Looking back over 2012…

Thought it would be interesting to choose three good and three bad things I found with fishing last year… all in my own opinion and simply things that have stuck most in my mind. There are always other plus and minus points but these are my choices… I think?!

The three bad first…

In first place… the weather!

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(Above) Chesil Beach on a stormy day…

I just can’t remember such a bad year for fishing weather-wise in recent times. Whether it was gales with deluges of rain resulting in coloured water to make lure fishing near on hopeless or northerly and easterly winds putting the fish off completely, it just didn’t seem to click in 2012. There were very few decent summer days where conditions came together  with autumn not much better. It has to get better in 2013 surely?

Second has to be – hard lure quality.

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(Above) Bass on a poorly finished Tackle House Feed Shallow

Others have said it in the past and I have noticed it a lot this year. There are an awful lot of lures out there priced in the UK at circa. £20 a go which are really shabbily put together in my opinion. My biggest problem is the finish on the lures – it’s just not durable enough. A prime example is the Tackle House Feed Shallow which to it’s credit is a proven bass catcher but the finish on them is poor and deteriorates quickly unless you take to slapping a coat of clear nail varnish on them for added protection. The trebles for such a pricey lure are not the best either so all in all it would be nice to see some better quality for the price tag some of these lures command in the UK.

Third – not lure fishing the Isle of Wight.

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(Above) the Isle of Wight – missed opportunity in 2012?

It was one of the things I promised myself I would do last year but didn’t get round to doing which I’m a bit disappointed with myself about. It will be on my 2013 ‘to do’ list again probably in the form of  at least one long weekend – I am confident there are some decent bass to be had on lures from the coast there. It’s on my doorstep – I must do it!

… and the three good are…

No. 1 – the Cornwall trip!

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(Above) The Cornish coast – fishing in some stunning scenery

Second year in succession my pal Nobby and I have ventured down to the deepest depths of Cornwall and although we’ve not hit the bigger bass we have had plenty of smaller fish with decent pollack and mackerel to throw into the mix. I just love the place and with stunning backdrops to our fishing, plenty of walking, and great Cornish hospitality what’s not too love?! A real highlight of the fishing year for me.

Second – the Fiiish Black Minnow

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(Above) The excellent Fiiish Black Minnow

Been much lauded elsewhere in the lure fishing world over the past twelve months and with good reason in my book. Had my best bass of the year of 6lb+ on one and several other fish on them using the 90, 120 and 160 sizes.  Definitely one to stock up on over the winter.

In third place -the Shimano Rarenium 4000

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(Above) The Shimano Rarenium 4000 – the middle reel of these three

For a couple of years now I’ve played around with a few spinning reels in the sub £200 bracket and finally in 2012 I got my hands on the Rarenium. I’d been trying to find something a bit different but have now realised why the Rarenium is so popular for lure fishing. For sub £200 in my opinion it is the best lure fishing reel out there. I’ve tried a Daiwa Fuego spinning reel from the US which runs it close but it is just not as smooth on the retrieve, the line lay is not as good  and it does not cast quite so well. The Rarenium is a safe bet if you’re in the market for a new spinning reel in this price bracket.

So, there you have it – all a bit of fun but maybe some of you concur or disagree totally?! Will be interesting to look back on 2013 and see what was good and bad…. hopefully not the same things – roll on Summer!!

Until next time…

What Santa brought…

Well, I’ll start by wishing everyone a very happy New Year and let’s pray that the weather Gods are a bit more benevolent in the UK than they were last year. Frustration with the weather was felt by many anglers if articles on the web and across the angling press are anything to go by! Surely, 2013 will be better?

On a more positive note I was lucky enough to get a few bits of kit for Christmas that I’m looking forward to getting out and using this year. Not least was this Maxpedition Sitka sling bag I’d been looking at for a while, largely with fishing in mind.

Sitka

Last year I was tempted by a 30 litre Overboard rucksack which is great for a long day, when you need to carry more kit and are fishing in rougher conditions – it really is pretty bomb proof and does keep your kit nice and dry. The downside I have found with any rucksacks for fishing is if you are on the move and need to get into it quickly it generally means having to put your rod down and take the rucksack off to get access. A smaller sling bag looked like a good option for fishing on the move where you can move the bag round to your front without having to take the bag off your shoulders.

The Maxpedition Sitka is not the cheapest I grant you but reading reviews it seems to be tough as old boots and could just be an ideal multi-purpose fishing/outdoor bag. It doesn’t have the waterproof qualities of the Overboard rucksack and it does have more zips and strapping to think about but a bit of messing around with it at home suggests it will be a decent addition. For starters, at a squeeze, you can fit two of the large Snowbee lure boxes in the main compartment  along with one of the smaller Snowbee boxes in the larger of the front compartments…. though that means little room for anything else! I suspect, to be honest, I’ll be using this bag when I’m taking circa twenty lures with me which should in most cases be enough anyway….. I always take far more than I use! That should leave me plenty of room for other kit. There is also a drink holder and space for a hydration pack which should be useful.

There are a lot of reviews of the Sitka on the web but not many I’ve seen specific to lure fishing so as soon as I get chance to use it a bit I’ll provide a more in depth review.

As for when I can actually get out fishing well I fear it might be a couple of quiet months ahead for any serious bass fishing but it might not stop me trying especially as I need to work off some of that excess festive ballast I seem to have accumulated!

Until next time…