It's that time of year again - the "Salon Europeen des peches en mer" show down in Nantes, France kicks off on Friday, and I for one can't wait. This will be my third year in a row visiting this awesome fishing show - like last year I am flying over to Jersey tomorrow and travelling down with a bunch of guys in a minibus. The Nantes show is an all round sea fishing show, but the emphasis is largely on bass fishing, and I can't think of a better way to keep abreast of developments within this fast moving world. The fact that the show is full of nice shiny rods, reels and all manner of lures of course has nothing to with the fact that my heart starts racing. Anglers could never for one second be accused of being mere children at heart............!!
As with the last couple of years, I will do my best to keep this blog updated with my findings from the show. There was a good number of UK and Irish lads over last year, and I am hoping that even more make it this time. I know that a few mates from southern Ireland are flying in direct from Dublin, so it will be cool to see them and start planning various trips for the year. I hope Pat doesn't go and ask me how to order steak again - don't ask, but I sort of stitched him up. These few days are always a blast, and it always fascinates me how well fishing brings people together. I also love the chance to get to speak a bit of French and spend a little bit of time in such a wonderful country. Just as long as we beat them in the Six Nations rugby the weekend after next........when I will be in Ireland at the Hooked Live show.
Above is my front cover photograph on the latest issue of Sea Angler magazine - I am really pleased to see them go for a different kind of cover, and I especially like the fact that the angler is wearing and using what we might call modern lure gear. The angler in question is Nick Roberts from Bass Lures.co.uk, and you have to feel for the guy to be fishing away and then have me clamber up on a rock just in front of him and stick a wide angle lens almost right in his face. And I have to say that the IMA chestpack thing he is wearing is one fantastic bit of kit - not cheap, and believe me when I say that I was initially somewhat sceptical about this kind of contraption, but having used one a fair bit now in certain situations I am completely sold on their usefulness. Check it out here.
In this new issue of Sea Angler magazine there is also my first ever feature on wrasse fishing with soft plastics - check out pages 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50. I have to give credit again to the Sea Angler powers that be for trusting in me to give them this kind of material, and I believe that part 2 to this article comes out in the next issue. Of course an article like this was not possible without the kind of help from Keith and Kevin White over in Jersey, plus the other Jersey anglers who went out fishing and let me work my cameras around them when I was over there last summer. Bring on those big, warm blue skies again. Anyway, next time I post on this blog and I should be in France.