GREATEST TELEVISION MOMENTS
TV ANGLING used to be a quiet, sedate affair. Remember Jack Hargreaves, the gentlemanly presenter of Out of Town?
The next angling personality to find fame on our screens was the inimitable John Wilson. His Go Fishing series is arguably still the most compulsive viewing of all.
Nowadays, with angling abroad an option for many more people, the emphasis has shifted to thrills, spills and action with exotic fish. Who are your small-screen favourites?
EXTREME FISHING WITH ROBSON GREEN: AT THE ENDS OF THE EARTH FLAME SNAPPER
THE divisive Geordie has enjoyed audiences most programmes on this list can only dream of. In this programme Robson fishes a tiny collection of islands in a corner of the Pacific Ocean to land a colourful flame snapper.
RIVER MONSTERS THE VAMPIRE PIRANHA
JEREMY Wade’s show is at its best when showing off the toothiest of fish, and this memorable episode features arguably the most jaw-dropping set of gnashers ever. “I’ve hooked a predatory fish with dental hardware straight out of a horror movie,” says Jeremy.
HOOKED ON FISHING WITH PAUL YOUNG MINNOWS TO MONSTERS
AT the end of a biteless three days on Lochaline, in the Sound of Mull, a giant skate takes Paul’s mackerel bait and an epic battle ensues. “That’s probably about ‘180’, it is a beast!” announces the skipper, and the majestic fish is eventually tagged and released.
CATCHING THE IMPOSSIBLE BOWLER’S 5LB 4OZ PERCH
IT’S not just the sheer size of the fish, or even the unusual pole-and-flat-float tactics shown in this episode, that make this moment special. No, it’s witnessing the usually unflappable Martin Bowler rendered speechless by the magnitude of this once-in-a-lifetime event.
A PASSION FOR ANGLING REDMIRE TREE
In an episode stuffed with stand-out moments — from the scarecrow decoy ‘Kevin’ to the gudgeon match at dawn — it’s the sight of Bob and James hooking a fish from atop a tree and then crashing into the water below that dwells longest in the memory.
GO FISHING MAHSEER
A 60lb MAHSEER from the Cauvery River in India was picked by John Wilson as his third-greatest catch in a recent DVD box set – and this beautifully filmed extract from an early series of Go Fishing shows just why this distant relative of the barbel inspires such awe among anglers.
OUT OF TOWN WITH JACK HARGREAVES FISHING IN A GALE.
FILMING in 1975, countryman Jack goes trotting for chub in horrendous conditions, telling viewers: “There can be no sensible reason for going fishing on a day like this”. He later admits his motivation was to avoid a tea party where “the company didn’t attract me greatly”.