Fiiish Crazy eel
Jul19

Fiiish Crazy eel

There are plenty of signs that Im getting older , my beard is grey , my eyesight is diminishing , a couple of rouge hairs have even sprouted in my ears . Perhaps more worrying is the fact that I am becoming somewhat set in my ways . The crazy eel might be another example of this.  Its been around for a couple of years now ,my ever kind sponsors Fiiish  UK sent me a batch to play around with and if I am honest I didn’t really take to the lure which did leave me feeling slightly awkward . Everything I read or saw on the internet suggested that I needed impart massive movements into the rod and fish the lure way faster than my normal super slow approach . The result being that when I did use the lure I only ever landed small Bass . I don’t think this big ones like to burn more fuel than is absolutely necessary .Well this year after a chance encounter on the water I have finally got to grips with the crazy eel and actually I think that it is now sitting level with Fiiish Minnows when it comes to my catches .   So whats changed ? We have some really cool new colours out there .I personally love the gold bodies , it just looks like the real thing . I am also becoming increasingly confident with the pure white bodies . Bass love white lures and wrasse don’t , I love a big wrasse but they do chew through so many of my soft lures over the course of a fishing season . If people want to catch them thats fine with me but personally I would not set my alarm for 3 am to pursue them . I want Bass and big ones preferably !  At this stage I have been almost exclusively fishing the 150 mm version . Thats big enough to tempt momma but small enough to entertain and 2 lb bass . Its the way I fish the eel that I think has made all the difference , rather than sweep the rod or impatiently crank the lure I have taken to slow Fiiish minnow style retrieves with the occasional mellow sweep , or at times even dead sticking the lure and letting it flutter about on the tide ,  a light wind against tide is perfect for this as it allows you to fish the lure downstream of the boat”  on the hang ” .You can retrieve the lure 50 feet then open the bail arm and let it drift away from the boat on the tide . One...

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Used and Abused  # 2 – Braids and Tapered leaders
Apr23

Used and Abused # 2 – Braids and Tapered leaders

There has been a lot of talk of the FG Knot recently or call it the FC knot ? Its been around a good few years , we used it for GT fishing , it was fiddly and I lazily relied on our guide to do the dirty work and re tie our leaders .Here is a good video with the latest simplified version Its tricky on a boat when we are sloshing back and forth on a tidal rip. My drifts are short and often close to jaggedy rocks so burying my head in complicated knots is not an option at times . We fish the Fiiish Minnows almost exclusively once we get into 30 foot or more . We fish them around all kinds of nasty snags . Lure loses are par for the course Im afraid , fortune favours the brave and sometimes you have to get that lure right into the the bears cave if you want to hook that big one.   After several seasons fishing with the Minnows and re tying an average of 10 leaders a day . I would guess  that somedays I have even retied 20 leaders for customers . I knew I had to find a better system . The first change was the braided lines. I switched from 20 pound to 35 Pound breaking strain . I use Sunline Castaway. Its not cheap, its not even the smoothest 8 strand on the market, It almost feels half way between 4 and 8 strand , think of it as 6 strand . It just doesn’t seem to fatigue the same way other 8 strands do. Talking of which I remember fishing with Ben Field a couple of years ago , we had a slow day for Bass. I hooked what was very obviously a very good Bass , my 8 strand line parted in the middle . That was my last time using that particular brand of silky smooth braid. For any lure over 12 g I would say 35 lb Castaway is fine . We can still cast far enough. The next upgrade was my Flurocarbon leader . As time has gone by my fear of using heavy Flurocarbon line has reduced . I went from 15 to 19 and then from 25 to 35 Lb . I always use Seguar . Its not cheap and I get through around 10 spools a year . So we now have 35 lb Braid ,30 to 35 lb Leader at around 3 foot long .The next step in the leader is the stainless steel leader ring . I have used the seguar 3 mm leader rings for years now....

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Used and Abused #1 Daiwa on  Zen2 (season 3  )
Apr22

Used and Abused #1 Daiwa on Zen2 (season 3 )

