The sheer joy and pleasure at such a special fish

Third cast this morning and Steve hooks and lands a bass of a lifetime - I saw it swirl on the top pretty early on in the scrap and it was pretty obvious from the size of the flank that this was a special fish, but it's not until that thing is lying in the shallows and secured on a fish grip that you can get a proper look at the thing and see that yes, we're looking at a magical bass over the 10lb mark. Holy frigging cow does it get much better?

OK, so we've got no tape measure and no scales either, but you just know. You can't mistake it. A double figure bass just looks like one if that makes sense - I gave Steve 11lbs for the fish, but I reckon it was somewhere between 11 and 12lbs. I am not showing the best photos of Steve's fish here because it gives away where we were fishing, and what you can't see here is how fantastically well conditioned the fish was in. Watching that thing swim off so powerfully was very special as always.

Steve has been bass fishing for years and whilst he has had a heap of good fish, up until this morning he had not landed his dream, 10lb+ bass - what a way to do it. To be around a fish like this was as special as ever - three blokes standing around in a state of shock, slapping Steve on the back and just basking in the beaming glow of a very, very happy bass angler. Well done Steve, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, I am completely made up for you - he took the fish on a Redgill V8 lure bumping along the bottom in a good run of current.

A big well done to my mate Mark as well - we took a punt yesterday evening and went to a spot where we had to trap ourselves over the high tide and then get out a little later on the drop. We have been talking about doing it for a while, and after Steve and I nailed a couple of 6lb fish off the top the day before, the plan was set. Mark nailed a bass that I put around the 9lb mark , hooked over some boulders literally a few yards off the shore. The lure? What else but the consistently killer IMA Salt Skimmer, and this time in that cotton candy colour. Saying that though, my 6lb fish the day before was on the Lucky Craft Gunfish 115.

Anyway, best get on with getting the gear together and heading out again. We've been having a good trip overall with some good fish, some pretty special light at times - which then of course means a heap of editing for me - and of course a good laugh. I just love it over here, and whilst I can't wait to get back and see my girls, it goes without saying that I'll be counting down the days until my next visit.