New 10-part series Fishing Impossible launched on ITV last week. It sees three daredevil friends – marine biologist The Blowfish, fly fisherman Charlie Butcher, and spear fisherman Jay Lewis – travelling to the most extreme regions of the world to catch extraordinary fish using some rather unusual techniques. Following the excitement of last week’s show, we caught up with The Blowfish and asked him to reveal his five most extreme fishing experiences of the series.
Bear-suit fishing in Canada
Nothing quite beats fishing with your bare hands… or even your ‘bear hands’! Dressed head to toe in a bear suit I bravely strode out into the salmon-filled rivers of British Columbia to see just what real fishing was like. However, the suit offered little or no vision and even less in the way of hearing. Standing out far from the crew in the middle of the river, I could quite easily have become lunch – or even a date(!) – for any passing grizzly bear.
King crab fishing in Norway
Forget the rod and line, there is only one way to catch king crab in Norway during the winter, and that’s to drop right on top of them. So with the help of my two useless but lovely friends, we cut our way under the ice and I went in to search for the crabs. I just wish the dive was as easy as writing about it – things didn’t go exactly to plan!
Shark feeding in the Bahamas
Nothing is ever quite as exhilarating as a shark dive, so when you have more than 20 of the animals zipping round you at close quarters, you know you’re in for a treat! I wanted to show that these Caribbean sharks could devour the invasive venomous lionfish that are trashing the reefs of the Bahamas, which meant I had to get suited up to ring the dinner bell before hand-feeding these amazing animals.
Hippo fishing in Kenya
As a marine biologist I am fully aware of the importance of hippos to the ecosystems of African rivers. However, I never thought I would see one so close. We started to cast our lines right on top of the hippos themselves. Needless to say, when fishing with Africa’s most dangerous animal, you have to stay on your toes.
Making a meat rocket in Laos
Not one of my ideas, but a moment of brilliance from Jay, my co-presenter. In Laos we were struck with a problem of fishing in the mighty Mekong. Not easy when you consider the size and power of this river. After collecting our bait – some seriously disgusting entrails from a local market – we just had to find a way of delivering it as far and wide as we could. Let’s put it this way, bamboo, fireworks, entrails and three lads on a mad fishing trip is an EXPLOSIVE combination.
ITV1, Tuesdays, 7.30pm-8pm
ITV4, Thursdays, 8pm-9pm (extended hour-long episodes)