Back in the saddle


It’s been a while but pleased to report have managed to get a few sessions in of late with a fair few fish taken but none of any particular size. All the fish have been in really great condition though which is good to see.

Venues have been varied from rock marks, estuary and shingle beach and a lot have come to tried and tested lures like the good old  IMA Komomo SF-125’s and the Patchinko’s. Have found myself fishing more hard lures and less with softs like the Fiiish Black Minnows in these sessions but I’m sure that balance will be redressed as we head into the Autumn….. for me there’s nothing like fishing surface lures on a early summer  morning or late evening! Don’t get me wrong the softs are proven catchers but I find when you get a hit on a hard lure, and particularly with a surface lure, it’s just that bit more exhilarating!

Next three months I’m planning to get a lot more fishing done including a trip back  to Ireland in October…. don’t like to wish my time away but simply cannot wait for it!

Anyhow below are a few pictures from recent sorties…

One on the IMA Komomo SF-125 Lemon back at dawn…

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And another…


Posing for the camera…


Off the top on the Patchinko II…


Tiddler on the Patchinko 100…


Even more of  a tiddler on the bigger Patchinko II…


Estuary as sun sets…


Until next time…

Ireland Trip To Remember… Part Three


We were  now in the final furlong of our trip to Ireland having taken in The Copper Coast and now Kerry.  Here’s how the final few days mapped out…

Day 7…. It’s not all about the fishing

Conditions today were probably as benign as they had been all week so it wasn’t looking good for bass fishing in many respects. Still, we tried and started  back at the successful mark from the previous morning but this time not one of us had a sniff at all – what a difference a day makes! Time to move on and we headed closer to base before breakfast where I did manage two takes but dropped them both… with it went my chance of bass for the day which was frustrating.

After another hearty breakfast the only realistic option for the day was pollack fishing so John had us heading off to a new location… and what a location it was – breathtakingly beautiful. First mark in this area both Nobby and I blanked but Paul and Joran picked up pollack and wrasse between them. Moving round the mark we were then all into pollack before lunch. The setting for our lunch really wasn’t bad at all…



Post lunch we headed back out to some different points and outcrops on the mark and again all hit into the pollack with Nobby unfortunately dropping the biggest pollack of the week right under his rod tip. Joran had hit a purple patch and was outfishing the English contingent at this point! The tide turned and the fishing dropped off so it was deemed appropriate to ‘refresh’ ourselves with a couple of pints at an idyllic inn before we set off back to Thatched Cottage! It had been a tough day on the fishing front but what a place to fish – just awesome…



Back at base it was apron on for John as he and Lynne refuelled us for the evening. Tough day fishing but sometimes just being out there is enough to make you feel alive.

Day 8…. The Last Knockings

Final full day in Kerry with the normal early start but a new mark to fish in the dark. Nice surf and when Nobby and Joran had bass pretty much first casts we thought we were in for a good session but the fish passed through and that was that for the bass but strangely I picked up a small mullet on a IMA Sasuke (think it must have been trying to kiss it rather than eat it!) – most bizarre, and Nobby nailed mackerel off of a point around from the bay. That was all we managed in the dark before brekkie.

With flat gin clear seas still upon us we were off for our final bash at the pollack and again we fished some stunning spots with some healthy pollack coming to all of us largely on  paddletails of all shapes and sizes. Nobby had one of the better fish…


There was some interesting rock pools as we headed off this mark which were absolutely teeming with starfish and anemone life…


John and Henry had us believe we were going to pick up lunch on the way back through to the next mark but instead surprised us with an impromptu lunchtime BBQ back at Thatched Cottage – terrific – just what the doctor ordered!

The afternoon had us all back on the pollack and then a quick fish for a bass on the return to Thatched Cottage but it wasn’t to be and that was the end of our Kerry fishing on this trip. A few beers watching the All Blacks annihilate France in the rugby after dinner and we were all well and truly done!

Whilst the fishing hadn’t been explosive in Kerry it really didn’t need to be…. just being in those truly stunning locations with both John and Henry’s excellent guidance and the company of the whole group was something that will stay with me for a very long time. Underpinning all this fishing there was a huge amount of laughter, childish at times but my God was it funny. I have to say to Joran that I hope you didn’t go home wondering what the hell you had just been part of!!??!!

