BEN FRANCIS divulges what went into the production of the Taska carp DVD and how exploring the Continent may lead to exciting adventures.
Words: Ben Francis
Pics: Harry Law
High-quality film productions have become a staple of the carp angler’s needs in recent years and now, more so than ever, video is one of our favoured sources of entertainment and knowledge. Every year, each company seems to compete to produce bigger and better productions than the year before and it’s a rat race to see who can create the most exciting film that inspires anglers across the world. We love making film productions for our customers and it’s quite a significant part of our working year to create a number of outstanding productions that inspire our audience to get out there and go fishing, with hopefully a few tips and tactics up their sleeve to implement using some of the products in our portfolio.
I joined the company earlier this year, after spending several years working at another established brand. What I learnt in my previous role has allowed me to bring a different perspective to Taska’s brand team and this year we’ve set out to implement a number of exciting media projects. These have been created to provide our audience with more interesting content that will hopefully inspire and educate our customers to get on the bank and thrive in the culture of carp fishing. That’s what it is now, a culture. It’s become far more than just another hobby.
One of the exciting projects that we embarked on throughout this summer was the filming of our feature-length DVD that will be released in April 2017, Carpspiration Volume 2. It’s our second big production and it’s set to be an absolute banger! The venues we went to and the fish that were caught were simply mind-blowing from start to finish and after all the hard work organising the logistics and planning behind it, I’m so happy to have finally completed the filming of this production with my trusty sidekick and camera supremo, Harry Law, who, I must say, absolutely smashed it on the filming side of things!
Tucked away far from the madding crowd, just us and the carp.
Most of you reading this more than likely don’t work within the fishing industry and you only ever get to see the finished projects. Rarely do you get an insight into what goes on behind the scenes to make these films become a final production.
The first thing I’ll say is that to all it must seem like we have an easy life, travelling all over the Continent, catching big fish and having a whale of a time. It’s a fun gig, but believe me, fishing the remote locations that we did this year made the whole process far more demanding than what meets the eye and this year’s filming mission really was the most technically difficult project we’ve ever put together.
When we set out to film this production we wanted to provide a sense of adventure, we didn’t want to take our team to the usual pay lakes that everyone has filmed on time and time again, we wanted to show a different style of angling that can be explored by everyone and we wanted to take carp fishing to the extreme. Taking this angle meant that the filming and logistics side of the shoots would be difficult because we would need to go out on filming missions and be on the bank for at the very least one week at a time to allow for the unpredictable nature of natural fishing to take shape and give us a fighting chance of catching some truly special carp for the cameras. On top of the time away, there’s usually a lengthy drive involved, as well as sleeping on the bank in remote areas where you can’t simply call the local take-away to drop you down a nice ruby and there’s not often somewhere close by where you can pop and have a shower on demand. Bathing in natural lakes was something that we embraced in France this year, but we were pretty shocked at the water temperature once we took the plunge! It was rather fresh, let’s put it that way. Brrrrrr, I can still feel the shivers.
These public-lake fish were incredible and all for the price of a local fishing licence
We filmed in five locations for Carpspiration Volume 2 in four separate countries and have met some incredible people along the way. What really inspired me this year was just how many good people there are in this carp angling community that are willing to help fellow anglers. In the making of this film, I called on a number of contacts on a whim, more than anything hoping they’d help out on certain logistical aspects and there were many that had no affiliation to our company at all. They had no duty to help us but everyone I called on helped us out purely because they wanted to. Whether it be to borrow a boat or other specialist equipment to save us driving it across Europe, or helping us locate nearby supermarkets and providing us with useful information and more local contacts. It was just really nice to see that so many people went out of their way to help us make this project a reality and purely because they wanted to help. So thank you to those who helped us this year in some way shape or form, you all made such a huge impact on what was achievable for us.
“The Right Adventure is out there for everyone, you’ve just got to go and find it.”
Since we’ve come back from our road trips I’ve been inundated with questions from people far and wide who have seen snippets of our travels on our social media pages, and there seems to be an overwhelming response of excitement about fishing natural waters across Europe. The best bit about this entire project is that we went to waters that are accessible to everyone and each water we filmed on was not a pay lake. All that was required to fish these venues was a local fishing license that cost around £40 per person, per country – for an entire year’s fishing I must add! It’s actually far cheaper to fish wild waters than pay lakes and there are so many natural lakes, rivers and canals across Europe that hold some truly special carp.
An insane-looking forty. Black as your hat. Literally.
Why pay over the odds for average fishing on the Continent when there’s so much potential in the natural waters that cost next to nothing to fish? I think many people don’t know how or where to start on planning such an adventure, but neither did we until this year if I’m totally honest. All we did was speak to as many anglers as possible to find out information on the venues, and we spent a decent amount of time researching on the internet. It was actually pretty easy to find out what venues were out there and what you need to fish on them. The right adventure is out there for everyone, you’ve just got to go and find it.
In April 2017 Carpspiration Volume 2 is going to be revealed to all and will be something that you won’t want to miss. You’ll see our team take on an epic road trip to Denmark in search of monsters from a lake that has been around since the Dinosaurs roamed the earth, as well as our French team taking on a mighty public water of over 600 hectares. The whole thing is finalised in Belgium, where our guys caught some monumental carp from a relatively difficult and unknown public lake.