Recognise the bloke with the green top..

Recognise the bloke with the green top..

CRAAASHHHHH !!!!!  You would think the computer crash that almost everyone has at some time or other should be accompanied by some noise. But it doesn’t. It’s silent…almost imperceptible…and extremely frustrating. I was sending some emails, shut down, made a tea, and suddenly remembered I had one more mail to send before racing off to  do some plastering. However,the computer refused to let me in, would not recognise me as its true master, and made me feel as though I was the problem itself. After ten minutes of repeating procedures (why do we do that? You know the first time you are not getting back in) I thought a trip to the garage might relieve my stress. A club hammer to the hard drive perhaps? Maybe I should fire up the chain saw and zip the entire screen in half. Or the vibrating chisel, tunnelling my way into the mother board slowly, so the computer could feel every minute. They do say every cloud has a silver lining, and while I couldn’t see it at the time, it really did turn out that way. Phil Williams, who actually got me fired up with enthusiasm to get our website going had Phil Jnr, a computer whizzo, to hopefully salvage what I thought was a disaster. Phil had actually made a bespoke build of the unit so I reasoned he may well know the key. However both Phil’s lived up in Lancashire, about a 4-hour fast drive north up various motorways. Of course I could have used a courier, but with two days not being able to get on the computer I was gradually leaning towards the dark side….that meant watching some of the mundane rubbish on the television. So Sunday morning, at 5am (shocking time to wake up) I was ready, and hit the road northwards. Phil had told me to bring a fly rod and the big camera as Charlie had a spot on one of the reservoirs up in the Pennines that might just throw up a trout. When I got there, it was a case of forget the fly rod and look at the tide tables. Even further North, over the border in Cumbria, was a spot the lads fished when they were blown off from their small boat trips. It was great for Flounder, a species that for some unknown reason has been decimated down on the South coast. I had no beach gear, but decided to stand back and let the locals do their thing. Black lug, close in casting in a beautiful estuary, with a blue sky, light wind and….eerrrr…no fish! At least not for the first thirty minutes as the tide, being a spring, was roaring down the channel on the ebb. If there was any Flounder holding its own in that current, I wanted to see it!  Muscles like a WWF wrestler I would think. But Phil decided on a walk down the beach, looking for any sort of slower current. I filmed Charlie doing rigs, then Phil phoned to say he had a Flounder. Gear was moved down, and there was indeed a slack spot where the current was farther out.Well ladies, let me tell you we ended up with a majorly successful film, with Phil and Charlie wheeling in big,fit,firm bodied Flounders on every single cast. Phil was only on one rod, and Charlie was using two, going from one the other, even getting TRIPLES of big Flounders! It was easily the best Flounder fishing for medium to big fish I have seen, and it was really good to know that somewhere in England still has some great beach fishing. Of course you don’t need to tell the locals that. They were lined up like a row of Herons on the edge of the mud. Hopefully we can crank you out this one as a pre-Christmas special, so keep watching The Totally Awesome YouTube channel. (And Phil Jnr managed to get the bug out of my computer as well). I actually left their place at 7.30pm, and decided to try the big hit driving home. Tired, but happy, I had driven for 8 hours, filmed, been to Cumbria and all in one day. I don’t think I have ever driven so far in one day to make a film.

One of the benefits of taking the long run up to Phil’s was that there was an outside chance they could get a bug out of my slide scanner, which has stood idle for the best part of three years. For those who may not know, I started writing and illustrating fishing articles for magazines way back in 1968. In those days it was all transparencies (slides) for best reproduction qualities, and of course now it’s all digital. However I have still got an immense double filing cabinet of some 20,000 slides and black & white negatives, both of which can be scanned into digital by the Minolta scanner. Well, Phil Jnr has that hooked up to my computer and has it working again, so I will soon be able to show you younger people a few of the specimens, catches and scenic from thirty or more years ago. You can then judge for yourself just how badly some of our sport has been allowed to deteriorate. Few otters and we rarely saw Cormorants and there were no Red Signal Crayfish either. Nor was there the threat that sectors of anglers would kill coarse fish for eating. Fishing was pretty good back then, but of course we never realised the pressure it might fall under, as we have today. I’m just hoping I don’t hit the wrong button on the scanner, and at least get to show you a few “fishy scenes”.

Last week’s work went from painting to plastering, furniture clearance to stripping out bathrooms and cutting/capping all the pipes ready for the plumbers and gas fitters. More editing at night, paperwork and a thousand other jobs. This week looks even worse as many of the tradesmen I call in are up to their necks in finishing other jobs, and we all want to get cleared of any backlog before Christmas. It’s going to be manic for sure, but providing the weather doesn’t go sub-zero we might even get a few fishing trips in. I’m not a lover of cold weather, and if it does arrive I’ll probably hit some beaches and see if I can’t get a Cod or two. Could mean a hefty drive to somewhere like Dungeness or Sandgate in Kent, but compared to my drive to Cumbria and back in one day it will be like a cruise. Black Lug tipped with squid, grip leads, dark moon and spring tides might be my best shot. The thermal long johns are going to get a dust down in readiness (might even get a wash !), and I may even fire up the old Anchor pressure lamp and see if it stills throws out that even glow of comforting warmth over the rod rests and beach. Whatever you are going fishing for…Good luck out there…Graeme.


Well I have been report writing for the last 2 weeks and having just finished 120 reports I can now relax (slightly, I still have lesson planning to do!) But I have got my head down to editing and this weeks videos are actually going to feature me! We will be having a MIDWEEK MADNESS on Wednesday at 7pm and of course our normal Friday full length episode at 7pm.

Did some Perch fishing on the weekend with Dad. As usual we didn’t actually get going until at least 1:00pm so we only had a few hours of light to fish. The Basingstoke Canal was the venue of choice. It wasn’t a red letter day, but I did manage a few Perch and Dad landed himself a Pike! Most of the Perch were actually caught on a baby deadbait which we caught with the aid of the landing net. Dad managed to hook a Pike by free lining the bait with his hand which I have to say was something to see! Sadly, we weren’t filming, but we did get a few small videos on the iphone for our facebook followers.

I will be busy editing again for the next few weeks. Only got a few more weeks left of work and then it’s the Christmas Holidays where I will most certainly be wetting a line! Be it coarse or sea I don’t care I just want to get out and catch me some fish! Well done to Rob Andrew who was the winner of our new TA OUTDOORS YouTube channel subscriber competition. He received a signed DVD and some free stickers from us.

Good luck to anyone out fishing this week!


Shore fishing for cod and conger eels

Shore fishing for cod and conger eels