LATEST NEWS FROM THE TOTALLY AWESOME FISHING SHOW
I read recently that in New England, on the Eastern side of the States that their crops are running up to two weeks behind due to the extreme winter they have had. Over here in the UK we seem to have slipped through winter with very little in the way of freeze ups of snow, yet I also feel the season is running about two weeks behind. The Smooth hounds are only just starting to show, along with the Black Bream and Spring Plaice. Not sure why that should be, but the seasons do seem to be rotating, as a youngster I remember October used to be the start of the cold weather, but now that same month can often bring lots of sunshine. Maybe a taste of things to come, so while I have had “Hi Sea Drifter” on hold due to this later season change, it can’t be too long before we get a good run of all the light tackle inshore species. Mind you I had a great time on the canal in Wiltshire, making a film on my own with the two small cameras as Mike was away in Sweden and Finland filming Pike with the bigger camera. I actually quite like the luxury of not having to lug the big bag and tripod around, and this gave me a chance to do some good old fashioned waggler float fishing on a spring-like day with only light breeze. I’m not going to say I am a lover of canals as I find them restrictive being so narrow, but this canal had a whole lot more fish in it than my local Basingstoke canal, which can often be dire. I only had an afternoon on the canal but with the weather fining away and the wind dropping I phoned the wife to say I would hang on for the evening fishing. The boats finally stopped and the breeze faded, leaving me with a glassed off reflective surface where I could watch the waggler float slowly drift down the current before dipping to the bite of skimmers and roach. I had a feeder rod with lobworm thrown down the bottom end of the swim and that gave me three chunky Perch, but for me the highlight was the enjoyment of that two hour, pre-dusk period. It really was Mr Crabtree settings, and I even caught 3 Ruffe, the last of this species I reckon I caught more than 30 years ago!! So for once a really enjoyable session in a picturesque setting.
Then after the job list was reduced (ever drilled through a pressure filled poo-poo waste pipe where it had backed up 15 feet in the air??? Yes, when the drill broke through me and the drain jetter both got covered in the stuff!!) I drove down to West Somerset for a couple of sessions on the beach fishing with Craig Butler of West Coast Tackle. Although I have a touring caravan myself it is deffo convenient to just check in to St.Audries Bay Holiday Park where they have both large caravans and small chalets right on the cliff with steps down to the beach. Plus they have a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Far more civilised than sleeping in the car and firing up the camping gas for a brew. St.Audries Bay is one of the best shore marks in the area so if you are on holiday it might be worth checking out. Somewhere the wife can stay and hubby gets a few hours in with the beach fishing. A win-win situation I should think.
We were on small tides but as soon as I got there I had a dusk session with Craig up at the western end of Dunster. It was a low tide mark and enabled me to finish the BEACH QUEST film, up last Friday. Nobody can say we don’t work fast at The Totally Awesome Fishing Show. I was fishing on Wednesday, and just 48 hours later Mike had the film uploaded on our Friday night episode, so you know our information is often literally hours old. An early start next morning was actually on a reef right at the base of St.Audries Holiday Park, and we only had a short window at low tide before we got pushed back by the tide. Then it was off to a second mark, more fish, more filming, and finally a third mark in the evening. That’s the benefit of using someone like Craig as he can guide you to the best high or low tide marks to maximise your chances. On the morning I was due to drive back, I decided to leave the phone off to minimise any property aggravation and just stay on to fish anyway. The tides were too good to waste. I caught Cod, small Conger and Dogfish and saw another guy land a nice Thornback Ray. So looks like another BEACH QUEST film in the can, keep tuned to watch it and get the lowdown on baits and techniques.
I have adapted my twin holder beach tripod to make it a triple holder so I can cast out a light rod close to shore. I’m trying to evaluate how many times we actually cast past the fish in an effort to get more distance. On the last day four out of five fish fell to that close in rod, so I have a feeling I might convert Mike’s tripod as well. I’ve also seen the light in respect of braid for beach casting. As we got pushed further up the beach with the floods tide I found it harder to reach the sand, and snag-free area. As I use fixed spools most of the time I can see the benefit of using braid on the reel, with its reduced diameter giving me extra casting distance. But also at longer ranges when you come to crank in fast to stop the lead snagging the boulders, the elastic stretch effect of mono can actually work against you. It means I cannot get the lead up fast enough at long range, quick enough. The non-stretch qualities of say, the Sidewinder Silk braid which I have been using boat fishing for a while means as soon as I speed-crank I know the lead is up and away from the snags. So the cost of the braid will soon pay for itself in the shape of saved grip leads (often £1-50) plus the remaining terminal rig, not to mention the time to tie them up. In fact down at this particular beach a guy with a metal detector had gone down, and by locating and turning over the rocks had picked up a staggering SIXTY NINE grip leads!! That must surely show that braid for beach fishing might be the way forward. Down at Eastbourne they have seen its benefits for years on the match scene for bite detection, so if you need to try some. Always something new to find in fishing tips and techniques.
