Here's my cover photo on the current issue of Sea Angler magazine that I was talking about the other day (see here) - I like what they have done with my photograph, and this cover is a tight crop of a shot I took of a decent bass over in Ireland. Anybody with any interest in photography will most likely recognise that a fisheye lens has been used to get in really tight on the fish and emphasise that predator head with a very slight degree of natural distortion that comes from using this sort of lens in a situation like this.
The exact lens was the Canon 15mm f2.8 fisheye, but to be perfectly honest, the reason for using a lens like this makes more sense when you look at the original photo that the Sea Angler designers cropped from to make the front cover. See my original shot of the bass below. The photo being cropped so tightly for a front cover shows how clean and flexible high resolution digital files are these days from professional SLR cameras. The current issue of Sea Angler is going to take some beating I reckon, but they have some good people working for them who keep on finding really good looking UK sea fishing material.
I am always trying to keep an eye out for products that I reckon will work well for our fishing, and I came across a really good looking waterproof rucksack the other day that should make for an excellent kind of mobile lure fishing bag for bass fishing. Snowbee make this waterproof rucksack, and these guys will need no introduction if you are from the fly fishing world. They also do a load of sea fishing gear as well that you should check out.
Here's a photograph of the bag I am on about, and you can see a bunch of details right here. I believe I am right in saying that this bit of kit retails for around £50, and for a purpose built waterproof rucksack, I reckon this is really good value for money. A lot of us bass fishermen for a start want to make sure that our stuff stays dry, whatever the weather, and wherever we are fishing, and the idea of a lightweight rucksack that you can walk with all day long really appeals to me. The simplest things in fishing are often the most useful. I would guess that a load of UK saltwater anglers would fine a bag like this to be of use, whatever you fish for.
There seems to be a lot more "crossover" of products these days between the different fishing disciplines. I know we tend to split our fishing up into game, sea and coarse in the UK, but in my mind that is somewhat counter-productive, and I tend to believe we are all just fishermen, however we choose to catch our fish. Word of mouth and the power of the internet I believe is making it far easier for fishermen to see lots of different kinds of products and cherry-pick the ones that they want to use for their own fishing, regardless of what the original purpose for the product was.
Take breathable chest waders for starters - I see more and more guys in the sea fishing world wearing these things, but of course they were originally designed for the game fishing market. But we find them useful, so we use them. How about wearing short wading jackets from the game world instead of those somewhat (generally) heavier and bulkier specialist sea fishing waterproof tops ? Being able to roll a lightweight wading jacket up and stuff it in my bag is so useful to me, and again, I see more and more mobile sea anglers doing this.
Times are a changing, and I would guess that the tackle companies and retail outlets who can retain the flexibility to adapt to change swiftly and efficiently will be the ones who come out on top. Making the same old stuff and marketing it in the same old way in my mind does not cut the mustard any more. You want an example ? Why are so many switched-on, internet-savvy bass anglers increasingly buying rods, reels and lures with heavy Japanese and French influences that are not designed in the UK ?