Episode 118: The Tick Terminator with Brian Anderson

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Tick bite season is about to start both in Europe and in the US. Since we haven’t spoken about this important subject for quite a while (we discussed ticks and Lyme disease back in 2019 in episode 55), I thought it was high time to talk about ticks and tick bite prevention once again.

Our guest, Brian Anderson, is a Lyme disease prevention specialist, top speaker and educator who is known as The Tick Terminator. We had a fun and educational conversation about ticks, tick bite prevention, and Lyme disease. And yes, it turns out you can have a fun conversation about those subjects! During our chat, we share our first-hand experiences with ticks and proven methods to protect yourself from tick bites. I also ask Brian all the important “what-ifs” and “how-tos” that any outdoor worker or enthusiast, or hunter and camper wants answered.

After listening to this episode you should check Brian’s website where you can find a huge library of articles, videos, tick prevention guides, product recommendations and more.

Episode 117: Commercial Fishing in Alaska with Sena and Rich Wheeler

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This week we continue with our Alaskan theme by taking a closer look at commercial fishing practices, fisheries management and the life of fishermen in Alaska. So, today I talk with Sena and Rich Wheeler, a third-generation fishing family. Sena and Rich run a family business, Sena Sea, whose goal is to consistently deliver premium quality seafood. They also operate a fisherman-owned custom processing facility to ensure that they have complete control of the entire process, from the sea to the client’s doors. The Wheelers see fishermen as custodians of the pristine waters of Alaska and they make sure that their seafood is produced in the most sustainable and ethical way possible.

In the first part of this podcast, we discussed in detail fisheries management practices in Alaska. We also delved into the subject of human-wildlife conflict, a very interesting segment, not only because of the differences but also because of the similarities to the situation in our neck of the woods. In the second part, we discussed fish handling techniques and how to ensure that the fish you catch (I’m looking at you recreational anglers) is of the best quality and taste possible. It’s a fascinating episode that will give you a look at how some familiar issues are dealt with in another part of the world.

Episode 116: Subsistence Living in Alaska with Zephyr Sincerny

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Alaska is considered by many to be the last frontier. One of the few remaining places where true pristine wilderness still exists. Without a doubt, this largest state in the United States is a fantastic place for outdoorsmen or anyone who wants to live close to nature and away from the crowds. This is because, although Alaska is huge, it has a tiny population located in just a few urban areas.

As you can imagine, hunting and fishing are in the blood of most Alaskans and ready access to the abundant and well managed natural resources makes it a perfect place for subsistence living. I’m using this term as defined in Alaska state law as the non-commercial, customary and traditional uses of fish and wildlife.

To discuss this topic I’m joined today by Zephyr Sincerny who is an outdoor guide, instructor and educator with long years of experience gained while working for Outward Bound USA and NatureBridge. He spends a lot of time growing food in his garden as well as hunting and fishing.

During our conversation, we discussed how Zephyr provides food for his family, year-round without the aid of a grocery store! We also got into discussing the effects of climate change, techniques of food preparation and the ethical and spiritual aspects of bowhunting. This is one special episode and I’m sure you’ll love every minute of it!

Episode 100: Deer, Sheep and Fires with Ashley Glover

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There are no two ways about it. It’s a milestone episode. Episode 100. To mark the occasion we get together with environmentalist, hunter and axe thrower, Ashley Glover to discuss some of the most interesting subjects from the past three years. And while the title says “Deer, Sheep and Fires,” in reality it should have said, “Deer, Sheep, Boar, Wolves, Mink, Trout, Seals,  Woodland, Rhododendron and Fires.” You get the picture!

In our conversation, you will be able to identify episodes from Tommy’s Outdoors back catalogue that you might want to listen to. For your convenience, I have compiled below a full list of episodes discussed in our conversation. It is by no means a list of “best” episodes but just a list of those we mentioned.

Episode 20: Irish Wildlife Trust with Pádraic Fogarty
Episode 29: Forestry and Native Woodlands with Ciaran Nugent
Episode 51: Fighting Illegal Salmon Netting with Bertie Brosnan
Episode 54: The National Biodiversity Data Centre with Dave Wall
Episode 61: African Swine Fever Awareness and Prevention with Shane McAuliffe
Episode 68: Rewilding, Wolves and Biodiversity with Pádraic Fogarty
Episode 71: The European Federation for Hunting and Conservation with David Scallan
Episode 72: Seal Rescue Ireland with Mel Robinson
Episode 73: Quantitative Ecology with Kilian Murphy
Episode 77: Sweden is Hunting with Andreas Michalik
Episode 78: Human-Seal Conflict with Liam Flannery and Dan Brosnan
Episode 81: Skates and Marine Rewilding with Patrick Collins
Episode 88: Rewilding Scotland with Peter Cairns
Episode 89: Camera Trapping and Large Mammal Monitoring with Adam Francis Smith
Episode 92: Upland Ecology with Cathy Mayne
Episode 95: Białowieża Forest with Marta Klimkiewicz
Episode 97: Human-Wildlife Conflict with Amy Dickman

You will also receive hints of possible future episodes! I don’t usually give that information away, but hey! There is only one episode 100 for every podcast!