We had a few messages from fishermen gearing up to try shark fishing for the first time this year. Apparently the big Porbeagle and Thresher sharks I have had with Wayne have inspired many boat anglers to at least give it a try. And they love our DVD “The Ultimate Guide to Blue Shark Fishing”. It looks like being our best-selling DVD ever, as it has all the tips in there that will cover you for all British shark fishing, not just Blues, but Porbeagle and Threshers as well. Grab yourself a copy, its exclusive to us, and IS NOT on YouTube, only will you get the “secret” tips on this sharking DVD.
Still on the subject of tackle, Sid Knight has sent us a long awaited new buzzer pattern for fly fishermen after trout. It can be fished on or in the surface film. These are adult winged buzzers using realistic wings, in black, pearly and olive. Currently sizes 12 and 14, tied on a Kamasan B110 hook. Sid uses wire ribbing to give segmented effect and this can also be used by building up under the Thorax dubbing to give extra weight. We are right on time for buzzer fishing, either slow retrieve or suspending “cast-and-wait” methods, and if anything like Sid’s other patterns they could prove deadly on the big reservoirs. So there we’ve talked about braid for beach casting, DVD info for shark fishing, waggler fishing for skimmers and even the exclusive release of a new fly for trout. That’s why we have well over 63,000 subscribers, and are one of the best all-round fishing shows on YouTube!!!! Keep watching people, plenty more brand new fishing films to come, and make sure you tell a friend. Send them a link to our site. We want total world domination. Nothing less. I even had an enquiry about a potential TV “pitch” from a producer. I love that buzz word “pitch”. In my days it was called a presentation, but I haven’t even bothered to answer the mail as TV never wanted to help us in the early days, so YouTube is so big now I don’t think anyone watches much fishing on the box. It’s all YouTube. We have over 300 fishing films up, and you won’t get that from any TV company. Plus you can just drop onto our playlists that Mike has set up, scroll through, and pick a film to watch. All free as well. So have a good week out there. Enjoy the sunshine (don’t forget the suncream, the sun is still strong at this time of year),and get out fishing if you can…..Graeme.
Well the trip to Sweden was certainly worth it, even if I did end up getting pretty ill and having to fly home early! More on that later…
Sweden itself has some stunning scenery. Famous for it’s archipelagos, it is host to some of the best Pike fishing in the world. I went there to get some awesome Pike footage for TAFishing, and I was collaborating with the famous Pike fishing YouTube Channel: Kanalgratisdotse. Despite Sweden being the destination of choice, when I got to Sweden we were almost instantly on a 12-hour ferry to Finland. I had heard that Finland was one of the ‘best kept secrets’ for big Pike fishing. And after a two hour drive to a remote cabin situated on the edge of a huge expanse of water, I was hoping this was true. We split up and went out on two boats. On my boat was Stefan Trumstedt, one of, if not the most famous Swedish Pike angler. He pretty much brought the “Jerkbait” method of lure fishing to popularity in Sweden back in the late 90’s. And our guide for the day was a Finnish Pike fishing expert, Mika Makela. After two solid days Pike fishing with both jerkbaits and soft plastic shads, I can assure you I was tired. You see the thing with making a fishing film is, you not only have to worry about getting fish for the camera’s, but you also have to worry about getting all the footage you need to putting a film together, and when you pay to fly over to another country to try and get the best content for your YouTube Channel, the pressure really starts to build. There’s lots to think about, and in between you have to try and enjoy the fishing that is on offer. The first day in Finland was tough going, with just 4 Pike between us. The next day however, was the craziest Pike fishing session I have ever seen. We had over 47 Pike between 3 of us. I myself had over 10 Pike to mid-doubles, on both jerkbait and shads. It was insane, and thoroughly enjoyable. Mika and Stefan were top blokes, they had great enthusiasm and a good sense of humour, it made fishing all that more fun!
However, the good mood wasn’t to last….As soon as we had we got to the ferry port in Helsinki, I started to feel a little on the rough side. I had an early nights sleep thinking that I was just run down and tired and that I could sleep it off. Oh how wrong I was… I woke up the next day with a splitting headache and a pretty bad fever. I spent the next 12 hours on the ferry sweating buckets and losing body fluid fast. I took on as much water as I could, but it didn’t seem to be doing anything. I straight up refused to fish the next day as I couldn’t get out of bed. The following day however, I felt slightly better so I pushed on through and we spent the day Perch fishing in Sweden with one of Sweden’s top Perch fishing experts. Despite still feeling very ill, I did enjoy the first half of the day. But then the cold winds set in and my body felt every gust of wind and driving rain. We got in at 4:30pm, a sociable time, allowing plenty of time to prepare for the live show on kanalgratis. We got to the studio, and then things went wrong….I came over with hot sweats again, this time feeling really faint and dizzy. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the live show, but at this point I started to think there was something very wrong. The kanalgratis team were then on the phone to the hospital, explaining my symptoms. I thought ‘this isn’t good, they’re on the phone to the hospital?!’. Thankfully I didn’t go to hospital, but it did mean that my fishing for the next two days was certainly a no-go as I had to rest. So I called up the airline and brought my flight forward a day earlier. I must thank Johan Ruhe and the Kanalgratis team for not only setting me up with some top fishing, but for their excellent hospitality and commitment to ensuring that I was safe and well. I will certainly be back! And despite not filming as much as I wanted to film, I have come up with some pretty Awesome footage which will soon be out on the TAFishing YouTube Channel.