Day 9…. Homeward Bound

A relative lie in but we were still up around 6:30 as we needed to get Paul back to Cork for an 11 o’clock flight. With a heavy heart we said our farewells to Henry, John, Lynne and Joran and were on our way. What a top top time we had in Kerry…. can’t thank John and Henry enough for their guidance, the knowledge they imparted, and with Lynne’s magnificent help the hospitality…. all of it way, way surpassed my expectations….. very much appreciated guys – we will be back!

After dropping Paul at the airport Nobby and myself had time to kill so made our way back to the Copper Coast and as tired as we were, we vouched to fish for a few hours. We found a likely spot that we fished on the ebb and wouldn’t you know it Nobby hooked into a decent fish, indeed had it beat but it took off on one last run and shot behind a rock and cut the braid….. not a happy chappy, I had a knock too but that was it and to be honest we were done in by now. The trip back to Rosslare, the ferry and the trip home from Fishguard were all a bit of a blur but after ten fantastic days away I wasn’t going to complain.

So many memories and highlights – will definitely be back – there’s something about Ireland that’s for sure. Finally, once again my thanks to Nobby, Paul, John, Henry, Lynne, Joran, Cian and James for making my first fishing trip to Ireland just terrific…. I hope you all enjoyed as much as I did. Cheers all!

After a hard day

Until next time….

Ireland Trip To Remember… Part Two


Having fished The Copper Coast for the last few days the next part of the journey was about to get under way with the trip down to Thatched Cottage, Ballinskelligs in Kerry under the capable wings of John and Henry. Here’s how it panned out….

Day 5…. First fish in Kerry

Today was mainly our travel day from Dungarvan down to the far reaches of Kerry but we did manage a fruitless hour on a local spot…. Again bright blue skies, flat calm water and a light prevailing easterly wasn’t the best but we did find some nice ground with current which could definitely do with being investigated further next time!


We packed up, checked out and drove the hour and a half down to Cork airport to pick up fishing buddy Paul for the onward trip to Kerry hoping we’d get there in time to have a quick fish before the day was done. After making good time through some awe inspiring countryside and plenty of banter we rocked up at Thatched Cottage to be greeted by John, Lynne and Henry. A quick unload of gear, into our kit, rods rigged and we were off for a swift fish before dinner…. and for a limited session it proved successful! No big fish from a local mark but we all bagged bass…



Back at the cottage we settled in for the evening with Lynne’s lovely cooking and meeting up with the lone Dutchman Joran who would be fishing with us over the next few days…. smashing chap who enjoys his fishing for sure! Plan was set over dinner for early the next morning and then it was off to bed in anticipation…

Day 6….   Bass before breakfast then it’s all pollacks!

Alarms went early and after a quick brew  it was fishing in the dark first off for the four us under John and Henry’s guidance. We were well spread along the shore and it wasn’t long before we were all into bass – most around the 3lb mark – with the exception of Joran who nailed a healthier 5lb fish. Dawn was now upon us and a mighty fine one it was too…


Once the light was up fully the fishing dropped off and that was the cue to get back to base for Lynne’s hearty breakfast. Once we had refuelled ourselves we were soon off again to a surf mark but there was only a small swell coming in and a distinct lack of bait fish which John explained was unusual.


The winds still had a lot of easterly in them so it was tough going and after about an hour we were on the move again with none of us having picked up fish.

A pit stop for lunch followed with the afternoon spent going after the pollack at a truly awesome, unspoilt location. A bit of a yomp to get there but well worth it…


No monsters with biggest fish around 4lb but boy do they smash you  up on the light gear….we lost our fair share of them too!  The anticipation before the take was hold on tight to your seat stuff….. ‘pluck’ ‘pluck’ ‘pluck’ before ‘wallop’ as the fish would engulf the lure! Nobby had the biggest fish I think and probably had the smallest too so obviously he had to pose for a picture with that one!!


By the time we’d trekked back cleverly avoiding the electric  fencing and negotiating various other obstacles we were pretty much done for the day. Stunning location and good sport on the pollack! Back to base pretty knackered  but plenty more banter over dinner saw us through until bedtime ready to do it all over again the next day.

Day 7… Keep on moving!

