Plaice showing from the boats

Plaice are not a fish I have spent much time chasing over the years, but I fully understand their appeal and I would love to catch more of them. There's something about these flatfish that really get lots of anglers going. Although they had north east winds up on the famous Skerries banks off Dartmouth over the weekend, Malcolm Jones of the charter boat Sea Angler II tells me that the fishing was still pretty good. A fair few nice plaice were taken during the huge annual plaice festival they have up there every year. Check here for getting hold of one of the south west's best charter skippers. I can not recommend Malcolm highly enough. I spoke to Malcolm this morning as he was steaming back to Plymouth and he said it was about as beautiful as possible out at sea. How good was the weather yesterday ? I am not sure what the actual temperature was, but to me if felt like the warmest day of the year so far down here - so sunny and warm in fact that I even got my shorts on for the first time in the UK in 2009. Now that is an event !!

Nobody can mistake the distinctive orange spots on a plaice - I have heard so many stories of when shore fishing for them over on the tiny Channel Island of Alderney was frankly awesome. We are talking about serious numbers of big, 5lb plus plaice coming to shore anglers, but as is usual on planet earth, the stocks were commercially hammered and what was once a world class shore fishery for them is now a shadow of its former glories. There is still some very good fishing over there at various times of the year, but imagine what it once was....................kind of like too many places on earth (sadly). Speak to these guys here for local info, guiding, tackle, bait and charter boats.

I also spoke to a friend of mine over in south east Ireland this morning - Cian told me that north east winds and an incredibly small tide did them no favours at all on the bass fishing front this weekend, but persistence paid off and he managed to land a solid 5lb fish on a Duo Tide Minnow lure. See here for getting some of these awesome lures. Cian said he had at least five decent follows from bass, but that they then turned away at the last moment. Why ?

The Wolves are howling - if you are into any kind of extreme metal music, do yourself the biggest favour possible this week and get hold of the new album by the US black metal band Wolves in the Throne Room. These guys get in your head in a big way, and their new CD called "Black Cascade" is a proper masterpiece. Listen here for some short samples of what this band is about. They play long, textured songs that won't leave you alone, and I reckon that's just about perfect. Kind of like a faster Drudkh if you get my drift. Monumental metal for the true connoisseur. Get the CD here.