Happy Christmas to you all

I hope that all you kind people who read this blog have a truly wonderful Christmas. May Father Christmas bring all you tackle tarts out there what your hearts desire. Imagine trying to get down my chimney with a 9' French Branzino (but apparently not called a Branzino anymore, confusing I know), a pair of Simms G4 waders, a Daiwa 2500 mag sealed Certate and a Caldia, various MegaBass lure rods, some new IMA hard lures that I have heard about recently, plus a special card that will allow me to walk up to any airline check in desk in the world and be upgraded out of cattle class with no questions asked. Perhaps I had better dream on and instead let Santa save his efforts for my two girls...........

I do this blog quite simply because I love doing it. I wanted to say a big thanks to all of you who read it and an extra special thanks to those of you who then leave comments as well, whether here or on my Facebook page. It makes my day to know that people might get something out of my various ramblings, ideas, thoughts, opinions and general fishing tackle addictions. I have a few ideas for 2012 that I will look into, but in all honesty there are no long-term plans or goals with this blog other than to keep on doing it and hope that people keep on enjoying it.

I would like to say a huge and sincere thanks to all of you who so kindly left comments/messages on my blog post from the other day about losing my dog Jess, and also to the people who emailed me and left messages on my Facebook page as well. Thank you so much. I can not tell you how much it means that people take the time to leave such many kind words. Putting a dog down is sadly something that most dog owners are going to have to go through at some time or another, but I weigh that up against the sheer joy and pleasure that a dog can bring to one's life. I have to say that it is not the same around here at the moment, and going for long walks without Jess is feeling very strange, but in the end I did the kindest thing I could by her and we can't wait to get a puppy sheepdog sometime next year...........

Photo courtesy Del Thompson

One bit of news that did really perk me up this week was a call from my mate Del in the Isles of Scilly. For some reason they don't have bass over there, but we have spoken for a while now about this whole wrasse fishing on soft plastics thing that really seems to be taking on a life of its own now. Aside from some huge mullet, the (staggeringly beautiful) Isles of Scilly has unquestionably some of the finest shore fishing that exists for species such as wrasse and pollack, and on a recent visit over here I did my best to point Del in the right direction with regards to gear and a few basic methods etc. (bearing in mind where I am on the learning curve with it myself). Del got a window in some recent "lively" weather and went out last Sunday I believe for his first ever attempt at wrassing on plastics. Holy cow, to say the guy did ok doesn't come close. Del did awesome !! He landed 15 wrasse with the biggest being that stonking 5lb 14oz animal you can see above, plus he said he lost a couple of trains that were not very much into the idea of being stopped !! The guy can really fish so that of course helps, but once again it proves how the wrasse is without doubt a more than legitimate lure fishing quarry.

One interesting thing that Del told me was that he did not lose one bit of gear to the snags. He said that when he used to bait fish the spot he would expect to either get a bite or lose his end gear, the place is that rough as rats, but when he fished the place with a simple Texas rig and various soft plastics he did not lose anything in the rocks. How good is that ? Nice one Del. Another lure addict I sense is joining the growing ranks !! I'm going to have to get him to come to Ireland with me sometime soon and see if I can ruin him on the bass.............

Happy Christmas !!