What’s the most valuable lesson that lure fishing has taught you?

I never had even half a clue that there was so much to lure fishing, indeed I cling to the odd bit of spinning I used to do as a mere add on to my bait fishing as a kind of comfort blanket when my brain starts to bounce with how much lure fishing has taught me - and with how much I have yet to learn. But what’s the most important thing that lure fishing has taught you as an angler? Can you break it all down and think of one single lesson as such that fishing with artificials has really sunk home and perhaps affected your whole outlook on fishing in general?

I could come up with a number of different things if I had to, but at the end of the day I tend to come back to something that continues to bang home to me - never say never. Wow it’s so easy in life to close yourself off to new experiences and wrap yourself up with the knowledge you already have as a kind of protection against forging ahead and opening up those grey cells to new stuff. Lure fishing without a doubt has helped reinforce the whole “never say never” ethos to me, as in the more I unravel and learn about this whole lure fishing thing, the more I realise how easy it would have been to dismiss so much of it because it requires thought, effort and an open mind.

Take something as simple as chucking a senko at a bass or indeed pollack or wrasse - if you had told me say ten years ago that I would be obsessing about a simple soft plastic “stick” which seems to do hardly anything in the water I’d most likely have laughed at you. I remember the first spool of the Varivas Avani Sea Bass Max Power PE 8-strand braid that I ever got, and how it sat on a shelf because I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that a line that thin and supple could work for our lure fishing. How about the gradual realisation that we don’t actually need poker-like lure rods to catch most of the species we might be able to realistically target from our coastline? Not going out without a range of lures that can fish in ways I never could have imagined were a part of say bass fishing, catching wrasse on lures, the sheer range of locations that can throw up bass, and of course, night fishing for bass with lures - carry on doing the same stuff all the time or never say never and open up your mind?

The easy way would of course be to do what you always do, change nothing, and carry on fishing as you have always done - nothing wrong with this, of course not, but the day that fishing sits still for me is the day that I walk away and do something else. Fishing is my life because it offers me so much, and learning new stuff for me is the key to loving fishing more and more - but if I didn’t adopt the “never say never” mantra then I am not sure my obsession would be so consuming. I will never understand people who don’t ask questions and don’t have that desire to learn more, just as I can’t sit still with all that there is to learn about fishing and of course lure fishing. I hear about and read some things sometimes that a part of can’t help but want to simply dismiss and move on, but then that never say never part of me catches myself and I wonder where I might be with this fishing thing another five years down the line……

And of course, come on England!! The third Test starts today - can we put that shameful drubbing behind us and draw on the fight we showed at Cardiff? Hell yes. Never say never!!