So as I rest and recover back here in England, I have also been editing hard. Not just the YouTube collaboration, but also our normal weekly videos and a few extra’s which I have had in the pipeline for a while. I am pleased to say that I have finished filming Dropshot Diairies episode 2, and that it will be released in the next few weeks. In addition, I have an awesome little rock fishing video which I filmed over the easter holidays. As for the fishing, well I’m back teaching now so my time is very limited until the half term break. I hope to get out to do some more rock fishing over the May bank holidays, but after the energy -sapping Pike fishing in Sweden and Finland, I think I might turn my mind to more relaxing fishing. Carp fishing will start to pick up soon, as the warmer temperatures arrive, the carp will begin to feed more, so it won’t be long before I am out on the bank in the bivvy trying to get you guys some carp fishing episodes! The beach is also calling, the summer smoothounds certainly put a bend in your rod, and they are possibly the coolest fish to catch from the shore.
LATEST TAFISHING EPISODES:
In typical fashion the weather has messed about just when the tides were good for an early shot at the big Porbeagles. There is nothing you can do about it of course but the amount of times it happens it does make you think a year can easily slip by where you just do not get an opportunity to try for them. This season I do not intend fishing for the smaller pack Porbeagles but rather spend the time chasing something a little more spectacular off Falmouth. There is no doubt in my mind that Mako Shark still visit the area, and I have an inkling that this is the year we will see one hooked there.
Speaking of Sharks I fired a couple of new decals on the boat. Normally I am not a badge and sticker sort but I really liked these done by a great little company www.star-designs.org.uk
Finally I can stop banging on about the trim as the saga is at last at an end. With a very helpful hand from mate Steve Wagg we got to the route of things, the reservoir had distorted ever so slightly. When the o-rings were replaced and the unit tested in a vice it was dry, fitted back on the engine and under load however it let by the smallest dribble which in turn dragged water inside the system. The original reservoir material was a plastic composite, the new one is metal.. tells its own story I guess.
I fitted a new impeller and completed a service just in time for a trip out in Hayling Bay. The ECA Plaice comp was on and Grant crewed finishing the day with a reasonable four fish total, one of which was good enough to nick second place.
There is still a murky aspect to the water inshore which did not help, but as well as Plaice we found Dab, Hounds, Pout and a ton of pin Whiting.
The Bream are now showing as are Gars and the general fishing should improve as the water temperature rises.
The clarity gets better the further you head out with the wrecks producing good numbers of Pollock in particular. There are a group of lads from our club that regularly book outings with local charter Kelleys Hero II out of Langstone. Skipper Ian has a well deserved reputation in working hard to put his clients on the fish and I took up a kind invite to join regulars Steve, Sid and Ray, three fella’s who where wreck fishing is concerned really know their stuff, and Steve B and Kim, no mean anglers themselves making a six man total. Once past the inshore fog it was a glorious day with a flat sea and blue sky.
It was pretty much all day action on the Pollock with a few jumbo Pout thrown in. The kettle was hot and with top company the fishing was good and there were plenty of laughs throughout. Ray with a brace of fish of a stamp the trip produced.
I kept all the livers and innards for the rubby pot and right on cue as we headed in a dorsal fin was spied on the surface. Checking the chart it was right on a contour line I have had a mind to drift for a few seasons now. The Southsea club wrecking lads regularly do the distance in 17-18ft boats and provided the forecast is set fair I have no issues making the run myself. If I can find a partner boat all the better, a twin slick certainly will not harm the chances either.
I cannot finish without a mention of the Bass ruling that is all but finalised. The three Bass per angler per day ruling for recreational fishermen will not affect me personally but I know many who feel aggrieved about it. The ECA has the Deputy Fisheries Officer at our next fishing section meeting who will be making a presentation outlining the regulations and also just exactly how they will be implemented. What we do know is a boat has already been costed for our area so it appears that they intend doing more then just paying lip service to the whole thing.
My own view is that Bass are just the first species with recreational bag limits – Cod and Bream could well be next. As it stands commercial rod and liners have no such restrictions placed on them, I have heard that it is coming, and if the authorities really do have fish stock levels at heart then the commercial sector has to be part of any limit on numbers taken.
Worst case scenario is a recreational rod licence, the fees for which used to police us.
For now at least I’ll look forward to longer days, blue skies, warmer water, and all things Shark-like.