We have a few spaces left on our co-guided Ireland based lure fishing trips in July, and one space in September - come along if you can!

OK, OK, as much as it pains me I must do this - well done Ireland on winning the Grand Slam and so comprehensively beating us that I reckon come the summer tests against South Africa we will surely be seeing a somewhat different England rugby team. Ireland were outstanding and we seriously were not. Holy cow, talk about a wakeup call…………….


Anyway, enough of that, because I need to tell you about a few places we have left on these co-guided lure fishing trips in Kerry, Ireland that John Quinlan and I run together - and yes, as much as I can’t wait for these weeks to come around each year, a part of me is also dreading the insufferable smugness that John has every right to relay to me with that rugby result. I know that being the good fellow that he is, John would never stoop to winding me up about what happened in the Six Nations! Sorry, I digress, but you can probably guess where I am at right now with the disappointment.


We have a few spaces on our July 2018 trips and then the one space on one of our September 2018 trips. All trips are of course timed to coincide with good tides, and the serious beauty about lure fishing around where John lives in Kerry is that we have so many options whatever the weather does or doesn’t do - plus the place is seriously beautiful and quiet and incredibly special. At those times of year we can even do a bit of lure and fly fishing for salmon if the river conditions are right and if our people want to have a go.


For these co-guided trips we work on five nights of accommodation and all food at their rather lovely Thatch Cottage setup, together with the four long days of guided fishing with John and I. We fish hard, we laugh a lot, and we work our socks off on trying our best to put our people onto some good lure fishing in a seriously special part of the world. And please do not for one second think that these co-guided trips are for experienced anglers only - if you’re into fishing then please come along.

So these are the July dates on which we have some spaces:

1st trip:
Arrive Monday 9th July
Fish 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th
Depart Sat 14th July

2nd trip:
Arrive Sat 14th July
Fish 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th
Depart Thurs 19th July

And we have the one space only on this trip in September:

Arrive Weds 26th Sept
Fish 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th
Depart Monday 1st October


The price for one of these all inclusive trips is the same as it’s always been - 1300 Euros. I tend to put our groups of clients together via email to see if any of them can share travel amongst themselves, for there are various ferry/drive and flying options to get to Kerry down in south west Ireland. You can find some more details on these trips right here, and then if you fancy coming along for some hugely fun fishing and also watching an Irishman berate an Englishman about the state of their rugby team, either fill out that Contact Me form on the guiding page, or over on the Contact Me page.

Here’s the first short film from our fishing safety related day with the RNLI

Well here it is, the first short film to come from that amazing day we spent with the RNLI at their testing tank in Poole. There is so much more to talk about with regards to the whole fishing safety thing, but I wanted to let you see this short film and then in due course I will kinda take it apart a bit and talk about a few specifics that have come out via this video.

Over time there will be a bunch more short films coming out from that day with the RNLI, but the aim here was to give an overall picture of that day and obviously start trying to get the message home how an auto-inflate lifejacket could well end up saving your life. I will leave this video with you, and please, please leave comments below and give me your initial thoughts and opinions and let’s go from there. I am doing a fishing safety related talk for the BASS AGM on Sunday, so I hope to see some of you there. My apologies in advance to those of you who sat through my fishing photography talk at the BASS AGM last year, but it wasn’t my idea to have me back!

And of course it would be remiss of me not to mention that I am obviously hoping that Ireland stumble rather badly on their quest for the Grand Slam tomorrow, but on the other hand with how well Ireland are playing and how badly England are contesting the breakdown especially, I sense a hard to watch couple of hours coming up……………..


How can the one species of fish be so endlessly fascinating and absorbing?

I dread to think what the percentage is of my life that I spend thinking about fishing, and then because bass fishing has so utterly consumed me, a large part of my life is obviously spent obsessing about a single species of fish that firstly I used to catch by mistake and think little of it back in my mainly bait days, and secondly if you had told me even fifteen years ago that I’d be like I am now I would have refused to believe that this was possible………….


What the hell is it about bass then? It sure can’t be their sheer size when we have a number of saltwater species of fish that I would argue are somewhat easier to land in generally bigger sizes than a lot of bass we might catch, and as much as I love how bass often scrap, it’s not as if in our colder waters we are beset with plenty of species which might run us down to our backing with their sheer speed and power. So what on earth is it then? 

Well you can probably guess that I woke up nice and early this morning thinking about this, and my current thinking on this subject is that it’s an intoxicating mix of where and how that has allowed chasing bass to creep up on me to the point that I will often go for long periods of fishing for nothing else. 

Where and how, that’s the crux for me, and I wonder how many anglers are in a similar boat to me here - you know these fish are around, you sometimes catch them as a byproduct of chasing something else, but for whatever reason you start having a go at this whole lure fishing thing and then over time a whole new world of fishing opens up to you. Lure fishing in essence may well be simply putting artificial imitations in front of fish, but let’s be honest here and think back a bit in your fishing life and where lure fishing may have come into it - did you have even an inkling that there could be so much fun and interesting stuff involved in what at first looks like nothing more than chucking bits of plastic or metal out there?

Which in essence lure fishing is, but it’s how much there can be to it that I had no idea about when I first started to buzz about lure fishing for bass over in south east Ireland especially. Even if a few bass used to sometimes jump on my baits when I was targeting something else, I didn’t have a clue about how many different places you could go and target bass - and I am talking about different countries as well as different terrains here. I can distinctly remember being pretty amazed when I found out there bass fishing was big in countries such as France, Spain and Portugal for example, and I love thinking back to how we would chuck lures such as that killer Maria Chase BW from rock marks in south east Ireland, but change over to bait fishing when we targeted an estuary because we didn’t really know how to properly target that kind of water with lures.


Don’t get me wrong though, those times I spent running crab baits down an Irish estuary with Graham was some of the most glorious fishing I have ever been lucky enough to be a part of, but it was lure fishing that started to take over for me. I just had no idea that the one species of fish could demand such a variety of methods and techniques if you had an interest in targeting them from different locations and terrains (which I do) - and as much as I hope I have learnt a fair bit over the last few years about targeting bass on lures, what does it for me so much is how my brain is still buzzing with how much more stuff there is to learn and play around with.

If there is one thing that cabin fever does is it’s getting my brain ticking about how I might shake my own fishing up a bit, and then with the amount of often really good fishing “chat” online especially, how exciting it is to stumble upon different ways of doing things and then thinking about how you might incorporate such and such into your own fishing. I just love it. 