Same morning routine – cup of tea and out the door soon after 5 a.m. to get the best chance of bass given the benign conditions. One thing that really struck me today was how well John knows his area. The conditions made it mighty tough all week but he put us on fish every day. Giving today as an example we headed out with him wanting to move us around quickly to find the fish. First spot we fished for no more than 30 minutes at most – no fish so move on. Next mark was shallow enough to easily wade out over an offshore reef but before we set off John implicitly said do not be tempted to wade “the fish will be under your feet”. My third cast, as I was about to lift the lure out of the water ‘bang’ I was hit right under my rod tip and a nice 3lb fish came ashore. A few minutes later and it was deja vu as a similar size fish hit me, again no more than a rod length out. As the tide ebbed we were allowed to wade out slowly and again I picked up a fish at no distance and in no more than 2 foot of water at that. Paul, Nobby and Yoran  all faired similarly. Good guidance eh?

After breakfast we were on the road again with John scouring the coast with his trusty binoculars looking for signs of fish! The tide was still dropping, seas were flat but we fished a mark for about an hour which John said we’d be back to fish on the flood. We drove on, had an early lunch and tried our luck in a beautiful estuary mark that for all the world smacked of fish – sandbars, decent current, plenty of broken ground mixed in but not a damn sniff! On it’s day it would be awesome… I’m convinced of it.


The tide had started to turn now and we were on the move again  returning to the previous mark where both Nobby and Yoran picked up bass on the flooding tide as John had suggested. Again not big fish but bass all the same in what were proving tough conditions. Finally, after more yomping across rocks we headed back closer to base to fish at a more local mark where in the fading light Nobby picked up a bass and I managed the smallest of sea trout in the minimal surf.


A tiring day to say the very least but with those nagging light easterly winds, flat calm seas and not a hint of bait fish anywhere to be seen  John had still put us on fish.  More frivolity and banter over dinner and a couple of drinks followed before we all crashed out knowing we’d be doing it all again tomorrow!

Days 7, 8 and 9 to follow soon!

Until next time…

Ireland Trip To Remember… Part One


Well, well ,well – what an epic of a trip to Ireland’s Copper Coast and County Kerry that was…. conditions were far from ideal for bass by any stretch of the imagination but we managed fish and a whole lot of laughs along the way. First off I have to say a huge thanks to Cian and James at Absolute Fishing for their advice during our time on The Copper Coast and also without doubt to John and Henry for exactly the same during our time in Kerry…. what a brilliant time at Thatched Cottage where I’d extend my thanks to John’s wife Lynne not only for her splendid hospitality but for generally putting up with us for four long days! Thank you, thank you, thank you one and all!

Anyway, about the trip….. the general gist was Nobby and myself would get the ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, spend three full days fishing on the Copper Coast, then drive down to Kerry scooping up fellow fishing comrade Paul from Cork airport en-route. Here’s how events unfolded:

Day 1…. Getting there

Two overly excited grown men set off in the rocking red VW Transporter at 8 o’clock in the morning for the Fishguard ferry with far far too much kit as always! Honestly, there was more kit in there than you’d find in most fishing shops – ridiculous but we had everything ‘just in case’. A fairly uneventful drive (apart from the odd bout of road rage) which was done in no time as we contemplated the fishing that lay ahead of us. Even at this stage the conditions were not looking favourable but we lived in hope that the run of easterlies might change. The ferry was dead easy as well, hardly a soul on there and aside from Nobby getting his head down and farting loudly at a fellow passenger in his sleep whilst I chuckled from behind Sea Angler magazine that too was uneventful. We were staying in Dungarvan so from the ferry we made our way there in the fading light, got our kit sorted out and headed off to the local bar for our first pint or two of the black stuff.

Day 2…. First fish

Nobby needed to pick up a rod from Cian which could handle the pollack when we got to Kerry later in the week so first stop that morning was Absolute Fishing….. just what we needed more shiny lures to tempt us!! It was worthwhile as after a few steers from Cian and his colleague James we were on our way to our first spot. Conditions were pretty benign and Nobby bagged the only fish of the session but still  we were off the mark with our first fish of the week…


With the tide now on the flood we moved on to our second mark. There was some nice rocks and a decent churn hitting the beach which looked encouraging and just as James joined us for a cast or two I managed to land my first of the week on the IMA Komomo SF-125…. a nice fish of around 5-6lb… please excuse the dodgy looking glasses and head gear!

