Well, the river season is finally open so you would think I was straight out there fishing running water. WRONG!!! I decided first, to go sharking for a Mako down Falmouth, and then due to work and unstable forecasting I opted for a shore assault on the Somerset coastline, with Craig Butler of West Coast Tackle. I have always found that it takes a couple of weeks of other anglers throwing bait into the river before the occupants finally realise that the dinner bell is starting to ring again. Hence the shore films. But what an epic exercise it turned out to be. I drove down to the caravan on the St Audries Bay Holiday Park (even had the same caravan again, overlooking the sea) and within minutes of checking in was on the way to meet Craig and start the first filming session. Well, let me tell you I hit so many marks in the 3 days that I’m in trouble knowing which film sequence goes with which. No less than FOUR brand new films made, all done on my own (and the trusty rusty tripod) but hopefully it will be worth it. Without lugging the heavy tripod I just end up doing shots from the hip, and in windy conditions and full zoom it is a devil of a job keeping the camera straight. If I have Mike filming as well we generally get better quality, but I am now in the position of being able to make complete films all on my own. Just down to getting a system, plus of course getting the occasional fish.
One of the marks is designated as being totally secret, and we always respect anyone who takes us fishing but does not want the mark to be named. I’m not surprised it’s secret, it’s so far I felt I was walking for days! But…..I am hoping it was worth it. How about Turbot from the shore ??? How about Small Eyed Ray???? How about Bass??? How about wading in the surf for them …? All hopefully to hit your YouTube screens in the not-too-distant future.
I see the giant Brown trout we filmed are being stocked and caught at Dever Springs in Hampshire. There’s more going in, so added to the big Dever Rainbow doubles you might want to get a trip in there if you want to get a double figure of either species under your belt. Just before I hit the Somerset beaches I had a double dose of family functions which, as many of you know, just cannot be got out of. But at one, I met a follower in Thomas Lund who was on leave between jobs and wanted desperately to get some sea angling in. Tenerife and Big Game fishing was discussed, but I felt he may just end up on one of those ram-the-tourists-aboard for a Bonito type of trips. Where else could he go to have his string pulled? I made a couple of calls to Trish Gannon over In Ireland, and luckily she had space to slot Thomas in, so inside 24 hours he had booked a flight to Cork and was soon in Courtmacsherry.
With Mark and Trish to point him in the direction of some action he got a p.b. Pollack of 8.5lbs, plus had Conger, Ling etc. and saw a few anglers hook-up on giant Common Skate. So it just goes to show that a last minute trip can often pay dividends, especially in the case of somewhere like Courtmacsherry where there are so many options available. Shore fishing for Bass, Mullet and Flounder. Offshore wreck and reef fishing for Blue shark, Pollack, Skate, Ling, Rays, you name it. Or even self-drive boats where you can be captain for the day, and do your own exploring with some light tackle. Check out their Courtmacsherry Angling, you could still get a booking in between the big groups if you are lucky.
I took advantage of the dry weather (rivers are very low now, I hear Barbel are still spawning) to rub down and get another coat of non-slip deck paint on Hi Sea Drifter. I had some blue non-slip by a reputable brand last year, and it gave me nothing but trouble, grinding off and clogging the bilge. Now I have tried stone coloured, textured outside masonry paint, which a lot of guys on forums say is just as good, and from somewhere like B&Q you can get a huge tin for under £30 (with my diamond discount card). It’s gone on well, now I will hit it with a second coat and hope it lasts a lot longer. I’m actually looking forward to getting the boat out again, as I hear a lot of Porbeagle are being seen in the Isle of Wight area, plus it’s deffo Thresher time from now until September. I’ve been so involved with all the other films I haven’t bothered with shark-chasing yet, and I hear the mackerel are still very patchy, so another couple of weeks and it will be all hands to the chum bucket. Far more boat anglers are now trying shark fishing, primarily blues, but you will get all the info you need on our DVD “The Ultimate guide to Blue shark fishing”. On the website, plus great action, including a shark on a trout rod and proper fly. Not a saltwater 12-weight flyrod and piece of chum on the hook. Bait and switch teaser fishing, the proper way to do it.
Our wrasse fishing film down Torquay is going down a storm and currently over 8000 views. If you are going on holiday and fancy some shore sport I suggest you check the film first. Lots of tips on tackle, including the latest on the new Nomura rods and reels.
Another recent film, one of our “filler” films for a Wednesday evening has gone into keyboard hitting land… “How to make a rod rack from pallet wood” had over 3000 hits in under 36 hours, I think maybe our fastest hitter. And the latest Friday main film “Floatfishing for Crucian Carp” has also been well accepted. Seems a lot of anglers out there really do appreciate the huge amount of work that goes into this producing of regular fishing films…
Oh yes, must tell you that TV has been knocking on the Totally Awesome Fishing Show door again. This time it’s in America. Interest is in getting us coverage on 3 major U.S. Television companies. So we get all excited, as the figure quoted was….OMG….around $60,000!!!!…,.Wow, we’ve finally been appreciated. All our hard work and money poured into equipment and trips is finally going to bear fruit. Ah…but read it again Graeme. These people can get us coverage but…Oh I see….Yes, it’s them that want us to pay them 60-grand!!! No problem. I’ll sell the car and eBay the wife!….Honestly…they must be having a Giraffe !!! No wonder YouTube is such a success. Of course I had heard this about TV before, no money available etc. Unless, there’s a multi-millionaire out there who is a supporter of the Awesome Army and is willing to fund such an exercise???? And even then it’s the other guys who get it….no mention of us getting paid a penny.
