It’s been one of those weeks where just as you feel on top of things, the job list gets bigger! As usual I have been busy with the editing for TAFishing, trying to get you guys two episodes a week is no easy feat. However, I have also been focusing on getting content for TAOutdoors, which is growing at a rapid rate! It currently has over 21,000 subscribers and recently passed 1 million views. The Bushcraft videos have been the most popular, but Graeme and myself have thoroughly enjoyed filming some of the shooting and hunting content. It’s been great to learn more about the shooting side of things. It really is a huge topic and one that is becoming increasingly popular not just in the UK, but around the world too. The recent trip we took to Furnace Mill Fishery and Air Gun range in the Wyre Forest was an eye-opener. Owner Ed Brown has a really neat setup. Not only does Furnace Mill offer quality day ticket fishing on their lakes, but they also have a zero-target range and 5 different hunter-field-target shooting ranges for airguns. There is the option to turn up and pay a day ticket, or opt for a long-term membership. The hunter-field-target shooting is something I have never seen before. With targets at different ranges, some close in at 15 yards, some at 40 yards. When you have shot the target, you can pull a string and the target pops back up again for you to have another shot at it. All of the ranges are situated in a stunning woodland setting. In fact myself and Graeme both noted that the Furnace Mill setting was a stark contrast to where we are based in Hampshire, whereby your ears are constantly battered by the jet engines around Heathrow/Gatwick, or the monotonous drone of the M3 and M4 motorways. If you are a beginner, experienced shooter or just an airgun enthusiast, Furnace Mill is definitely worth a visit.
Thankfully, we have had a good spell of weather here in the UK. The edge of a high-pressure system has been hovering around the south of the UK. Although it does bring good weather, it has brought about some strong winds. I managed full day lure fishing for Perch with Graeme down on a Dorset river. In the past, this river has thrown up numbers of big pike. However, the last few years has been shocking for Pike fishing. Nevertheless, Graeme still opted to Pike fish for the day using his trusty twitching sprat method. Despite hundreds of casts into slack pools, eddies and over-hanging trees, Graeme managed no Pike. I was using a 7g round jig head with an HTO 10cm “Midi Stick” from tronixpro. Now those of you that watch TAFishing will notice that we haven’t actually done a jig fishing video., certainly not for Perch anyway. I usually prefer the dropshot method as I can keep my lure in a particular area for a longer period of time. However, I figured that I haven’t filmed an episode of jig fishing for perch so now was as better time as any. We must have covered over 2 miles of riverbank lugging camera gear as well as fishing tackle. I managed a few small Perch and later in the day, one just over 1lb caught just out from the bank. I have noticed that in summer Perch can be caught right under your feet. They like to hide under weeds and rushes in the shade, prepared to pounce out of the cover to take any nearby prey. Generally when I am walking into a new swim I will drop my lure 2ft out from the bank and fish the jig vertically with small jerks of the lure. This often this entices a take. Most takes were on a slow retrieve with the lure hopping along the bottom every few inches. Towards the end of the day we decided to hit up one of the weir pools. Previously I hadn’t had much luck in this particular weir pool, and after losing a number of good lures and jig heads to snags I was pretty demotivated. However, within the first cast a Perch snapped up the lure on the drop and as it came to the surface it was certainly fish of the day. I was shouting at Graeme to grab the net, but he was too busy opening the camera case ready to start filming straight away. Unfortunately, as the Perch came to the surface it threw the hook, I would have never had time to net it anyway. A sad sight but I will be back in the future!
As I type this E-News I am currently in the car on the way down to a Torquay rock fishing mark that can produce some pretty chunky, hard-fighting wrasse. I think I am going to use some of the weedless Arctic Eels from HTO to test them out on this species. It’s a very snaggy area so weedless lures are an important part of the fishing arsenal. A light 10-30g rod and a 1000-size reel will do perfectly.
Following this fishing session I am off to Boomtown Festival in Winchester for 4 days with some friends. I then have a couple of days to edit the videos and film another Bushcraft + TAFishing episode before I am off to the Wilderness Gathering festival in Wiltshere the following weekend. This is less of a party festival and more of a Bushcraft/Survival skills festival, where I hope to do some filming for TAOutdoors.
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