In this day and age every review or mention of fishing tackle tends to focus on the  new , whats hip and in many cases what is effectively untested gear . Nice photos, nice words but often full of speculation rather than experience.  I’ve been in the game for over a decade now and somethings never change. Daiwa sponsor me or should I say Zen2 . We use and abuse  Daiwa gear , not exclusively I should add  . I like to flirt with other products from time to time . It can be tricky being sponsored and being able to speak your mind in a negative way about your ” donor” gear. If and when I come up against a product that lets me down or doesn’t suit my  style of fishing I will always be honest and tell the guys I work with .This may not be what they want to hear but I don’t feel comfortable playing  games with the truth.   I may not go public and rant and rave about how bad something was , theres retaining integrity then these plain stupidity ! So hopefully this precursor to a product review will set the tone . It’s spring and I am now making my preparations for the intense season ahead . I had the first Bass of spring  a couple of days ago, My first spring Bass has come from the exact same reef and even the same part of that large reef  3 years in a row !! Zen2 will be out there hunting Bass for somewhere in the region of 120 days a year , well it has the last 2 years . I will be pretty depressed if I don’t achieve the target again this year . I still have plenty of gaps to fill in the diary but then that happens every year . They should fill !! ?? GULP . I want to look at the gear Ive been using over the last few years , there are products that I dont rate but as I explained I prefer to keep stum and focus on the goodies . Daiwa Certate reels  We use the 2500 series and 300 Series Certates on Zen2 , its actually the Pollock that put the real strain on the reels and we certainly have landed plenty now . The drag systems have been 100 % faultless to date ,they also have a very powerful drag system (Certainly powerful enough for UK Bass Pollock .Cod etc ) Bail arms are still clicking over perfectly and the reels are still light and silent to wind. This was a very pleasant surprise. I did wonder if they would...

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Fiiish Minnow Finesse Part 3 — Precision and Stealth
Dec17

Fiiish Minnow Finesse Part 3 — Precision and Stealth

Today the windows and doors a rattling and the lights occasionally flicker as a storm passes over lands end . Twenty four hours ago we were heading out at 20 knots over a flat calm sea with high hopes. The great thing about fishing this deep into the winter is that you can quite easily find yourself fishing at dusk and a dawn in the same session. You have to drop everything and grab those holes in the weather and make the most of the day . Were always learning and improving and that was certainly the case this year . At times the fishing was tough and we had to dig deep to get the results. My target for Zen2 is 10 or more Bass a day. I always maintain you learn more from the hard days than you do the bonanza days , we  could quite feasibly sit in the Falmouth Harbour limits and catch 20 twinkles every day . I hunt big bass on lure and fly , we catch plenty of small ones but always in the pursuit of quality Bass fishing. The words for the day yesterday and perhaps this year were  PRECISION and STEALTH  . This has really hit me hard this year. We all know that accuracy helps , positioning of a Fly or lure or Bait can make a big difference , we all know that if you drive over a shoal of fish in shallow water in your boat its not exactly going to improve the fishing ,(BASS DONT LIKE BOATS !!)  likewise running down the beach then wading out into the water before fishing the margins is a mugs game ! Bass will often hide out in incredibly specific spots on a reef at a certain stage in the tide. I remember fishing a shoal of quality  bass tucked into the bottom edge of a small reef one day in July. We landed an 8 lb fish from that corner .  The next day I returned to that tiny spot perhaps 20 foot wide and yes there they were again, we landed an 8 lb fish and my PB at 13 lb according to the BASS ruler and lost a very large Bass on the surface . I have been fishing this area for a few years and certainly had a few ”proper ”  bass  from this spot but I know understand how it ‘occasionally ” works at this location .   I have finally got to grips with another spot this season.  I think a few guys who have fished with me this year will know the spot pretty quickly from the description and possibly grimace at the...

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July speed blog
Jul30

July speed blog

Speed blogging time of the year for me , lets see if I can ”bang one out ” in 10 mins , theres so much happening and so many stories to tell and yet I have just no spare time whatsoever .  .  Not that the world is hanging on my every word and desperately awaiting the next exciting installment but I have met so many people recently that do read my blog i guess i should try to do something. Ok Im wasting time ! No mackerel ? No Basking Sharks ? The month has been a little hit and miss . I don’t think we had any Bass blanks but Ive certainly had to work for the fish , theres so little bait around that the fish just wont stay put in any one spot. They are searching and we are hunting too. Where are the mackerel ? Where are the Basking Sharks ? This must stem from a shift in the food pyramid this year . I think those intense winter storms are still affecting the balance of the sea in our part of the world.  Oz lands a Hog !  This fish was the hardest tussling Bass I have ever encountered in UK water. Most big bass are so often pre occupied with shaking the hook from their mouths they don’t realise they are slowly being dragged to the landing net. This one hit me like a freight train and tussled me good and hard for what seems like 10 minuites  but was probably more like 5 or 6  !! I fished with Martin and his son, it transpires they had never cast a rod before , just mackereling I taught them both too cast (luckily they picked it up pretty fast ) We headed off to a mark where I connected a Bass virgin to an 8 pounder the day before. I could clearly make out the big blobs on the sounder in the exact same spot at the same stage of the colossal spring tide . After an hour Martin had a big fish on the Fiiish Minnow 140 / 40 g Blue.  Not a bad start to a bass fishing trip . An hour went by and we must have drifted over the Pod of Bass 30 times. They had lock jaw.   Nick Collins had told me of the success he has with big Bass on the larger Fiiish Minnows. I switched to the 30 g / 160 mm dirty Blue. I wanted to experiment with this lure so grabbed a spare rod from the rack . (My first attempt at...

