THE TOTALLY AWESOME FISHING SHOW – LATEST NEWS
23rd FEBRUARY 2015
As many know we try not to make films revolving entirely around tackle, products and other “thingies”, but more on baits, techniques and watercraft. I am definitely not a tackle tart and will not change rods and reels unless something is worn out, unrepairable or a liability for losing a good fish. But we are in the position to let you know what are a few favourites. Don’t worry, we won’t be listing product after product, but I thought it might be fun if we told you what we really had liked during the course of the last year. So my first choice for success would be the Sidewinder lure we have nicknamed in several of our films…the “Chubby Chunky”. That’s because we keep forgetting the real name of it. So what was our best shore Bass and big Pollack lure over the last year??? It’s the Sidewinder 4” 25g. They come four to a pack and are called SUPER SHADS. On our spinning rods they cast like an absolute bullet, and can fish as well with a constant retrieve for reef Pollack, or a twitched, fluttering retrieve from rocks on the shore. Great for deep water gullies as the 25g weight gets them down deeper, and the big paddle tail still works enticingly even on a slow wind. While primarily a sea lure, the SUPER SHAD has an integral hook and is perfect bite-size for Pike fishing in freshwater. Maybe a little too heavy for shallows, but anything over 10 feet, or in a reservoir from a boat they could really get some strikes. So there you have it, Totally Awesome Fishing Show’s choice for their “Lure of the year”.
With Mike off from teaching last week we were out doing filming most days. He is going to cover our sea expeditions, but I should mention that our first trip was down to a trout fishery where a stock pond inventory check was being done as something extremely large had been seen swimming around. Dever Springs, near Andover in Hampshire has long been the place to try if you wanted to get a double figure trout. But now one of the stock ponds was holding trout a lot bigger than that. We are talking possible new British records. Now for trout, as far as I remember there were records held for wild trout, which was basically Scotland or Northern England, and cultivated trout, which are fish reared to a large size as they would never be able to achieve it if left in a normal river, pond or lake situation. The energy expended in swimming around just to eat a tiny insect means the body has burnt up more in energy than it could gain in protein. So early one morning (10am is early for our two-man film crew!!) we rock up at Dever and film a delivery of fish bound for one of the other stock ponds. Then it was on to the the main event. With fishery managers Niall Staig and Stuart Barrett donning chest waders, they started to circle and close the net on the occupants of the “Jurassic” pool and it was something to behold. Packed with Rainbows into low doubles it was like a scene from a Bluefin Tuna commercial netting. All the regular rainbows were graded out and returned as they searched for what even they had described as awe-inspiring trout. The weigh slings were ready. The scales laid on the bank shivering in anticipation. So just what were these fish?? and more important what did they weigh??? Sorry, but you’ll have to watch our film up Wednesday 25th Feb in Mike’s Midweek Madness. If you get excited by the sight of truly monstrous trout this could be the film to tip you totally over the edge!!! The fish are gargantuan, and wait for this…..the real biggie they had spotted still wasn’t caught in the net. It’s still at large, and growing by the day. So if you are up for a day trout fishing at Dever Springs I strongly suggest you use a decent 7/8 weight rod and leader strength (tippet in the States) of at least 8lbs.
Had a clear out of two huge filing cabinets that used to house my 20,000 strong picture library for when I was writing for the fishing mags, papers and publishing houses virtually full time. Quite why I held on to them I don’t know as my opinion is that nobody really reads mags or fishing books now, preferring the medium of the moving picture. But then Mike said use them up in our Throwback Thursday (Facebook) or E-news pages. There can’t be many out there left of us who would remember how many magazines I used to write for. I think it was 42 different publications at one stage, so obviously I got through lots of pictures to illustrate the written word. Those early days were black and white prints, plus I even had my own darkroom in the house, developing my own negatives, running prints in trays of liquid in that gloomy red light till the small hours. All good stuff, and quite satisfying as you watched the clean white paper beneath the developing liquid turn into your biggest Pike or Chub. Then it was dropped into the “fixer” liquid, washed and hung up to dry for the night. Unless you owned a speed drier which a few guys had in the camera club I attended. Also sad to know that today so many people know so little about the actual art of photography and how it works. Everything put on auto, just point and press, the camera does all the rest for you. And if you screw up. No problem, you can download software that allows you to “art up” your mistakes and make you appear like a real photographic whizzo. Mind you “auto” does have its advantages, and I try to use it all the time now I’m filming, but even so, all those years at the local camera club must have stood me in good stead as we come up with some pretty good films in the video stakes.
