Wreck fishing for record cod

[Music] We have invited a few friends to join us swapping guns for rods on a sea water fishing trip We are heading out from Eastbourne Sovereign Harbour with Deep Blue Charters

Weíve chosen this particular vessel with Steve the skipper, because this is the boat is responsible for landing a record breaking cod The largest ever specimen caught by a rod in the English Channel Novice Chris Procter battled for half an hour to reel in the 43lb 9oz fishzilla We are of course expecting great things, but just in case, Steve suggests we bring along some experience as well as beauty Father and son team Adrian and Tim Colliver are on call to ensure a decent haul and to tell us all about their rotten bottoms

What I am doing here is Iím just setting up the rig for what we call gilling, so we drift over the wreck, we lie the tackle down and this is a shed and then we retrieve it by winding in and hopefully the fish will come up and grab it Itís got a lot of weight on it, you want it to go deep That is a weighted lure So itís got weights inside it? It has indeed, and that trace is probably 4 or 5 feet and when it is connected to a boom and a weight, the weight is attached to the boom, has a rotten bottom in case it catches in the wreck A rotten bottom? Yes, so if it catches in the wreck the line will break and hopefully we will retrieve the tackle

And gilling? Gilling is what I said, itís lowering the lure to the seabed over the wreck and retrieving it and hopefully the fish, bass, cod, pollock will take the lure, put a bend in the rod and there we go Bend in the rod The lure is all important, jelly worms and rhubarb custard are apparently irresistible to cod and pollock The pollock particularly like jelly worms pollock do? Yes, so it has to be something which has a bit of movement

Itís the action, thatís a rhubarb and custard and they are very good they work extremely well, catch a lot of fish these ones The weather is fantastic which is a good job as we have got more than an hour to get to the ship wrecks of plenty There has been plenty of talk about sea sickness too Sporting Shooter editor Dom Holtam vowed never to go sea fishing again after a stag do up north where he was told that beer and water donít mix boy Sporting Rifleís Tim Pilbeam recommends plenty of eating throughout the day

As for my old friend Keith Curtis, it is a bit of a busmanís holiday as he runs Brickfarm Lakes, a trout farm fishery in East Sussex Incredibly, however, Keith has never ever caught a fish With nausea at bay, we are out at sea when we reach our first wreck of the day The white Loch Ness monster style arc on the left of the hump is our fish We are told to drop our line until we hit the bottom and then reel in 20 turns

We hope our side winder lures will prove a tempting snack for cod and pollock Tim is the first to get a nibble, rhubarb and custard proving to be too tempting for this little pollock Next in is Dom with another pollock As much as we appreciate Adrian and Timís efforts no one else is getting a chance with rhubarb and custard which keeps delivering the fish for Colliver junior Just the size cod that dad, Adrian, likes to eat and kiss

Now hereís a moment to share, fish farmer Keith catches his first ever fish in his mid forties, a lovely looking cod He is dedicating it to his wife Sophie this is for you There is no stopping the man, heís struck again, but it is a pouting described by the more experienced anglers on board as the turkey twizzler of the ocean, so he puts it back to save our taste buds The weather might be bright, but the wind and the tide are coming from different directions

This part of the film does not contain flash photography, but a wobbly horizon as we chat with skipper, ex-british team clayshot, Steve Bradshaw Youíre known to the world as a shooter originally Yes And youíre in the middle of the sea How does that work? Iím not sure really how itís happened, Iíve always been involved with fishing and shooting, so mainly from small boats myself and fishing on weekends and progressed from there really

And this boat, you are out most of the year? Yes, every day Itís quite a commitment Most mornings, it can be And a cash commitment as well, itís an expensive piece of kit isnít it? Youíre looking, most charter boats, new charter boats now, a 40 foot decent boat, youíre looking at in excess of £150,000 So quite a big investment for a start, yes

And you are really going for it as one of the top boats in the country? Yes Weíre out an awfully long way? Weíre a long way from home, yes Yes, we are closer to France We are closer to France at the moment are we? Most boats donít go this far off shore? Some of the top boats will, yes I wouldnít say most of the top boats, but a lot of the top boats will certainly put the mileage in to get customers fish

And what has this yielded, what sort of records have you pulled out? I currently hold one of the largest UK cod in the English Channel from this year, being a 43lb fish Was that the one that was in all the papers? Yes, Iíve had a good season, a good start to the season with lots of double figures well into 30lbs, lots of fish around 30 One previous to that 36 A lot of good fish And this is about getting people into fish for sure, into fishing

Yes, sure, yes definitely Itís one of the sports where you never know what is going to happen With shooting pretty much, in a field of shooters, your top ten shooters will always come out on top all the time, but with fishing you never know whatís going to happen While we have been chatting Dom has been catching Heís got a cod so heís stopped thinking about being sick

On a day like this, when itís sunny and warm and not too rough, but Iíve had some bad experiences, I wonít lie to you David, it can be pretty unpleasant and Iím pretty fearful I may vomit before the end of the day The other members of the party are fairing better even though not all are having the same success as Dom Iím just hoping for that lure to come up, but nothing is happening at the moment So whatís fun about it? Well, I think actually seeing the fish come out as previously is absolutely fascinating looking at them and the whole concept of dangling this thing down there and these fish just grabbing is just brilliant It really is good, so I just rather hope I can catch a fish in a minute thatís all

You own a trout fishery Keith and today you have just caught your first fish Thatís right How does that work? Iíve never had time to go fishing before Is it a very high powered, high intensity job running a fishery? Itís a busy time, itís a busy place to run I have to give all my attention to the fishery

Tim is now on fire, 3 fish in quick succession and Dad is starting to feel the pressure Caught by my boy, again, again Adrian is Jonah 6 or 7 now Dad isnít it [Laughter] We move to another couple of wrecks and get some attention from the gulls and low flying gannet as Adrian guts his or should I say Timís catch

We are making our way back to base and have one last spot to try Adrian is drinking at the last chance saloon, but manages to save face with a codling Got one after many hours of blanking There you go, thereís my tea for tonight Once we are back inside outer harbour a match debrief with our experts

So we had a pretty good day Yes, not bad, half a dozen or so You couldnít go wrong, every time Yes, just one of those things trying to ring the changes a little bit with the lures, mixture of I think a couple of pollock rest were cod I think, bit of a mixture You used different lures

Yes, started off with the rhubarb and custard, had the first 3 or so on that Probably lost it Yes, Heís not bitter you know, you can tell heís not bitter at all The fish came quite early, wrecks, how many wrecks, fished 3 wrecks today? Yes, 3 or 4 First wreck produced the majority of the fish quite early on

I donít know if they got spooked a little bit after we had been on there for a while Tried a couple of other wrecks and you pulled one out of the bag very last Yes, last knockings, at least I didnít blank completely Arenít you just glad you taught him so well? Yes, I think so It speaks for itself doesnít it

Like that, thereís a contour on the head here, just keep the knife in As we will all be having a fish supper tonight, Steve gives us a quick demo of fish filleting, so we donít make a hash of it later It really has been a great day, fish were caught and no one was ill Dom is probably more relieved than most that we are back at the jetty I did enjoy myself, I did feel queezy for a lot of the trip, but it is great fun and I do love fishing

For a group of mates to pay £40, £50 a head and have a day out together catching fish and being able to take home the catch at the end of the day for a barbecue or what ever, I think itís a great way for a day out doing something different There are fishing opportunities all around the UK, different species, different areas, so yes itís a good thing to do, support your local fishermen