15th JANUARY 2015


a shot from yesteryear.The British record Mako from Looe 500lbs

a shot from yesteryear.The British record Mako from Looe 500lbs

Seems I was right with last week’s “prophecy” about the change in the Jetstream affecting the weather and giving us wind and rain. Certainly been a week of non-fishing for sure, so I’ve been piling out filming tips in the Totally Awesome Workshop. You can’t beat being in the “man cave” when the weather is poor. It gives me something to do, and it really is amazing how much I go back to tips I learnt from how we made things forty years ago. When I think about it there really is a great deal of satisfaction making up something that costs you nothing except a few scraps of salvaged material and your own time. I’ve never been one to throw anything away, as the minute you dump something you can be sure you are going to be hunting for it in a month’s time. Only recently the wife made me dump all my old paint buckets which I kept stockpiling for carrying my shark chum. Unfortunately I cannot carry 18 x 15 litre tubs of chums it made sense to keep eight and dump the others. I had to wipe a tear from my eye I must admit. Some of the films made are for Mike’s new Totally Awesome Outdoors Show, so keep a look out for them. He already has over 1,400 subscribers on it and we have only just started putting films up. Some people ask why I do D.I.Y. and other information based films. You may notice these films pop up when the weather is bad, as I am easily bored, and I’m not one to sit around doing nothing, I have to keep active. I have absolutely no problem with self-motivation, and I always work on “The 10%”. Whatever I do during the day, however tired I am, I try and push myself to do that little bit extra. It could be manual work, it could be boring bill paying, it could be making phone calls I don’t really want to make, it could be finishing a project for filming. Remember the old saying…”Don’t put off till tomorrow that which you can do today”. Still holds true.

Bearing service time fror HSD

Bearing service time for HSD

Owning your own boat can be great fun and really satisfying when it all goes according to plan. But to keep things running smoothly you need to keep an eye on the maintenance. For instance, when I have a day out with “Hi Sea Drifter” I always check everything is done the next day in readiness for another trip. I jack up the trailer and boat and rest it on axle stands to keep some weight off the 8-ply tyres. It was while doing this that I noticed the inside of one wheel was splattered with grease. As I am known for being paranoid towards seized bearings and therefore an overfill of grease in the hubs I was not entirely surprised. But having only some 10/12 trips on these bearings it might not be wear. Time for a total strip down, as I was told if grease is exiting the bearings, saltwater could be getting in !! That was it for me. Mr Worrysome was in town. I stripped the hub down and found a split in the rubber casing that is part of the inner bearing and it was here the grease was trickling out. At the same time I noticed even more rust on the original wheel rims, which I had rubbed down and painted with silver Hammerite a couple of years earlier. Nothing keeps saltwater off metal and I started wondering about tyre rim failure at 60mph on a motorway. I phoned Wayne up as I thought I would get the rims cleaned, sandblasted and repainted with Hammerite. His advice was not to waste my time; I would get the same problem further down the line, and just buy two new rims. “HSD” is a regular 17-foot Wilson flyer with an unbraked trailer and two new rims cost just £28! It might have cost me that for shot blasting and buying the Hammerite paint, so potentially a good move. Plus, instead of buying a couple of pairs of grade 1 wheel bearings, I could buy entire hub kits, with standard bearings, hubs and hub cabs for the same price as the grade 1 bearings. Grades 1’s are mostly for braked trailers so if I get another couple of trouble-free towing years I will be happy. The hub kits were just £10-79 each plus vat!! Peace of mind and a good price as well. I’ve already fitted a new jockey wheel as the last one came off in my hand and resulted in a cancelled trip, and a new bilge pump is already on the way. Hopefully it all gets done in readiness for a tow down to North Somerset and a couple of sessions on the Cod run.

If you are into the Doomsday scenario you might have heard of the term “Doomsday preppers”. These are generally people in America that have some fortified bunker house in which they await the end of the modern world, with five years food and enough guns and ammunition to fill a container. Of course one day we will find the supermarkets closed and where will you get the next meal? For me, it will be starvation diet on the Basingstoke canal. I would have more chance trying to catch a moorhen than a fish, but fish would feature somewhere on my diet. So I produced a film on how to boil down the remains of any fish you catch to make illumination for your cave/shelter. Using the oil to make a lamp. It’s all factual, I film everything and it might get you thinking what it is going to be like with no petrol, electricity, gas or food, except whatever you catch. Check it out, the latest film up on The Totally Awesome Outdoors Show. It might get you thinking.