As a simple example, I can think of a few specific times last year when out and out distance did in fact pay off, and on a couple of occasions especially it was a simple metal (spinner, casting jig or whatever) that did the trick. Discussions get going online and because a lot of anglers are very generous with their own thoughts and info as regards techniques and methods, you can’t help but start thinking all over again about what a range of different metals could do for your fishing for example - I think about those technical slow jigs for example and how there are now a whole bunch now that are the right weights for shore fishing and I wonder if these might catch me some bass in certain situations where something else might not have in the past? And so on and so on.

As much as I like to think I have a lot of the bass fishing fairly well covered as such around where I live, in reality there is such a huge amount more to learn that I am left wondering where on earth the time is to do so. I think about such wonderful countries like Spain and Portugal and I know that I need to at least spend a little bit of time experiencing some of their bass fishing because it floats my boat so much to see different places, spend time with different anglers, and come away with new ideas and memories and plans - which in a way comes full circle with this species of fish we call bass. Isn’t it amazing how the one species can do all this to so many of us here? Can you imagine how much better it could be if we had a properly healthy fishery for bass as well?

I want to play around making more lure fishing “short films”, but how do you show it off properly yet also protect where you are fishing?

My video output has been at best limited (see my YouTube channel here), but I have enjoyed the little bit of filming and editing work I have done myself, whilst also hoping that my two younger brothers who both work professionally in the world of feature films don’t see their elder brother’s distinctly amateur efforts! Most of the stuff I have played around with so far has either been to help promote the co-guiding work I do over in Ireland, or otherwise it’s been a few how-to do something and some very simple lure rod casting videos. It’s only a bit of fun and I would never lay claim to being any good at it by the way.

What continues to amaze me these days is how we all seem to have some way to film our fishing if we want to, whether it be a mobile phone, GoPro, or my pro stills photo gear also having the ability to shoot incredible quality - albeit it also needs somebody with proper filming and editing skills to make it look good! Almost anybody can shoot stuff and get it out to an audience, and whilst I have little interest in those unedited, stick a GoPro on your head videos that are all the same fisheye kind of angle for seemingly hours on end, there is also some really good fishing related stuff out there that I am sure you have all seen. Editing, editing, and more editing, and holy cow does editing take time. 

And I would continue to argue that lure fishing for our various saltwater species can look seriously impressive at times. Put the fish and locations and conditions together and I’d put the actual fishing experience up against anything when things come together - but if you are going to properly make a fist of putting together “short films” if I may be so grand as to call them that, how on earth do you go about protecting where you are fishing? To make a halfway interesting fishing film you’re going to need a mix of all kinds of shots to edit together, but by trying to do things properly you could end up ruining where you are fishing. Take a look at the fishing video above for example - I doubt it’s “blowing the mark” as such, but aside from a couple of (dead) big bass, to me it’s pretty boring to watch. One angle, bad sound, wonky horizon, as good as no editing, but on the flipside it must be bloody hard to try and film yourself fishing and also make it look visually appealing. 


So why the whole secrecy thing? Come on, you know as well as I do that there are any number of reasons for trying not to divulge where you are fishing to an increasingly prying world - I don’t need to preach the bleeding obvious here. You must surely be aware that many of those fishing and catch photos especially you post wherever online are most likely being poured over for clues to where those fish were caught. Look at the photo above as an example - it’s a place where a few of us really enjoy lure fishing. Sometimes it can be pretty good, and for the most part we know it’s not going to be crawling with other anglers. If I shoot further left or right of that angler then anybody who knows the coastline will know exactly where we are fishing. It’s not some highly secret mark that only throws up monster bass (I wish!), but we kinda like it how it is. Could that also me deemed selfish on our part? We live on an island with far too many people as it is, and I would always argue that being able to tuck away and fish in relative peace and quiet is part and parcel of going fishing.

So how on earth would you go about filming a place like that? When it’s on it can be a blast, and even with my limited filmmaking skills I reckon I could make at least an ok short bass fishing film there - but to do so you need a wide range of shots, from lovely, wide establishing shots through to rods bending, fish splashing etc. My urge to mess around with this filming lark is nothing financial by the way, rather it’s just me being increasingly interested in it all, and especially having been the bloke in front of the camera in the past when in fact I reckon it’s a lot more satisfying and indeed skillful creating the material and then putting it together. 

And before you say hang on Henry, why the short bass fishing film from our co-guiding work over in Kerry? Well John and I spoke about this before I ever did any filming work, and we both decided that with the amazing lack of other anglers we ever see over there (seriously, we can go days and days without seeing another angler) and the fact that John was comfortable with doing it, then why not? So why not film other parts of Ireland then Henry? Well I have been entrusted with a lot of bass fishing location based information over the years, and I take that trust very seriously. Even if for whatever reasons I don’t fish anymore with some of the anglers who have kindly divulged a lot of info to me, I will always do what I can not to divulge those locations - and if there is one thing that would divulge them it’s shooting proper video. And before you go shooting me down here, yes I take stills, but I am bloody careful about what I show in them, and I would fully expect anglers who know those exact locations to recognise where those photos were shot.

Very simple stuff, but deliberately put together by me so that it doesn't show where we are fishing - unless you know where it is of course!

But I don’t see a way around this with video work. I’d love to mess around with drones and multiple camera setups and what have you, but to make at least moderately interesting and exciting content I just don’t see how it’s possible to properly do so when you are having to so severely restrict your shooting angles. It is obviously no worries if you’re shooting somewhere so bloody remote like the outer atolls of the Seychelles where virtually nobody can get to anyway, but imagine all those lovely quiet places where you go lure fishing were suddenly splashed all over YouTube or whatever. With the numbers of anglers always looking for better places to go fishing (and we are all in the same boat here, however much of an expert you might be), I can’t work out a logical way to overcome these issues. Any ideas?

Please note as well that we are not talking about Saturday afternoon and the rugby events that took place. I have to say seriously well done Ireland and indeed France, but it’s worrying times…………...

I really want to do more surf based lure fishing, but these lovely smooth Japanese spinning reels don’t like being dunked at all - so I’ve got a Penn Slammer III 3500 reel here to try

I like an uber smooth Japanese spinning reel as much as the next lure junkie, indeed I sometimes find myself kinda grinning with satisfaction when I’ve made a good cast and everything feels like it’s working together on the retrieve - but now take that light as a feather spinning reel out in the surf and put it through saltwater immersion as per the photo below and I bet you any money that the same reel a couple of days later feels like a bag of nails.


