Monday, 29 December 2014

The Moped Diaries, Fishing, work, life, love and loss

The Moped Diaries from Lucky Treehouse on Vimeo.

I wanted to get this on video just so i could ware out the video tape

Friday, 26 December 2014

Making A Weight Shift Balsa Fishing Lure Part 2 of 3


It is Boxing Day and it is cold enough to snow, even the weather reports are predicting a drop of the white stuff but as usual they have overdone things and are calling it the start of the next ice age. I am testing my weight shift lure while my wife complains about the loss of feeling in her extremities. There are no pike in this lake and no perch of any size; a winter fish kill a few seasons ago took its toll so I am casting for leaves, pleasure and the camera.


Pike Pride



Ireland if it was not there a group of fishermen would have to invent it.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Seabooms a silicone alternative for soft plastics



Having taken to pouring soft plastic fishing lures in the garden on sunny days because the rest of my family do not share my liking for the smell of napalm in the morning, this looks like a decent alternative.  Seabooms.com is the kind of company I like; small, from the UK and run by a guy who gives a shit. So maybe when I have worked my way through the 5ltr of liquid PVC I am sitting on I may give the silicone a go.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Happy Birthday, Tangles With Pike and Scouse Anglers

It has been a long time since I have sat down and read a book, and longer still since that book was about fishing.  There are a few solid reasons for this; the first is the internet which is not strictly reading in the traditional sense but it is a very useful source of fishing related stuff and dancing cats. The other reason being I really have not had much luck with fishing books. With some angling authors I have wondered if they would have been better not writing about fishing altogether, but concentrated on their favorite topics; the immense size of their testicles and how brilliant they are.

As it was my birthday I felt the need to buy myself a present that would of been difficult to get hold of using the unreliable method of dropping hints to loved ones. Luckily Dominic Garnett’s new book entitled, “Tangles With Pike” is just off the presses and with a little forethought I ordered a signed first edition from his website which despite Britain’s postal service arrived on my birthday.

I am not one for penning book reviews as having to write reports about memorably dull books at school has scarred me for life and I feel if I was to write a review it would in some way be a victory for my english teacher who was shit.

Back to the book.  This is really a collection of short stories about Dominic’s own brand of pike fishing which he treats less like a religion and more like a pleasant drug habit. Along the way he gets to bump into some fellow addicts and the odd bit of fishing royalty all sandwiched neatly with a bit of travel.  

That is the hard stuff out of the way, what I like about this book is that quality in the writing that transports. I can watch a video and it is great to see Robson Green shouting about losing some monster fish on some tropical jaunt, but it is not going take me there. By contrast reading a few lines from this book and I am away in Finland pulling perch from pristine water or sneaking along some stretch of semi urban canal to put a bit distance between myself and the town’s delinquents.

Should you buy this book? I don’t bloody know but I wonder if I had spent the £15 on a spool of braid would I have gotten the same pleasure, would I have travelled and would I have learnt anything worth knowing. Cheers Mr Garnett and keep dipping them quills in the ink and occasionally in some water attached to a hook and a worm.   Link to Dominic's Site

I also need to say thanks, to all those fellow lure makers who sent birthday wishes. I think apart from the Artic and Antarctic I got a happy birthday from somewhere on every continent and thanks to google translate one of them came out as “Happy cow feast”


I spent the best part of the day practicing filming with Jordan and Jordan to local lure nuts and youtubers (The Scouse Angler) on a stretch of canal close to the city centre. It was great to get away from videoing myself carving lures and see another side of filming. It gave me some great ideas for future films and projects. I also felt little old realizing I had left my glasses at home and also watching the pair of them flip lures round like Jedi’s with graphite sabers. I put together a little experimental intro to a video and hopefully I can get out soon with them again.



Thursday, 18 December 2014

Spintec, Making a Salmon Spoon



Making salmon spoons at Spintec, a little factory on the Ribble in the north of England. Spintec also supply parts fro making spinners and flying c's.

spintec.com

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Making a balsa weight shift lure part 1 of 2


The warehouse is actually colder inside than outside where the wind blows clean off the river and the docks. I am trying to finish a project I am working on, a giant dog puppet that has dragged on far too long. Next to us they are filming a rock video. The band tell us they have flown in from Brussels to work with the director and drop a name which being an old git I am not sure if it is the band or the director, either way I nod.    