I see oil has dropped to a low price. My reasoning is this, and bear in mind I got the weather right last week. Buy as much in oil shares as possible as oil (petrol) is a finite resource so the price has to go up. The oil producing countries are now squealing big time at the low world price, allegedly due to a drop in demand. So there are now rumblings that the oil producers will cut back on production. So what happens when the existing supplies are used. Just how much would you be prepared to pay for a gallon of petrol if there was none available? Supply and demand? So I can see the price rocket back up. Buying into oil at $45 a barrel and holding on to it until it rockets to $100 a barrel? Anyone got a spare million to invest? Seems to me a classic case to make a killing, and the extra cash would keep me in hubs and bearings for the next 300 years. Have a good one, and if you see a good weather window I suggest you take it, even if the fishing in January is known to be tough. It might be the only chance for a while.



My current P.B Pike - 16lb6oz.

My current P.B Pike – 16lb6oz.

Thinking about last weeks e-news had me go through some pictures from last year and the year before. I mentioned about hoping to break some P.B’s. After trolling through far too many photo’s, I managed to find a shot of my P.B Pike – 16lb6oz caught on a deadbait. I can remember the experience vividly. We were only fishing for a 2 hour slot in the late afternoon in February. We were filming a video about Pike fishing with floats and deadbaits. It was getting near to the end of the session and I just remember seeing my float cutting across the surface of the water, leaving behind it that tell-tale ‘V’ shape that fish so often make when they swim. It wasn’t an aggressive take, just a slow draw. Lifting into it I didn’t feel it was much at first. Quite a few head shakes, a sure sign of a small fish. But then the rod locked up, and the curve followed all the way through to the butt section. It was then that I realised I had a bigger fish on. That’s when the panic sets in. First thought “This is big…….. ” second thought “I better give it some line…….” Third thought “I really hope the hook holds……” Fourth thought “where’s the net???????” A classic line here on The Totally Awesome Fishing Show. We always seem to go wandering off to find fish and leave the net behind?? Anyway, I found the net and landed the fish. Given that my previous P.B was a little under 10lb, when this one weighed in at 16lb6oz I was ecstatic! An awesome fish and another one for the memory bank. Anyway, I would love to beat my P.B Pike this year and I think it just might be achievable. All I need now is for this crap weather to sort itself out.

Mike & Graeme with a Goliath Grouper

Bring on days like this! Ok so it might have been over in Florida but at least there was some warmth and sun!

The thing I hate about British weather is not the endless rain, or the cold, or even the wind. It’s the inconsistency of it all. One day it’s freezing cold and you think “That’s ok, I can still fish on Thursday, a bit of cold won’t hurt”. The next day you wake up to Hurricane Harry blowing down your front door and driving rain through the roof. Decisions would be much easier to make were we to have just a little consistency with our weather! I drive over the local river on the way into work every day and its safe to say that it would be a great venue for filming part 2 of Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Hello coloured water! So no river fishing for me. Local canal is pushing and coloured too. Getting to the beach to do some fishing isn’t easy either, especially with gale force winds coming our way.

So there’s only one thing to do really, and that’s edit more fishing videos! Thankfully we have plenty of content for you guys still to come. Our new Channel “The Totally Awesome Outdoors Show” is going well, with over 1,400 subscribers already! I will post some of the videos from the TA Outdoors show in the e-news as well just so some of you can watch them.

I hope to start the filming of the brand new fishing series soon (weather permitting!!!) I like the idea of it and I think you guys will enjoy the content. All we need now is some good weather to go fishing! Oh yeh, and I have been in talks with one of the other big YouTube fishing Channels and lets just say that we have planned a bit of “awesome collaboration”. I will say no more for now…..other than I booked my flights yesterday……bring on APRIL 2015!!!

Just out of curiosity, how has the fishing been for all of you? Are you finding any ‘weather windows’ to get out in??

Let me know!

Tight lines,



Pike fishing tips - float trolling

Pike fishing tips – float trolling

Beach fishing - Carp rods vs Beach rods

Beach fishing – Carp rods vs Beach rods

How to make a natural oil Survival light

How to make a natural oil Survival light