So what of the next couple of weeks. Well, although the snowdrops are out, and I spotted a few crocuses last week it does seem cold. Not as bad as the East coast of America that is getting hammered by sub-zero for day after day. Not much on this week, and with rivers running high and coloured they might not clear before the river season shuts. Actually we are both secretly looking forward to it, as it means less pressure to make coarse fishing films, and more time for the beach, boat and fly. I used to enjoy the close season and try not to coarse fish before June 16th, but I have a feeling this season I might be lured to the “dark side”. So if you see a weather slot, try to take it, as once Sunday comes there are only a couple of weeks before the rivers are shut for three months of well-earned rest.
Well I certainly made the most of my half term, with four days straight of back-to-back filming. From river, to lake, to sea, it really was variety fishing at it’s best. Last Monday I met up with carp fishermen Tommy Flower and Andy Phillips to film the second instalment of our new carp series – Bite Time. Just two weeks earlier, Tommy and Andy had been having an unbelievable winter carp session, with 30 fish between them, most of which were mid to upper 20’s. Amazing fishing. But then the cameras turn up and it really was a case of ‘curse of the camera’. Looking at the pressure it was clear it was on the rise for the next few days and it put the carp on lockdown. No one on the lake was catching. The boys did give some awesome tips on the rigs they were using though.
The very next day I was off to help Graeme film some truly huge trout at Dever Springs Trout Fishery. Niall and Stuart run an incredibly efficient Trout Fishery. They really know their stuff and work hard to nurture some of the finest Trout in British Stillwaters. I certainly got the opportunity to see (and film!) the biggest Trout I have ever seen. It was a pleasure to see these awesome fish on camera and I think both Stuart and Niall deserve some serious credit for running a Totally Awesome Trout Fishery!
The following day I went with Graeme to the Somerset coastline for a double filming session of boat fishing and beach fishing. For those that are looking to get a good bend in the rod then the Somerset coastline is certainly the place to go for some quality beach fishing. We arrived in Somerset Wednesday evening with camera’s charged. After checking into one of the caravan’s at St. Audries Bay Holiday Club, we decided to make the most of a very brief good weather slot and made the short walk down to the beach to film a little video on casting. You will see the video soon. Craig Butler of West Coast Tackle then took us to a beach mark to see if we could catch some fish for a brand new beach fishing series that we have planned. As usual, it was first cast first fish for Craig! A nice cod between 4-5lb. A great tip that Craig said has been working well on the beach scene recently is ‘tenderising’ the squid bait. This simply involved pummeling/crushing the squid to tenderise it and add more flavour to the bait. If you haven’t fished the Bristol Channel before then let me tell you, the water is absolute chocolate brown. Hence why good quality bait is of the upmost importance if you want a greater chance of hooking into a big cod. It wasn’t long before the other Somerset boys were into fish, with James and Paul both landing a cod. As for the Totally Awesome duo, it was a Totally Awesome blank! But we’re more interested in getting a good quality film out of it. Thanks to Craig for coming up with the goods again!
It was an early start the next day as we had a boat to catch. Our skipper for the day was the friendly Steve Yeandle aboard his pride and joy “Scooby Doo Too”. Now Steve is not only one of the friendliest skippers you will ever meet, but he also has arguably the tidiest charter boat I’ve ever been on. It’s in tip-top condition with ample deck space, all the safety features you could ever want, a fully functioning toilet and of course copious amounts of tea! Steve invited on board a friend of his – Darren Kneeshaw. It was clear as soon as we met Darren that he knew what he was doing. He had recently dug over 3lb of lugworm and had the blisters to show for it!! We knew that this was a serious angler and we couldn’t wait to press that record button. It was incredible to see Darren baiting up, casting, catching….all within minutes. Like a well-oiled machine, Darren had his routine and his catch rate reflected this. In total we had 2 cod between us, and two Thornback rays. Darren on the other hand, had over 25 Cod…. I think we almost ran out of memory on the camera chip. With the deadly combination of Steve’s knowledge of fishing the Bristol Channel, and Darren’s knowledge on bait and methods, we can now say that we have a great new series coming your way!
I have recently released the trailer for a new series I am filming called “Dropshot Diaries”. It was a little idea I came up with a few weeks ago whilst dropshotting on a small river. I am still in the process of editing Episode 1 but hopefully it will be hitting your screens soon and I hope you enjoy it!
Sadly, my half term has now finished and it’s back to teaching now for the next 5 or so weeks. But we have a very busy March planned. With more TAFishing videos to film, as well as The Big One fishing and tackle show towards the end of March. Good luck to anyone out fishing for the next week.
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