Exactly one month since the longest day and already the nights are starting to draw in. Not something to contemplate for too long as the winter in Britain is never something to yearn for. However despite July being pretty poor for weather with barely a break in the wind, I still managed to put some films together. We just got back from Ireland, where together with Mike we piled in the hours at Courtmacsherry with Mark Gannon on the “Lady Louise”, despite wind and rain, completing something of a record for us. No less than SEVEN brand new films in just SEVEN days, and a couple of them are wall-to-wall fish of a variety of species. Lots of edit work, but we will trickle feed them up through the year. There were no small boats to film from as apparently loads of people are having engine problems in the 5/8hp outboards range due to the percentage of ethanol in the fuel mix messing up the carbon the small engines the fuel ports are so small the ethanol is attracting moisture which in turn is corroding the inside of the carbs. Either ultra sound cleaning (expensive), or new carbs (even more expensive!) It’s a no win situation that is apparently being talked about all over the forums and could be a major problem of the future for those boat owners with small outboard engines. I was told the percentage of ethanol was something like 8% of the mixture whereas it should be 5%. Just a point of interest if you are starting to have small outboard problems. Either way it probably would not have mattered to us as it was blowing so hard we could not have filmed safely from them anyway. As it was “Lady Louise” produced action each day, covering virtually every species we wanted to film. We had taken plenty of tackle options over on the Stena ferry, travelling from Fishguard to Rosslare, where despite the long drive at both ends I managed to grab an hour’s sleep on the metal deck as I couldn’t sleep in any chairs. If you are trout fishing then you could fly over, but with sea fishing you generally have so much gear (plus our camera equipment) it’s far more practical to grab a Stena ferry and just drive over. They do have cabins if you want to take a night ferry and of course there’s food in the restaurant. Travel time on that route is usually about 3 to 3 ½ hours. From the Stena ferryport in Rosslare allow about 3 to 4 hours to get to Courtmacsherry.
Before I left I did manage to squeeze in an interview session down at a Hampshire beach with some shore Stingray specialists. They have been landing some really good Stingers, so if you fancy latching into one keep a look out for the upcoming film. I was amazed at how big the baits were. And while in Ireland they are catching lots of Stingray in Kerry from the shore. Can’t say where as some angling journo will get straight in there without having to do the groundwork themselves. Respect to the shore anglers that have located and caught them. We also respect the marks of the Stingray guys, though doubtless all the locals down there will know the mark anyway. However there is a certain section of beach where they tend to feed on, so while I won’t be giving you GPS co-ordinates it may help you find similar ground yourself.
We have some of the Sid Knight “Sandeel” fly patterns for Bass and Pollack. They came too late for our Ireland expedition, but the green/silver sparkle colours will be bang on for Mackerel, Bass and Pollack. On the shark front while in Courtmac we heard that an angler up with Luke at Loop Head had landed another couple of giant Sixgill sharks. They are a species that may even be present all year round in the western approaches. Plus a Thresher shark off Wales by Rob Rennie of the “Lady Jue 3” charter boat. It was returned after photographs. He told me he had seen others jumping, and I see a second Thresher has been caught there as well. Wayne told me there’s been a big one seen several times feeding off the Isle of Wight so I guess as soon as this incessant wind drops everyone will be out there trying for one. It seems everyone is now saturated with catching Porbeagle sharks and want to latch into the harder fighting Thresher, which of course here at Totally Awesome we have been banging on about for years. They are out there, but you have to put the time in and not get side-tracked with regular ground fishing.
We have still to fish a river this season as sea takes priority, and with such low rainfall down South many of the rivers are extremely low. We may take a stab at another film for the “dark side” and go carping all night, and very possibly the Tench fishing may start to tone down a bit with the dour month of August approaching. Talking of Tench, our Tench film has set a NEW RECORD…..with a staggering 7, 500 views in just the first week. And we are just coming up to the anniversary of when Mike started his “Midweek Madness” by putting up a short Wednesday film at 7pm. It was due to run for the month of August 2014, but has now been going a year !…That means we have put up nearly 100 brand new made films in this last year. Let’s hope we can continue. I did a headcount on our scheduling board last night, and with the Ireland trip we already have a staggering THIRTY THREE new films lined up and ready to go. And we have a new record from our recent “World’s best fishing baits-Lugworm”, for Midweek Madness……with over 5000 views in the first week alone. And the full stats run with over 13.6 MILLION views on our films and the subscribers just keep on rising….and rising….and rising….Last check it was an amazing 71,666 subs, so keep spreading the word to others who may not realise it is just a father/son combo running the entire operation with well over 300 films up.