They just don’t like being dunked or repeatedly washed over with saltwater, and yes, I am taking into account the various sealing or prevention claims that different manufacturers make. I have no preference for Daiwa or Shimano, but the one surf based lure session above when I lent a reel to a client over in Ireland killed this Mag Sealed reel here, and as much as I am head over in heels in love with my sublime Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG spinning reel (review here), I don’t have the guts to give it underwater time and see if Shimano’s so called “X Protect” does actually prevent saltwater getting in and killing it.



Perhaps we are sometimes overly concerned with how ridiculously light our spinning reels need to be, but then a lot of the lure rods we use these days are as light as a feather - and I would argue that sometimes a reel can be that bit too light for a particular rod, but that’s another subject. I don’t know how many of you do fish heavier surf conditions for bass when you might need to wade out and punch various lures often a decent distance (and yes, I am obsessing over all kinds of metals at the moment, all hail cabin fever!), but the bit I have done myself and also helped with putting our clients over in Ireland onto this fishing, well I reckon it’s about as much fun as bass fishing gets. Sure, it’s not a finesse style of lure fishing, but hitting bass at range on a lonely surf beach is some buzz………..


It begs the question as to why we need a seriously light weight and smooth as butter Japanese spinning reel when you’re most likely going to be rigging up a powerful 9’6’’+ lure rod and potentially belting say 30g+ lures out as far as you can. I don’t want to be fishing with a setup that weighs a whole load more than I am used to, but at the same time I don’t want the odd surf session to end up in having to send my (often not bloody cheap) spinning reel off for a service because saltwater has got properly inside and started the killing process.

And yes, before you say Van Staal, I get why a bunch of the US striped bass anglers who fish heavy surf conditions use the sealed/waterproof Van Staal reels - but I just don’t like them, or at least I didn’t like the two I used to own (VSB 150 and 100), and of course I am looking forward to seeing their new and smaller and lighter VR50 which I believe is waterproof and actually has a line lay which is based in this century. Could be very interesting indeed.


So it’s thanks to a kind soul I know that I have a Penn Slammer III 3500 spinning reel here to try, and if there is one thing that strikes me straight away it’s how solid this thing feels. This is lifted from the Penn website: “The PENN Slammer III is back by popular demand. Built for heavy-duty fishing from either boat or shore, and trusted by charter captains all over the world. The Slammer III reels feature our new IPX6 Sealed System which keeps water out of the gear box and drag system (I like the sound of this if it’s true). We're also using our updated Slammer Drag System which now utilzes (good spell-checking Penn!) our proprietary Dura- Drag material.”


It’s got more drag than I would ever need on our side of the pond, out of the box it is nice and smooth, I love that handle (which is actually light as a feather, plus there is the Clash style handle in the box which you can change over to if you want), I can load it up fuller than I could with the Penn Clash (lovely reel, but you need to be very careful with not overfilling it), I have heard a lot of good things about this Penn Slammer III (or it 3?), and at 403g loaded with line it’s only 140g heavier than the now discontinued in the UK Shimano Exsence C14+ 4000XGS (used in the size comparison photo above) - and as lovely and light as this 4000 size Shimano reel is to fish with, it’s gone a bit grindy after not nearly enough use.

I took the dog for a walk that revolved around belting out some 40g GT Ice Cream lures into our local estuary with this Penn Slammer III 3500 - I put the reel on the awesome APIA Foojin’R Grand Swell 96MH 9’6’’ 7-42g (review here) and to be honest it feels like one hell of a setup. When you are casting and retrieving this Slammer feels great, and on a lure rod like that it doesn’t feel any heavier or off balance than any other reel I might have strapped to it in the past. Obviously I can’t give you any indication yet how this Penn Slammer III 3500 might workout longer term, but it’s here for me to use and abuse it, and yes, I will be deliberately doing what the Surfcasters’ Journal lads have done in the videos at the bottom of this post (but have I got the guts to bury it in the sand as well?). I love their style of reel testing and I like how these Slammer reels are meant to keep water out.

And because I have been sent this reel to try, I will admit to simply assuming that it surely had to cost well north of £200 because of what you’re meant to be getting, but I have had a quick look around and I can find this 3500 size I have here for around the £150 mark here in the UK. I had a few kayak guys on my FB page saying that they are loving their Slammer III reels, and I reckon this one I have here will also make a fantastic heavier shore pollack reel for those times when you need to belt the bigger stuff out into really deep water. Some lads I know have used them hard over in Norway for some shore based lure fishing for coalfish especially, and they are loving them. I see no reason why I could not do a lot of boat based lure fishing with it if needs be, and as and when I head back to the US to go and chase some striped bass, this Penn Slammer III is coming with me for sure. Time will tell and of course I will report back, but my initial impressions of this thing are really good.

Now as much as I love Ireland, I am sorry to say that I am wishing them all kinds of ills this weekend in the Six Nations. Don’t spew into your cereal bowl, but here’s to hoping that Scotland turn them over, then we thrash France, and then it would come down to a proper Six Nations showdown at Twickenham next weekend, the day before I head up to the BASS AGM to give a talk on shore fishing safety and what I have been learning about it. Come on England, come on Scotland! Apologies.

This guy catches a few fish!

Disclosure - if you buy anything using links found in this blog post or around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you any more to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.


How much thicker or tougher does a braid need to be to really help prevent sharp rock/reef based breakoffs?

I would suggest that lure fishing with a good modern spinning reel and a good modern, smooth as you like 8-strand braid is a rather lovely experience, and especially compared to the early days of braid and spinning reels that were struggling to cope with these newer lines - albeit for the most part I was bait fishing with mono mainlines far more than I was with braid in those days…….

The other day I spooled a spinning reel up with a brand new, high tech mono mainline to see how it compared to braid because it’s so long since I fished with mono and I wanted to see what it was like - and to be honest it felt horrible. Apparently it’s one hell of a monofilament that I bet would be something else on a multiplier reel, but the mono going out through the rod rings didn’t feel great at all. I far, far prefer lure fishing with a good, modern braid, and even more so now we have a few seriously good 8-strand braids that are so much cheaper than braids like that used to cost.


Now I know that bass aren’t exactly dirty fighters like pollack and wrasse are, but the simple and unavoidable fact is that if you fish shallower rocky ground especially, you run the risk of your thin and lovely mainline being run over a sharp rock edge from time to time. Whilst I am always going to suggest that 99.9% of saltwater lure anglers here in the UK and Ireland could do with locating their drag knob on their spinning reel and learning which way it turns to apply more drag rather than less, it doesn’t take a running bass to cause your lovely, thin mainline to end up over a sharp edge of a rock if the hooked fish goes the wrong way as such. And as good as these modern braids are, they don’t like sharp rock edges.

