Apologies for the delay in the recent News. The website went down due to a nasty piece of malware, and it took us a while to get things back up and running again. Thankfully, the guys over at Bombinate Web Design were a massive help and they got the website clean and back up and running again. Mike has redesigned the whole website, making it much simpler and more user friendly. We hope you enjoy exploring it!
It has been a while since our last E-News, and lots have been going on with the fishing, filming, and website. First, thanks to the two guys that have been helping Mike out with the site, it is certainly appreciated as I don’t have a clue…..nor do I want a clue. I just keep cranking out the fish and films as fast as I can go. One thing for sure, and that is I have been most surprised at the number of anglers coming up to me, completely without warning, to tell me they are avid followers of the films, and that some of our Totally Awesome fishing tips have helped them. It’s what fishing should be about really, and I am hell bent on giving out as many tips as I can to try and help others before the man arrives with wooden overcoat. Just as I think I have given all my best fishing tips out I suddenly remember there are still some clogging up the old grey matter.
I can’t remember what I’ve been catching since the last E-News, but the funniest bit was when I was doing a shark film on “Hi Sea Drifter” out of Falmouth with Wayne Comben. We were due to pack up as the weather was on the change, but with high water at Mylor marina coinciding with our departure time it sort of got put on hold…..for three hours. We suddenly got the giggles thinking about “Wicked Mackerel” as we are both keen followers of the TV show “Wicked Tuna”. So we set about doing our own “Badass Tuna” film. Well I haven’t laughed so much since I got a tax rebate. The short film has been going well, and gave a lot of others a smile as well. Put it in the diary to have a laugh more often.
The section of summer I did miss was river fishing. Don’t ask me where it went, but the cameras never even arrived on all the river banks we had planned. Trouble is the sea fishing (in good weather) will always be a strong draw for me, and once out aboard “Hi Sea Drifter” I’m in a world of my own. I did a fair bit of boat fishing, and got side-tracked with the Catfish up at Finch Farm, where I hasten to add I have been a few times since. Quite amazing the variety of fish in such a small body of water. At another venue I also enjoyed getting biggish carp on a flyrod (I still think a double on a fly is a good fish) and had some sizzling runs from fish up to, if I recall, 17lbs odd. Too cold now, but next year I will try and do some more. I heard of carp to 42lbs on flyrods and getting them out on just a flyrod has a huge new cult following. Many are actually dyed in the wool trout fishermen who realise they can get their string well and truly stretched on the coarse day ticket waters that allow fly-fishing. Makes such a pleasure to move around a lake with the minimum of gear rather than arrive with a removal van and then use a huge wheelbarrow of tackle to catch the same fish. Not a bite alarm in sight.
One species I did find better than last year were the Smoothhound. In the boat I had some cracking scraps with double figure fish, and yes, they are all on upcoming films. Speaking of films it’s getting silly now. I counted on our whiteboard that we have 70…yes, SEVENTY, brand new films to go up. Not some old rehashed nonsense from yesteryear, but new, unseen, just done films. We now have more footage than we can easily edit, I just hope we can keep track of it all.
Other species that have been successful would be the Zander at Bury Hill Fisheries in Surrey. Plus some Pike up at Finch Farm. Bream on the float there as well, though by the time you read this I’m guessing the Catfish will have “lock-jaw”. Had quite a few Undulate and Thornback Rays, though no Thresher sharks at anchor this year. Mind you the weather wasn’t great for a 20 mile run off the Isle of Wight!! There was a foreign trip, my first abroad for about five years, a sad state of affairs when one year I had 21 weeks fishing abroad chasing Marlin, Sharks and Tuna. Oh yes, those were the days. Well, I did decided to have a taste again, and although I won’t be mentioning the place here, we have already put up three films on YouTube showing some of the amazing fish we have been catching and filming. I think the highlight of the 12-day trip was when towards the end of one of the hardest “fish-or-die” expeditions I have had I succeeded in pushing up my own personal list with two more species. One was a Galapagos shark between 6 and 700lbs. Fortunately Liverpool skipper Kevin McKie was on hand to record the wiring on film and on later reviewing in slow motion he could measure the shark exactly, as it was caught on his trace, made specially for him, so he knew the distance between the swivels etc. He reckons the immense shark was somewhere between 10 and 11 feet long!! Nice to have one skipper give me the measurements, while the local boat skipper also put it between 6/700lbs and he is out there most days. That’s twice the size of the World record for the species, but it wasn’t going to get killed and hung up for a record. I’ll settle for a picture/film/release every time. I also managed to free tag a 500 pounder right by the boat, and have footage of my tagged shark up on our Totally Awesome Fishing Facebook. If you look carefully you can see my dart tag, near the back of the shark.
