Not the finest fishing session

Three of us headed up to the rugged north Cornwall coast on Saturday evening to try for a ray or two, but we ended up with virtually nothing - James landed one miserable dogfish to show for all out efforts. I am hearing of some good ray fishing around the south west, but I guess we picked the wrong spot !! Above you can see James blasting out another bait.

We left Plymouth in the pouring rain, and it then cleared up around Bodmin. But when we got to the north coast, it was shrouded in a dense fog that never lifted the whole time we were there. Conditions seemed to be excellent, with a nice swell rolling in and a good tide as well, but for some reason the rays were staying away from our sandeel baits.

But just how good are those Daiwa Saltist reels ? I first put them on this blog back in January, see here for my review. I am seeing more and more shore anglers using them to great effect, and at the moment I know of no better 7000 size shore multiplier that we can get our hands on. Mine are loaded up with 20lb yellow Sufix Tritanium, with my current favourite shockleader, rig and trace material - the staggeringly good Sufix Zippy that is now available in the UK. Check here for details. You have to use this line to understand how good it is.

I hear that more and more forward thinking bass anglers are starting to get hold of the Tenryu plugging rods that have so grabbed me. Reassuringly expensive, but worth all of it, these rods are where it's at right now for me. Whilst I am using the Red Dragon Express and can't find one single fault with it, arguably the most popular model is turning out to be the Rod Bar Model 270, see here. Think I might start saving up again !!

Well done to Nick Hart for grabbing a few hours before work and landing a nice westcountry salmon, see here for the report. I have yet to photograph salmon in the UK, but they are such special fish to be around. My only experience of them was over on the Gaspe peninsular on the east coast of Canada, an experience that totally blew me away. Check out some photos here, and then book yourself a trip of a lifetime with Aardvark McLeod. Read Pete's report of a monster permit on the fly out in Cuba the other day - what a fish !! Just how badly do I want to photograph that saltwater fly fishing ?

My mate Cato Bekkevold over in Norway has just emailed me to tell me about some great zander fishing they have just had, for fish up to 20lbs !! Together with a few nice pike on surface lures, this convinces me more and more that Norway has some of the best fishing around. I also hear that they guys are doing really well up at Rost for the halibut, cod and coalfish. See here for some reports. Reports are also excellent for the start of their salmon season.

Anyway, enough about fishing for today - onto my other obsession in life, extreme metal. I can't believe that any metal fan does not listen to the awesome band Opeth - I know of no other group which so successfully blends such far out, progressive elements into their own brand of crushing death metal. The lead singer can seamlessly switch between stunning clean vocals and one of the world's most brutal death metal roars as naturally as I can switch between fishing and metal !!, and it makes for a seriously good band. I have just got hold of their new CD, called Watershed, and it is a hell of an album - spin it over and over and you'll start to lose yourself in this stuff, it's that good. The kind of CD you really need to sit down and listen to the whole way through. Listen to some tracks here. I photographed these guys in London a while ago, check through this lot here for some very cool photos of them, a few of which appeared in Metal Hammer magazine.