Now to me this begs the obvious question that if we fish in amongst foul ground then must we expect to lose the odd fish like this? Is the odd lost fish due to broken mainlines simply an inevitable part and parcel of this style of fishing? I don’t know about you, but it’s not exactly a common occurrence, albeit I’d like to prevent losses like this if I could. I used to turn to heavier and thicker mono mainlines for bait fishing in amongst the worse ground, but even then you’d lose some fish because the line broke over the rocks, and I sure as hell don’t want to turn to say 0.50mm mono mainlines for my lure fishing.

I don’t know about you, and bearing in mind here that braid specs fluctuate wildly from brand to brand and country to country, but my go-to mainline tends to be say a decent 20lb 8-strand braid. I might vary that depending on where and how I am bass fishing, plus if I am actively testing out a specific braid and so on - and if you put a decent leader knot in these modern braids then I reckon they are incredibly strong, but an average braid for me tends to be around 20lbs or whatever PE number or diameter is claimed on the packaging. But this of course has nothing to do with a hooked fish causing the same (now nice and tight) mainline over a bastard little sharp edge on a rock………


With a fish that fights as stupidly dirty and powerfully as an angry GT then I can understand completely an angler using say 100lb braid to an even stronger leader - put potentially 100lbs plus of fast tropical fish near a load of coral bombies and you’ve got a lot working against you landing said fish. I get completely that a much thicker braid should in theory give you increased protection against getting cut off - and even then I believe a lot of GTs are still lost to cut lines - but for us and our bass fishing and the more modest sizes and power levels they have, is there a point where a thicker mainline is really going to make a meaningful difference in amongst the foul stuff?

How much thicker or tougher does a braid need to be to really help prevent sharp rock/reef based breakoffs? As I blogged about only the other day, my 26lb, strong as you like Sufix 832 broke with ease over a sharp rock with a fish on the end, and whilst I believe it would have been the same outcome with any decent braid around the breaking strains most of use, I wonder does there come a point where the thickness of a mainline does actually make a good bit of abrasion resistance difference when a fish runs you over a sharp rock edge? Or is the odd breakage inevitable and I should just accept it and move on? As you might have guessed though, I enjoy thinking about fishing problems and seeing if I might do things that bit different and perhaps better.


I can’t recall ever catching a bass at any meaningful range where I lost that fish I told you about the other day for example, and it’s not a place that can be fished in strong onshore conditions anyway - so that takes away the need for a really thin mainline to give me more range and “cutting through wind or current” abilities. Does this perhaps call for me loading up a reel with say 0.28mm/roughly 50lb Sufix 832 (or equivalent braid) and using it solely when I am close quarters lure fishing for bass over really rough and shallow ground? And would a mainline like that make much difference anyway? Note that I am asking the question because I don’t know the answer here, but I am open to trying stuff out. I accept as ever that cabin fever could be causing me to overthink things like this, but I would also suggest that we tend to stick with the same setups almost regardless of where we are doing our fishing and that perhaps it is worth thinking about……………

Disclosure - if you buy anything using links found in this blog post or around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you any more to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.


Surely any sectors of the tackle trade which profit from the bass fishing market should properly get behind the conservation efforts - with big credit to Sidewinder Lures

If there is one thing that has never made much sense to me, it’s how the bass fishing related UK tackle trade doesn’t seem to get involved much in the whole bass conservation thing - when the simple fact must surely be that if we have more and bigger bass to catch then we will spend more of our money chasing them. We may currently look across the pond in a state of incredulity a lot of the time these days, but one thing I can’t argue against is how politically active their sport fishing market is, and how involved so much of the fishing tackle trade is in this. More anglers equals a healthier and wealthier marketplace so it’s a win win situation all round………..

Screenshot 2018-03-02 05.19.55.jpg

So I can’t help but take my hat off to a company like Sidewinder Lures which has chosen to get right behind the rather fantastic work that the Save Our Sea Bass (SOS) group do to try and secure a better future for these fish we obsess about. For sure a lot of the work these kind souls do sadly goes unnoticed and unappreciated, but rest assured that there are a number of selfless anglers out there who do more than their bit on our behalf (and you have my eternal thanks) - and what a group like SOS could really do with is a whole lot more concerted effort from the fishing tackle trade.

Screenshot 2018-03-02 05.19.21.jpg

I am quoting from the SOS website here, and it’s from the MD of Sidewinder Lures, Dave Kiddy: “Sidewinder lures are now delighted to be working closely with the lobby group Save Our Sea Bass, in order to pressure the government to re-think its policy regarding the public’s access to Sea bass stocks. Sidewinder lures are very disappointed in the huge difference between how the Government treats the commercial fishing sector as opposed to the Recreational Sea angling sector. From 2018 all Sidewinder products shall also carry the Save Our Sea Bass logo and we would encourage all individual Sea anglers with an interest in their sport to contact their MP as soon as possible to impress upon the Government how unhappy they are with the current situation.”


Can you imagine how good it would be to see these bass related campaigns that are waged on our behalf being properly backed by companies within the tackle trade? There is a story I heard a campaign to try and better protect a specific fishery for redfish over in the US, and a major fishing tackle company was approached to ask about getting involved, and they did - to the tune of handing over a cheque for $1,000,000 to help fight the campaign. Now even if the figures relayed to me were a bit of an exaggeration (but I was assured they were true), can you imagine going cap in hand to a UK fishing tackle company and asking for some funds to try and secure healthier bass stocks? I have a lot of respect for the fishing tackle trade as a whole, but I am not exactly seeing what Sidewinder Lures are doing being replicated very much by other businesses who stand to profit from the likes of you and I spending our money on going bass fishing. Are things slowly changing or will we be having the same conversations another few years down the line?

Screenshot 2018-03-02 05.19.04.jpg

And I hope all you kind readers of this blog are doing ok as the Beast from the East ravages our fair isle and dumps such biblical amounts of snow that schools are forced to close (my girls are gutted!), businesses are affected, and of course the majority of drivers choose to collectively drive like a bunch of idiots because there’s this slippery white stuff on the roads which means they have to drive just as fast and as close to the person in front of them! We may be good at lots of things here in the UK, but I would suggest that when a bit of snow falls that we do get a little bit overexcited. And please note that I haven’t yet talked about the England Scotland rugby from last weekend because I am still trying to work out if getting thrashed like that will actually turn out to be a good thing in the long run. Complacency killer?