Ballytowane Bass


That was all we managed there so James took us to a final spot for the day where we spent a final half hour or so without success. Given it was our first fish in Ireland we went back to our digs content to have caught, hatch a plan for the next day and headed for a couple more pints of the black stuff.

Day 3…. Surf’s Up Dude!

New venue and different type of lure fishing to start with as we made a bit of a hike and then bumped soft plastics in a steady estuary flow. Resulted in a single fish for me on the Fiiish Black Minnow with a wallop of a take… great fun in the current!


As the tide dropped the surf looked decent at the end of the estuary where it met the sea and with a bit of southerly now showing  in the wind the water churned up nicely. We headed out into the surf and it wasn’t long before Nobby had picked up a couple of real fighters in the highly oxygenated water on the Savage Gear sandeel – what a reliable lure this is, seems to consistently produce fish in the surf…. speaking of being in the surf it was as Nobby was trying to get his third of the day in I managed to take a dunk in the drink as lost footing and subsequent balance issues gave me a soaking… there was bed wetting laughter from my mate as you can well imagine!  A few further fish followed all around the 4lb mark and then they were gone.  A smashing session despite the soaking! Yet more black stuff followed that evening!

Day 4…. It’s not over until it’s over!

Our last full day on The Copper Coast and we were greeted with blue sky, bright sunshine and a light easterly breeze as we surfaced…. it didn’t look ideal at all and we were a little stumped where to fish so we took a chance and  settled on the same venue as the day before in the hope of picking up the odd fish. Unfortunately,  the estuary failed to produce and the surf was flattening out by the minute – not a sniff….. what a difference a day makes.



We went for some food following this blank session and after much deliberation decided to head back along the coast road in the general  direction of Dungarvan contemplating whether in fact to bin the fishing for the day. However, we called in at a couple of spots on our way back and luckily found a mark we thought looked a bit more ‘fishy’ and decided to give it a go for half an hour or so. There was certainly a bit more colour in the water here which was encouraging and the presence of a couple of seals suggested there might be fish around which encouraged us further. Like the rest of the day it turned out to be slow going but just as we were thinking of turning back I had an almighty thump on the line and the rod bent over… I was in and it felt decent! With seals precariously close all I could think about was getting the bass in before one of the seals snaffled it but that was easier said than done as the fish put in a couple of runs before Nobby could lift it out of the water for me close in….. it was a beauty going 71cm on the tape so about the 8lb mark. At this point Nobby was practically doing cartwheels while I was more in shock I’d landed it with the seals in such close proximity! The IMA Komomo SF-125 had done the business again!


It turned out to be the only fish of the day but what a beautifully conditioned fish it was…. and to think we nearly didn’t fish that final session was a lesson for the future for sure. All done we headed back to our digs, packed up for our onward trip to Kerry the next day and celebrated with a few more of those lovely silky black drinks they have in Ireland!

Day five onwards to follow so….

Until next time…

Bass at last…

I don’t mind admitting I’ve found it frustrating on the fishing front this year  with commitments in other areas and what have you. Even when I have been able to get out conditions have not been right with weed a particular issue at some of the places I’d usually like to fish. All in all a bit frustrating.

So, it was refreshing on Sunday to get out with my mate Nobby and actually catch…. we only had one bass each, of no particular size, and  both within a couple of minutes of each other as a shoal must have passed through. It was nice to get the hits as we did – Nobby’s was on his trusty Tacklehouse Feedshallow and mine took a Fiiish Black Minnow. Strangely, conditions seemed to improve with a nice bit of white water developing after our brief flirtations at bass catching but we couldn’t tempt anything for toffee whether that be off the top, mid water or softs bounced along the bottom.

Still, hopefully this heralds the start of better things this summer and autumn as from the shore reports I’ve seen I don’t think many have fared that well with lures  to date in my neck off the woods.

One foot note, if you’ll excuse the pun, my new wading boots arrived from the US recently – took the plunge and went for some Korkers Devil’s Canyon boots after a good steer on them…..  first impressions from yesterday are they are light and  extremely comfy. I should have worn the felt studded sole yesterday given the terrain but nonetheless the cling-on studded were grippy enough. Will have to remember to post thoughts after several wears to see how they are holding up.

