Episode 48: Green Party with Pippa Hackett

This is another episode of the podcast where I talk with the representative of a political party. The goal is, as always, to dig a little deeper into some of the issues affecting the outdoors lifestyle. This time our guest is Pippa Hackett who is a Green Party Councillor and a spokesperson on Agriculture, Food, Forestry, Heritage & Animal Welfare.

Once again I want to include the disclaimer that it is not my intention to promote any political party. Instead, I want outdoors enthusiasts to be aware of how their support for a particular option might impact the activities they love.

Timing on the coming ban on lead ammunition

The proposal by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to restrict the use of lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle containing lead is looming. In this video, I discuss the timeline of coming events that will lead to approval or rejection of the proposed restrictions.

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Episode 42: Irish Angling Adventures with James Raymond

This is another episode of the podcast dedicated to sea angling. Our guest is James Raymond, the man behind the website Irish Angling Adventures. I had a great time talking with James about all things sea angling. As a seasoned angler myself, I could quickly tell that James is a hardcore sea angler like many of my friends. Yes, he is one of those folks who spend silly amounts of time on the shore chasing fish with a rod and line. And at Tommy’s Outdoors we love them for that! During our conversation, we discuss the secrecy of fishing marks, angling etiquette, overfishing, sea angling safety, and many other angling related issues. James also shares with us stories from his fishing trip to the Norwegian island of Vega. It is a great episode for hardcore anglers by hardcore anglers. And once you are done listening to the podcast, don’t forget to check out the Instagram page @irish_angling_adventures where you can find many inspiring angling photos.

Charter Boat Sea Angling

I was sitting at my desk working when my phone rang. It was a text message from my friend and charter boat skipper Luke, who was our guest on episode 41. He had some spaces free on an upcoming fishing trip and was checking if anyone was fancy to go.

Regular listeners of the podcast already know that for more than five years I went crazy for sea angling. It would be hard to recall all the trips I took and all the fish I caught. However, for the last few years, I have been involved in other outdoor pursuits and my fishing rods have been gathering dust. Needless to say, I was keen to get back on the horse, or rather, on the boat. After a three-year-long hiatus, I wanted to remind myself how great sea angling is off the south-west coast of Ireland.

A typical boat fishing day starts on the pier where the anglers load their tackle and the skipper gives a safety briefing. Usually, the first order of business of the day is to catch some bait fish. Although the use of artificial lures is common, no bait works better than a strip of freshly caught mackerel. Early in the year catching mackerel may be a little problematic, so it’s always a good idea to read catch reports and have some frozen mackerel with you, just in case.

Once enough bait is caught the skipper heads off for more open waters. The most typical target species are fish from the gadiformes order. That includes pollock, coalfish, haddock, ling, pouting and whiting as well as cod. Of course, that list of species is far from exhaustive and anglers often catch various species of wrasse, gurnard and other fish. Fishing for sharks and rays is also possible but they need to be specifically targeted to increase the odds of catching them.

It is worth noting, that unless you are skippering the boat yourself, it is the skipper who does most of the work to catch the fish. It is his job to put the anglers on the fish. On our trip, the weather, although sunny and beautiful, was not favourable for angling. Light wind and calm conditions caused the boat to drift slowly, keeping us from covering a lot of ground. This made getting onto the fish more difficult.

It didn’t really affect us much though, as we were in very capable hands. It was a pleasure to watch our master-skipper at work! Luke tried a few promising marks from his vast collection of fishing spots. We fished deep muddy grounds, slightly shallower reefs and shallow rough ground close to the shore. It was not surprising that some of them were quite productive. In the end, every angler on the boat caught a good number of fish that day.

If you interested in booking a day out with Luke, visit Fish and Stay website and check his facebook page for regular fishing reports.

Episode 34: Cycling through Africa with Kuba Standera

Some of you might remember Kuba from episode 12 of the podcast where we talked about his hand-made fishing lures. We ended that episode teasing about Kuba’s planned cycle through the Sahara desert to reach his bucket list fishing destination. Well, Kuba is back and in this episode we talk about that cycling and fishing adventure. It is really great to hear his stories from exotic countries. The cycle was also a fundraiser for aware.ie, a voluntary organization which aims to assist people whose lives are affected by depression. Please go and donate without hesitation!