I have to think that some things perhaps are meant to be - holy frigging cow, I can't honestly imagine how the filming could possibly have gone any better !! Shore fishing for bass as you know can be up and down like a yo-yo, but somebody up there must surely have been looking down on us with favour in their eyes because we've got bass to just under 10lbs nailed on camera - and on east winds with big blue skies. When it all comes together like that it's exactly how awesome I remember the filming thing can be................
First thing Wednesday morning and we're bouncing. The open coast is looking about as good as you like, but within half an hour of starting fishing it's fairly obvious that we can't fish through all the weed. I've done the intro pieces to camera but we need to move, and literally as we are packing up that fizzing SW wind falls flat, swings around to the east and the sky goes a lovely summer blue - hardly the best conditions for bass fishing as we all know. But this is Ireland.
We stop off in Dungarvan and grab a roll and some coffee. A plan is hatched that then changes by the time we get back to our Gold Coast house - Ger has a feeling, and when this lad has a feeling I have learnt to trust it. Park the cars, literally walk out of the house and we're fishing. The lads race down to start but I have to hang back as we need a new intro piece to camera because we've moved and we're fishing different techniques etc. I love filming fishing, but a long time ago I accepted that you just can't fish as hard as you want to when you're doing it, and you very much have to rely on the anglers you are with to come up with the goods a lot of the time - hence I fish with anglers I trust. Same with me and my photographs.
So the crew set the shot up, I am yapping some pearls of wisdom (?) to the camera, and then Nick shouts out behind us - "fish on" - the intro piece can wait, because I'm heading down the rocks and into the water to help land the fish and make it work for the camera. First cast bumping a 12g head/120mm body Black Minnow down the current and Nick's landed a roughly 6lb bass. Another load of pressure off the shoulders. We do our stuff with the fish and then release it. Nick goes back to fishing and I head back up the rocks with the crew to do the intro piece.
But as I am mid-flow once more with the intro piece, Nick shouts out "fish on" again. We deal with this fish and head back up the rocks to finish the intro piece, but still I can't actually fish yet because the crew now need a wide shot of the lads fishing - and of course I wasn't fishing so I can't be in this shot. They move into position and start filming, and then Jack hooks a train of a fish. I move into the shot to help him land the fish and things start to get pretty emotional !! Jack's a wreck and I can't actually believe that in these conditions and with the Tight Lines filming that we've now got a 9 ¾lb bass on the Boga - and I haven't been able to even have a cast yet...........
The crew then do their wide shot and finally I can have a chuck. As regards the fishing, we're in Dungarvan Bay and working a lovely bit of current. We're all bouncing those Fiiish Black Minnows along, and although I am sure that yes, other lures might well have worked, the simple fact for me is that these soft plastics just kill time and time again. It's very easy to be cynical and think that this is no more than a bunch of hype, but I've seen so many good fish landed on these clever paddletails now, and of course we've also got these fish here on camera.
As I now (finally) wade out to start fishing, off to my left James hooks a train of a fish that goes and straightens out his lure clip. It seems that the bass are sort of on to put it mildly. Pretty quickly after (finally) starting fishing and I get hit and then say a second or two later the bass hits properly and I'm hooked up to what feels like a decent fish. I know the crew are behind me and because we are miked up and John the cameraman is listening all the time to what I am saying (honestly, poor, poor bloke), I trust that when I tell them I've hooked up they are rolling almost immediately.
Lifting a roughly 6lb bass up to the camera and yapping about it is easy. I love doing it and I know of no other way than to be myself and hope that a few people kinda like it - the hard part of course is finding the bass for the camera, and I put these fish we landed down to Ger and his knowledge/hunch. I know that it's going to be a fair amount of me in these short Tight Lines films, and I accept that it is going to be this way because they have employed me to present them - but it's the people who don't get seen a whole lot that deserve the credit. The fantastic crew, the other anglers, Irish lads like Ger, Cian and James who go out of their way time and time again to help us Brits out - a huge thanks to you guys and I hope these short films help in some small way to show your wonderful country off.
To be honest I am still in a bit of a state of shock that we landed bass like that when a film crew was with us, and I find it fascinating that for all the stunning open coast marks around here, at the end of the day the fish we caught for the camera all came from within the confines of Dungarvan Bay. I love it out here when the open coast is firing, but I also know how important it is out here to seek the bays and estuaries when needs be. Yes, I am over the moon at how well the filming went and I can't wait to see how they edit these short films. I will find out when they are going to be shown on Tight Lines and put the times up here in due course.
Oh, and I landed an 8.5lb bass literally an hour after the film crew left for Cork and their flight back to London. Ireland does it for me yet again........................