Until next time…

All in the dark!


Last minute decision yesterday evening to go for a quick session in Dorset this morning….. it had to be an early start so I could get back for my son’s football – probably a 3 hour fishing window at best! So with the alarm set for some un-Godly hour and kit by the door I was set and thankfully I managed to drag myself out of my pit as planned.

Arrived and was fishing by 5:30am – a good hour and a half before the sun was up and it proved to be a good move as all the fish I had today were taken in the dark. I find it best to use a familiar lure  in the dark so I have confidence in it’s action…. this meant it was on with the Feed Shallow. As if to prove a point first cast I connected with a small pollack.

Two casts later and another hit – this time from a small bass that cleverly unhooked itself when landed and flipped itself back in the water! Damn – no photo!! Not to worry as ten minutes later an ever so slightly bigger fish was landed and snapped!


Followed by another small pollack all within the first hour and under the cover of darkness…


There was not a lot of movement in the water and as the light came up with the rising tide it became very apparent the lack of movement there actually was – next to none….. and with clear water it didn’t look promising for the rest of this short session.

I was joined by another lure angler – Bill and his dog – for a few minutes and I was thankful of Bill’s presence as I had one of those ‘Doh!’ moments when I managed to crack off my lure when casting…. my complete brain failure! I had just changed to a Seaspin Pro-Q 90 surface lure too but luckily, Bill, with great skill, managed to cast to it and pulled it back in for me – cheers Bill if you ever read this!! It was nearly doubly lucky for me as minutes later there was a swirl behind that very lure from a fish that narrowly missed!

That was the last action I had though on the near bite front and with all  the fish caught in the dark it has certainly given me food for thought for future sessions especially where conditions are fairly benign.

So, I headed back home for a bacon sandwich before taking my son to his football match… he lost 2-1! Doh!

Before I finish here are a few other pictures from my early morning Dorset jaunt…





Until next time…

Tough going but pleasant afternoon


Spent a few hours on the water yesterday afternoon with my mate Nobby but it was tough going with just the three fish between us  – the biggest of which went to 4.5lbs. Whilst the water and light conditions were OK the easterly airflow was not and it was testing at times.

Tides weren’t big and we started fishing as they were on their way up. For the first hour or so we didn’t get a look in but then out of nowhere Nobby had a decent take almost under his rod tip which resulted in the beautifully conditioned 4.5lber….. the good old Zonk doing the trick


Shortly after he picked up his second fish which was 2.5lb again on the Zonk. As quickly as things looked like getting started they switched off again and with tide and the strengthening easterly pushing in it became quite challenging throwing lures into the head wind.

We started to fish our way back and with yours truly  starting to contemplate a blank I was pleased when a silver flash hurtled up from the depths and nailed my Feed Shallow again at very close quarters.


Not a big fish by any stretch of the imagination but it saved the walk back with a blank against my name!

That was pretty much it for the session and despite the tough conditions it was a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon, with good company as always, and a few more lessons learnt.

Until next time…

A Bit Hit and Miss…


Had another go at it for a few hours yesterday but it was a bit hit and miss with only a couple of bass and a handful of mackerel. I couldn’t get an early enough start which may have had something to do with it?!

That said, I was encouraged when I first got there with overcast skies, a bit of drizzle in the air, a decent swell coming in and nice water colour – it looked promising, especially off the back of a couple of days of a strong westerly airflow.

The one thing that possibly didn’t help at this venue was the big tides – I’ve noticed I’ve never done that great here when there is a big tidal range and so it proved.

Tried surface lures, divers and soft plastics to entice a bass but the only one the bass went for was the faithful Zonk – both taking the one pictured. The mackerel on the other hand had a go at anything…

Maybe the bass were preoccupied with the mackerel or had gorged themselves after the bigger seas during the week? Either way it was not the most productive session.

Anyhow, here’s a few more pictures I snapped…





It’s been a bit disappointing on the bass front this year so far but maybe that will change in the coming weeks – here’s hoping!

Until next time…

A Bit Better…


Managed to work myself an opening today for a few hours so, with all bases covered, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands! The weather forecast looked okay with some cloud cover and, with the westerly air flow of the last couple of days continuing, I was hopeful of something resembling fair conditions. The venue was the same spot as my previous trip last week when I picked up mackies and garfish.