When they return to their green room I get a few minutes to marvel at the camera cranes, huge tripods that carry very expensive digital cinema cameras and the bits of track they have laid out. I am left feeling a bit amateur. Apart from my camera, a pair of cheap lights and some tripods that have seen better days my kit consists of inline skate wheels attached to a plank of wood for a slider, a swivel chair and some gaffer tape for doing circular panning shots. They have a swarm of go-pros and I am still sticking my camera in a plastic lunch box to use in bath.  Jealousy is never a pretty thing and it is far too close to Christmas to be thinking of buying myself presents or kit. 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Pickadoll Lures




Although this video is in Swedish luckily for us David Wikberg the lure maker realized that fart jokes need no translation.






https://www.facebook.com/pickadoll.lures

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Gunki Rotterdam 24hr street fishing marathon

Teaser du Gunki Iron Tournament from FishMe Magazine on Vimeo.

Part of the 2014 winning team at this event was Willem Romeijn better known as WR Baits, lure maker, film maker, pike hunter and street fishing champion. Me jealous? well just a little bit, but here is one of his films to take the edge off it.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

3d Printing Soft Plastic Lures With Silicone



This is a bit clever, the age of 3d printers have arrived and maybe i should hang up my tools and get programming

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Guppy Lure Company, Made by Fishermen for fishermen



I like the description of their early lure making days; secretly producing them at home but only when his girlfriend was away working.

Link to Guppy Lure Co.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A wood lobster

It is hard to explain, or understand the level of craftsmanship in this piece and i have watched it a couple of hundred times


Wood spiny lobster from 3ga9 on Vimeo.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Scanout



This is a really nice bit of film from the people at Scanout.com Normally I hate Mission Statements, even the idea of it makes me a little uneasy but I think I could work with theirs


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Making a Fisherman's Friend or Altoids Tin mini tackle box



It is funny but i remember having a job i hated and i had to visit a customer whose company was just along the road from the Fisherman's Friend Factory. I used park up opposite the factory for cigarette and take the time to wonder why i was doing  a job i hated so much when i could be a fisherman. Now i carry a little reminder just in case i should ever think of taking a job like that again.

Vav wobbler

Making the world a better place by having so much laughter at work.


Monday, 3 November 2014

Making Lead Squid Jigs

My favorite part of this video is the power wrapping of the jigs using an electric drill, like many things in life it is over briefly but none the less satisfying.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Fisherman's Friend

I used to visit Fleetwood home of the Fisherman's Friend factory for work.To call Fleetwood the arse-end of nowhere would be an insult to arses. But in fairness to Fleetwood it is not as bad as Heasham, a town a little further up the coast which boasts all of Fleetwood's lack of charm but with the addition of a nuclear power plant as a focal point for the town.



Sunday, 26 October 2014

Traditional Fishing on Coniston

This is a film is about the traditional fishing techniques and a little about the tackle used to fish for char on Coniston Water in the English Lake District.



Saturday, 25 October 2014

Scott Anderson, Nutterjack Lues (Simple well Done)

I often find something refreshing and original about Australian lure makers and Scott's work is no exception. His by-line is "simple well done" and its a good description but i would have to very well done.

 http://nutterjucklures.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.nutterjucklures.com/

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Making a Spybait fishing lure from PVC foam board



I am not sure that spybaits should work, well catch fish I mean. Apart from the slight flicker of the rotating blades they do bugger all and after spending a great deal of time getting lures to make some kind of dying minnow performance it can be a bit unnerving. Spybaits supposedly stem from Japanese bass fishermen hacking shop bought lures by removing the lip and adding props, but rather than floating like traditional prop baits spybaits sink and run almost silently. Not having bass population within a thousand miles of home I took my little creation out piking.


It has to be said they do cast like rockets but with little or no resistance on the retrieve It feels a little like pulling a fly though the water rather than a lure. I am used to feeling the head tug of minnows or the deep vibrations of a spinner through the braid, but with a spybait when fish hit it is a bit of a shock with just a bang out of nowhere. So with a few fish caught under my belt I suppose I have to admit they they work but like any new lure it is going to take me some time to figure out just when or even where to use them.




