Can't see how the filming could have gone any better

Cancelled flight, iffy weather, delayed by nearly a day, pressure building, but wow when the Isles of Scilly is on, it's on in a seriously spectacular way. We had no more than about 2.5 hours of daylight to try and nail the bulk of a short wrasse fishing "film" that will go out as part of a Tight Lines programme on Sky Sports pretty soon, and as much as that might sound like a fair bit of time, filming requires that you get plenty of other shots besides simply fishing - and then it does rather help if the fish are feeding, and also it's kinda nice if we get a drop of decent light as well. Well we got the lot, and more. I feel this short filming trip was very much like my recent jaunt over to north west France - sometimes it is surely just meant to be. I honestly can't really believe how well the filming went, to the point where I can't imagine how it could have actually gone any better in fact - ok, perhaps some rugged, expert fishing presenter who professionally smooth-talks his way through the thing like a hot knife through butter would make it the perfect short film, but instead you get me (older, less "chiselled", and no more mature, smooth or self-controlled than he was when he last filmed) and also Del and Neil into the bargain. Plus silly numbers of wrasse and then some rather tidy pollack for a short pollack fishing film as well. Gotta love the Isles of Scilly because those clear waters are just crawling with fish......................

But as we all know, fishing is not about simply flinging a line in any old place at any old time. I give all credit for the fish we caught to my mate Del, for once again he came through in a quite brilliant way and he made some great calls on where, when and what to fish for, and that is so important when you are filming. We really did catch silly numbers of wrasse - ok, nothing massive, but if you are catching fish and getting good sequences for the camera then you fish away and hope that perhaps a monster or two jump on the end. You can't do any more than that. I have been on all kinds of fishing shoots before with all manner of different results, but this was one shoot where we could not have asked for anything more. The trick when filming is to stack the odds in your favour as much as possible - the Tight Lines people were interested in filming wrassing on plastics, and as much as there is of course some good fishing around me at times, we are nearly in December and I need to go and fish/film somewhere where I feel very confident that we can catch fish almost whatever way the wind blows. Sitting around not being able to film is a complete no-no, and I know that the Isles of Scilly gives me a huge number of options - and of course my friend Del lives there, and he's completely wired into the local fishing and I trust him implicitly on projects like this. You all go fishing and you know how many variables can come into play - well my job when helping to set this sort of thing up is to have plans and then back-up plans for those variables..................

We filmed a bit more wrasse fishing yesterday morning to try and tie up a few sequences and give a more rounded feel I suppose to the film. There was little "technical chat" because Keith and I will most likely talk a bit about wrassing on plastics when we are in the studio, and I have to say that it pleased me immensely not to have to yap to camera too much about rigs, lures and gear - yes, I love my fishing gear, but locked-off tackle sequences on camera hardly make for the most dynamic television.

Del wanted us on one of his pollack spots at dead low water yesterday, so off we scrambled across the rocks to a mark I have fished with him before, and where he had this 9lb fish the other day. One thing you have to do when filming is to slow down across the rocks and help the crew out, because these guys are not remotely used to rocks as we are, and that camera, spare lens and tripod weigh an absolute tonne, cost a frightening amount of money (the camera setup was worth around £50,000 on its own) and they need some help. We started fishing and had nothing for a while and I do admit to feeling a tiny bit twitchy, but mainly because we were on a tight deadline for catching a flight back to Newquay yesterday afternoon and our time was therefore limited. But it's the Isles of Scilly and I will never, ever understand why those magical islands aren't crawling with shore anglers. As Del said, the moment that current started to run and the pollack came on the feed big time. Del and Neil had some decent pollack on camera, I weighed in with a couple of "lesser" pollack, and we all lost a few tidy fish - which is pollack fishing through and through, and especially when there is a big reef in front of you that you have to get the fish up and over from depth. I love this kind of fishing and I can't believe how little gear we were losing compared to when we used to deep-spin with say 3oz leads, running ledgers and of course non-weedless hooks. Those 25g head/120 size body Fiiish Black Minnows killed for Del and I, although to be fair Neil did express his own concerns that Del and I had some pollack come off when using them - I think this is going to happen sometimes when a decent fish hits the reef, and to be fair again, Neil looked to have an absolute horse of a pollack on that sadly came off on a jig head/soft plastic setup. The Isles of Scilly came through again and the crew nailed all the footage and more that they needed for the pollack "film", and in no time we were rather sadly breaking down the gear and heading up to the airport to fly home. What a fantastic couple of days. We even had a school of porpoises corralling bait shoals and attacking then out in front of us when we were pollacking, and I can't wait to see the footage of that. Thanks so much Del and Neil. Every time I go to the Isles of Scilly I fall more in love with the place...........

I will give you a little example of what it's like to film fishing - you want to fish all the time but you can't, and you have to accept it or else you're going to drive yourself mad. On that first afternoon I needed to do what is called a PTC (Piece To Camera) to introduce the wrasse fishing film. John the cameraman and Alex the producer decide on the shot they want and set the tripod (sticks) and camera up. Del and I are wearing radio-mics for sound recording purposes, but this PTC is up to me to nail as quickly as possible because we have so little time before it gets dark. Now beyond me and crew are Del and Neil on a rock, fishing away. While I am yapping about who knows what to camera, out of the corner of my left eye I can see Del and Neil hook and land wrasse after wrasse after wrasse !! However good or bad my PTC is, I still have to do it at least twice so that the camera can come in on a different angle to give cut-away shots for editing purposes. And all the time this is happening I am half-watching Del and Neil hammer fish while at the same time looking into the camera lens and dishing our pearls of wisdom/who knows what. I loved being part of the filming process once again, and especially when it goes as well as it did. It's a fantastic buzz to help "build" a film like this and now it's down to the editing and what they make of it. I absolutely despise watching myself on TV, but I have to say that I am actually looking forward to seeing what becomes of the footage and all the good stuff that came together in such a short space of time.................