Mike is still hoping to put together a “Totally Awesome” fishing day. It is scheduled in Surrey, an overnighter for carp, so if you are interested drop him a mail so we know how many might turn up. Date will be in August sometime. I also hope to get back up to the Thames area of Lechlade and see what is cooking on the fishing front there. I was told there could be some decent float/feeder fishing for Roach, and of course drop shotting for Perch. There could be a heatwave towards the end of July (???) and if it does arrive I think I will drag “Hi Sea Drifter” down to Falmouth for a Mako chase. I dare say the blues will also oblige, but I feel it’s time to put my chum trail down in a different area. And I may still pop back to Ireland for another crack at getting a giant Sixgill shark…..from the shore, after the epic battles and bustoffs I had there just over 18 months ago. There’s a trip booked to go to Ascension Island with three other guys. Their priority is I believe to get some Grander Sixgills. Mine is to get some underwater footage of Yellowfin Tuna and Wahoo, the latter being one of my favourite species, and the fastest fish in the sea. Of course on the trip out and back I hope to drag my marlin lures, which will doubtless bring back many memories of crash strikes and screaming 80 wide reels as a Blue marlin blasts away. So plenty to think about over the next three months, I just hope the work on the properties holds off. One good thing about the lack of rain is that the grass has stopped growing, and that’s worth a day’s fishing in time at the very least!….Good luck out there, and don’t forget to check Mike’s web shop in case there’s any last minute holiday sea tackle or line you might want…
It was great to finally get a bend in the rod after weeks of teaching and lesson planning! Despite adverse weather conditions, I was actually pretty lucky over in Ireland. Conditions were very much against us on most days, but with Mark’s knowledge of the area he put us on the fish every time. My highlight of the trip has to be the second blue shark I caught. Having seen the dorsal fin of the shark as it ripped through the water attacking the float, Dad told me to wind hard on the reel to get the bait up in the water so that it was at the same level that the shark was swimming at. Just a few seconds later, the rachet ticked off and the shark was swimming away with the bait in it’s jaws. It was exciting stuff! And after a small wait, I struck into the fish and boy did it wake up. It took off towards open ocean at top speed. I could feel the drops of saltwater stinging my face as the spool rotated wildly. I can’t quite describe the feeling of when you hook into a shark, but it’s a combination of 10% nerves, 90% adrenaline! The shark then made a U-turn and came straight under the boat. It’s always important to stay tight to the line when shark fishing, you don’t want them to spit the hook. Especially blue sharks, which are notorious for throwing and shaking their heads as well as rolling up the trace. I wound the slack in double-time and tightened up to the beast. It then sent me on a trip around the boat. I had to stick the rod out to ensure that the line didn’t catch on the hull. With all that tension on the line, just one bump against the hull and the line would snap.
After 10 minutes or so, I thought I was clear and I was comfortable fighting the fish. But this shark was clued up. He made a run for the bow of the boat and around the achor rope (yes we were anchored, fishing for conger and ling over a wreck). I had that dredded feeling of the line juddering against the anchor rope and thought that was it. But by carefully extending the rod out and under the rope, the shark was clear. It was easily the best battle I have had with a Blue shark. We got it into the boat, took some pictures (and film) and then tagged and released the beauty. I enjoyed lots of other great catches on the Ireland trip. One of my favourite techniques to catch Pollack and Cod is on the lure. I dropped down a 4″ Attractor shad from FishAction using the french boom method.
As soon as the lead hits the bottom, it’s just a case of a slow and constant retrieve and then waiting for the line to pull tight. No need to strike, just lift the rod into the fish. It’s thoroughly entertaining and I caught some great fish using that method. I also lucked out on a Bass right at the end of the trip. We were using live mackerel but it actually took a deadbait! Kudos to Dad for being alert and on the ball for the day, ensuring the baits were changed regularly and not getting in a tangle.
I also managed to get out carping last week at Bury Hill Fisheries. We fished the main lake and had an awesome session. I’m not going to go into detail on this session in this weeks e-news as next week I am on holiday with Emmy in Barcelona so I will save it for after that. Which means no e-news next week I’m afraid 🙁 But in the following e-news I will give you guys some more info on how the carp session went. I may even sneak a telescopic rod in the suitcase for Barcelona and have a fish around the rocks 😉
Once back from Barcelona I have plans to do some more coarse fishing as well as a possible sharking trip down to Falmouth with Dad. It’s all weather dependent! The problem is, as much as I love going away on fishing trips, I still have to edit the weekly TAFishing videos. It means that I have to edit one or two videos ahead so that I can schedule them up for the following week. But, the increase in workload is worth it, especially when you’ve had the fishing that I have had recently!
I see that Graeme mentioned about the fishing day out with Totally Awesome in his news report. This is likely to be on a weekend in early September, and it will be Carp fishing. We will arrange a beach fishing one at a later date. So if you are interested in coming for a Carp fishing session with myself and Graeme, please let us know. It should be a fun day out, nothing serious, just a bunch of people getting together to enjoy some fishing. Of course we will be filming the event so you will have a chance to be on the show too. I am yet to confirm exact details but it will be at a fishery in Surrey. So please let me know if you would be interested in doing this by emailing me at: email@example.com just so I can get an idea on numbers.
On the social media front, we just passed 1,000 subscribers on INSTAGRAM! Don’t forget to follow us on there for regular fish pictures. We are also featuring your fishing pictures if you use the hashtag “awesomearmy” so if you’ve got an HD picture of some fish then head on over to our Instagram, start following and use that hashtag in your pictures to have a chance to be featured.
Good luck to anyone out fishing this week! Let us know how you get on.