It's not yet 4am yet we're fishing a lonely estuary mark over on the south coast of Ireland earlier this year. Steve "Stee" Richardson is perhaps thirty yards upstream from me, perched on his favourite rocky outcrop, and we're fishing various soft plastics in the current and of course hoping for an Irish beast of a bass. I love these early morning starts and I love that first light period as a new day starts once more. Headlamps off course.
And I also love a decent cup of coffee to keep me going, but since it's lure fishing I am travelling as light as I can and that pleasure is going to have to wait until we stop later on at a petrol station to grab a breakfast roll and that essential hot drink. Those days of carrying a lovely big flask of coffee in my great big bait fishing rucksack are long gone. No hot drinks out here at 4am, although I'd pay good money for one right now.
What's that wafting in the gentle breeze? All is still dark but I can't hear the familiar sound of Stee who was once Steve's rod whooshing through on the cast. I can smell coffee though. Am I dreaming? I might well have mentally had a few cups of the stuff already, but have those mental delights become so real that I can really and truly actually smell coffee now? I stop fishing and sniff the breeze with due care and attention. Nope, I'm not dreaming, that's definitely coffee I can smell.
The selfish, heartless, secretive, manipulative bastard. He's got bloody coffee with him and he's keeping it bloody quiet.
I go ninja. In the darkness I stealthily creep off my rock and make my way towards Stee who was once Steve who was once a friend of mine. I'm so quiet you couldn't hear me if I was a yard away from you, because I've watched Predator a hundred times and I know how to move like Arnie and his team. I creep up on Stee who was one Steve, let my eyes adjust to the fact that the utter bastard really does have coffee with him and the fact that he's drinking it from some cup/flask looking thing that I've never seen before, and then I bash him over the head with my Boga, fling him in the tide and acquire his coffee holding implement.
OK, so the last paragraph isn't really true, but I did ask into the darkness if firstly he was really drinking coffee, and secondly how on earth he got a hot cup of coffee out here onto the rocks - cue giggles in the dark from Stee who was once Steve. "What, you mean you haven't got one of these Lifeventure mug things Henry?" "No Stee who was once Steve, I haven't, obviously, or else I'd be drinking a bloody cup of lovely hot coffee myself and sniggering back at you instead". "You carry on and enjoy that lovely hot drink, don't you worry about me for one second". What on earth is a Lifeventure thermal mug anyway?
The best thing since sliced bread, that's what it is, and obviously during that particular week, Stee who was once Steve obviously didn't delight in placing himself upwind of me on as many occasions as possible as he opened the lid on a lovely cup of coffee. You know when you've been fishing for an hour or so and the idea of a quick sit down and get it together for five minutes really appeals? Well it's always a whole lot better with a nice hot drink is it not?
Around £10 (check here on Amazon for example) buys you this ingenious Lifeventure Thermal Mug. Yes, like you I am sure I have a few of those plastic thermal mugs that have a little hole in the lid and are perfect for the car etc., and yes, I have owned any number of very good but fairly heavy and bulky stainless steel flasks that keep hot drinks so hot you scald yourself every single time you take that first sip. But what I have never owned is a thermal mug that seals up tight, is small enough to fit in my lure fishing rucksack (it's essentially a one mug of hot drink thermal mug), keeps a drink nice and hot for a couple of hours (that's all I am after really), and basically makes my day or night session a whole lot better.
I obviously have one here now, albeit it's a replacement because I got frightfully overexcited and started to carry mine on my lure belt in a water bottle holder as per above. To have that hot cup of coffee at my side like a pistol was wonderfully comforting and potentially life changing, or at least it was until on another Ireland trip this year the bloody thing must have upped and floated away in the current when I waded out to fish. I remember somewhat smugly grinning at my mates as I went to grab my thermal mug that was meant to be sitting by my side, only to find it gone. I think I cried. You will be pleased to know that I managed to pull myself together and get through the week without my Lifeventure thermal mug, but I won't be making that mistake again.
Proper stainless steel flasks keep drinks much hotter for longer, but for my lure fishing I just like the idea of one mug of whatever hot drink I want to take, indeed the other day I filled my Lifeventure mug up with some homemade roasted butternut squash, chilli and coconut soup that I had made a couple of days before. Epic, and a mug of that out on the rocks was something else. Without doubt the best roughly £10 fishing related thing I have bought this year, and Stee who was once Steve can giggle away on his rock no more. I bet he hasn't got the zip up Lifeventure Thermal Mug Jacket that I clip onto my rucksack, because I have. Beat that.............