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!

Chesil

(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.

IMG_0685

(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.

IOW[4]

(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!

IMG_1205

(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

IMG_1333

(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

001 (2)

(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…

A slight change of blog emphasis….

Well, it’s been an absolute age since I’ve been able to get out on the kayak and one way or another it has been a bit frustrating – it’s a time and weather thing. In particular having the time available when the weather conditions are right – they just don’t seem to tie in particularly well at the moment.

The knock on effect of that is my kayak blog articles dry up and I end up writing slightly off topic  from my original purpose. So, with this in mind I’ve decided to change the blog title so it encompasses any other fishing I get up to such as in the last article ‘Bass on the rocks’. You may find the odd camp site review and general blurb as well but I will of course still be posting kayak fishing reports, etc. …… just they will be more interspersed with other of my articles along the way.

To reflect this new approach I have imaginatively (??) renamed the blog as you may have noticed above! I’ve also given the blog it’s own web address of www.hookslinesandsinkers.co.uk. The old Blogspot address should redirect you here automatically.

Until next time…

… And the fishing drought goes on!

Well, this past month or so has been truly awful for getting out on the kayak aside from a quick paddle at the beginning of August. The weather has not been kind at all. Windows to get out have been few and far between and the yak has literally been wrapped up gathering dust. In fact, all my fishing kit has been redundant which has been very infuriating… even the charter trip I was meant to be going on at the end of August was cancelled. Since then have been off to Scotland for a wedding so there’s just not been the chance of wetting a line…… Mighty, mighty frustrating with no let up in sight for me I’m afraid as I’m off to San Francisco on Friday for two weeks to see family.

Still, at least I’ll have a chance to visit a fishing outlet or two when I’m there and they are mighty impressive to say the least with the likes of the Bass Pro shops to peruse… I will  be like a kid in a sweet shop!

Anyhow, bear with me, I will be back and fishing on my return with my attentions beginning to turn to the winter fishing scene and in particular my pursuit of a first yak caught cod.

Until next time……

The WWW effect ….

Now you might think I’m going to talk about kayak fishing resources on the internet here but I’m not. The ‘WWW’ effect to me are the three things that generally stop me fishing…… Work, Wife and Weather – and usually in that order but beware because if one of the ‘W’s doesn’t get you, you can be near as damned sure that one of the others will do their level best to scupper even your best laid of plans.

I’m not trying to stay in the good books here, well, maybe just a little, but the lesser of the three evil ‘W’s when it comes to my fishing time is the ‘Wife’. She’s a good sort and in the majority of cases I think she’s quite happy for me to disappear down the road with fishing and kayak kit almost falling out of the car. The problem is usually when the other two W’s are looking favourable and I have a plan hatched for the upcoming weekend and she mutters those fateful words …… “You have remembered we’re going up to my parents this weekend? It’s on the calendar.”…… Of course I hadn’t, I’m a man, how the hell was I to know or remember to look at the calendar when all I had been so focused on was fishing venue, what the tides were doing, what bait to use and the other two W’s?! It’s frustrating when this happens and sometimes you just have to take it on the chin, plus as I see it, there is a flip side that can be advantageous…… let me explain. The good thing about the ‘Wife’ is that of the the three W’s it’s the only one I find you can at least score some decent Brownie points with for future fishing expeditions. ‘Work’ is less flexible and with the ‘Weather’ you’re in the lap of the Gods or should I say the dodgy weather forecasters – more of them later. The key is to keep yourself in good credit with the ‘Wife’ by entertaining some of her plans, keeping ahead of jobs around the house and generally keeping her sweet. It’s no use lying to yourselves lads, even the most brazen of you yak fishers out there has to tow the line at some point in the proceedings. So, yes, the ‘Wife’ can be a hindrance but played correctly this is usually the easiest, and most likely, the only one you can manipulate!

This brings me to ‘Work’. I am employed on the typical nine to five treadmill that a lot of us find ourselves and I accept that ‘needs must’…… after all it pays for all the kit, bait, etc. I can shrug this off and even accept it when I’m sat in a mind numbingly dull project meeting about moving a couple of equally dull databases from one location to another that ‘Work’ is a necessity. It’s the little things with ‘Work’ that drive me mad – when things come off the rails and once again shoot my plans in the foot. A classic for me is ‘out of hours’ work and being in the exciting world of IT believe me it happens. Picture the scene…… it’s Tuesday evening, the ‘Weather’ forecast for Wednesday evening is set fair, the ‘Wife’ is sweet, so you get all your kit ready so the minute you get home after ‘Work’ on the Wednesday you can scoff your tea down, fuss the dog, kiss the ‘Wife’ and your out the door again. You go to work Wednesday, keep your head down all day and then half an hour before you’re due to leave it happens…… the phone rings and it’s your boss…

“Andy, the clients have found a problem in the XYZ database, can you have a look at it? Oh, it’s a showstopper and can you make sure it’s when all the users are out? They should all be out of the system by 6 o’clock this evening”

…… I never know whether to scream, laugh or cry. What can I do? It’s a necessary evil is this ‘W’ and I need my job to pay for my fishing in addition to other not so important things like a mortgage, food and bills. I find it so maddening and this is just an example of the many ‘Work’ related matters that frustrate the hell out of me. Each and every one of them has the affect of making me late or putting a sledgehammer through my meticulously laid plans.

Finally, we come to the ‘Weather’ and maybe more specifically it should be ‘Weather’ forecasters. The ‘Weather’ is the one thing you don’t have even the slightest influence over and can only plan for based on the information put out there by these so called ‘Weather’ forecasters whether it be on TV, radio or, more likely these days, internet weather channels. Particularly for kayak fishing the wind is all important – both the direction and the speed. Rain and cold you can cope with but the wind is the key. So, why is the ‘Weather’ so frustrating? I’ll tell you why…… again, picture the scene – there have been no murmurings from the ‘Wife’, you’ve escaped from ‘Work’ unscathed and the ‘Weather’ forecast when you checked an hour ago was perfectly do-able. The sun is out, you load your kit on and in the car, say your farewells, drive to your chosen venue, walk down to the shore…… and the sea is cresting with white horses with a nice swell to boot. What happened to the predicted 3 to 5 mph winds Mister ‘Weather’ Forecasterman – tell me that eh!? In my eyes it’s not a forecast at all it’s simply a ‘best guess’ a lot of the time but I suppose the job title of ‘Weather’ guesser doesn’t fit the bill even if it is a more accurate description! It’s not all the forecaster/guessers fault though. Sometimes when you get a combination of ‘Work’ and ‘Weather’ that can really leave you in shreds and it happens…… you’ve been hard at ‘Work’ all week and the ‘Weather’ has been a dream for kayaking, open the curtains Saturday morning and it’s blowing a hoolie with lashings of rain for extra measure to rub salt into your already smarting wound. You can feel almost fated with bad luck at times.

So there you have it – the three W’s that a majority of the time prevent me from getting out there on the yak and fishing. Whether it’s one of them or a subtle combination of two or all three of them believe you me they’re all out there to wreck your plans! Speaking of which I’d better get back to one of the W’s now…… ‘Work’…  and yes, the ‘Weather’ is perfect outside!

Until next time folks……