I’m looking for the lightest and strongest loop style lure clip, and these are my reasons why

If there is one thing cabin fever does besides costing me a fortune, it’s getting me thinking about my lure fishing to come this year and how I might go about changing a few things up to see if I can catch more or better fish - and plans are afoot to spend more time in our local estuaries, where a more measured, lighter and subtler approach I am convinced will help at times. Looking for bass mooching around in weed beds for example ain’t exactly going to go that well if I start chucking some great big noisy lure at them and also wade around without a care in the world.


So when I manage to get a new tip for that rather stunning light lure rod Favorite Skyline SKY-862M 8’6’’ 6-21g, it will sit rigged up in my rod rack here at home, together with a small spinning reel loaded up with say 0.10mm/14lb Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid, and a light, most likely 10lb or 12lb Sufix Invisiline fluorocarbon leader. This is some setup and it will be coming out to play when I fish my local estuaries especially - and I’ve begun thinking about lure clips………….

Which I grant you are not exactly the most exciting items of fishing tackle on earth, and to be honest I already use my perfect lure clip anyway, the very clever, easy to use and has never let me down in over two years of use Breakaway Mini Link. This lure clip works perfectly with all the bass lures I might use here in the UK and Ireland, but because winter ain’t frigging over yet my head gets to thinking about things, and I can’t get away from how a decent loop knot surely gives the most perfect presentation possible when you’re fishing a soft plastic such as the 4.5’’ and 6’’ long OSP DoLive Sticks which are fishing as much on the drop as they are on the retrieve. I grant you that the margins of presentation may well be slim to potentially non-existent, but there must be a reason why fly anglers use loop knots so much to secure their flies. And cabin fever rages as well.

 The awesome Breakaway Mini Link lure clip

The awesome Breakaway Mini Link lure clip

Anyway, as much as I love the Breakaway Mini Link lure clip, a loop knot does make a lot of sense for the lighter tackle approach especially. But I am going to want to change lures sometimes and I really don’t want to be having to endlessly cut and retie knots in my leader and then retie leaders because they have got too short due to me changing lures a bunch of times, not when I don’t think I need to. Does that make sense? So as much as the Breakaway Mini Link is my go-to lure clip, I went looking for a lure clip that worked that bit more like a loop knot might, but I wanted the lightest possible clip so there would be no impact on the movements of my lure - and yes, I might well be over-analysing this, but as I said, this is how cabin fever plays with my head, and regardless of that I do love messing around with stuff to see if I can improve things.

 The Fiiish Perfect Link Fishing Snap, Medium size, this is a 25g Offshore Head on a 120mm Black Minnow

The Fiiish Perfect Link Fishing Snap, Medium size, this is a 25g Offshore Head on a 120mm Black Minnow

Now you can find any number of those snap like lure clips out there, indeed I know from experience that the Fiiish ones are really good (Fiiish Perfect Link Fishing Snaps). OK, so I struggle a bit to open them up, but I have used them plenty when we have been testing gear in the US especially, and they work well. The really small Medium (20lbs) Fiiish ones are good for our bass fishing if that helps, and they are nice and compact and are much easier to open if you’ve got decent thumb nails especially!

 Owner Hyper Welded Quick Snap, size 1

Owner Hyper Welded Quick Snap, size 1

Anyway, on my search for a lure clip that essentially works like a loop knot in your leader but gives me the ease of changing lures and not tying endless knots, I came across the Owner Hyper Welded Quick Snap online - and I was sure I had seen these clips before. They are a simple snap style of lure clip, but the wire is so damn thin and light compared to any other snap style clip I have come across, the quoted strength to size ratios are something else, and they are not cheap at all - and I went searching through my image library here because I know I’d seen these before (keywords are vital!). Good eh? I found the photo above which meant I had to have used them, so I went digging around in a box I have here and hey sodding presto I found a packet of them! I ran a search on my old emails and found that I had got them from Lurefishingforbass.co.uk which I see haven’t got them in stock at the moment, but hopefully they will get them back in at some point.

Now it’s some small and potentially insignificant margins as I said, but look at that photograph and you will get an idea how thin and light that Owner Hyper Welded Quick Snap is - bear in mind it’s the size 1 which has a quoted breaking strain of 33lbs! It’s very easy to open and close, it’s incredibly light and fine and like a loop knot, and they are not cheap, but if this little snap style clip weighs any more than a loop knot in your fluoro or affect my lures in any meaningful way then I would be very surprised. As much as the Breakaway Mini Link floats my boat, I do like the bigger loop style bit on this Owner Hyper Welded Quick Snap. One of these clips will be sitting on the end of my light fluoro leader on that light setup and I shall be giving them a proper go this season.

Disclosure - if you buy anything using links found in this blog post or around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you any more to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.


Snowbee Small/Long lure box review (around £10) - how often are the simplest things the most effective?

I bet if you had a look at one hundred bass lure anglers you would find at least fifty different ways of carrying your lures when you are out fishing, from rucksacks full of far too many boxes down to a handful of whatever lures stuffed in a jacket pocket, plus anything in between. I can distinctly remember where I was fishing a few years ago now when I made up my mind that how I was currently carrying my lures around simply wasn’t working properly and I had to find a logical solution…………..

Which via a bit of trial and error led me to the simple but effective HPA Chest pack which sits around my waist on an old and battered Simms neoprene wading belt, and secured to that HPA lure bag is an old camera strap which works perfectly as a shoulder strap and makes carrying this bag completely effortless (and I believe the HPA Chest Pack is about to be available here in the UK again, check here, yippee!). Clipped to my HPA bag on a coiled spring type lanyard is one of those small size plastic Fish Grip things, and when I deem it necessary I secure a landing net to the bag as well. On that old Simms wading belt is also my pair of horribly expensive but genuinely as good after more than four years of use Van Staal titanium pliers, plus now an HPA rescue knife which is for a very specific purpose and I hope I never need to use it - more to come on this.

I have tried a few alternatives to this HPA chest pack over the years, including some rather nice looking Japanese lure bags that look somewhat snazzier, but I still can’t find a way to carry my lures that works better for me than what I have described. I am right handed and it feels the most natural to have the HPA chest pack sitting on the left side of my waist, and to change a lure I can easily secure my lure rod in my right armpit, unclip the lure and grab the Breakaway Mini Link lure clip in my teeth, unzip the bag one handed, get to my two lure boxes, change lures, put the lure box  or boxes back, and zip it back up again. When I am carrying my HPA 40 litre waterproof rucksack, the way my HPA chest pack lure bag thing doesn’t get in the way at all - and because I am always carrying camera gear, a sling bag style lure carrying system doesn’t work for me. I don’t like them anyway, but you might, and that’s great.

