My video output has been at best limited (see my YouTube channel here), but I have enjoyed the little bit of filming and editing work I have done myself, whilst also hoping that my two younger brothers who both work professionally in the world of feature films don’t see their elder brother’s distinctly amateur efforts! Most of the stuff I have played around with so far has either been to help promote the co-guiding work I do over in Ireland, or otherwise it’s been a few how-to do something and some very simple lure rod casting videos. It’s only a bit of fun and I would never lay claim to being any good at it by the way.
What continues to amaze me these days is how we all seem to have some way to film our fishing if we want to, whether it be a mobile phone, GoPro, or my pro stills photo gear also having the ability to shoot incredible quality - albeit it also needs somebody with proper filming and editing skills to make it look good! Almost anybody can shoot stuff and get it out to an audience, and whilst I have little interest in those unedited, stick a GoPro on your head videos that are all the same fisheye kind of angle for seemingly hours on end, there is also some really good fishing related stuff out there that I am sure you have all seen. Editing, editing, and more editing, and holy cow does editing take time.
And I would continue to argue that lure fishing for our various saltwater species can look seriously impressive at times. Put the fish and locations and conditions together and I’d put the actual fishing experience up against anything when things come together - but if you are going to properly make a fist of putting together “short films” if I may be so grand as to call them that, how on earth do you go about protecting where you are fishing? To make a halfway interesting fishing film you’re going to need a mix of all kinds of shots to edit together, but by trying to do things properly you could end up ruining where you are fishing. Take a look at the fishing video above for example - I doubt it’s “blowing the mark” as such, but aside from a couple of (dead) big bass, to me it’s pretty boring to watch. One angle, bad sound, wonky horizon, as good as no editing, but on the flipside it must be bloody hard to try and film yourself fishing and also make it look visually appealing.
So why the whole secrecy thing? Come on, you know as well as I do that there are any number of reasons for trying not to divulge where you are fishing to an increasingly prying world - I don’t need to preach the bleeding obvious here. You must surely be aware that many of those fishing and catch photos especially you post wherever online are most likely being poured over for clues to where those fish were caught. Look at the photo above as an example - it’s a place where a few of us really enjoy lure fishing. Sometimes it can be pretty good, and for the most part we know it’s not going to be crawling with other anglers. If I shoot further left or right of that angler then anybody who knows the coastline will know exactly where we are fishing. It’s not some highly secret mark that only throws up monster bass (I wish!), but we kinda like it how it is. Could that also me deemed selfish on our part? We live on an island with far too many people as it is, and I would always argue that being able to tuck away and fish in relative peace and quiet is part and parcel of going fishing.
So how on earth would you go about filming a place like that? When it’s on it can be a blast, and even with my limited filmmaking skills I reckon I could make at least an ok short bass fishing film there - but to do so you need a wide range of shots, from lovely, wide establishing shots through to rods bending, fish splashing etc. My urge to mess around with this filming lark is nothing financial by the way, rather it’s just me being increasingly interested in it all, and especially having been the bloke in front of the camera in the past when in fact I reckon it’s a lot more satisfying and indeed skillful creating the material and then putting it together.
And before you say hang on Henry, why the short bass fishing film from our co-guiding work over in Kerry? Well John and I spoke about this before I ever did any filming work, and we both decided that with the amazing lack of other anglers we ever see over there (seriously, we can go days and days without seeing another angler) and the fact that John was comfortable with doing it, then why not? So why not film other parts of Ireland then Henry? Well I have been entrusted with a lot of bass fishing location based information over the years, and I take that trust very seriously. Even if for whatever reasons I don’t fish anymore with some of the anglers who have kindly divulged a lot of info to me, I will always do what I can not to divulge those locations - and if there is one thing that would divulge them it’s shooting proper video. And before you go shooting me down here, yes I take stills, but I am bloody careful about what I show in them, and I would fully expect anglers who know those exact locations to recognise where those photos were shot.
But I don’t see a way around this with video work. I’d love to mess around with drones and multiple camera setups and what have you, but to make at least moderately interesting and exciting content I just don’t see how it’s possible to properly do so when you are having to so severely restrict your shooting angles. It is obviously no worries if you’re shooting somewhere so bloody remote like the outer atolls of the Seychelles where virtually nobody can get to anyway, but imagine all those lovely quiet places where you go lure fishing were suddenly splashed all over YouTube or whatever. With the numbers of anglers always looking for better places to go fishing (and we are all in the same boat here, however much of an expert you might be), I can’t work out a logical way to overcome these issues. Any ideas?
Please note as well that we are not talking about Saturday afternoon and the rugby events that took place. I have to say seriously well done Ireland and indeed France, but it’s worrying times…………...