Never will I forget that first Nantes bass show I went to over in France. I loved every second of it and I had a blast, but from time to time these days I make sure to think back on how for a proportion of the time I wandered around almost in a daze I was so confused at some of the stuff that was going on..............
If there is one thing that I worry about with this growth in interest in lure fishing is that it's too easy to make things look more complicated than they actually are, and also to make the classic mistake of thinking that everyone is where you are at on the learning curve (wherever that may actually be) - which they aren't, and of course experts will always be experts and know it all anyway so I have never wanted anything to do with them or indeed the word itself.
Which is why I make sure to cling to that feeling of confusion I had at my first Nantes show. I remember so well being completely amazed but also hugely confused for example about what on earth the different lure rods were all for, and what all those different weight ratings and different lengths meant with regards to the lure fishing they were designed to do. And this was before I had even an inkling about the whole Japanese saltwater bass fishing thing for example..............
What rod was meant for plastics and what rod was meant for hard lures for example ? What kind of tip on a rod was/is best for working surface lures ? What soft plastics went best with what jig heads and what was each shape of jig head best at doing ? (something that I reckon confuses the hell out of a lot of anglers). What on earth was a sinking minnow all about in relation to its floating counterpart ? I could go on, but you get my drift.
I do a fair amount of work for Sea Angler magazine, and for the Bass Angler section more specifically. I get some good feedback, but I also accept completely that there are plenty of anglers out there who are way beyond what is going on in there, and of course on this blog - but for me personally I try to stay completely grounded and never for one second forget that I have not been massively into "modern" lure fishing all my life, indeed I came to it not long ago really. Sure, I make mistakes and I will continue to make them, but surely that is a part of learning ?
It could well be interesting times ahead I reckon, but I am forever going to remember where I am in fishing, where I came from and that I'll never get close to knowing it all. I have always been more than comfortable that there are many, many far better anglers than me out there, indeed I fish with guys who are on a completely different level to me - but all this does is make me push myself forward and try to keep on learning.
And for all the stuff you read and watch, it's also very important to remember that plenty of anglers will continue to catch plenty of fish by doing nothing more than chucking various lures out and winding them straight back in - albeit at the right time and in the right place - which is of course the essence of successful fishing is it not ?