Anyway, because I have settled on this way of carrying my lures when I am out fishing, I know that this HPA chest pack fits two specific lure boxes in - which in turn means that I take no more lures with me than can fit in those two lure boxes. I don’t sneak a bunch of extra lures into my rucksack and I know my lure carrying system well enough to know how to fit a bunch of different hard and soft lures in there, and especially if we are out and about say for a long day or night over in Ireland and the ground we are covering could call for any number of different approaches.


OK, so I know that I can get two of those clever and so damn logical, smaller sizes of washable lure boxes in my HPA chest pack (the 20 x 15 x 4.5cms size of plastic, washable lure boxes) - and because of the size of the HPA bag I use, the best way to fit a couple of these lure boxes in is to have one sitting horizontally, and the other one upright, as per the photo above. If there is one thing I can’t stand it’s trying to pick a lure out of a tangled up mess of treble and single hooks, so these washable lures boxes that have the lures in separate compartments to me make so much sense. Have a look around and you can find a few different makes of washable lure boxes which I am sure come out of the same factories in China, but I have gravitated to the Snowbee versions for a while now because they are well made, a good price, last for ages, and easily available.


Anybody who knows these 20 x 15 x 4.5cms size of washable lure boxes knows that you can’t get a lure longer than 140mm into them, and even then not all 140mm lures will fit in them - the MegaBass X140SW for example won’t quite fit in, but the Xorus Patchinko II will. As I said earlier, I have been using this lure carrying system for a while now! I know that in some of the compartments I can sneak a couple of particular hard lures into a single compartment etc. Should I get my coat?


And of course I also carry more and more soft plastics these days, or what if I want to carry a hard lure or two that is over that 140mm size, say the 27g Savage Gear Line Thru Sandeel? I think it might have been Ben from the Art of Fishing tackle shop who introduced me to the Snowbee Small/Long lure washable lure box above, and I remain eternally grateful. So bloody simple, so logical (note the lure compartments running lengthways instead of across), so perfect for me and my soft plastics especially, and yes, in case you were wondering why the lure box above is so clean and new-looking, damn right I have got a brand new spare Snowbee Small/Long lure box here to go with the older one I have been using for years now. When I find something as indispensable as this I tend to get a spare because I then start worrying that one day they will become unavailable and I will be cursing my not having at least a couple!


There isn’t a lure that I have yet taken bass fishing that won’t fit in that Snowbee Small/Long lure box, but for me it’s even more the case that I really like carrying my rigged soft plastics like this. If I can fit the two lure boxes of this size into my HPA chest pack and one sits horizontally and one sits vertically, then I like my soft plastics to remain flat because it keeps them nice and straight, hence it’s this Small/Long lure box that sits horizontally or across when in my HPA chest pack lure bag thing, and the regular Snowbee Small box that sits upright. You might have worked out that I have a bit of a thing (?!) for the OSP DoLive Stick, and I can fit a bunch of these soft plastics in there, plus a range of say the Fiiish Black Minnows with some different jig head weights for my favourite 120mm size, and so on. And sorry, this blog post was meant to be purely a review of a simple but so damn logical and useful lure box, but it made more sense to get to why I so like this particular Snowbee Small/Long lure box via describing how I carry my lures and therefore why I can’t do without this plastic box. Hell, I tease my wife about the amount of tupperware I find stuffed away in the kitchen (“it’s so useful”), but am I any better?!


Disclosure - if you buy anything using links found in this blog post or around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you any more to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.

Spinlock Deckvest Lite lifejacket review - around £100 to £120

Well this is a first, and if you’d have asked me even half way through last year whether I could imagine myself sitting down to write a blog review of a lifejacket I’d have most likely laughed at you - yet here we are. I hope that I am proof enough that leopards can indeed change their spots…….

Before we get going, you need to know a few things - as you might have guessed, I am categorically not an expert on lifejackets, indeed much of my previous experience of wearing them has been having to grab one off a rack and wear one when out on a lake photographing fly fishing. I recall not liking the experience very much because they felt like they were getting in the way and I could feel a bit of bulk around my neck area especially. I had to wear them so I did, but I can’t recall coming away and thinking wow, that was nice and easy.


And it’s thanks to my contacts at the RNLI that I have a few different lifejackets here to wear and test and see how I get on with. I have been using this Spinlock Deckvest Lite lifejacket for a while now, plus a couple of Crewsaver models (an auto-inflate and a manual-inflate version), and a modified Mullion lifejacket arrived a couple of days ago. As with testing and reviewing any of the gear on this blog, I obviously don’t get paid to do so and I will tell it how it is. I can’t control whether you believe me or not and as ever any thoughts and opinions are mine and mine only, and there’s a part of me that feels somewhat hesitant trying to review such an important, potentially life saving bit of fishing tackle such as a lifejacket. Oh, and yes, me calling a lifejacket an item of fishing tackle is entirely deliberate.


OK, so what’s this Spinlock Deckvest Lite lifejacket like? And for ease of my typing, I am going to refer to it as the Deckvest Lite for the rest of this review. Well if this is what a modern lifejacket is like then I am all over it - talk about easy to wear, and as much as one of these things could end up saving our lives one day, they sure as shit ain’t got a chance at doing just that if we aren’t wearing one in the first place. If we as anglers are incredibly resistant to this safety related stuff but for whatever reason choose to become a bit more receptive, then it isn’t going to go much further if what we need to wear is a pain in the backside. I for one am not going to yap about wearing lifejackets if I don’t find it easy to wear one myself.

Screenshot 2018-02-23 05.37.48.jpg

And this Deckvest Lite is a breeze to wear. As I said, I don’t have much experience with lifejackets so far, but from the moment I put this thing on I was amazed at just how easy and comfortable it is, indeed my disliking older lifejackets which used to get in my way and bug the hell out of me seems like a distant memory now. My understanding is that this very much engineered to be light and comfortable Deckvest Lite is targeted towards sea users like us. I have grabbed this from the Spinlock website: “This ultra lightweight lifejacket is streamlined for ultimate comfort and agility”, and I have to agree.