Making a Spybait Tool Sand Materials


Friday, 17 October 2014

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Lure making with Blackbay Lodge

Send a bunch of Italian, Lure makers, fishing guides and a filmmaker to Ireland the home of big pike and let the magic happen. This is where i want to go to when i die or before.   http://www.blackbaylodge.com/en/

 


Monday, 13 October 2014

Nishine Lure Works

Hand built lure porn, traditional wood carving meets resin   http://nishinelureworks.com/

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Friday, 3 October 2014

Monday, 29 September 2014

Rockstar Lifestyle

An old video but it shows Clive of Rockstar Lures (http://www.rockstarlures.com/buy-rockstar-lures/) rebuilding a giant spinner on the water






Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Making Hard Plastic fishing lures on the lathe and Glide bait Leaders





Being taught how to fish


I am not sure exactly which side of midnight it was when I finished editing and reviewing the video before leaving it to upload. The kids, or one of them woke me around five am and I was up to check if it had all worked out with the upload while I slept. An hour later I was stood on the street waiting for a lift to a lake out of town. I was showing a new fishing buddy one of the lakes I normally fish when there is enough petrol money in the kitty.

At the lake it was still enough for a little of the previous night’s, cool air to have hung on in the shadows while the sun poked at the mist. We made our way along wading in the shallows and throwing shiny things about until the water deepened. It was not too long before I got my first taste of action as a largish pike took one of my soft plastic grubs close in.It walked, danced and rolled and then cut my line above the trace. I wound in and inspected the clean cut braid remembering it was 50lb.

A few minutes later Rolandas took a jack twenty yards away. I moved up the lake and it wasn’t long before I heard some more splashes from his direction, twenty minutes later he was shouting and I ran back to find him with something a little larger. So I was being taught how to fish again and as a good student I raided his tackle box for another spinner to match his. It didn’t work and by lunch time we had finished and it was off for home. Three to nil, but what a morning by the water.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Making a Coffee Packet Mackerel Rig



I think I had forgotten how far the Island of Mull is from those other places that seem a little crap by comparison. I am sat on rock, well a stack of rocks wondering if I will ever be able to leave and also sadly realising that when the week is over I will have to. Below is the only point that a good depth of water meets the rocky shore for a few miles of coastline and on either of it shallow reefs extend out. The water, Loch Scridain is a finger of the North Atlantic that cuts deep into the side of Mull. On its northern shore the cliffs of the Berg stand guard over its entrance; its layers of basalt from forgotten volcanoes create a layer cake in the landscape for the climate to pick away at. To the North West smaller islands in the chain break up the horizons like pieces of scattered shrapnel. And then to the north east, Mull’s central massif sits robbed in folds of mountain at the head of the loch. I have my back to the Ross of Mull the southern shore, which is a lower landscape that feels a little less dramatic, sat amongst such kin.

My set up is very basic if not a little wrong , I have 12ft carp rod designed to throw weights in ponds not the ocean, 50lb braided line on a medium sized fixed spool reel, a feather rig made from a coffee packet and lump of lead. To get some distance I have been making half-hearted pendulum casts rather than my usual off the ground casts which really wouldn't make sense amongst jagged rocks. I have two strategies on the go, the first is the simple chuck, let it sink a little and then retrieve in long pulls; this should find some mackerel that tend to run a little higher in the water column.

Plan b is to let the weight sink all the way to the bottom and then retrieve with jerks letting it drop back so it is never far from the coalfish and pollock that like it a little darker. So far this has landed me a good sized pollock and as I am not great at estimating weights I measure the fish on how many adult portions I could get out of it, and by looks of this one it may be six. The rest of the fish have been a little on the small size and have gone back but as yet the Mackerel have failed to show, well there is the rest of the week.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Making Pike leaders (traces) with crimps



The reason I began making my own pike leaders or traces as we call them in the uk, was the poor quality of those I found for sale in tackle shops. After losing a couple of lures though thankfully not fish to the shop bought variety I decided I could probably do better myself.
I have been making my own leaders for a few years now and I have yet to have a one fail on me although I do still manage to lose some lures to snags but it is always a snapped piece of line that comes back to me not half a broken leader. This particular leader is my standard bit of kit for middle weight lures and although it is not exactly a delicate thing it takes the abuse I tend to subject my tackle to in its stride. If I am stepping up a lure size to a glide bait I normally go down the much heavier solid wire route. But if I am perch fishing in water where pike may be present I tend to go with a light uncoated wire of about 12lb with twisted ends rather than crimps.

