GRAEME:

Well, I did mention that I was intending jet washing the moss off my roof. Well, let me tell you it has been an absolute nightmare of a job. Wifey did look it up on the internet and said it mentioned about only cleaning moss from a roof in dry weather. Was I about to do that? Hardly, as if the weather is dry I am out fishing. So armed with double ladder I laid the top half up against the tiles and jammed a garden fork in at the bottom to stop it sliding back. I’m sure Mr Elf- an -Safety with his “Mr Important” name tag and waterproof plastic clipboard would have had kittens, but it’s my house and I’ll do what I want. If I fall down and break my neck it’s my own fault. To make matters worse I then dragged the entire jet wash machine up on the roof and lashed it down with a bungee. Water applied, electric on and away I go for the next FOUR DAYS, happily blasting moss off several angular roofs. Now in hindsight I can see that the jet wash has basically turned all the moss into brown Windsor soup, then the wind has re-applied it in a fine mossy mist to all the walls,windows,doors etc of the house, plus of course the car, which was parked underneath. The clean-up operation took another full day as the roof residue that the moss clings to was something like a petro-carbon, or diesel, oily type material. It looks like plain dirt, but it sticks. Oh joy, I am so glad I won’t be doing that job again. The roof might look brand new and hopefully lasts about 5 years before Mr Moss comes back, but I have a second wave of attack in the summer when I might hit it with some bleach to stop it coming back. Who knows, I might even end up with the only white roof in England.

Handmade Pike Lure

Handmade Pike Lure

I managed to go for the one gap in the weather that came last week, and trundled off down to Hayling Island to make a film for Mike’s “Totally Awesome Outdoors Show”. I needed to catch a fish to cook, so stopped off at King’s Fishing Tackle in Havant to pick up the last remnants of his ragworm. It was a last minute gamble of mid-afternoon into evening. Not much hope of a Cod as I only had a fivers worth of worms. Luckily I took along some thrice-used squid that has been in and out of the freezer, so used small cut strips to bulk out my meagre ragworm supply. The tides were small, and with low water at 2.30 and no wind I knew I would probably be on a blank until the tide started to flood and darkness came. There were a couple of other anglers along the beach, but nothing like when I was a kid and you would see thirty or forty Tilley lamps twinkling all along the 2 mile beach front. The Whiting came on the bite with dusk, and to be honest it was all I could do to keep up with them!! I don’t think I have ever had so many in such a short time, and a lot of my time was taken up filming rather than actually concentrating on the fishing. I had somewhere around 40 Whiting, and kept just one for cooking. The wind was due to pick up but I stayed on till almost 9pm in the vain hope a 6lb Cod might suicide itself on squid bait. I feel my chance of a shore Cod might now lay in a February trip down to North Somerset. That Bristol Channel certainly does have an amazing head of fish given the water is such a colour. Maybe that’s why the fishing is so good?

A range of Handmade Lures!

A range of Handmade Lures!

Last Saturday I made a last minute decision to make a 200 plus mile round trip down to Somerset, but not a fishing rod in sight. Instead I would be filming the start to finish sequence of how a stick bait lure is made from wood. James Lanfear of “Jim’s Lures” is hoping to go into full time production of custom made lures, for virtually any fish you might want to catch. He makes the enormous 9-inch surface stick and popper lures for the specialist anglers that cast from rocks around the world, searching out the first 300lb Tuna from the shore. Some anglers have already had them to well over 200lbs, and of course both boat and shore anglers like giant scooped face poppers for enticing the hard fighting Giant Trevally up from the reefs. But my interest with Jim was to see how he makes one of his smaller Pike lures that are proving so successful on those Somerset Rivers. The entire sequence is going up 7pm on Wednesday 13th Jan, on The Totally Awesome Fishing Show, one of the fastest turn-arounds of a film we have ever done. I just felt there are lots of pike and bass anglers out there who might be interested to see the superb skill and quality he has, and maybe try a couple. These lures are hand crafted, made one at a time, and not some stamped out, mass produced piece of plastic. You can see from the film that he takes a great deal of time in producing them, and can even balance them to whatever casting weight you want. I have an idea for one pattern that as far as I know has never been made yet, so keep a lookout for future films using lures.