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Someone flicked the switch  !
Jul08

Someone flicked the switch !

June can be a sketchy month down here . The large Spring Bass have been and gone , where do they go ? I just don’t know  . Once we go into Summer mode I would regard any bass over 7 Lb as exceptional . I also believe the Bass will become far more ” house trained” and will stick to their favourite spots provided the larder stays stocked and they don’t get harassed by seals or humans . These resident fish form the basis of  a days summer fishing for me , if i find happy ”slob bass” then that makes my job far easier .  September and October can provide me with big fish . Soon after  Christmas lights of Mousehole harbour are switched on and miles of  monofilamnet gilnets  are deployed on the Western reefs . Cornwall will attract vast numbers of 1- 2  KG fish  prior to spawning The glut of fish on the market sends the price tumbling . Steve Cullen and I fished together one day last week , all hopes of a shark on the bait or Fly were dashed by a stiff  Southerly breeze , we slogged it out for 2 hours before opting for plan B and heading inshore to Fly fish for Bass . Steve is a Demon caster , a rare commodity  these days , as more and more Salt water fly fishermen go to the dark side and pick up the lure rod in preference to the Fly . If you want to catch on the Fly you need to have patience , skill and self discipline . You cant catch a Bass on the Fly with a lure rod in your hand !!    June 2014 was a tough month and certainly not the first one I have experienced . Well the good news is it July . Its as if someone just flicked the switch , vast shoals of whitebait are now in Falmouth Bay. Mackerel and Bass are hitting these shoals hard , a few quiet shore marks I visit have resident shoals of Bass and these fellas are very friendly indeed. I am now booked solid for the next fews weeks , if the weather  remains stable I think that we are going to have a lot of fun ! The brains fried already . It becomes hard to remember who with ,  where or when I  fished as the days start to almost overlap. I finished late on Monday and early today. I slept in my van last night . Im not knocking it but it is pretty demanding, my clients go home...

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Shallow water tactics on bright sunny days
Jun16

Shallow water tactics on bright sunny days

Today I fished with Roger , Dave and Dave . These guys friendships span back to the school days and its always a pleasure to become part of the gang for a day. I have a job to do but I always enjoy the banter . Its a busy task managing 3 guys and a boat on the drift in shallow water around submerged rocks . You drop you guard at your peril ! I rarely fish in such circumstances . When we struggle to find the fish I hunt for them with my rod as much as I do with the boat. Todays sport was sufficiently busy to keep me on the console full time. I re tie all the leaders , change the lures and keep the guys supplied with a fresh rod as soon as a rod goes out of action. We made the decision to fish for fun in the shallows rather than slog it out for Large Bass on the reefs . I just love those white sand beaches and rough ground patches . It reminds me of the Permit grounds on Los Roques or even Seychelles at times I find Bass will stick to the cover of the darker patches of weed and rough ground like a limpet on these brights sunny days. Low tide and high sun enables you to identify the sweet spots with ease A great presentation if possible is cast the lure to the perimeters of these reefs and draw the fish out. They may hit you by the side of the boat but invariably they have followed the lure out into the open water from their hidey holes . Roger is great friends with Robin Morley the Marketing Director at Daiwa UK . It was Robin who referred the guys to me. As it happens today the killer lure really did turn out to be the Daiwa D Tail 4 inch we landed fish after fish on this soft plastic . These lures are softer than soft , super mobile . The pearl white has what I suspect is a UV colouring, They are quite unique. I like to rig them with the Decoy Bachi 5 g Jig heads , size 2 / 0 hook. In my opinion the rig better with jig heads than they do weedless style. When the sun is high in the sky and Im fishing shallow water then I prefer to lengthen the 15 lb Fluro leaders to 5 foot and fish small baits and quite often work them a little faster . Tap – Tap – Tap ,Take up the slack ....

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Fiiish Sponsors Zen2
Mar07

Fiiish Sponsors Zen2

Ok its official ! This will not come as a massive surprise to the anyone who has lure fished with me over the last couple of seasons. Fiiish UK and I are working together . 2013 was a great year and the mighty Fiiish Minnow certainly helped to make it even better. Its a Killer lure !! This all started when Fred the designer sent me a few samples to try out in July 2011. I was instantly taken by the lure , so were the bass on the Lizard Peninsular ! I will borrow my own words here …. As a guide I’m always on the lookout for a lure that will catch an idiot a bass’ so to speak ‘. I don’t want to look into a tackle box and have to choose between 30 different sizes ,shapes and colours of lure. I would rather just have one killer lure that covers the bases . Fiiiish Minnows do that ! What does this mean ? It means more of the same hopefully. I have a few media / creative projects lining up by the look of things. I hope to be able to share some of the methods that we have figured with Paddle tail shads over the last few years on Zen2 . (Not all of them mind you .I need to keep something back ! ) It will be great to work with Fiiish , cross promote and hopefully develelop ideas ? Lets see where it takes us ! Nick Roberts from Fiiish Uk / Topwater has so much enthusiasm for the product and the UK Bass fishing / lure fishing scene. I think he has made a significant contribution to where we are right now in the Uk ” Tackle trade” . Its a miracle he manages to get to sleep at night with so much energy. That Spring vibe is here ! Thanks for reading...