Although I own about six different sets of crimping pliers or crimpers I tend to stick with the Savage Gear ones because of the multi pressure points, these same plier or very similar are available from other makers like Fox and Greys. I have over time tried a number of different methods of crimping with different pliers and at this gauge of wire I really haven’t come to any conclusion as to which is best as none have failed. After doing a bit of vice testing of different methods I found the simple method I used in the video to be as good the more complex.

Length wise I tend to stay up over fourteen inches with about twelve inches being the minimum for use with a very short five foot rod I use for perch fishing. Sadly I have found a number of six inches leaders and lures stuck around the jaws of pike I have landed, these have obviously been bitten off from peoples line as they were a on the dangerously short side, but still six inch leaders are for sale in tackle shops.

See video descriptions for tools and materials list

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Priest and the Postman



The guy is wearing a large electronic tag on his wrist; it almost looks like it has been saved from the set of an old sci- fi movie, one of those ridiculous visions of the future that came true. This is the new postman; we have two now, one who works for the queen or the royal mail and this guy who works for some company that I imagine operates out of grey clad buildings on grey industrial estates run by grey managers, who drive grey cars.

I am waiting for someone to answer the door as my family feel that even though I am a little over forty. I am not yet responsible enough to be trusted with keys. I ask the new postman what crime he has committed to be wearing a tag and he tells me that it is to scan the letters before he posts them and also give his global position to the base. I hold out my hand to take the post but he tells me he must post it through the letterbox as it is company policy. Then I wonder if this guy travels globally like Santa delivering letters, but I think I already know the answer to that question.

As if to restore my faith in humanity me wife opens the door while complaining loudly that my incessant bell ringing will not reduce the amount of stairs she has to descend to open the door.

Trout Priest Drawing of




Monday, 2 June 2014

Bulletproof glide bait part 2


Bulletproof Glide Bait Drawing and templates


Silver Carbon fibre lure

The first fully formed carbon Kevlar object I remember coming in contact with was a kayak. It wasn’t any old kayak it was a specialised wild water racer; a boat designed to plough through raging torrents at speed. Even as a kid I knew this was something different, a seventeen foot piece of sculpture with a look of polished granite weighing little more than a small cloud. Carbon Kevlar is a composite (a combination of two or more materials); a resin which in the case of the kayak was epoxy combined with layers of carbon Kevlar reinforcement.

To cover my fishing lure I wasn’t really looking for strength although anything that can reduce bite rash has to be a bonus, what I wanted was the look, that kind holographic quality. When I discovered a product described as silver carbon fibre, let’s just say I got a little over excited. The fact is there is no proper silver carbon fibre but there is Alufibre which is glass and aluminium fibres woven together that produces a material that looks like carbon fibre with added bling.

Composites can be a bit of a pig to work with as I found out with early experiments trying to wrap it around lures and get some kind of decent finish. In a factory setting moulds and vacuum, bagging equipment are the norm but even for OCD lure maker that looked a little expensive and maybe overkill. Instead I opted for a simple flat sided lure and combined with homemade flat sheets of epoxy and fibre laid up on a piece of plastic box file. Despite the simplicity of this method really stunning sheets can be produced that once incorporated into a finished lure lend me that same feeling of being stood next to that kayak.

To glide or to jerk

Despite the internet making the world seem a little smaller we don’t all share the same views when it comes to naming lures. In America there is the glide bait but in Europe the same lure would be called a jerk bait, were as jerk bait in America would probably be called a wobbler in Europe, confused? Well get over it and let’s move on, I will stick glide bait but if I mention jerk baits I mean the same thing.