I had a call from Wayne Comben about a guy that has cut a small boat totally in half then rebuilt it to his own specifications. Apparently it is something unusual, and like Jim’s lures, it will be interesting to film something totally out of the ordinary on the boating scene. There might be some ideas for you if you fancy adapting your own boat, or even have some internal tips that could see you customising your own boat. As for my own “Hi Sea Drifter” it really needs an engine run to charge up the batteries, and it just seems to be an ornament in the garden at present! I don’t think I have ever known a December and early January with such non-stop wind. Mind you it’s all set to change this week, as the Polar Vortex that is currently dropping down over Canada and North America, and again in Eastern Europe looks set to meet in middle, right over us. Maybe we will still have that two month long freeze up that I saw written as a headline on the front page of one of tabloids back the end of November. They said Dec and Jan would be frozen solid, so they got that one totally wrong, but I have always said if and when all those Polar Vortex loops meet up, they will prove difficult to move and we might even get a mini Ice Age. It’s a bit like dropping Ice cubes in a drink on a sunny day. The liquid temperature will go right down until the ice thaws. That is what is happening with our own climate. The melting Ice Cap is cooling the North Atlantic, killing off the Gulf Stream’s North Atlantic Drift and we will have a cold spell before the ice finally has all melted, and then we will get the heat waves and violent weather. I don’t like the cold, but it will at least make a change from the non-stop winds. Might even get the boat out on the water!!

Good luck out there,

Graeme.

MIKE:

Rock On - I'm not usually this energetic!...

Rock On – I’m not usually this energetic!…

As with most of my blogs for the next few weeks, they won’t involve much fishing unfortunately. Being only restricted to fishing on the weekends due to teaching in the week. Even then the weather seems to want to be at its worst on weekends. It does give me more editing time so I can try and get a week or so ahead of myself. Video editing is incredibly time consuming, as those of you who do it will know. Not only do you have to copy all the clips you have filmed to the computer (thankfully I have taught Dad that part so it saves me time), but you then have to consider which clips go where and how long you want them to be.

A general edit will start like this:

  • Drag the clips to the bin (this is where all the video clips are copied into the editing software.
  • Begin by finding the first clip you filmed on the day, and then watch the entire clip through to set an “In” and “Out” point for however long you want the clip to be. Often there is a clip with something wrong in it so you must watch the entire clip (again – time consuming).
  • Once I have loaded all of the clips onto the timeline (this is effectively the movie story or for us – the episode itself), I then focus on normalising the audio (making sure each clip is of a similar sound level so that the audio doesn’t go quiet and then suddenly jump too loud.
  • Following the sound I will then work on transitions (this is effectively the part that takes you from one clip to the next. It can be a simple dissolve or something flashy, depends how I feel on the day – most of this is rushed as I am tired by this point.
  • After the transition it’s time to focus on the colour grading and correction of the clips. This again can be very time consuming as each clip has different lighting and colours. Being a fishing show, we can’t really ‘set up’ shots, we shoot off the whim so we can get as much natural action in the videos as we can.
  • Once that is done, Graeme or myself will then do some voiceovers for when there is no audio on certain clips (generally this is due to too much wind in the filming or we are trying to set a scene).
  • Once the voiceovers are complete, I then need to choose the right audio to go as either backing music for the voiceover or general loud music because I want to wake everyone up. Again, I would then need to normalise the volume of the audio to ensure it is at a lower volume when there is a voiceover.
  • After all this, I then work on all the extra little ‘pop up’ parts that you see in the video, such as the titling and end credits.
  • Once all this is complete, it’s time to render the video (time consuming – basically like buffering a video before you watch it to make sure all the added graphics etc play smoothly.
  • Then I have to upload the video to YouTube and do all the annotations (clickable links) etc.
  • Then I need to work on the video thumbnail in the photo editing software, again, very time consuming.

So now you have a rough idea of the kind of process I go through to edit the weekly TAFishing videos (and TA Outdoor videos!). However, the difficult part is not necessarily the editing itself, but the time it takes up. I come home from teaching at 6pm. In that time of the evening I need to eat and edit amongst organising the social media posts and this e-news, as well as marking Geography books. It really isn’t easy and I only just have the balance. I often wonder if I had more time what sort of quality production I could create. I might look into filming and editing a longer episode of TAFishing that will feature much more quality and time spent on shots – we’ll see how that goes. But for now I will stick to my rigorous editing in order to churn out the videos that you guys love so much.

I hope you all have a great week and if you are out fishing, best of luck!

Mike

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