Back from Ireland, off to France on Thursday

I got back from the fantastic Hooked Live show in Dublin on Sunday night, and on Thursday I am heading over to Jersey and then France for the fishing show in Nantes - bass fishing heaven here we come !! Last year was one hell of an experience, and I can't wait for a repeat this time around. Meeting and learning from so many bass freaks is just awesome, and there is a huge amount of modern fishing tackle on show at the Nantes show. I feel far more "up" on various bass fishing techniques than I did this time last year, and I am really hoping to go and learn and discuss a whole lot more. There are a bunch of us Brits travelling down to Nantes for next weekend.

Met a load of people at the Dublin show on Sunday, with so many of them wanting to talk about bass, bass, and more bass (suits me just fine) - if we think interest in bass fishing is exploding here in the UK, it seems to be much the same over in Ireland. But with a whole lot more fish to catch. I met and talked to lots of keen anglers from all over Ireland, including the most wonderful couple who are completely addicted to their fishing - not only do they have some incredible sounding mullet fishing on their doorstep in Northern Ireland, they also make regular treks down to the Dingle peninsular to chase bass. I saw some photos of really big mullet they have been catching, and they tell me that there are far larger fish around. One for the to do list in a big way........

I just got hold of the cover of a new fishing book that has just come out, with a photo of mine on the front cover as you can see above, plus I believe over two hundred shots of mine inside. This was a project I was asked to get involved in last year - initially I was asked to write and photograph the whole thing, but for various reasons I decided to supply two thirds of the photographs and then pass the rest of the work on to some friends of mine who I knew would do a really good job. I have not actually seen a copy of the book yet, indeed I have not even seen any inside pages yet - only this cover which I am really pleased with. I hope it just "says" that fishing is a whole heap of fun (which of course it is when you are literally falling on the hungry bass on a big blue sky day over in Ireland). I have been told that the book is on sale (see here for more details). Looking forward to seeing a copy........

I have not made any TV fishing programmes for a fair while now, and I have to be completely honest and admit to being stunned that so many people at the Dublin show came up to me because of them. While it strikes me as slightly mad that anybody would contemplate watching the stuff that I have done any more than once, I guess that the endless repeats and the fact that some (very kind) people keep on watching them means that there are fishermen out there who are hungry for new fishing shows. I guess we all are in fact. I was asked so many times over the weekend when some new programmes are coming out, but I simply do not have a clue. There seems to be an audience out there who want more new shows, but the TV stations obviously don't think so.

I did get to see a few people who I have been looking forward to meeting for a while now - I wish I had got more time to speak to Bob Moss, the ex-pat fishing junkie from Dingle (see here), because in the brief time we had to yap about fishing I got the distinct impression that he was a seriously nice guy. I just hugely respect the fact that he fell in love with the Dingle peninsular over in Ireland so much that he decided a long time ago now to relocate there. Too few people in my opinion ever follow their dreams, and I have a lot of time for people out there who don't do what everybody else does. I really hope to get the chance to fish with Bob one of these days.

Paul Young, the fly fishing guy who makes a lot of TV programmes, he was great to talk to - he was at the Dublin show as well. I also got to meet the two main guys behind the increasingly well known Dublin bass fishing emporium that is "Henry's Tackle Shop" - they had a big stand at the show and they also had some seriously good lure fishing gear there. Rods, reels, and a big number of some lethal nice bass lures. Check out some of the lures they do here. I have not been able to find anywhere "local" to get the F-Tec lures that I was on about here, so it was a good surprise to walk on to their stand and see a load of different F-Tec ones on display. Nice one guys. Not that I have a problem with lures or anything like that.........

Great also see that the IrishBass.org stand was getting so much interest - loads of Irish anglers were signing the petition and taking leaflets away that detailed what we need to do to try and stop the Irish coastal bass fishery being opened up to the commercial sector. If you have not done so already, please go to their website and follow the advice. Make sure to "Become a Friend of Irish Bass" as well by signing up online here.A great weekend meeting loads of very cool people. My thanks to all the people over there who made me feel so welcome - only about 99% of them on Sunday mentioned the fact that Ireland beat us in the rugby !!