For all the nice shiny gear though........
........there is and will always be the most important single thing in fishing - "watercraft". If you don't know how to find the fish then all the gear in the world ain't going to buy you one, and as always for me, those anglers who I respect the most are the people who really know their fishing. They know all about where to go and when, and in the end that I guess is what fishing comes down to. Where and when. Plus that all important desire and urge to keep on learning more. Think how much true fishing information is stored in some anglers' heads and the mind boggles a bit.
Some of the best anglers I know are definitely not fishing with the most expensive shiny gear out there, but they do know how to take the gear they have and make it work for them. I can think of a number of individuals I know who are incredibly wired in to their local fishing, perhaps to the point that they are going out fishing almost so naturally that they don't actually realise how much they know to have arrived at that decision to go there - does that make sense ? Going out fishing to the right place at the right time has become completely natural, but it has only got there through experience.
Something which I guess has worried me for a while now is that I don't actually know a huge amount about my own local bass and lure fishing. I used to know a fair amount about going bait fishing around here, but that was back when I used to fish a serious amount. With bait. I was not into going bass or lure fishing back then, so my personal knowledge base is based more around bait fishing for say huss, rays, cod, mullet and conger. With the limited time I do get to go mainly lure fishing around here, I am doing my absolute best to learn as much as I can and really increase my knowledge and information levels. I am also lucky enough to know some good people who are kind enough to help me out a bit. If I think about it I reckon I know a lot more about stretches of the southern Irish coastline than I do around here, but then it makes perfect sense when most of my really hardcore lure fishing times have been spent over there. By no means am I close to the kind of knowledge levels of some of the anglers I know over there, but over time I am getting to feel more and more confident. And then of course, like here, there are some outstanding people who more than kindly go out of their way to help us out.
But then is that not a vital part of fishing as well ? Watercraft is the most important when it comes to actually going fishing, but aside from the actual act of fishing, it's the people. Yes, some of us love the shiny stuff more than others, and perhaps some of us try to pretend that we don't to make ourselves feel better (guilty), but in the end fishing as a whole to me is about the people. When I go to something like the Tackle and Guns trade show like I did on Sunday and bump into a load of people that I know through fishing, it really makes me feel good about the whole thing. OK, so as in life there are of course a few idiots who are best avoided, but in general I reckon that fishing is full of just about the best people going.