On the ferry back home from Ireland

We are on the ferry back from Ireland, and although it's been a really tough trip on the fishing front, already a bunch of us are planning a load of return trips for next year. Just because we have been beaten up by the weather and the conditions this time around, this awesome coastline is still my most favourite place on this earth and I can't wait to get back here as soon as I can. Winter bassing can give outstanding rewards if you take a gamble and get the right result with the weather (as we did this time last year) - we gambled and lost this time around. So be it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. There is always next time......

The conditions for photography were simply off the scale yesterday morning especially - the wind had dropped right off and there were some big blue winter skies. Surf was still pounding in and throwing up a fine mist that held the colours in the sun and allowed me to set the guys against it and hold the exposure. The moment we pulled up in the car I was hurrying to get the guys in place and nail these photos. Tough fishing but just about as good as it can get for pictures.

On the photography front, it's been great to get a bunch of entries for the photo competition I announced the other day. There has been some really good stuff emailed in to me, so keep it coming. Make sure to read the requirements for sending me photos (see here) and then let me see them. Next week I will let you know a bit more about what I have found out about these new Grauvell spinning rods - one of them especially is one of the most impressive bass spinning rods I have come across so far. The winner will be announced early in 2010.

Even though the fish did not play ball for us, we still went out and played with a whole bunch of new lures, rods and reels to see what they can do. Are we all the same when it comes to shiny lures and decent fishing tackle ? How many of you have held up a lure, wiggled it around, and pretended you were a bass looking at it from below ? A friend of mine (who small remain nameless) admitted to me the other day that his wife regularly walks into his officer and catches him in the process of being a bass and pretending to chow his lures from below. I am glad to report that they are still happily married and that she now thinks this is perfectly normal. I have learnt plenty more about various bits and pieces, indeed I have come to the conclusion that a huge part of what so turns me on about light tackle fishing for bass is this continual and hugely exciting learning process. The more my brain is working overtime, the more I enjoy what I do.