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Daiwa Certate Porn
Feb13

Daiwa Certate Porn

Last September a crew of 3 professional film makers made their way down to Cornwall to film with me . I certainly felt the pressure as I knew that we had 2 days to get this done and a pretty substantial budget was allocated. Aaron from Bearleft TV and his henchmen were great fun to work with, we also had a local crew providing a very expensive remote control camera drone . I was excited !! I enlisted the help of my friend/ guide  Joel Squires, reasons being selfish and unselfish. I wanted to share the burden of pressure to catch fish. I also figured he looks pretty photogenic, he’s tall and slim .Im shockingly handsome but only from the neck up . He’s a good angler and I like the guy and if this helps him along then I would be killing multiple birds with one stone.   Shore filming  Day one we fished up on the north Coast. The conditions were spot on for shore plugging, the swell ,light , wind direction and tide were perfection personified . We thrashed that water for 8 or 9 hours tirelessly . The conditions were just so amazing that each time I cast that bloody lure I expected a hit but alas were were skunked and all in Hi Definition !!  I must say that despite our failure to hook anything whatsoever the footage more than makes up for it. Those fly by shots on the drone cam are quite unique. I have never seen anything of this standard in fishing in the Uk before. It would be nice to get more acknowledgement  but as I have learned in 9 years of making my living from fishing I am far my likely to please the lynch mob of wanna be guides , blaggers and pundits with a failure than any success’s. Hey ho thats life in the UK ! The wind was due to drop and the forecast for Tuesday was text book boat fishing perfection. Its payback time ! We launched the boat around 7 am . The film crew were set to arrive and start filming us fishing , zooming in from the shore and hopefully get some great ariel shots. The fishing Gods decided to make up for our pain and disappointment from Monday and a shoal of thousands , yes thousands of Bass were there , ready and willing to perform for the camera.  I could go on and on about the day , this is the internet so I guess anyone reading this will be starting to get an itchy mouse finger , so I...

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2013 In a nutshell
Dec09

2013 In a nutshell

2013 Has been an amazing year and in a way I don’t want this year to end.  I cant complain about the bookings on Zen2 or the weather . It was a massive learning curve and the number of new waypoints on my GPS has exploded around the county. We started the season on the Eddystone launching from Plymouth . We fished Falmouth Bay and Lizard, Roseland ,  Porthleven and Mounts Bay, St Ives 7 Stones, Padstow and Newquay . One area of Cornwall I wont name  has been bugging me for years, well were now fishing there and the results have been spectacular . This opens up a whole new chapter and I think that I will be headed that way a great deal more in 2014. I have 200 miles of coastline to keep me wondering what’s around the next corner. Couches Bream on Fiiish Minnow 7 LB Wrasse when filming with Sky Bass soup Spring Fishing with Ben Ben on Zen Spring Bass Last Pollack of the day Brian this spring Nice fish on the fly Clints first shark Another Couches Dawn on the Stone Steve R getiing Stoned Awesome Even more awesome Steve was the man this day First ever Bass ! Nice Then Edward Then another This was an epic end to the day Fiiish for a change My mates Graham started with this And ended with this Graham again Hes a nutter ! Sams the man Sams chuffed Slow jigging Matts pollack Gilt 1 Gilt 2 Alex Pollack James is on fire ! Freezing cold day wrasse Another Couches on lure James (again) James Pollack Roseland James Blue Shark No stopping this guy Joel Mark lets the skipper have some Miguels Bass takes Patchinko at dawn 100 % comitment Dawn July Mikes snub nosed bass Andrews 8 My go New winter grounds are working Cod on Fiiish while Bassing Nice Wrasse Great fun I love these fish Last Cast of the day Micro Blue on fly Waiting for the first shark of the day Great start to July Simons becoming a regular ! Mike Pollack Mike bass Filming conservation piece for Sky TV Thats my boy Worth the journey west Toms 2 nd trip of 2013 Tyson Jackson hits a 6 UGLY ! Ivans 8 (what a morning that was 0 Alex – Heartyrise BC Another Couches Brean on FM More Couches Zen2 does Plymouth Marks Pollack on fly Moody November New Logo for Zen Salmon and trout charity day All this love and attention to Zen2 does come with a price tag. Its been very hard to keep the retail side flowing smoothly. I have...

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