Then there were Yellowfin Tuna. How big??….really big…..like over 300lbs big. The biggest of the season brought in by our own Dave Devine who caught it in just over 20 minutes. I also had several Oilfish, one of which was over 100lbs, at night, using some small mini lightsticks I had taken over. Those two fish alone pushed my tally of DIFFERENT species to THIRTY SIX!!! Something I thought I wouldn’t be improving on again. I’ve had more than 500 fish over 100lbs, but getting 36 different species over 100lbs was quite a buzz. The shore fishing, from both beach and rock was quite simply amazing, and although we all arrived home drained, boy was it worth it. I have put three films up. I made NINE FILMS in total, so more to come.
Some of you looking for a new or replacement fishing boat might be interested in is the sale of Brian’s 18 foot Plymouth Pilot. It has a wing engine, electronics, lots of other bits and is based down on the Lizard peninsula near Falmouth. I have had many enjoyable trips with Brian in “Amarilla”. Some of you may have read the articles in the UK sea mags of the time. Blue shark to Bass. Conger to Pollack. A displacement boat, powered by a Yanmar Diesel it virtually runs on fresh air. And of course it’s only been used on family trips and been serviced in St. Anthony Bay. You can call Brian if interested on: 01494-871933 or 07850 395819.
On the general interest front I heard from Capt Nick Stanczyk today that he has now had 4 Broadbill Swordfish over 400lbs. That’s deep-dropping in broad daylight. If you are a species chaser and the broadbill is on your bucket list, a trip with Nick on the B n’ M out of Islamorada, at Bud n’ Mary’s might be in order. Lots of Bluefin Tuna being seen off the Irish coast. I had a mail this week from Mark Gannon to say a 400 plus pounder had been caught out of Kinsale. Some of the Bluefins are being seen just 4 miles off Courtmacsherry. And they seem to be hanging around later this year. We have also been told of some impending Pike action about to kick off, but cannot say where yet, for obvious reasons. Did anyone see the shocking film put up, I think by the E.A. of a 50 yard net being strung across the River Thames? Looks like a gill net. It killed about 60 bream and loads of perch. I think about 7 Perch were over/around 4lbs?? That’s so shocking. Now if that is happening by a bridge in an area of human habitation can you imagine what is going on out in the sticks where nobody is patrolling in the dead of the night. I must say I fear for the state of our rivers which are just getting hammered from all corners. We’ll all end up fishing commercial stillwaters behind electric fences soon, catching the same old carp, over and over again. And they wonder why I like sea fishing. Mind you, that’s not faring much better either.
If you want stickers for your tackle box or line, lures etc, contact Mike direct on our site. Don’t bother with the web shop as we have got rid of it, he will do what he can direct with you while the site gets reorganised. More fishing planned, so get out there while you can. Target species for November should be Cod from the sea, and Pike in freshwater.
Well after a few weeks of getting the website fixed, it has finally been sorted (thank you Bombinate!) Those of you who do website design will realise how time consuming it is. That tied in with filming, video editing (weekly), and teaching means I have been very busy for the past few weeks.
However, I am still on my half term and I have certainly made the most of it. I managed to get out yesterday evening for a few hours Perch fishing with Dad on a small stillwater. We were fishing with avon rods, a link leger and a single prawn on a size 8 carp hook. The first hour or so was dead. Mind you, the sun was still high in the sky which is usually the kiss of death for Perch fishing. But once dusk approached and the shadows came over our swims, the feeding began! It was madness, I was literally lowering the prawn a rod length out, right next to some snags under an overhanging tree. We had a period of 15 minutes where it was a fish a drop. I even ended up having a double take and landed two really nice Perch. Evening time is the best time for Perch fishing, with both lures and bait. I usually dropshot for Perch, however, the fishery rules didn’t allow it. But bait fishing is certainly an effective method, and Perch love prawns! Keep an eye out for the full episode coming soon.
I have also been paying much more attention to our other YouTube Channel: Totally Awesome Outdoors. This channel focuses much more on outdoor pursuits and DIY videos. Some of Graeme’s famous pallet wood creations are on there, but we also have a few fishing videos on there too. My main focus recently has been Bushcraft. I find it a fascinating topic and one which has really got me in touch with nature and its surroundings. Bushcraft is a huge topic, and one in which children and adults today are becoming increasingly unfamiliar with. It won’t be long before all knowledge is lost due to too much reliance on technology. Thankfully, I am not going down that route and I intent to expand and develop my knowledge of the outdoors, and as I do so, give something back in return, which will be in the form of videos for TA Outdoors. So far I have been developing my skills in fire-lighting and shelter building. I will post a few of the videos below, make sure you subscribe to TA Outdoors YouTube Channel.
If you are in need of some website design or having problems with website security, go and check out Paul and Patrick at Bombinate web design. Very helpful guys with incredible customer service.
More news next week!
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