Happy Christmas to you all - and make sure to look at the end of this post

I would like to say Happy Christmas to all of you who have been reading this blog through the year - thanks so much for supporting it and I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas. I really like doing this blog, but it would be completely pointless if people did not read it and react to it, so you guys have my sincere thanks for doing so. The fact that I get so much good feedback means a huge amount, and I hope we can continue to grow it during 2010. If you have any ideas about stuff to talk about on this blog that you would particularly like to see covered, please leave comments or send me an email via the Contact Me page. I have so much stuff that I want to talk about, and I pick up ideas from all over the place, but please make this blog more of a shared thing and give me as much feedback or constructive criticism as you want.

OK, so I won't be spending my Christmas in a tent, but I wanted to find a decent photo of some snow to put up on the blog for Christmas - we had a few brief snow showers here in Plymouth on Saturday, but other than that it's just been cold and icy. Kinda different to other parts of the UK as I keep seeing on the news. Whatever the case, have a good break if you aren't working (hope not) and here's to 2010 and whatever it may bring. Sometime after Xmas I will start posting about my favourite fishing items from 2009, including rods, reels, lures etc. I guess this bass fishing thing has brought out my true tackle-junkie nature that I thought had been successfully suppressed !!

As regards the Photo Competition I have been running on the blog (see here), there is still plenty of time to send me your best bass fishing photos (by end of 31st December). Thanks for all the entries so far, and there have been a few crackers sent in - there are a few posted below. What has made me especially happy about it is that there have been entries from the UK, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands - simply fantastic.

Adrian Rogers (above)

Andrew Morrow

John Griffin

Paul Jennings

Tony Jones

Nice one guys - I am really pleased that there is a good variety of types of shot and I can see that it is not going to be at all easy to pick a winner in early 2010. I will announce the winning photo sometime during the week starting Monday 4th January, and take it from me that those Grauvell spinning rods are something a bit special, especially the slightly lighter 8' model that does so much so well. Happy Christmas all of you.

You might want to check out a report on one of the most incredible bass plugging sessions I have heard about for a long time - have a look here. A big number of bass, biggest 9lb 14oz, taken somewhere in Cornwall I am being told. That is some serious fishing and so cool to hear it happening right in the depths of our winter. Outstanding stuff guys. Just so good to hear about.

Photo courtesy John Crabb

And I will leave you with this report that has just come in from my mate John Crabb down in South Africa - John took a kob (kabeljou) that from the measurements comes out at around 82kgs, and in my basic maths that works out to around 180lbs !!!! This simply outstanding fish measured 197cm with a 116cm girth, and after a few photos this magnificent creature was returned safely to the sea. John says the fish swam off very strongly. Kob are one of my most favourite species on earth and this one beats the current South African record by about 10kgs - note that John took it right off the beach (not a boat) down at Jeffrey's Bay. I can not tell you how special a fish like this is and my utmost respect goes out to John for managing to catch such a fish. Like I have said before on this blog, he is one of the most talented rock and surf anglers I have ever been lucky enough to meet. And he says that there are places around Jeffrey's where big kob can also be taken on lures. To think of edible type fish swimming around so close to the beach just blows my mind. Awesome stuff.