Finally, I would like to say a big “thank you!” to all my guests from previous episodes, for donating their time and sharing their views, experiences and knowledge. It is greatly appreciated. I would also like to give a very special thanks to all of you, my listeners! Thank you for your messages, your feedback and your support. You make this podcast worth doing. 

Onwards and upwards! To episode 200 and beyond!

Episode 96: Blue Sharks with Simon Thomas

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My podcast listeners have heard, more than once, that there was a time when I was absolutely crazy about shark fishing. Among the many species of sharks present in my local waters, blue sharks (prionace glauca) have a special place in the hearts of sea anglers. These sharks are still relatively abundant and provide an opportunity to get a taste of true Big Game fishing without having to go on an expensive fishing holiday.

We already touched briefly on shark fishing during podcast number 41 with my friend, and a man with whom I did most of my shark fishing, Luke Aston. Today, however, we’re going all-in on blue shark fishing. Our guest is Dr Simon Thomas who is not only an expert angler but also works tirelessly on analysing scientific data related to blue sharks.

If you’re interested in marine biology or sharks or you’re just an angler who wants to learn more about shark-catching techniques, you will find this episode mighty interesting. No doubt!

Scouting for a New Fishing Mark

In this vlog I venture further away from my usual spots in an effort to identify some new and interesting fishing marks. What I’m going to be looking for are marks with access to deeper water. So, come along with me and let’s see what we can find!

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Finding Bass Marks | How to Get Started with Lure Fishing for Bass – part 2

This is the second instalment of my beginner’s guide to bass fishing with lures. In this episode, I discuss the most promising types of marks and at what stage of the tide you should fish them. Also, I give you some general tips about how to find the right bass fishing mark.

For bass fishing gear visit our friends at landers.ie

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Episode 81: Skates and Marine Rewilding with Patrick Collins

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Not that long ago I wrote a blog post about angling for endangered fish species, including the common skate, which is highly sought after as a trophy catch. These elusive fish, however, are classified as critically endangered and unfortunately, we don’t have much information about their life history. 

So I welcomed the opportunity to talk with Dr Patrick Collins who is a marine biologist at Queen’s University Belfast where he works on large scale marine rewilding. Currently, he is focusing on translocation of the locally extirpated flapper skate. Patrick is also an angler. A perfect combination! So whether you are interested in marine biology, rewilding, or you’re an angler who wants to learn more about skates, this episode is for you!

This episode was possible thanks to SeaMonitor marine research project. Feature image courtesy of Carrigaholt Sea Angling Centre.

Bass Fishing Gear | How to Get Started with Lure Fishing for Bass – part 1

If you want to start bass fishing with lures, then subscribe to my YouTube channel, because in this video series I’m going to tell you everything about how to get started.

For bass fishing gear visit our friends at landers.ie

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Angling for Critically Endangered Fish

My good fishing buddy posted some photos from his two-day boat fishing trip. One of the typical grip-and-grin photos showed him with the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus). This made me envious. As a compulsive-obsessive shark angler, I chased these sharks for many years. I was only successful once and the specimen I caught was very young and rather small. To me, it didn’t really count. So this species of sharks is still on my to-do, or more precisely, my to-catch list. 

But here lies the issue and the reason why it is such a big deal to catch one of these sharks. After long years of exploitation and unregulated fishing their population collapsed. Now they are incredibly scarce and, although in recent years there seems to be an increase in catches and sightings, it isn’t clear if it is an indication of a recovering population or just a shift in distribution. Regardless, they are still firmly listed as critically endangered in the Northeast Atlantic where most of our angling activities take place. This obviously poses some problems and rather uncomfortable questions. 

Those of you who are following me might even remember that just a few days before my friend’s fishing trip, an officer of one of the environmental NGOs expressed his irritation after another angler posted a video of himself landing a skate. Another species of critically endangered fish. That sparked an interesting discussion related to scientific tagging programmes that, by their very nature, require these rare and endangered fish to be caught, boated, tagged and then released.

In this blog, it is not my intention to defend or condemn anyone’s position. As always these situations are complex and there are many factors to consider. For example, is there a landing platform, how quickly is the fish unhooked, and how promptly is it returned to the water? They almost have to be taken on a case by case basis. Instead, I want to share some of my thoughts. I started to ask myself what I would do in my friend’s shoes. Would I pose for a grip-and-grin photo and point out the benefits of a tagging programme? Likely. Would I point fingers at past exploitation by commercial fishermen and contrast it with the negligible impact that anglers have on the shark population? Probably. I have done all of the above before.

Unfortunately, we have to face up to the reality that without changes in the current status-quo, we either run out of fish to catch, some species sooner than others, or we run out of the fish species we are allowed to catch. Most of us anglers talk a lot about the conservation of fish stocks. But do we have the guts to put our money where our mouth is? We talk a lot about fish welfare and the importance of catch & release. But do we have the resolve to not target certain species of fish, even if it’s legal? And would it even matter? Perhaps, the loss of some species is inevitable and the only approach that makes sense is, catch them while you can. Because soon enough they’ll be gone. Forever.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below or on one of my social media pages.