A production team from Sky TV were in Shetland last week, fronted by accomplished international angler Steve Souter, filming for the programme Tight Lines. Steve was so impressed by a previous visit to Shetland, and continued contact with local anglers, that he and the crew took a gamble on coming to the isles in March in the hope of tackling some of the world class wreck fishing, the rich bounty of Muckle Flugga and some shore fishing locations.
Unfortunately, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the weather gods of March did not smile on their trip and they only managed some limited deep sea trips, sailing from Mid Yell to fish near Fetlar and later from Lerwick. Joining them for the trip were local angling fanatics Mark Duncan and Laurence Williamson, both of whom have hauled monster fish from some of the furthest flung wrecks around the Shetland.
Along with several other local anglers, the pair had joined Steve on his previous safari in Shetland which featured in the Total Sea Fishing magazine and was described by multi-award winning Souter as “the most incredible fishing of my life”.
Speaking on the last day of their visit, on Saturday, Steve reminisced about the previous trip.
He said: “I had promised to come up for years, the fishing at Muckle Flugga was out of this world, maybe the best I’ve ever seen, fabulous.
“We are hoping to replicate that but unfortunately the weather gods didn’t play ball (this time), so Flugga didn’t happen, but we got one little weather window in the middle of the week when we went up to Mid Yell and fished the wrecks lying off Fetlar.
“The fishing there was maybe not so good as we experienced previously at Flugga, but certainly damn good, very, very, good fishing. Excellent numbers of ling in particular, lots of double figure fish, I got the biggest fish, ha ha, 24lb!
“Mark Duncan also had one very close at 23 and a half, we had quite a few over 20lb and that, I’m hoping, should cut into an excellent film for the television, it was excellent. Other than that we split our time, because of the weather, between boat fishing and shore fishing. We weren’t expecting fantastic things because everything was against us, but we’ve still put together an excellent film.”
They shore-fished at Sumburgh and the now legendary Hellister Loch, catching flounder at the former and some piltocks and cod to over 2lb at the latter. Not the monster fish that periodically appear in Hellister, but good fishing nonetheless, especially for day time angling.
The film shot in Shetland last week will appear as a series of “shorts” over a period of months among other features on Tight Lines. The first of these can be expected in around three weeks.
These shorts will be around 10 minutes long and Steve hopes that by the time these have all been shown he will be back in Shetland to shoot more with Sky TV again or, if not, for the magazine, joking: “I’m sure it’s the cameras that bring the bad weather.
“We knew that the springtime was never going to be in our favour anyway, but it was a gap in the calendar for us.
“We’re very busy with our own fishing come May time, but I think we should be a bit more considered next time and come in July or August when we’re not likely to encounter hurricanes and such-like.”
Tight Lines is first broadcast on Fridays at 6.30pm on Sky Sports 2, then repeated several times on the same channel and Sky Sports 3.