Sorry for the lack of updates. Second child arrived in September and has taken over. Will try to get some new content up soon!
I have been using the Costa Del Mar Man O War glasses all summer and I have loved them. The glasses use the 580p copper lenses. I wanted to wait a little while before properly reviewing them to let me have a chance to get good use of them in lots of different conditions to see where they would work well.
I went for the copper lenses as these are supposed to be better suited to low light conditions, such as dusk and dawn, which is when I do the majority of my Bass fishing. However, I ended up using them though at all times of the day and in all sorts of light conditions and bar from being very dark conditions they benefitted me at all times.
If you have never used polarised glasses you are actually missing out a fair bit. The glasses enhance what you can see, sometimes quite dramatically, and this will no doubt aid your fishing. I found them most useful when able to fish from a vantage point above the water, looking down into medium to deep water. The glasses remove nearly all the glare from the surface and highlight the rocks and weed underneath. This helped massively with my fishing on the marks we try for Wrasse and Pollock. It allows you to pick out all the features and fish your soft lures tight to the structure. Wrasse fishing was made much easier by being able to spot any fish following the lure from quite a distance, allowing you to slow down and jig the lure a little to entice the bite. I can honestly say the glasses 100% improved my fishing.
When Bass fishing into sunrises and sunsets, the ability to see into the water was reduced from daytime Wrasse and Pollock fishing, but it was still much clearer than when not using the glasses. Obviously the dazzle from the sun itself is reduced, but you were still able to pick out features like rocks and weed beds to either target or avoid, depending on how you were fishing and what lures you were using. They also helped massively when surface fishing to spot fish and working out what they were doing when they got interested in the lure. Allowing you to make a better choice of whether to stop or move the lure.
When playing fish, I felt more in control as I could see where the fish was headed, what obstacles were about that the fish might head into and on a few occasions I could see how well the fish was hooked.
The lenses also bring out the colour much more dramatically. It is like a camera filter has been placed on your eyes, making objects stand out much more and look much more vibrant. This helped with spotting fishing moving about occasionally, making them stand out from the background. I have never noticed as many mullet on my marks as I did when wearing the glasses.
The glasses were comfortable to wear all day and I never had any problems with red marks afterwards. I often forgot they were on at all. I bought a pair of costa keeper retainers to help me avoid losing or dropping the glasses which was also nice and easy to fit and although the glasses seem to grip your head well it was nice to have the assurance of them.
Unfortunately the Costa Keepers couldn’t stop my own stupidity and I managed to leave the glasses on the roof of my car before driving off on a session a couple of weeks ago. I am definitely missing them now as they had become a part of my regular tackle and I now feel like I am losing out on what is happening in front of me when I am fishing. A very good bit of kit, that has very real effect on my fishing.
The EU appears to be gearing itself up to act at last on the decline in bass stocks and is to discuss emergency measures for bass as a matter of urgency. The form it takes will in part depend on the weight of pressure in favour of such action.
Read this http://www.ukbass.com/the-st-has-hit-the-fan/ and the newsletter and act as soon as you can.
Despite the flaws this represents a significant opportunity!
I recently got hold of some Costa del Mar Man ‘O War polarised sunglasses. I had heard various people on forums highly rating a good pair of polarised glasses and describing how they had helped their fishing. I was keen to try them for myself and see what difference they would make.
After a couple of trips out I can give some early impressions of the Man O War glasses I have, and try to explain a little of how they have helped so far.
I had previously owned a cheap pair of polarised glasses that were useful, but suffered from a strange flickering when looking at the water. This would eventually give me a headache so I rarely tried to use them.
I am glad to say that the Costas do not give me any problem at all and my vision through the lenses actually seems better than when not wearing them. Everything looks more defined in the copper lenses and more vibrant in colour. It feels a little strange at first but it’s like someone has given everything a bit of touching up in Photoshop.
The frames themselves are comfortable to wear and fit snugly, but are not tight on my quite large head. I will pick up a cord to attach to the legs of the glasses to save them if they do fall off, but they already stay in place without problem when leaning forwards or moving my head about.
After reading a lot of comments from others, I was keen to see how well they glasses let you see into the water. Polarised glasses work by blocking the light reflecting off the water’s surface, reducing glare, and allowing you to see more clearly into the water. This is obviously helpful when fishing as you can have a look for the structure that Bass like to hide amongst and ambush their prey.
The 580p lenses block 100% UV which will protect your eyes, block some blue light to eliminate haze, plus block some yellow light which apparently is what makes the colours more vibrant.
When looking into water they do not give you x-ray vision, but they do definitely make things much more visible. I was fishing a mark recently where when not wearing the glasses, all I could see was the greyish surface of the water, with plenty of bright sun reflecting off the surface. After putting the glasses on I could then see the dark patches of weed and rock around the mark and obviously the glare had gone.
This directly helped my fishing by making sure I was casting my lure to the right places, and allowing the lure to work over the likely fish holding areas. It wasn’t like I could make out every rock and bit of weed, but I could definitely see that shape of the structures mixed in with where the sand patches were. Again, when not wearing the glasses I could see nothing of the structure below. This obviously helps you when actually fishing, but will also help when scanning about for marks where you haven’t had the chance to check out at low tide. The water clarity on this occasion was fair, so it will be interesting to have a look in some really clear water.
I was lucky enough to hook my first Bass of the year on this mark when trying out the glasses and what was particularly helpful was that I could see the fish’s profile for most of the fight, giving me a much better idea of where it was trying to head and allowing me to steer it in a bit more assuredly.
