Belle Ile - the wild coast

The west coast of the French island of Belle Ile, called "la cote sauvage" (the wild coast) - you can get a taste of just how lively this rugged, exposed stretch of coast can get from the photo above. The northern end of the island (Les Poulains)is where a lot of the big shore caught bass come from throughout the year, and the French bass guys tend to fish some pretty hairy conditions up here. Graham and I had one day with the locals when the conditions were firing, and although only one small bass was actually landed, the whole area just felt "alive" - and one of the guys was torn to pieces by a proper bass...............what an awesome place to take photos (cue much cleaning of the lenses with all the salt spray flying around).

These kinds of conditions are when I am more than happy to essentially dump the fishing gear and just take photos - light and sea conditions like these don't come around all the time, and I would be kicking myself if I did not try to make it look as impressive as I can. It takes a certain amount of practise to time your photos around the crashing waves, turning your circular polariser, and holding a grey grad filter in front of the lens to hold the strong skies against the extreme white of the pounding sea. I love every second of a session like this.

The photo above is how I want to remember "la cote sauvage" on Belle Ile - imposing, magnificent, dangerous, and wildly exciting. Imagine how awesome it must look during a big winter storm !! I love all kinds of fishing in all kinds of places, but a day like this will always be extra special to me - I suppose the sea either does or doesn't do it for you. I can't get enough of it.

I have put a bunch of new photos up on the Fishing Pictures page - check the Bass, Europe, Various Saltwater and Some Personal Favourites folders to have a look. The observant among you will also have noticed that a new image appears whenever you go to the homepage, and I have put one there from my recent bass trip (refresh the page again and again to see the selection of photos).

How to rig the MegaBass XLayer soft plastic lure - there is a new Photo Essay up, all about how to rig this lethally effective bass lure (see here for the essay). This is the way the French guys we were fishing with on Belle Ile like to set their XLayers up, and I know it works - if it does so for you, then that just about makes my day. Please keep me posted.

I just spoke to my mate Del over in the Isles of Scilly - he and a friend went out on their first shark fishing trip of the year yesterday, and they landed three nice blue sharks not that far from the islands. The biggest went about 70lbs, and they hooked that one virtually the moment they stopped. Del tells me that there were blues taken to around 90lbs last week by a local boat - seems to be good news for the summer. There were stacks and stacks of mackerel around as well. Some great fishing.

Get through Monday morning with a dose of black metal - you know it makes sense !! The new album from the Norwegian band Old Man's Child is a stormer - called "Slaves to the World", it's all written by one of the guitarists from the mighty Dimmu Borgir. Check out a few tracks here. Monstrous, malicious and very neccessary. Old Man's Child do not release albums that often, but they are worth tracking down.

Huge thanks again to all those of you who have looked through this new website and blog, and thanks for all the comments and emails - I appreciate all of it and it seems to be that the new "look" is going down really well. From a personal point of view, I could not be more pleased with the new site.