So many questions.....

I got back home early Sunday evening - just fantastic to see my family and get back to the new house. I can't see how anything in life can ever get any better than my wife and two little girls throwing their arms around me as I walk through the front door. I love my work based travel, but nothing beats getting home. My wife has my utmost respect for keeping everything going so well while I am away working. Now it's eyes down for me on a load of computer based work..........

We had a great week over in southern Ireland, but then we always do - whatever the fishing does. That first day we had over there last week will live with me for a long time. Any time you see bass like that coming to lures is something seriously special, and I get a huge kick out of being around such quality fishing. But one thing that an up and down week does do for me is to leave me with so many questions I want answered. And even if I know deep down that fishing being fishing, I will most likely never receive all the answers I am looking for. I guess that is a big part of what makes fishing so incredibly addictive...........

Not a bass of any special size, but the early evening light was just extraordinary. Andy did so well to sneak a fish out just before we headed back to our house to pack our stuff up for the journey home. The MegaBass Zonk 120 Gataride just keeps on killing. OK, so it's got an inherent "flaw" in that the bib is not that strong, but you have to bear in mind that this lure was never designed for what we are doing with it. And I never broke a bib all last week in fact. The Irish lads I know are really into the Cruising Blue colour at the moment. It was flat calm, bright, still and warm - hardly the best open coast conditions you could ask for, but in Ireland you keep at it. You just never know when a fish is going to turn up when the fishing is tough, and over there it's always a case of the next hit could be a really big bass. Ireland is that kind of place.

So many questions. Why did the fishing get tough after such a good start ? Was it conditions, was it tides, was it the fact that there seemed to be a huge amount of food around for the bass ? Did we make the right decisions as to where and how we fished ? Did we maximise our chances all the time ? Should we have done more lure fishing at night ? See what I mean ? There are a lot of far better bass anglers out there than I will ever be, and I am sure that while we struggled some of the time there was another part of the coastline that was fishing its proverbial socks off. But then that's fishing. We are lucky to have some really good Irish mates who are also fantastically talented bass anglers, but from time to time things just get tough.I want to say a huge thanks to those guys for helping us out so much. We had a blast.

Southern Ireland is unique to me because it offers such a wide variety of bass terrains, and as such it forces you to think on your feet and adopt a range of different tactics in order to catch fish. I was so incredibly chuffed for example to put that new casting jig on and smash a fish on my first cast - in exactly the location that I was hoping the lure would work. And the moment that happens you naturally think here we go, fish everywhere. But it did not happen. Did I do stuff wrong, or was it a case of very few fish being around on that tide at that particular location ? I then lost the casting jig the next day out on the rocks to a decent pollack that hit me at range and close to the bottom. It did me in the bottom big time. Gutted !! The jig in question was one I had been meaning to get my hands on for a while - the awesome little 28g MegaBass Bubble Header (I got mine from my mate Cian at Absolute Fishing in Tramore). I am hoping that casting jigs like this become more and more available, because I think they are really important for a lot of our fishing. And they just kill for pollack as well.

I am getting lots of really good feedback about the new "Bass Angler" part of Sea Angler magazine - here's a recent front cover of mine that shows my mate Andy with a nice fish from our June trip to Ireland. The smile says it all. A fantastic bloke and a seriously good bass angler. He's got Ireland as bad as me !! I have to give a huge amount of credit to the Sea Angler guys for listening to me about my bass related ideas last year, and then for deciding to go ahead with a whole "magazine within a magazine" on bass fishing. I love being involved.