Bob Goes Fishing | About

About me and this site

My fishing story

A story in two parts - a passion when young and a return in my later years.

Fishing

As a lad fishing was a passion but through my working life it became an occasional thing. Retirement gave me the opportunity to return.

In my younger days I was a member of an angling club and we fished mainly in rivers, predominantly the Thames. There were no well-stocked 'commercial' lakes. Coming back to fishing I was seduced by the local 'commercial'. Carp were mythical fish when I was a lad and it was amazing to be able to catch them relatively easily in the 'commercial'.

My best was 19lb and I was hooked. But after a while things became a bit monotonous. It was to a large extent all so predictable.

I've now returned to the rivers, when in season, and in particular am seeking out smaller rivers and streams. I also have a bit of a thing about chub. Fishing in these natural environments brings with it the mystery of not knowing what the next cast will bring. And for me that's what fishing is all about.

From 35mm to video

At first I photographed the fish. Now I'm videoing my outings. Moving with the times!

Photography

I revise this section from time to time as I'm continually reviewing how I produce the videos. If you are returning to the page having viewed it a while ago you might notice some changes.

In September 2020 I started videoing my outings. On the first trip I simply used my iPhone, either hand-held or on a tripod. As I filmed more trips I started to consider how to improve the footage. I carried on using the iPhone but dispensed with the tripod and started using a bankstick as a monopod. This was easier to plant on uneven banks.

On the earlier videos I added the commentary when I was processing the video for publication. This was because my iPhone was invariably too far away to reliably pick up my voice, while picking up a lot of extraneous noise. In October 2020 I bought a body cam and from that point recorded live commentary, which was far more chatty and less formalised. I think this was a great improvement.

ordro cam

The body cam, however, had limitations, the main one being that the view was often obstructed by my arms when I was playing a fish. In February 2021, therefore, I bought a miniature camcorder that is worn above the right ear, providing an eye-level view. The camera is very light and the results were impressive. This is now my chosen camera for recording the action.

The video can be started and stopped using a button worn on a wrist strap making it ideal for capturing action.

I was still using my iPhone for the shots of me fishing but in June 2021 I bought a Panasonic camcorder with an impressive optical zoom. The intention was to record ambient material, such as wildlife, or a closeup on the float. But I was laid low during the summer awaiting a hip operation so the camera wasn't put into action immediately.

At first I wasn't sure that a monopod would be stable enough for the heavier camera and I investigated lightweight tripods and found a product on Amazon. Made with aluminium it was certainly light and the legs were adjustable using locking clamps, allowing incremental adjustment on uneven banks. However, in an attempt to reduce the gear I was carrying I did eventually revert to the bankstick monopod and despite my original concerns it actually does the job effectively.

camcorder
tripod

Some time ago I traded in my little-used Pentax SLR camera and lenses to buy an iPhone 13 Pro. This is a 3-camera model with zoom and wide angle in addition to the standard lens. As such it can be used as a monopod mounted device for shots of me fishing, or as a camera to capture ambient nature shots using the zoom where appropriate. I therefore have two options, the iPhone or the camcorder, depending on circumstances.

I also use the iPhone in conjunction with a 'selfie' stick to record my introduction and sign-off clips.

Audio has been a challenge. The head cam has its own mic that works very well and having added a muffle it is very tolerant of wind noise. But when using the Panasonic camcorder or the iPhone I've struggled to find a good audio solution.

I bought an extension microphone lead for the iPhone which worked well after I had added an efficient wind muffle. But the lead can restrict movement, especially when fishing a river where it might be necessary to change position when playing a fish. I also use this lead when recording the introduction and sign-off clips to limit wind noise.

I also tried a wireless connection between the iPhone and a lapel microphone but the sound quality was very poor, apparently because of a background noise filter according to the suppliers of the device.

I've ended up using the head cam to record the audio since the quality is very good. For video taken with the iPhone, I try to ensure that I am simultaneously recording with the head cam and synchronise the iPhone video with the audio from the head cam in post production. This can be a bit tricky but the final result is very acceptable.

mic lead

Section updated May 2024

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