I am writing a feature about plugging for bass in calm weather at the moment, and it has really got me thinking about bass fishing all over again. I am continuously amazed at just how much interest there is in bass fishing, from boat, beach and rocks, with baits and lures, indeed I would say that nearly 50% of feedback that I get from anglers is about bass fishing - where to go, how to do it, what gear to use etc.. In my mind these fish are becoming more of a lifestyle thing now, to the point where increasing numbers of anglers really want to be become involved in mobile, light tackle fishing for one of our premier species. Above is Irishman Patrick Gallagher with a fine lure caught bass from Ireland that I photographed in autumn 2007. Not a heavy rod or tripod in sight - just a spinning rod and reel, a bum bag and a pair of breathable chest waders. This is the kind of fishing you do with a permanent smile on your face. Take a look at a load of bass fishing photos by clicking here.
But what is it about the bass that so inspires people ? Is it because some of our traditional sea fish are becoming harder and harder to catch, and as a result, this begins to turn people off staring at motionless rod tips for hours on end ? I don't know the answer, but I have various theories. Light tackle fishing for bass is a very active form of fishing, and even if you get skunked now and then (come on, admit it, none of us catch every time we go), you still feel as if you have achieved something really worthwhile. Just being outside and wandering our fantastic coastline take some beating.
I am out with Nick Hart tomorrow to photograph a fly fishing feature for Trout Fisherman magazine. The forecast is for a freezing cold day, so more than likely we're going to have to wrap up warm and be real men about it !!!! Still, it does not compare to an email I got from a guy in Canada today who helped me out with steelhead fishing last year - he said that it had just dropped to -52C (yes, MINUS 52C) where he lives in northern Alberta. Now that is proper cold. See some steelhead photos by clicking here. I believe there is a steelhead feature of mine in the next issue of Trout Fisherman, check it out when it hits the shops.
Some of you might know that apart from fishing, extreme music is my other obsession, and I have recently bought a couple of very good CDs that you need to check out. "To the Nameless Dead" by the great Irish band Primordial is just fantastic, and "Desert Northern Hell" by the sadly defunct Tsjuder is proper black metal - fast and furious with those essential catchy parts that make you bang your head and air drum uncontrollably. And to think that I turn 35 next week. I can still remember buying my first proper death metal album all those years ago - "Slowly We Rot" by Obituary (check here for some photos of them that I shot) and gleefully seeing my Dad rush upstairs and tell me to "turn that rubbish off. When on earth are you going to grow out of this music ?" Guess I never did.....................!! As I love saying to my 3 year old daughter - heavy metal is the law. The addiction just gets worse.