunch of rocks, and clear as day he saw this stunning bass come out and nail the lure right in front of him. People always say that big bass love to hunt close in, but I think the guy nearly fell of his rock/perch when that big predator mouth opened wide and engulfed the tasty Japanese hard plastic offering underneath his feet. You also have to admire Graham's hair colour in July 2008 - they must have had a far better summer than us for the guy's hair to go all bling bleached like that !!!! The sun can do amazing things.......

I have seen more bass and I have seen bigger bass - but that July morning has just stuck in my head in a big way ever since. I distinctly remember the three of us eventually losing the water and then wandering back to the car and chatting away like an over-excited group of monkeys. Fishing is just so awesome because it can give anybody of any age and any experience level just the best time possible when things come together so well.

I am heading back over to Ireland on multiple occasions this year, and the first trip in the diary is for the last week in June (nice set of medium sized spring tides) - four of us from the UK will be fishing our proverbial socks off for a week or so. We will take whatever comes our way as regards fishing and weather, but we always come away with fantastic memories and an urge to get back there as soon as possible. I have also got some extremely squirrely lures that might just find their way out of their boxes during the week if various situations arise.................

There are few bands who do what might be called "melodic, insanely catchy death metal" as the mighty Dark Tranquility - and their new album "We Are the Void" is a monster. I defy anybody not to involuntarily bang their head to this one. Check out a few tracks here, and there is a video of one of their new songs here. Nothing seriously original, but that would be to miss the point of this awesome band - what you see is what you get. Metal to get inside your head. Metal to take with you over the Easter weekend. Have a good few days all of you. May the fish jump on the end of whatever you put out there............