Matt’s Top Fishing Tips
My favourite fishing spot
There are so may places I love to fish. At the moment I am in love with fishing the Dorset Stour for chub and barbel. Having said this, you cannot beat the sheer wildness of a lake Windermere pike on a raw winter’s day. When I am overseas I love fishing on the Baltic sea for pike in Sweden and I also love saltwater flyfishing in Cuba. In recent years I’ve developed a love of summer seatrout fishing with the fly. We fish all night, on the Tywy in Wales, wading up to our chests in water – it is truly electrifying stuff and I long for those warm summer nights and a pool full of leaping silver bars.
Norway also ranks very high up my list and it is theplace where, having married a Norwegian girl, I spend my summers. Norway really is one of Europe’s last great wilderness areas and the variety of fishing, especially on the fly is truly outstanding.
A useful tip for novice fisherman
Try to go fishing with as many good anglers as you can. You cannot beat being taken under the wing of a really good angler. If you can’t find anyone who is much beter than you to fish with, read as many instructional books and magazines about fishing as you can – they are packed with useful tips and advice.
Don’t get stereotyped. There are many ways to catch carp and it is often being differen that brings the results. Stalking carp on a float at close range, surface fishing -these are just two examples of techniques that everyone talks about doing and yet when you go to busy lakes everyone is sitting behind an armoury of rods with baits hard on the bottom. The real key to catching carp is locating them. I often spend hours watching the water before I decide where to fish. When I do cast in, you can bet that I am sure that I have fish in front of me. That’s infinitely preferable to turning up and turfing out in the first comfortable spot you come to.
Most Surprising Bait
I’ve caught fish on all sorts over the years. I’ve caught fish on bare hooks, on lumps of cheese from my sandwich, on cockles, mussels, prawns and all manner of supermarket foods. Perhaps the most unusual capture was a twenty-six pound mirror carp on a spinner and another mirror carp on a big deadbait I was fishing for eels. Over the years I’ve stunk the kitchen out numerous times when playing around with foul-smelling bait additives. Monster Crab, a very fishy flavour indeed, is possibly the most obnoxious – it not only permeates every room in the house it also gets into your hair, clothes and into your skin. It catches a lot of fish though. The biggest bait I have ever used was a hunk of tuna weighing almost twenty pounds. We used the bait to catch a great white off the Australian coast.
How to become a pro-fisherman
Just about every kid I bump into expresses a desire to take over my job. The sport is desperately short of new talent and every year we look for the new faces coming through, only to be disappointed. The fact is that fishing ability is only part of the formula needed to make it to the top. Indeed, it is the other aspects of the job that cuases most hopefuls to struggle.
Of course, if you are going to make tv programmes or feature in magazines, you have to be a really good fisherman. It goes without saying that if you can’t catch the fish you won’t get the work.
Most people imagine that my job is all fishing. It is not. No-one, myself included, gets paid to goÂ fishing. I am paid to entertain, instruct or communicate. When you make a tv programme or shoot a mag feature, it is not simply a matter of going fishing and waiting for the camera to follow your every move. Programmes and features need to be workedÂ at and often involve doing lots of set-up stuff and not so much fishing. You also have to catch fish in places that are ideally suited for camera angles and that often means fishingÂ swims that look good rather than produce the most or best fish. Also, you have to be prepared with all the baits and rigs you will need to create a good feature. Finally, you have to work with the cameraman or photographer, stopping fishing regullarly to allow him to record all the painstaking stuff that helps fill the feature or show out.
The money involved in the sport is not great when compared to other sports such as football or golf. In order to make a living all of us have to find ways of earning money. In my case its making tv shows, running my own tackle company, TF-Gear,Â attending shows and exhibitions, attending meetings etc., The end result is a busy life whereby professionalism is vital: it means turning up on time and being prepared; and it alsoÂ means being able to write material and take good photographs.
So to any youngsters whom are keen to fill my boots, I’ll give the following advice: study English, learn photography and be realistic about what is involved in being a professional fisherman.
That said, its a great life and I’d recommend it to anyone!Â Â Â