What do glide baits do?

Essentially a glide bait glides from side to side in a pattern often called walking the dog, although if I had a dog that walked like this I would be looking for a refund. I once asked someone with a science background if he could give me a quick explanation of how a glide bait does what it does and he said that any short answer would probably be just B.S. so here is some well-crafted B.S. For a glide bait to work in a walk the dog way it needs a bit of input from me the fisherman, a jerk of the rod tip with a fast crank of reel will pull the lure forward, once the rod tip reel are briefly still the moving lure wants to keep moving. The trouble is the lure has no real aim so wanders off to the side. On the next jerk of the rod the lure does the same thing but it first turns back towards the rod before wandering off to the other side. A steady pattern of jerks and pauses will create a steady walk the dog track for the lure. That is a simple explanation but there are obviously a lot more factors that go into determining how the lure and angler perform and as with all lure varying the retrieve will often bring a little more interest from the fish.

Why fish like glide baits?

I have no idea. What glide baits do have in their favour is weight and power, jerking a glide bait moves a lot of water and most fish are sensitive to sudden water movement, some fleeing from it other like predators attracted to it. Another advantage is not just moving forward it can move wildly from side to side and therefore covering more of the water but also all the while not racing out of range of potential predator strike.

Tools and Materials list for Making the Bulletproof Glide(Jerk) Bait Fishing Lure



Friday, 30 May 2014

Devon Minnows,Trout and bloody rain

Image Above: Homemade cane (bamboo) Devon Minnows

Images Below: Trout and Priest

Wind Turbines at Royd Moor, above Scout Dyke Reservoir, Yorkshire

The reservoir had filled since my last visit a little under a year ago when a summer drought had lowered it until it had taken on the feel of a dry dock in the process of being drained. The rough stone banks had gone and the water now reached around the bases of the trees meeting the grass in small bays. A healthy growth of weed and pads hung about the more sheltered stretches of bank and out of view of the imposing dam wall the waterscape felt almost like a natural lake.

The last weather forecast I had heard had been a little over-enthusiastic and what had started as driving rain in Manchester had subsided to a drizzle over the heights of the Pennines. The drizzle despite being unable to dimple the water’s surface had quickly soaked through my jacket marking my clothes beneath with damp patches around the seams.I was not alone everthing was touched with a sheen of water from the barded wire to the blades of grass, while the low cloud muffled the wind turbines until they sailed like ghost ships across the moor above. I had visited an agricultural supply shop on route and bought a pair of green dairy over-trousers something I hadn’t worn for a few years. The assistant kept pulling out small and medium sized pairs from the pile before getting closer with a large. I advised him to add enough X’s before the L to make it look like a large roman numeral. The trousers turned out to be a wise investment as my legs were the only part of me that stayed just damp instead of saturated.

I had come with three basic requirements for the day to fish, film and test a few things; if I could combine all three and catch a fish on video while testing a new lure it would be gold. Sadly the rain never stopped long enough for me to get any footage apart from some cutaway shots of tying on bits and bobs under a tree. Fish wise the reservoir is stocked with rainbows and a few brown which have to go back, there is also a good head of perch.

I began casting some cane Devon minnows and after a couple of hours and having changed enough times to have worked through the selection I had brought I hooked on a micro wobbler I had made last year hoping it may do me some good on this bit of water. Three or four casts later and I was into a rainbow. I had forgotten about the speed these things can kick up but it quickly came back to me as the fish shot round the bay tail walking as it went. When I finally banked it like an amateur I kicked my bag into the water behind me, normally this would mean just a bit of wet tackle but it was holding my camera and a couple of lenses. I dropped the fish and grabbed the bag before it sank, luckily I had, had the foresight to wrap my camera in a plastic bag to protect it from the rain. The camera was dry but the lenses had taken water and I dried off and drain them as best I could. Meanwhile, the fish being free on a grassy bank sloping down to the water unhooked itself and made its own way back foiling my plans for a fishy dinner. A passing dog walker unaware of the chain of events that had led to me standing in the rain swearing at myself was little taken a back and almost broke into jog to escape the scene.