What was also really noticeable was when wading about on the shallow, weedy rocky ground, I could make out where I was walking much more clearly. When not wearing the glasses I could make things out somewhat, but I was often misplacing steps into little holes or getting the angle of a submerged rock wrong. When I had them on I could get a much better idea of perspective with underwater objects, allowing me to move a bit quicker and do a few less ‘Bambi on ice’ impressions.
I also definitely found that at the end of the sessions when wearing the glasses that my eyes were not as tired, as I am not squinting at the bright reflections on the water and not straining to make things out as much.
So far I am really liking them. I can see some real benefits to my fishing straight away. After I have put a bit more time in with them I will put up a full review.
Get involved with helping protect the UK Bass stocks
The Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society or B.A.S.S. has been campaigning for an increase in the minimum landing size (MLS) of Bass for many years. The belief is that allowing Bass to grow more before they can be legally caught will mean an improvement in Bass stocks and the sustainability of the species.
A female Bass will not likley spawn until it is 40-45 cms in length. Currently the minimum landing size (MLS) is 36cms. B.A.S.S. are campaigning to increase the MLS and let our Bass breed.
The Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society have just launched their new websitre and blog. You can check out the site here:
I particlularly like the new blog post here:
The Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (BASS) is both a fishing club and an organisation dedicated to the conservation of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). The Society believes that its members have the ability to encourage the conservation, research and protection of the European sea bass, as well as, to improve and educate others in the techniques of angling for this premier sporting fish.
BASS was formed in March 1973 following a meeting of bass anglers interested in fishing for and conserving the species. It argues that the bass fishing we used to have was better than what we have now. Better in terms of both numbers of bass and the sizes of bass caught, by anglers. The Society’s long term aim is to restore, at least in part, that situation. To further that aim it has set up a Restoration Project.
The Society encourages its members to fish in a sportsmanlike manner. They are requested to observe the minimum size limit of 48cms, recommended by the Committee, in those instances when the occasional fish is killed for the table. Members are recommended to take no more than two fish per day, with a maximum of 10 fish per year. Many members release all the bass they catch.
BASS is a democratic organisation. Its officers and committee submit themselves for election at each Annual General Meeting, held in the Spring. The AGM is only in part a business meeting. There are presentations of specimen awards, the opportunity to purchase fishing tackle, as well as lectures by some of the Society’s more experienced members on various aspects and ways to bass fish, which they have successfully tried and tested over the years. A unique opportunity to learn new techniques.
BASS members occasionally organise ‘fish-ins’, at venues around the coast of the UK. These are not run as competitions, instead they offer a chance for members to socialise, share ideas and visit new areas of the coast.
BASS publishes a quarterly magazine, which is supplied free to paid-up members. Each issue is packed with information about the activities of the Society and its members. The magazine is open to all, for contributions of pictures, articles and reader’s letters.
All BASS members, with a personal email address, are invited to join the password protected members only forum, where members can meet up and discuss all aspects of bass fishing. Even if a member is not into chatting, the forum is worth a visit, if only to read the wealth of information about Bass and Bass fishing that has been posted there.
It is easy with once you have got over the very basics of fishing to stand still and become complacent. One of the really appealing things about fishing for me is there is always something to learn and nobody will ever truly master the sport. Fish are living creatures and as a result will never be fully predictable. This is what makes fishing challenging and interesting to me.
To help improve your fishing there are a number of things to consider.
It definitely helps to fish with an open mind. Many people seem to get stuck in their ways and will not listen to others with different ideas to themselves. Many people see their way as the only way and think anyone doing any different is either lying or stupid.
In my experience keeping an open mind is one of the very best ways to improve your fishing. Even if you really hate the idea of a certain style of fishing, or presentation, there can still be small details that you can take away into your fishing. Whether that be a certain technique, lure, approach or whatever.
There is an amazing amount of information available to you. You can go on the internet, pop in a tackle shop, speak to other anglers out on the coast. Anyone can help your fishing if you are prepared to listen.
Someone you may consider to be less experienced, or less skilled than you can offer up real gems. Likewise, the really great anglers might not be the ones shouting the loudest or sporting the latest gear. I think it is very important to realise that nobody is greater than anyone else when it comes to fishing and that everyone still has things to learn. There is however something to be said in being able to syphon out the good information from the noise.
Picking one area to concentrate on and master can help you greatly. Pick something like top water lures, or soft plastic lures and fish them exclusively. Read as much as you can on the subject and talk to other anglers who fish that way. Keeping trying until you get results with it and then look to refine what you have learned.
You do not have to pick a discipline and then only fish that 24 / 7. Do it for 1 hour every session, or one day every week, or whatever suits you. Then, when you feel like you have gained enough confidence in using it, pick something new to focus on. By doing this over and over again you can build a good solid skill set to apply at any time.
When something does go well and is a success for you, make a note of it in as much detail as possible. Use a diary if possible as you never remember all the details. Keeping this information and then using it again can work wonders. Bass are reasonably predictable most of the time, so something that works on a certain time of tide, time of day, weather conditions, lure choice and technique, will often work again when placed in a similar situation.
It is easy though to keep doing the same things over and over again, fish a certain mark in certain conditions. This is what I have just said to do in the previous point, but it does pay to try something new every now and then. Fish the same mark at a completely different state of tide, or a totally different wind direction. I personally found somewhere amazing this year that I would have completely ignored if I hadn’t gone against what I had previously learned.
Get out there
Finally, the most important key to learning and developing. This is actually getting out there and fishing. It is very easy to sit on websites and forums, picking up bits of information from other anglers, but none of that information is any use to you sitting at home. Getting out there and trying things for yourself is the only way to learn and master the techniques, the lures and your marks. You need to put the hours in to get any reward. This can be disheartening at the beginning, but eventually it will pay off in kind. There is nothing more rewarding than working something out for yourself, through hard work and dedication.