Well, I cannot remember the last E-News I typed up. That’s what happens when you have work to do. Priority is the key in any business, and I cannot afford to take my eye off the ball with the properties as that is what enables us to fund both the T/A Fishing Show and the T/A Outdoors Show. The latter growing at a phenomenal rate, and we constantly keep setting our own little records for viewing figures. Of course we cannot compete with the short viral vids, as ours are full length instructional where hopefully beginners to the sport can learn and maybe even be entertained. We are on the road to a staggering 100,000 subscribers, and remember that is entirely home grown numbers. Which can only point to the Shows being popular. As soon as we get reasonable numbers on a film we see the copy cats trying to mimick our methods, but that’s the way it was always going to be. We soldier on as the saying goes..”We lead….others follow !!” .
I think I went at least a month without fishing at one stage as I was trying to work on three different properties at the same time, one of which was Mike’s new pad, so wifey obviously ensured that one received the most attention. Everything from decking builds, to decorating, concreting to shed fitting. All good fun, and of course there is nothing wrong with working 12 hour days. It’s just the 26 in a row at 64 years of age can stretch you a bit. Then there was our own place, and mowing upwards of an acre of lawn takes an entire day with two walk behind mowers. And the weeds?? What are they feeding them on this year. This is Hampshire, not Papua New Guinea. Anyway, hopefully it is easing now and I have been trying to get out when I can. Today I just returned from doing a film at Finch Farm. Only a small fishery but some great mixed fishing there. A bit early for the Catfish yet, but I managed 14 Carp to 9lbs, a Perch, a jumbo Goldfish !! and a skimmer. Then a few days ago I had one of the best days ever, over at Bury Hill Fisheries in Surrey. I had already been doing Crucians there, but wanted to try a new, basic bait from the Supermarket. Just £1-35 a kilo, it was nothing short of epic and I buckled the Avon rods on 16 carp up to 10-12. A muggy, drizzly, low pressure day. Ideal for fishing, most came under the rod tip on a quivertip rod that tried several times to launch itself into the water. Epic!!. Then I recall a great day fly-fishing down at John O Gaunt’s lake in Hampshire. Rainbows on long casting, with some great filming done, and yet another film in the edit library. I am actually starting to stockpile again, and already have started putting them into a 2017 file!!…Might seem a long way off but many of you appreciate the fact that we work extra-long hours to get a regular Friday film up, plus a midweek, and one for the T/A Outdoors Show as well. That’s 3 films a week, so you can see why I need to stockpile.
We had an invite from TV people that wanted me to catch and cook some fish, but to be honest I would sooner keep working our films onto YouTube, where you fishermen can watch them 24/7. The trouble with TV is, once you have seen it…that’s it…gone forever. Unless its repeated. Whereas YouTube is on all the time, and remember, all our films are brand new. Some we get up within two days of actually filming it. So if you have seen the “judging” or “fish cooking” films on TV you’ll know we actually turned them down. Now if somebody in TV land really wanted to put some serious money into something it might be different. But I guess that won’t happen as I have spent over 50 years in self-employment, so getting told what to do wouldn’t really sit well.
The old boat has remained dormant for 6 months. I can’t even be bothered to drag it all the way to Devon for a big Porbeagle as we’ve done it, filmed it, everything. Maybe if we get a settled spell in the summer I’ll try it, but the trailing, launching, recovery bit gradually dulls a bit when you have done it many times before. I think I was “glutted” when I had the 600lb Galapagos shark on a trip last autumn, and got possibly the best footage of this species ever filmed. Check it out on our playlist if you haven’t seen it. And I tagged them to 500lbs as well so really the UK sharking scene is not high priority for me. Also, the collection, process and storage of the entire chum I used to get through won’t be done on the same level I used to. Maybe just enough in the freezer for a chance day afloat, but not the stinking dustbins full I used to keep in a dark corner of the garden. Back at the end of the season I did get a huge Brown trout. It was thought to weigh 17lbs, so that was quite a rare catch for me. You are the first to hear about it.
As for the coming year, well I hope to get river fishing done. Don’t care where it is, but Barbel, Chub, Dace, virtually anything would be great. For some reason we never even got time to go Barbel fishing last year, which is shocking. Must do something positive this season. Plus there are less anglers about on the rivers as it’s what I call “proper fishing”. Not the legering with carp rods and boilies for the one huge Barbel,but freeling,trundling, stret-pegging and long trotting that all require a tad more skill level, and thereby…enjoyment and satisfaction. Let’s just hope the rivers don’t flood.
Oh yes, I must tell you one thing I was impressed with. Dave Roberts, at Bury Fisheries, is a matchman. He rigged me up with…wait for this all you Specsavers users…size 20 hooks to nylon!!…That’s right. I could barely see them let alone bait them, but on 4lb nylon hook links I was truly amazed at the incredible holding power such a tiny hook has. Carp to almost double figures on a float and my 13 foot match rod folded double and yet they still held. I don’t think I lost a fish on them, except “bumping” them off when I masked the bait with too many maggots. So don’t be frightened of using small hooks, especially if they are getting you the bites.
Mike has another three months to run before he chucks in his full time teaching job to run the YouTube films. Let’s hope there will still be plenty of fish around when he packs up, so he can take some of the pressure off his Old man!!….Nah…I love it really. Sure it can be tiring after a week’s work, but then lots of you guys are out there working for a living, so I can sympathise with you when work takes priority. The last thing I would want to be is a fully sponsored angler who has to constantly sing the piper’s tune that pays him. I like my freedom. And to be honest it must get a bit boring doing the same old thing all the time. I like work. Especially physical stuff. It’s what makes you appreciate those fishing days more!!…
Whatever you are fishing for this week, let’s hope it stretches your string!…