When I had gathered myself a little a wave of relief washed over me as I remembered I had caught a fish with a previously untried lure. I caught another trout at the next bay guaranteeing dinner and then predictably threw the lure into a tree overhanging some very deep water. At this point I decided to return to car to dry out my clothes, the lenses and reassess the general direction of my life.

Slightly less damp I returned to the water and managed to get something to tug on one of my Devon minnows but it failed to make to the bank. Looking for a second fish I tied on a flying ‘C’ minnow and it quickly proved itself by filling out my bag limit. With a few hours to left to fish and feeling eager to avoid trout and treble hooks I thought I would try a bit of drop-shotting for perch using some of my micro soft plastic worms and new hooks I have been doctoring. I casted around the weeds and overhanging branches but failed to find a single perch, the trout however were throwing themselves at me and in a couple of hours I lost track of how many I had caught the single hook making it easy to unhook them in the water.

It never stopped raining but by late afternoon the drizzle had slowed until it almost hung in the air like wet dust as the distant wind turbines gained some definition to their outlines.


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Down with Abu




I am suffering from a deep need to fish, I have boot full of tackle, I am less than few miles from the lake and the traffic is not moving. Ahead a helicopter is trying to land and I am guessing it is an air ambulance. When the lights change I cut across behind the stationary traffic and do a U-turn and briefly enjoy the empty lanes before turning on to a small road and heading across the countryside.

Even away from the main road the traffic is backed up through villages not used to dealing Friday evening’s commuters. It is slow going; each junction holds its own torture. When I finally inch my way into the lake car park it is empty, although the line of traffic I had escaped from is moving slow enough to be considered for parking tickets.

It is not long before I am stood in some water and the traffic is forgotten. I am here to fish and work out some filming ideas; two things that I find seldom go well together. I have found a fish but it hasn’t found the hooks, there is always a chance if I set the camera going and recast it will make another appearance. After half a dozen badly aimed casts the pike finally makes contact with some metal and I am in, the only pressure now is to land it for the camera.

When It is back in the water and I have had chance to get myself together and check the camera was actually recording I spot crack in the handle of the rod. The carbon fibre that runs beneath the handle has split; this is not the first problem I have with this rod. Part of the reel seat broke on its first outing, I should of sent it back but I am a tinkerer and I added a brass ring from an old rod and re-whipped the reinforcement at the joint with some Kevlar thread and epoxy That re-whipping is now holding the handle together well enough for me to continue fishing. I could just blame myself for buying cheap fishing tackle but I do not believe spending another hundred pounds will make me a better fisherman or bring home anymore fish.

The reel I am using is also a cheap Chinese import, a copy of an earlier abu bait caster. The reason I bought it was as a spare to and Abu pro-max reel but to be honest the Abu is a piece of crap and I have stayed with the import. The Abu cost over a hundred pounds and I also should of sent it back after a couple of months, it never really performed; too much plastic and too little engineering and quality. I have older Abu boat reels (7000i, seven) which I used to use almost daily boat fishing in the Atlantic, and to be honest these are a tools that just work without any questions, a little rinse after use, some oil some grease and I have friends for life.

The truth is that high prices these days only guarantee that a lot of money has been spent on advertising and sadly Abu seem to heading down that route. Will I buy another Abu Reel, probably but it will have to be old school and pre-owned. The rod handle will be repaired but I do need to build my own rod.

I pick up another three small pike and miss some in equal measure before my camera battery dies and I think about going home on some empty roads.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Fits, jerks and bad advice



Why is it always the guy who hasn’t got a fishing rod in hands or looks like he has ever owned one that is willing to give you the benefit of his advice when you’re fishing? This evening I was given a list of things by one kind passer-by that I was doing wrong, including using the wrong lure, wrong rod and wrong spot. When he finally pissed off I went back catching pike.

It was not the greatest of evenings and I had hoped to do a bit of filming with a glide bait, but despite the forecast for a rain free couple of hours it was chucking it down and blowing a gale. I had taken four jacks and the rain and wind had only eased long enough for me to actually get a small amount of video of me releasing one little fella while stood in the water.