No sooner had I got back from Somerset than I was in for a rush decorating job, followed up by a hedge cutting job. I had to base edit next Wednesday’s film ready for Mike, and now need to get the following Friday’s film organised. Plus more filming trips scheduled. We will soon be passing 13 million views, and I do believe the views are accelerating as more people discover us, or simply go back to watch their favourite episodes. I actually sat down and watched “Floatfishing for Crucian Carp” and really enjoyed it, even though I made it. I think it was the floatfishing and surface bubbles that held the fascination for me. Not a bivvy or boilie in sight. Also been on the phone trying to firm up another Wrasse trip down South Devon, plus a good shore Conger eel from a breakwater. Just need time, weather and money….in that order. I hear petrol prices are well on the rise again, but I don’t feel any need to cut back. You only pass this way once, better to get in what trips you can. And of course around mid-July Mike breaks up from teaching, and he will be champing at the bit to get fishing….Freshwater, Sea….Flyrod…he’s not bothered, though I expect the Perch dropshotting outfits will not be packed away too far. Have a good one, and if you can squeeze in even a short session, particularly before dusk, it could just pay dividends. Just remember. Past 21st of June the nights start drawing in. Not exactly something to look forward to…..
Well, despite the teaching being pretty much the busiest it has been all year, I did manage to squeeze in some fishing on Father’s Day yesterday. I wasn’t bothered what type of fishing we did, I just wanted to get out there and wet a line! Thankfully, Graeme had something planned. We headed down to Old Bury Hill lake in Dorking. The idea for this film was to target Bream. Graeme was to be on the float, and I was using the feeder. The venue was relatively busy as there was a Sunday match going on. Weather was warm, but mainly overcast. The bite certainly took a long time coming, but when using the feeder, once you have pulled fish into your area, the chances of catching more are much higher. I had a few small Bream to start with and I was enjoying the fishing. It was nice to finally relax and unwind, taking in the stunning scenery that is available at Old Bury Hill (although you can never really relax on the TAFishing show!).
I was using the method feeder in particular. I have always had confidence in the method feeder. It’s quick to fill with groundbait and I find that it is one of the best feeders for presenting the hookbait. I had the feeder rods linked up to some bite alarms as opposed to the quiver tip. Graeme said that the bobbins were probably a little too heavy to for a Bream to pull up and I must admit, I think I missed quite a few bites from ignoring small bleeps on the buzzers. Bream are finnicky fish. You need to strike quickly when you get the take otherwise they will throw the hook. It’s also important that you keep the line tight when fighting them, as with a feeder bouncing around near the hook, it’s quite easy for them to throw it and you lose the fish. You also have to be wary of a hook pull once the fish’s head is out of the water. So be careful not to pull too hard when you go to net them! About half way through the day I noticed a few tiny bleeps on the bite alarms but thought nothing of it. I left it there for a few minutes to see if the fish would come back for another go at the bite. After a while I decided it was time for a bait check. Winding tight to the line I suddenly felt it stop dead. I pulled into it thinking the feeder was caught into the silt. All of a sudden the rod hooped over and I was getting some thumping head shakes and line was being stripped out. I thought to myself “Surely this can’t be a Bream? If it was, I’m in contention for the British Record!”. The fish was kiting left across the lake towards the margins and an over hanging tree. With a bit of side strain to the right I had it back out in the middle of the lake. At which point Graeme was on my shoulder with the camera firing on all cylinders. We both agreed it wasn’t a Bream. It took a good 10 minutes to bring in and when we saw it wallowing on the surface, we realised that of all fish to catch on a pellet and feeder, it was a Zander! And a big one at that! Knowing that it was a Zander put my nerves on edge. I wasn’t on a wire trace as I wasn’t targeting this species. I was only on 6lb line and the feeder was bouncing around near it’s mouth. After a few careful netting attempts, I finally managed to secure the fish. Having photographed the fish we then weighed it and to my surprise it was 6lb 11oz! What a cracking fish to have on 6lb and a method feeder. It was certainly very odd, but it made the day for me! Keep an eye out for the film in the upcoming weeks.
Unfortunately the fishing will now have to be put on the back shelf again as I’m back to work and still have 120 odd reports to write and children to teach. I’ve been eager to get out on the local river and try for some chub but Graeme has been telling me that the weed has come up too much and I wouldn’t have much chance. It would probably be a bit time consuming for me to go and get some bait etc too. But there is nothing stopping me putting the dropshot gear in the car??? 🙂 Perhaps towards the end of the week I might squeeze an after work session in. Only 3 more weeks of work left! Then I can fish my brains out.