When you put this Deckvest Lite on, make sure to put it on top of everything else (as per my blog post here), and then it is absolutely vital that you secure the crotch strap - take it from the back of the lifejacket, down between your legs and up your front, and then clip it into the front of the lifejacket. This is an auto-inflate lifejacket, as in if you end up in the drink then that immersion in the water will set the gas cylinder off which very quickly inflates the actual bladder/floatation part of the lifejacket which is rather cleverly folded away into the actual lifejacket itself that you can see here in the various photos and screenshots. I did jump into the RNLI tank with a Deckvest Lite lifejacket on, and like any auto-inflate lifejacket, it inflates quickly and powerfully, and if you don’t secure that crotch strap then there is every chance it will be forced up and over your head from the power of the gas powered inflation, and this of course then takes away from how a lifejacket works. Unlike a PFD or buoyancy aid, a lifejacket is designed to keep you upright and with your head out of the water - which it can’t do if you haven’t secured that crotch strap and it ends up and over your head.

Screenshot 2018-02-23 05.38.01.jpg

Wear a lifejacket or don’t wear one, it’s entirely up to you, but at least I can tell you here that for the price of a decent spinning reel, an HTO Nebula lure rod, or about thirty DoLive Sticks (5 packets, and as much as I love ‘em, they are not going to even potentially save my life), you can buy this Deckvest Lite lifejacket which is genuinely so damn easy to wear that when I asked my mate Mark how his first experience of wearing a lifejacket for shore fishing was going last year, he had actually forgotten he was wearing it (this has to beg the obvious question - why not wear one?). Do exactly what you want, but one thing you can’t do anymore is argue that a lifejacket is a pain in the butt to wear for shore fishing because it’s so heavy and bulky and constrictive and expensive, not with how easy this Spinlock Deckvest Lite lifejacket is to wear.

Screenshot 2018-02-23 05.10.11.jpg

And if you are thinking that an auto-inflate system might not work for you in certain situations (wading out in an estuary or on the beach perhaps?), then you can buy a Spinlock Manual Conversion Kit. I have one here but I haven’t used it yet, and what it does is essentially block water getting to the gas cylinder to set it off. If you were to end up in the drink then you pull the Manual Activation Handle which is of course part of the lifejacket, but for the most part I would suggest that the auto-inflate way is going to be the most applicable to how many of us fish from rocks etc. You can also buy add on lights and spray hoods (more to come on this). There is also a Deckvest Lite + version which I haven’t seen, but I think it adds a couple of lifting straps.

Screenshot 2018-02-23 05.38.20.jpg

Don’t go worrying about heavy rain or a bit of spray suddenly setting off the auto-inflate mechanism, because they are designed to go off via immersion in the water. This is the info from the Spinlock website: “UML Mk5 Inflator. This is a water sensitive activation system that uses a compressed paper capsule which dissolves when wet which then releases a spring to puncture the CO2 cylinder. The cap is designed so that only water flowing upwards through the unit will cause it to activate. Water, spray and rain running down the jacket will not cause activation.” You can buy replacement cylinders and you do need to keep an eye on them and replace as needs be. When I learn more about this, you will read it on here.  

 This is how an inflated lifejacket is designed to fit around you and keep your head out of the water

This is how an inflated lifejacket is designed to fit around you and keep your head out of the water

The Deckvest Lite I have here provides 170N of buoyancy and weighs a measly 860g - it easily kept me afloat in a choppy RNLI tank with my chest waders on, and I am not exactly wasting away here with my relaxed muscles and a figure that was born to wear tight compression gear! Now you can pretty easily find these Spinlock Deckvest Lite lifejackets online, but I am really, really pleased to see that a specialist lure fishing shop and website has taken the plunge so to speak and are now stocking these rather outstanding items of fishing tackle - check out the Lure Heaven website here, and give them a shout if you have any questions. If we as anglers are looking to increase our own fishing safety then we can all help each other by sourcing as much of this safety gear from fishing tackle shops which will then encourage these shops to stock more of it. I would also suggest that if the lifejacket manufacturers start to see anglers buying lifejackets then we stand a better chance of getting this safety gear made even better for our specific needs.

If you turn a headlamp on when you are night fishing, does it really spook the hell out of bass?

I can’t ever remember worrying for one second about using headlamps when I spent all my time bait fishing, but now that bass fishing on lures consumes me so completely, I tend to do all I can to keep any light source off the water when I am night fishing, and when I change lures or do something that requires a bit of light I will use the (pretty dim) red LED on my headlamp if at all possible.

I do all this for two main reasons - firstly my head tells me that keeping light off the water at night has to be a good thing with regards to not spooking bass which are coming in so close under cover of darkness, and secondly because so many anglers who fish for bass at night say that it’s a good thing to do as well. But is it? I was asking some questions on Facebook the other day and a number of people said that in their experience it didn’t make a blind bit of difference whether you turned a headlamp and used the white light settings and so on……….


So what’s the truth here? I bought a new flashgun for my Fuji X-T2 camera last year and I wanted to give it a quick test in the middle of the night and see if it could properly illuminate my mate Mark when we were fishing. Now it’s obviously not a very exciting photograph, but I would suggest that chucking a lot of bright light from a flashgun in order to illuminate a subject like an angler is what it is - artistically lacking!

It serves a basic purpose though, but the point here is that we had decided to head home because things had been very quiet for a while. I asked Mark if he would mind carrying on fishing for a little bit while I tested the new flashgun out and I remember saying that me chucking a load of very bright and intense flash out across the water and into the night sky would sure as hell scare the hell out of any bass that might still be hanging around. I shot a few photos and then the very next minute and after all that flashgun light had been pumped out there, Mark got hit hard by a bass when things had been so dead for a while. Go figure?

Do any of you here have any thoughts or experiences of all this night time light on the water stuff for bass fishing? I can’t get away from the logic attached to night fishing and not suddenly shining light on the water, but does it really make any difference? Like ninjas we creep around the coastline at night, doing our utmost to keep any headlamp use to an absolute minimum, building up as much night vision as possible, trying not to trip the hell over and rent the night sky asunder when you smash your shin into a sodding boulder, but could we just make life a lot easier and in fact use our headlamps more?