I am beginning to like jerk baits but I have no natural rhythm when it comes to the retrieve. I can only dream of walking the dog or even getting some kind of steady glide going for more than half a dozen jerks. Instead I manage to get them to dance something like my father at a family wedding which the pike are rather keen on.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Everything all at once


My life at the moment is getting in the way of making videos. I am part way through half a dozen projects for other people that range from building an articulated two man dog puppet, a rostrum camera for animation and photographing plants for a book on herbal remedies amongst other things. Today looking for a break from the jumble of things to do, I went out with various bits of tackle, some lures from the part 2 of the bullet proof lure vid and three self-cocking floats for another project.

To be honest it was not float fishing weather; a warm almost summer gale made casting a very random affair and getting pellets out with a catapult almost like crop spreading. I settled in until most of the bank holiday anglers had packed up and I even manage to catch a couple average sized bream despite having no idea what my float was doing between the peaks and toughs.

I almost had the lake to myself save for a couple of dirty faced kids who didn’t look like they would be missed at home anytime soon. To amuse themselves they had found a small dead carp which they had hooked on one of their lines and were pretending to catch it every time a new dog walker passed.

I packed up my float fishing kit and got my little jerk bait rod out and clipped on a bullet proof bait and slung it across the lake. Within a few jerks the water erupted and then a few second later came another lunge but no hook up. I casted again and after a few retrieves I briefly felt tug but no prize.

I walked the banks and began stacking up a tally of missed pike, one almost tail walking as it breached for the lure. I have never been so happy and disappointed with a new lure. After a long bank holiday weekend of overfishing at the lake it had become a little soupy and visibility was had dropped to a couple of feet, they pike obviously could feel the lure pushing water but probably lacked the accuracy without proper vision.

After finding some more blind pike and swearing a lot I backtracked a little and finally hooked up with an average sized jack . In the panic I realised I left my unhooking mat hidden in a bush with my chair and was about to step into the lake when I realised I wasn’t wearing wellingtons either. I got the pike into the net and with quick flick the hook came out and he was back in the water kicking up some more mud as he darted off.

Happy days, just got to finish the video

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Making a Bulletproof Glide Bait





I am starting to feel at home with my camera and to be honest it has been I long time since I have felt like that. I used to love stills photography I mean really love it, but to get there I had to get past the camera. It wasn’t that I had to understand how it worked as a machine; I had to know it almost as if it was just another limb.  Video is a little different, the image doesn’t stand alone it is part of a narrative something to hold the viewers’ attention or transport them through the story.  

An old picture of the River Mersey a long way from the sea


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Making a soft plastic fishing lure: The Uber Grub



)

I didn’t know if it would all work out, I suppose it seems foolhardy to make a film about a lure that I haven’t tested as well as using a process at its extreme.  When I opened the mould after the first injection, there were a few nervous moments to say the least.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Making DIY Injection Molds For Soft Plastic Fishing Lures



In the tackle shop they are talking about the next life, this apparently is not a new online experience but reincarnation. They have covered slavery, the ‘three seats of power’ and whether the council can ban you from their premises. I unfortunately have arrived mid flow and the conversation looks to building momentum rather than waning. Paul who is sat next to me passes me the Angler’s Mail to show a giant pike that was taken from a river and then goes on to tell me about his last fishing trip with another Paul and momentarily I feel like I have joined a club of Pauls.   


My visit to the tackle shop has little to do with buying anything substantial, just to pick up some bits and pieces, wire crimps, swivels and whatever shiny bits take my fancy. By the time the shop owner has called for a time out in the ongoing debate my mind has been blanked by talk of the Illuminati. I buy some things and leave them to their talk; well at least it has killed some time while my video uploads.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

LRF, well almost


a little bit of light rock fishing on the East Float




LRF On the East Float, Birkenhead

I am not very good with labels; it seems like latest one, LRF (light rock fishing) should stand for something new, despite that in the tackle shop the old gits tell me they have been making little worms from bathroom sealant for longer than they can remember. When all said and done I am no stranger to dangling bits of fluff and rubber off piers and landing some little monsters. But I think like all labels or brands LRF is a bit aspirational, and my trouble with it is that it seems to be something that is vaguely cool and for most of my life if not all, cool has always been some other country I would of liked to have visited.

