Earths Wildest Waters - The Big Fish
Episode One - ICELAND
The filming for episode one of The Big Fish was in Iceland. Stunning landscapes and bitter weather!
Challenge One: Kayaking in the Isafjorder Fjord fishing for as many species as possible. I caught 2 scorpion fish and a Dab and actually won this challenge.
Challenge Two: Local Challenge - Cod: We were in teams on boats using hand jigs for the famous Icelandic Cod.
Challenge Three: Brown Trout - was a two day challenge held at Lake Thingvallier. This challenge was tough, it was the first day of the season and the weather was horrendous! Icy wind from all directions and sideways rain! It made casting a fly line very challenging, the iconic brown trout in this lake were beautiful, but unfortunately I failed to tempt one to take my fly, I was really disappointed at the end of this challenge. Iceland was a very challenging beginning to our journey, but I am sure there are many hidden treasures to be found in Iceland and one day I will go back to find them!
Episode Two - CUBA
Episode Two we headed to Cuba! Cuba is an amazing country full of colourful homes and old American cars. We arrived in rain storm and drove 3 hours in terrible conditions to arrive at our homesteads.
Challenge One - Bonefish : ay one we were after the legendary Bonefish, fly fishing from skiffs. The water was flat calm and only about a foot deep in places. It was the most intese fishing I has ever done, casting needed to be quick and acurate to intise the fish to take the Crazy Charlie fly. I managed to land two Bonefish, I I truly felt I wasn't worthy enough to have caught them!
Challenge Two: was the local challenge, we were given an inner tyre and a hand line and our teams headed out into the Bay of Pigs to catch as much as we could. I caught the one and only item for our team, a squid but unfortunately it did not win the challenge for us.
Challenge Three - Tarpon: The final day we went after The Silver King, the two days couldn't have been more different, the first day was windy, cold and raining, and the second day was sunny and flat calm and Tarpon were rolling everywhere! On day one the Tarpon were deep and on my last chance of the day I hooked what I was told would have been a 100lb Tarpon, but we had been given lures with un-forged double hooks and the massive fish bent the hook apart and it was gone! Gutted One day I will go back for him!
Episode Three - LAOS
The third week was a strange choice if I'm honest from a fishing point of view, it had been planned so that we would be in Laos for when the rains arived. The rain makes the Meekong river rise, become the colour of chocolate and that stimulates the fish to migrate and so fishing should be off the hook. But..., the rains had not come, it was hot hot hot 42 degree and 80% humidity and this was very hard conditions for every one involved to work in.
Challenge One: ay one we fished with poles for as many fish as possible, Dan won this with a two small catfish.
Challenge Two: The local challenge was the most fun we threw nets from dug out canoes to catch small silver fish in our teams, we then were shown how to cut down bamboo to make kebab tongs to cook the fish. James and I won the challenge and I won overall with the most caught.
Challenge Three: The final two days saw us using as many methods as possible to catch a big catfish, we all fished hard but to no avail, no one caught a thing, only heat stroke. I will be honest and say Laos will not be on my list of countries to return to to fish!
Episode Four - COSTA RICA
Costa Rica was the location for episode four. This was an important one as we were battling it out for a place in the semi finals. This country is stunning!! The Crocodile Bay Hotel was just amazing and we were so lucky to be there.
Challenge one- Rooster Fish: We were paired up, I was with Dan, we flipped a coin for sides of the boat and put out our lures and baits. I managed to land 3 beautiful Roosters, these fish are unbelievable with stunning dorsal fins, I also caught an absolute monster of a needle fish (which was left out of the TV edit) this fish was over a meter long! It gave a good aerial display as I played it in. I came second in this task.
Challenge Two - he local challenge: Dan and I were a team again, and we had to battle massive wave to through nets to catch bait then use the bait to catch fish on hand lines. I couldn't wade out as far as the boys, so had to fish within my means, this paid off as I caught a little snapper and lovely Snook, I was told there were 8 types of Snook and the one I caught was a big one. With this Snook I won the challenge!
Challenge Three: Sailfish : The final challenge was trolling for Sail Fish, this was full of excitement, tension and then frustration as you rely completely on the boat going over the right bit of water to attract a fish. I saw nothing!! For two whole days!!! I will be going back to get that sail one day!
SEMIFINAL - BRITISH COLUMBIA CANADA
The Semi Final!! So four of us made it to the semi final in British Columbia!
Challenge one - King Salmon - Down rigging - We had a guide who we could squeeze for information and tips. I caught 2 beautiful salmon, my first ever salmon. I came third here, Sam and Dan did really well and caught some nice fish.
Challenge two - Bull Trout - Fly fishing - We were left to our own devices here, were were put in teams and sent to catch as many bull trout as possible. This was tough as we had no guide and had to use our own water craft to catch fish. I chose a quick sinking tip and a heavy headed fly, I saw a large log in the centre of the river and thought the fish would be using this as a resting point during their run. This paid off as I caught two trout, one was the biggest caught at 4lb. Sam and James caught a Bull and a Rainbow each, so I won this challenge having caught the most Bull trout and the biggest. This was my most favourite task, and getting to fish in the most stunning scenery was just breathtaking.
Challenge three - White Sturgeon - Bait - We had two rods each and used lampray and salmon egg balls to tempt a sturgeon, I caught 2 small sturgeon, then towards the end of the challenge my rod bend over and I was in to the biggest fish I had ever fought. It kept running and we were in fast flowing water, we chased it, I bought in in then it would run again. The fish appeared to get caught and stuck, we moved to boat around and I got it out, but the hook had bent and after a 40 minute fight it shook the hook. I never saw it. This was heartbreaking and will haunt me forever.
This was my favourite location, and despite my catching in all rounds and winning the most technical challenge the bent hook cost me a place in the final. I still feel it was not a completely explained decision, and felt I had earned my place in the final, but I had the most amazing time and made some fantastic lifelong friends from this experience.
Check out my blog to see what happened the next day after the judging! Click the link below!