And what do you know about how red and white lights might affect fish or not? A part of me thinks that using a dim red light to change lures or whatever has to be a good thing because perhaps it isn’t spooking the fish, but perhaps more importantly it’s not messing up my night vision. So as impressive as so many of these modern LED headlamps are these days (and this rather amazing little Fenix HL60R that I have here to test has got five different white light brightness settings for example, from pretty dim but easy to move around up to so incredibly bright that I reckon I could be seen from space), would an LED headlamp that has a bunch of different red LED brightness settings as well as the traditional white LED settings be pretty damn useful for our night fishing and not messing up our night vision? Would it be possible to do all you need to do at night purely on a red coloured LED and different brightness levels?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree because a bit of white light suddenly shining across an inky black sea in the middle of the night doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to the bass anyway? I can’t help but think it does, but then I can’t get away from some saying that it doesn’t, or that them shining torches around on night dives doesn’t scare bass away at all and so on. Not only do we consume ourselves with trying to think like fish and convincing those demons in our heads that a new rod or reel or lure purchase is purely because the bass would prefer it (what, me?), but wow wouldn’t it be nice to be able to see what fish do actually see? Surely science can tell us so much but in fact we can never completely know because try as we might we will still never be fish?


So sad to hear about another angler who died over the weekend whilst fishing the north coast of Cornwall

I have been away on the Isle of Wight for a few days with my family, but I saw the sad news of another angler who was out fishing on the north coast of Cornwall over the weekend at night, somehow ended up in the sea, and sadly died. Another angler who went out night fishing like so many of us do or have done, never for one second expecting anything to go so tragically wrong, and another family torn to pieces with grief.

From the Port Isaac RNLI Facebook page: “Port Isaac RNLI were paged at 12.43am today (Sunday 18th February) to reports of a fisherman in the water to the eastern side of Castle Beach at Tintagel. The casualty had been reported by members of the group he was fishing with. The inshore lifeboat launched at 12.55am and, with sea and weather conditions being fair, arrived on scene at 1.11am along with Maritime and Coastguard Agency helicopter Rescue 924. By this time the casualty had been in the water for approximately 40 minutes. The lifeboat and helicopter both began a search of the area with the helicopter using its searchlight. On the first sweep of the search pattern, volunteer lifeboat crew member Mark Grills spotted the casualty in the water about 80 feet from the base of the cliff. The casualty was brought on board the boat and volunteer crew administered first aid. The decision was quickly taken to transfer to Rescue 924 which airlifted the casualty to hospital. Owing to poor weather conditions at Newquay, they made their way to Derriford hospital. Sadly the casualty was pronounced dead on arrival. Our thoughts are with their family and friends at this time.”

 I thought that a calm and peaceful photo was most relevant today

I thought that a calm and peaceful photo was most relevant today

I know no more than the above, but I do know for a fact that the angler who died was not wearing a lifejacket. Considering that I have successfully spent at least 99.9% of my fishing life studiously avoiding the whole lifejacket thing, I sure as shit am not about to hand out any blame here - fishing on the rocks at any time of day or night is what it is. You spend time by the sea and things can so easily go wrong, and whilst I am not out there bait fishing so much at night like I used to, you know and I know that the angler who so sadly died at the weekend could just as easily have been you or I. Anybody who fishes and believes that it will never happen to them is both deluded and a bloody liar, end of.

I can’t sit here writing this and tell you that if the angler who died had been wearing a lifejacket then they would still be alive this morning, but then I can’t get away from what I have been learning about lifejackets. The angler who went in “with sea and weather conditions being fair” (albeit pretty damn cold) was in the water for “approximately 40 minutes”, and whilst I dread to think how terrifying that was, correctly wearing an auto-inflate lifejacket is going to help buy you more time until you hopefully get rescued. There are never any guarantees and I am assuming that an angler out on the rocks at night in the middle of February knows what they are doing, but it’s the sea and as well as we think we know her, she is mightily unpredictable.

When they are ready I will be able to show you the short films from that tank test day we did with the RNLI, and by no means am I even remotely trying to compare jumping into a not that cold tank with safety divers all around us to that poor angler who ended up in the sea at night in the middle of February and died - but even from our very safe experiences in that tank I can tell you how nasty it is when you’re trying to stay afloat and choppy water keeps trying to flood your airways. I am going to quote from my RNLI day blog post I wrote: “let me tell you how bloody horrible it is when you are in the water and now you’ve got water breaking into your face and in no time at all you start spluttering and gagging and spitting and you can’t get enough air in your lungs before getting water in your face again and then as safe as you are in the tank you’re already getting tired trying to stop water getting in your face and down your throat and in no time at all you’re not thinking straight and you want the hell out of there and I went for one of the ropes at the side of the pool because it was so bloody horrible.”

Can you imagine how horrendously scary it was for that poor angler over the weekend, when it’s for real and you are fighting for your life? I try to but I can’t, and to be honest it breaks my bloody heart that another angler has died doing what they love, and another family is broken. I can’t tell you what to do here, but I can say this because it’s my blog and I have done a complete turnaround with regards to my ignoring the bleeding obvious - stop being a macho idiot who reckons it’s never going to happen to them (this was me not long ago at all) and start wearing a lifejacket when you are out on the rocks especially. They don’t cost much but they could end up saving your life. I will be doing some reviews of a few that I have been trying out in due course. They are not expensive and they are so damn easy to wear.

And as I said earlier, this is absolutely nothing to do with me blaming anybody or anything here. I spent many, many years fishing all manner of rocks marks in the middle of the night and in all kinds of conditions, not even knowing anything at all about lifejackets and how they might work for me. I can tell you a bit about lifejackets now because I have been learning plenty about them from some very knowledgeable people, but I wonder how many anglers out there know the first thing about modern, easy to wear lifejackets and how they could save your life? It’s not enough to simply say wear a lifejacket - anglers need to know about them and how much good they can do.

And please, please, please do not for one second rely on a floatation suit. You will see my mate Mark’s experience of wearing one in that RNLI tank in due course, and I can’t believe I used to wear a floatation suit for some of my winter fishing especially, feeling kinda safe in the very mistaken belief that if I ended up in the sea it would save my life. Sure they are nice and warm, but they are categorically not a lifejacket, indeed my understanding is that they are actually meant to be worn together with a lifejacket - but how many floatation suit companies do you see telling you this? I will be writing more about this when the short films are finished from our testing day, but I am mentioning this here because I was alerted to the fact that a ‘fishing expert’ from the Cornish Federation of Sea Anglers said that a floatation suit is as good as a lifejacket on Radio Cornwall I believe, of course referencing back to the tragic events from the weekend.

Yet again I take my hat off to those brave people from the RNLI. Think about that crew who got that angler out of the sea at the weekend in the middle of the night. Think about how it must affect them to deal with death like that. So damn sad for too many people……….