So I set off to do some kind of rock fishing with light gear in the docks where I had fished as child with garden worms and a rod bought for me with my grandfather’s cigarette coupons. Instead of a selection of miniature soft plastics I had tied up some micro sabiki rigs with size eight hooks on 6lb fluorocarbon line and rather than just lash on some curling ribbon I got the fly tying vice out. The inspiration for my newest lure venture had come from another handmade fisherman Jan from the south coast of England who had sent me some standard sized rigs he had tied himself based loosely on one of my mackerel feather rigs from the videos I had made. I say loosely because it is fair to say he had taken them to whole new level and by all accounts has been going home early from his fishing trips due to reaching his personal bag limits rather more quickly than expected.

Where as Jan had used fur, at short notice I could just about rustle up some marabou from a bag of craft feathers and a bit of flash borrowed from some Christmas decorations. For thread I had sewing thread in some garish colours all topped off with a drop of nail varnish. After dropping no.2 son off at school it was off the docks.

Dockside I sat in car testing the air temperature by winding down the window down far enough to
realized that even with the vast amounts of insulation tucked into my clothing it was not going to be enough. Undecided on whether to stay or go I was finally encouraged out by another hardy soul who was threading line through his rod eyes at the far end of the car park. Out in the wind I set up quickly while I still had the use of my fingers and dropped my feather rig into the water. There was to be no yanking or long cast this was LRF, all be it a bastard form. I made delicate taps and tweaks to the line imagining myself performing tai chi, which I then realized was Chinese in origin were LRF is Japanese inspired so I tried imaging myself as graceful geisha but I couldn’t really find a mental connection between high class prostitution and fishing with feathers plucked from a turkeys back.

It was a baby cod that fell for the dance first in a little spot sheltered from the wind by the rear end of a Mersey ferry. I made my way along the dock to fish and chat to the other fisherman, who as luck would have it was making coffee on a stove in the open boot of his car. A mugful later I was feeling almost human again with just a touch of freezer burn on expose parts. I took a few more fish finger sized specimens and a whiting before I finally succumbed to the elements and retreated to the car.

Was it LRF, who gives **** I caught some fish, shared a coffee pot and some of my ludicrous fishing stories, my rigs worked and I got to come home with all my fingers.

Image above: Jan's rig, Cheers Jan

Image below: Iris's rear end

Making soft plastic paddle tails part 2



I think all this messing around with soft plastic is making me long for a knife and a block of wood.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Making Paddletail fishing Lures and messing with lollipop sticks


So the final thing I have to shoot to finish this film is some footage in the bath, not of me thank god but the lures. The only problem being is my small underwater camera is dead, it flicks on and off randomly, then it demands a charge and shortly after refuses it. I resort to finding a clear watertight box I can fit another camera into. The only other problem is I have only one very wide angle lens and my youngest son decided to throw it across the room so it no longer focuses. I sit down with lens and some micro screw drivers and an hour later after finding which piece of glass inside was out of its seating and putting it back the lens is working.  For the enclosure I empty one of my wife’s clear acrylic storage boxes that houses a collection of tea that smells like it has been stored since the opium wars. On request my son brings me a pair of underpants to pad out the box and I press the movie button, place the camera inside, close the lid and hold it just under the surface of the water. Lights, action, camera and I am sitting on the toilet holding a camera  while pulling a piece of soft plastic through the water as my fingers go numb; all the glamour of Hollywood.

Later when I have finished editing and six hours have past while it uploads I sit down once again with my micro screwdrivers and this time with my original broken underwater camera. When it is stripped down I remove the battery, it is a Samsung and looks like a mobile phone battery. I ask my wife for her old mobile and take the back off it.

The new battery from the phone is the same length and width, it even has the pins in the same place, its voltage is the same, but its amp hours are a little lower and it is 2mm thinner. Having made a film about lollipop sticks I know that they are about 2mm thick. I reach for the tub of sticks and snap one in half and slide it under the battery then put the camera back together. When I press the button the camera fires up, it has all its bars and I wait for it to fail, but no it is working perfectly. 


Lollipop sticks, bloody lollipop sticks, I have decided to carry them on my person at all times.