This kind of thing really makes my day here in the office - Matthew Thomas emailed me to tell me all about the huge bass you can see above (thanks for letting me use the photo Matthew). Weighing 11lbs 4oz, he caught and returned this magnificent fish around Waterville over on the Kerry coastline in Ireland. To catch and then return a fish like this really deserves huge respect from us all.
But what has made me so especially pleased is that Matthew told me he had read some of the Sea Angler articles that I have done with his fishing guide over in Ireland, the extremely talented Kevin Brain. After reading those articles, Matthew booked a day with Kevin over in Waterville and this bass of a lifetime was the result. This proves two things to me - that fishing articles do work in putting anglers in touch with good fishing, and that a guide is as invaluable as a decent fishing rod. There are not many guides in our UK and Irish sea fishing worlds, so we need to use them as much as possible and help ensure their future. Well done to Matthew and to Kevin.
Check here for a feature on what Kevin Brain does over in Ireland, and then contact him here. We filmed a TV programme over in Kerry a couple of years ago, and we would not have got anywhere without the expert help and guidance from Kevin. If you are heading that way, make sure to get in touch with him and I assure you that you will catch a truck load more fish and learn a staggering amount from him. Better still, make a proper trip out of it and fish yourself to a standstill !! Bass, mullet, wrasse, rays, codling, pollack, huss, sea trout and salmon, you name it, Kerry has the lot.
Once again this shows that Ireland offers the best shore fishing for bass that I know of anywhere, and Kevin catches some awesome fish on bait, lures and fly. Words can not describe how pretty the Kerry coastline is, indeed when I first saw it my jaw hit the floor and remained there until I was on the ferry back home. I must get myself back over there soon..............
My mate Graham Hill also landed a big bass the other day from that magical south east corner of Ireland - weighing over 10lbs, he also returned the fish successfully. I know he lost his Tackle House Feed Shallow lure to a real crocodile of a fish earlier in the session, so he went and put on one of his old favourites, the jointed Storm Thunderstick. These Tackle House lures are really starting to get noticed by keen bass anglers, and so they should - they slay big time. You can get them here. Well done Graham, I will be back over as soon as I can. Bass fishing is an addiction, as Matthew Thomas tells me !! Give in, it ain't worth trying to fight it.............
What on earth is going on with bass fishing ? Granted, it has always been hugely popular, but there is an explosion in interest going on, as I have continually alluded to in this blog. Why is this happening ? Is it because so many anglers are fed up with staring at rod tips and are looking for a more "involved" way of fishing ? Is it because there is more and more press on going bass fishing ? Is it because the bass is the one species we have that crosses the fishing divides ? I have never met a fisherman who did not want to try and catch a bass. Whatever the reasons, it is making me think hard about what to do in the future, so watch this space and if I come up with any decent ideas you will be the first to know. Perhaps I should start looking into guided/led trips over to various locations in Ireland, or perhaps even think about bass fishing clinics ? Believe me, I am learning all the time, but I am very conscious that there are a load of other people out there who are hungry for information.
How can I go this long without telling you about another great metal release ? I first got into the Danish band Raunchy around the time of their "Confusion Bay" CD, and you really need to check out their new album, called "Wasteland Discotheque". Check out a few tracks here. I love this kind of insanely catchy extreme metal that gets deep into your head and beats your brain to a submissive pulp !! Give me more.