Intervju med Martin Bowler

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Martin Bowler – En sann specimenfiskare!

Men inte nog med att han fångar många och stora fiskar. Han har även lyckats fånga flera fina exemplar framför en kamera och har varit med och skapat några av de bästa metefilmerna som har gjorts. Han har också varit ett ansikte utåt inom den brittiska metescenen i många år. Och jobbar åt företag som Drennan och Sticky Baits.
Så när Martin tackade ja till att ställa upp på en intervju och svara på några frågor blev vi såklart väldigt glada!
Vi har valt att skriva ut intervjun på engelska vilket vi tror blir bäst. Så vi hoppas ni ska tycka att det är intressant läsning.

Martin med en fantastisk svit med brax
Martin med en fantastisk svit med brax

Hello Martin!
Can you briefly describe how a work week looks like for you? Of course you fish but what other commitments do you have to fulfill as an full-time employed angler?

– Being a professional angler involves working 7 days a week. Especially as my speciality is as an all-round angler. there is just so much to do when you target every fish that swims around the British Isles. Weekends are normally saved for preparing equipment, bait, writing articles and doing any work that sponsors require. In the week I fish on average 3/4 days to get material for magazines and social media. So do not believe for one minute that I get any time to sit back and relax even on the bank. With all this said though I have the best job in the world! And would not change it for anything.

I totally understand that.
You are an all round angler, but is there any species you rank a bit higher or maybe a specific method? For example, the lift method for tench?
If you have a favorite can you please elaborate why this method or species are your favorite?

– I do not have a favourite method or tactic and genuinely enjoy the search for all big fish. If however I had to pick one it would be spring salmon. Which is probably because it is the only time I fish without work commitments as my sponsors and magazines are not really interested in game fishing. Whether it’s with a fly, spinner or bait. Just the sight of a fresh silver fish makes my day and I do like the thought that I am probably the first and perhaps the last person to catch it. Unlike the scenario found in many coarse fishing situations, ie well known carp.

You’ve had two British record. But what is the most memorable catch for you?
It’s not always the biggest one you remember the best, it could be an experience that makes you remember a specific catch more.

– I have been lucky with British records that neither the 2 official and 1 unofficial captures rank as my most memorable. The 2 that I treasure the most would be the first one I ever caught. A gudgeon from the Grand Union Canal and this is because even today I can remember the bite and I have never felt the buzz that I got on that capture. And without it the life that I lead would never have begun. And the other is a 5lb 4oz perch from the Great Ouse caught when filming Catching The Impossible. Producing such a fish under the pressure of filming was amazing. As well as I taught myself a new tactic to tempt it which was a flat float on a pole. Combine these factors and the memory is still very vivid.

That was an amazing piece of angling on film. Which is hard to top for sure!
Last year you caught a huge grass carp that weighed 52 lb 10 oz (23.87 kg) which is the unofficial british record, as you mentioned earlier.
What is the reason that grass carps are not on the British record lists anymore and what is your thoughts about that?

– Grass carp are not indigenous and it was claimed that they are prone to illegal imports. In my opinion many of the species that we catch today in the UK are non-indigenous. Ie carp and why should an angler be penalised for an unscrupulous fishery boss. So yes I think grass carp should be on the list. But I won’t lose any sleep over it as I know what I caught and am more than happy with that.

Martin med en riktigt stor gräskarp
Martin med en riktigt stor gräskarp

There was a big fuss in England last year about a possible record carp that was moved to a lake over the record weight and was then caught by an angler. But the record was never approved. How do you see on the progress of the English carp fishing scene with breeding carp to a possible record fish in a small isolated water. And then move it to bigger lakes?

– The carp community are split on a 50:50 basis on whether the above fish is acceptable. My personal view is that I wouldn’t want to target a lake that had done this. But if it isn’t illegal every angler is entitled to do what he feels is correct. Too many people want to inflict their opinions on others and to my mind angling is a personal challenge so just do what makes you happy.

Martin med en riktigt fin karp
Martin med en riktigt fin karp

Me being from Sweden so I of course have some questions about our fishing here and what you know about it.
Here in Sweden are we interested in barbel fishing because we don’t have that species in our rivers. But how familiar are Englishmen in species like burbot, ide and asp that we fish for here? Or is the focus in the English fishing scene only on species you have at home? We also have large Crucians here with a record fish on 6.68 pounds (3030 grams). Have you ever thought to go to Sweden and fishing for such species you miss or catch big Crucians?

– I think that as a rule the UK tends to be fairly insular. So while anglers would be aware of ide and burbot but if they can’t catch them they hold little interest. I have to say however that I have seen images of huge crucians from Scandinavian countries. And would love to fish for them one day.

You´re more than welcome to try.

Most of the English waters have a high fishing pressure. When was the last time you fished a water where no one never had fished before or for a very long time? The reason I ask is that here in Sweden we around a thousand lakes per angler if we should divide all lakes amongst all anglers in Sweden!
So our fishing pressure is not the same and we can spend a lot of time exploring new waters.

– Your situation sounds wonderful as there is very little better than the challenge of the unknown. In UK coarse fishing this situation is very rare. I do however fish the sea and we have some amazing big fish at the moment. That are virtually untapped, ie porbeagle shark and blue fin tuna. I should also state that sometimes the challenge of catching a known fish and outwitting not only a wild creature but a group of anglers can be very satisfying as well.

England is the founder of angling in many ways. But is there something we Swedes (northerners) inspired Englishmen within angling or fishing in general?

– If you had asked me 5 years ago I would have said we had taken very little from outside the UK however your country. As well as many others, have influenced a massive growth in lure fishing particularly drop shotting which is all the rage. Maybe this is a lesson to the UK that we can always learn and do not always know best!

Yeah, the pike fishing has blown through the roof here in the last few years.
Moving on to the series and films you have done.
Which fish was the hardest to catch and why when you recorded Catching the impossible? Was it time consuming or was there any other factors that made it so hard?

– Although when I started the project I thought catching a perch over 4lbs would be easy it didn’t go to plan for 2 seasons so it was a huge relief when one came to the net using the tactics described above All of the ’impossibles’ had their own challenges especially when you consider trying to catch on camera is like having one arm tied behind your back. If it was raining or dark we stopped and in many instances this is the best time to fish. The only time that I have ever got close to quitting angling was during this project but I am thankful now that I lasted the course.

I´m glad that you pulled it through. I think that catching the impossible will grow on to be an all time angling classic!
Your movies that you have made have been big successes, do you have any new movie project going on?
If so can you briefly describe what it will be about?

– Unfortunately not. The time for selling DVDs or being commissioned by TV stations has gone. This is now the realm of tackle companies that can finance it and then give it away. Of course the viewer is watching a glorified advert but they do not seem to care and I have to say that the standard of work is very good. I a just thankful that I had the opportunity to create my own work but I do feel sorry for youngsters who may be very talented and want to make independent films as their only real option is to work for a tackle company instead as getting the investment back is extremely difficult.

That´s a bit sad indeed.
I hope times will change for the better as for what comes to series and DVDs.
But now it´s time to end, and say a big thank you for giving us a little of your time you could have spent angling!


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