The familiar pressure of trying to do something as daft as nail fish for film cameras. Who on earth would do it ? Cooking an omelette to order when you need take no account of weather, tides and sea conditions ? Fine, except that I'm not a chef and I don't do cooking on the box. Trying to nail a few bass on lures, to order ? We'll give it a shot. There are plenty of far better TV presenters than me out there, but it's great to be back in the saddle and involved for a few days with the slight madness that is making fishing stuff for the TV..........
The crew got here around 6pm on Monday evening and after they had sorted the camera gear out we headed into Dungarvan to fish for a few hours where Nick had lost a donkey the evening before. Time was restricted, but it's better to be out trying than not, and although no bass were landed, holy cow did we see some fish moving around in front of us, and two or three of us were hit on those MegaBass Dot Crawler soft plastics rigged weedless and weightless. As for the light, well it got pretty special and I can't help but shoot some photos.
First thing yesterday morning and we were out on the Copper Coast, hoping that first light might give us a sniff of a bass or two in the flat calm conditions - no joy though, although to be honest we always had our eye on a longer session out in the middle of Dungarvan Bay. The pressure is starting to build, for although I know the Sky lads could do something with the footage even if we blanked, I also know that a few fish landed are always going to be a little more exciting on the Tight Lines programme.
It's a pretty long walk and loads of wading, so the crew are brought across in a boat by a thoroughly nice local angler called Willie Harty, and mainly because John the cameraman simply can't be in the water for hours on end with a £60,000 plus camera on his shoulder - the gear might well be insured, but if that camera goes in the water it's bass fishing shoot well and truly over. Fishing and then fishing for the cameras are two different things.
Anyway, the fish eventually behaved. I hit a chunky, fantastic-conditioned fish around the 5lb mark right in front of the crew on Willie's boat on a MegaBass X120 that I was cranking pretty fast - and yes, it's one particular hard lure that feeds to my default "weakness" (fishing lures too quickly), because I've smashed bass in the past fishing it exactly that way, and with the rod tip up. Phew.............
Honestly, when you hook and land a decent fish for the camera it's like a pressure valve being released - not only has the short film got a fish, but it means that all the footage the lads are shooting in some fantastic light and in a place as spectacular looking as Dungarvan Bay can actually be used - because that one single fish ties it all in if that makes sense. All that yap to the camera, all the links, the cutaways, the fill shots, the "pretties", now they can be used because one single fish has brought it all together. Nope, it matters not that I landed the first bass for the film, and as we all know it's a big dollop of luck that the bass jumped on my lure, but we're moving.
Cian landed another bass around the 5lb mark on a Fiiish Black Minnow 90 (with 5g Shore head) he was bouncing around over some small weed beds, and then Jack (producer's brother in law and a fishing junkie of the highest order) landed another fish on the Black Minnow. Job done big time. Fish in the bag, footage in the can, nobody fell in with the camera, the weather was stunning (too nice to be honest for the fish to really switch on), and one short film for Tight Lines done and dusted - ok, so Alex has got to edit the thing down and get rid of a hell of a lot of the stuff I have been spouting on and off, but wow is a big chunk of that pressure now off the shoulders.