It wasn’t an early start as on previous trips… I didn’t arrive until mid morning. Conditions were okay but not quite as good as I had hoped – it was bright overhead, the sea state had only a slight chop and was still very clear. I met a couple of fellow  lure anglers on their way back – one had caught, one hadn’t! I was surprised there were not more people about to be honest what with it being a weekend but make no mistake I was delighted to have  a good stretch of the shore all to myself!

I was fishing the ebbing tide and it was pretty slow for the first couple of hours with nothing to show for it apart from a couple of knocks which seemed typical of mackerel – certainly nothing connected.

My luck was about to change though and on reflection I think there might have been a bit of ‘good karma’ about it! I was looking along the shore and noticed something in the tide line… when I reached it, it was a decent sized ballan wrasse that had some how beached itself  but was still alive! It must have been there a while because it took me a quarter of an hour or so to reach it from when I first spotted it! I picked it up and took it to the waters edge and gradually revived it…. I’m not a fan of wrasse but it was satisfying to see it swim off strongly! This is where the ‘good karma’ bit comes in as the very next cast, right at low water, I had a take on the Megabass Zonk and my first bass of the day was safely landed!


A beautifully conditioned, if small, fish but it fought well in the improving conditions…. the wind had picked up and there was a lot more white water now. 

I thought where there was one there might be more in the vicinity…… however, if they were there they weren’t showing so I kept on the move and about half an hour later it paid off with two in quick succession.



You could be forgiven if you thought it was the same fish in these pictures above as they were almost identical! Nothing big but good takes by both fish once again.

That was as good as it got on the fish front despite my best efforts and so it was time to head back to the car and home. Nice to be connecting with the bass and certainly better than my last outing!

Here are a few more pictures from the day…

A storm a brewing….


Bass no.1…


Improving conditions…


Close up…


Beach art??


So, a bit of an improvement than of late – I have my fingers crossed for a decent Autumn on the lures… just need to manufacturer some more time to get out there!

Until next time…

Bass at last!


It’s been a while since I’ve posted and indeed a long while since I’ve actually been fishing but yesterday I managed the first trip in what seems an age! My enforced lay off was my own fault… a 40+ year old man should know his limits on the football pitch and a torn calf muscle is testament to that! He should also know not to push the recovery too quickly but alas it was another mistake I made and it all added up to a whole lot of fishing being missed!

So, it was really really good to blow a few cobwebs away yesterday morning although on arrival at the venue you could be forgiven if nothing would be blown away – there was not a breath of wind and the sea state calm and clear… these were not good signs for a bit of bass fishing and early results as the sun came up seemed to support that theory.  Before I really got going I met another lure angler, a nice old boy, and spent a few minutes having a chin wag with him about his fishing trip to the Azores which was a smashing tale! He was on his way back and hadn’t had a sniff so I feared the worse.

That said, I could see there were mackerel around and it was soon after I moved along the shore a bit that the Zonk lure began to get hit by the mackies. I managed to shake half a dozen off the end treble in quick succession on the way out. Mackerel weren’t the intended quarry but the bass were just not showing… until a change of Zonk colour paid a small dividend when out of nowhere, and close in, this schoolie decided to go for it!


With the bass blank avoided and with renewed hope I continued to plug away but this solitary bass was all I had to show on the way out aside from the mackerel. I chopped and changed lures from those suitable for surface to those right through the water column but it was hard going in the bright conditions. In the end I settled on the Zonk I had caught the bass on earlier  and on the way back it bagged me another schoolie – again taken close in.

That was the end of it on the bass front….I had just the two small fish to show for my morning’s work which wasn’t great but probably not unexpected given the conditions.

There was still the odd mackerel showing and the one below, which I caught as I left the beach, had pretty much engulfed the Zonk so he came home for tea!


Despite the lack of anything decent it was nice to get out and finally fish after a frustrating few months for me one way and another. Off to Cornwall with the family this weekend so will pack the rod in the hope I can wet a line but failing that will be eager to get out again on my return and I am certainly looking forward to the autumn fishing!

To finish, here are a few more pictures taken yesterday…

Early doors


Megabass Zonk


Bright, clear and relatively calm – not ideal!


The second small bass



I’ve missed fishing!!!

Until next time!