It’s a tale of success and failure, which is largely what fishing is all about and why many of us go. If everything was guaranteed then it would soon become boring. Our mix of all-round fishing, which is basically all I have done for 50 years, has seen our films get tremendous response in the worldwide angling fraternity. Our growth in Canada and America is enlarging virtually as I type, and Mike told me today we have been getting over 800,000 views a month on our YouTube fishing films. Well that’s simply outrageous as although it’s a load of work, numbers like those are truly phenomenal. Mike is also a “Freebird”…well for a while anyway. He has packed in his Teaching career to try and make a go at filming/YouTube, etc, etc. With your support it will hopefully go from strength to strength, and we are already trying to stockpile as many films as we can.Weather permitting, we can keep on firing them out. We have also been firing out two full films a week, as a sort of thank you to the loyal band of “Awesome Army” supporters. For those who want it, Mike has been able to get a discount special with the Energy drink called “G FUEL”. I’m sure he will tell you how it works, but I think it’s a 10% discount on your total order using the code “Awesome10” on the Gfuel website.
We had a trip to Finch Farm for an afternoon in an effort to get Mike his first UK Catfish. He has already had them to 114lbs if I recall, from Caspe on the river Ebro, but he wants to get a UK one on camera after hearing the epic battles I have been having with them. We had a few carp off the surface on bread to about 6lbs,but he wanted to leave early for football training (in 30 degrees ! later cancelled) and you can guess, he had barely left 45 mins when my bobbin rose, the buzzer beeped its warning and I was into a Catfish that was about a mid -double. Plus I had another take that I screwed up completely! Another trip is planned and hopefully he will be able to stay on till dusk.
I had another filming trip on the river and managed to winkle out 6 Chub to just under 3lbs on freelined cheese. Missed a 4-pounder, not once, but twice!, and that can be pretty frustrating. Fortunately I managed to fish the length of river I wanted without falling in. Result there. I used to do a lot of visual fishing for Chub on the Royalty fishery (Hampshire Avon) and Throop (Dorset Stour), but they tell me the numbers of shoal Chub are down on both rivers, but some larger specimens are still there. I wonder if it’s the otter population eating their way through them? Anyway, I was pleased to find I could still run freelined bait through and see or feel, the instant a Chub sucked in the bait. Maybe I should get back out on those big rivers and see if the method still works there as I have never seen anyone using it. It’s all legering boilies and method feeders with “Zippo” special groundbaits etc. It’s sort of carp fishing, but in moving water. The float angler who can trot a bodied Avon through the streamer weed runs is something of a rare creature today.
Had a run down to East Beach on Selsey Bill with Mike, having collected some hardback crabs from the estuary on the way down. We had a fair breeze from the south-west, and a bundle of annoying weed dragging the leads and smothering the baits, so the result of that trip was….BLANK!…Yes, it does happen to us, and it was a long way to drive for a blank as well. However, that short high pressure slot of a few days allowed us to get “HI SEA DRIFTER” into the water….”YAAAYYYY!” At long last it was floating and headed out to sea. We had targeted one of those inshore wrecks which are on most charts, and although only tiny parts were visible on the Lowrance sounder we used a dan buoy on the wreck, then anchored the boat about 30 yards uptide from it. The day was idyllic, and although we had to reposition about three or four times, each time we did there were a few fish, so obviously we had something right. Mike ended up with 4 double figure Undulate rays, and we weighed the smallest, which I think was about 12 ½ lbs….so I guess we should have weighed the larger ones. Also boated Dogfish, quite a few Black Bream, a decent Wrasse, Smoothhound, several Tope, Thornback Ray and a giant Spider crab. Baits were squid, which I hear is now almost impossible to buy (try Cuttlefish according to Wayne) and some Mackerel we feathered up. I ran two tubs of chum and Rapta oil all day for a Thresher shark on my 80lb Calstar stand-up stick and 50 wide reel, but nothing showed. A great day and Mike got to pull on a few fish as well.
Contrast again….I was out a few days ago way offshore from the Isle of Wight with Wayne aboard his new, upgraded build Wilson flyer, aptly named….”Thresher”. Well we had nothing like the forecast they gave us. Cold, fog, a high 4 of wind and almost 4 knots of tide saw us drift a staggering FOURTEEN MILES before the wind got up to a high 4 and we had to pound our way back to Langstone. On arrival at the ECA slip the sun came out, but all the anglers were moaning about the inaccurate forecast and rough conditions. I think we were the last boat in, and had drifted so far East I expected a beach lead through the window from Tony’s Tackle down at Eastbourne!! So there you have it. Ups and downs, which is pretty much what it seems this year. And August can be a pretty dour month both at sea and in freshwater. I have several more cards to play over the next couple of weeks, so expect some fish in there somewhere. If you get the chance or a day fishing, better take it as I feel it’s going to be one of those years !!