Friday, 9 March 2012

The Good the Bad and the Ugly no.6

My name is Jim O’Donnell. I work in the wonderful world of British saltwater angling and have done so for the past 13 years. I’m a qualified charter skipper, small boat handling instructor and fishing guide and I also work as a freelance angling juorno/writer and photographer. Basically I’ll do anything to keep myself fishing and on the water, rather than get a real job! Life’s too short! I love it!

Who would be your ideal dinner guests?
Truthfully… just a bunch of normal everyday anglers. I love meeting normal, non famous, anglers and talking shop about the big wide world of fishing, with a pint and a bit of banter! You learn so much from just chatting with other like-minded anglers 

If you are not fishing/writing/photographing what would we normally find you doing in your spare time?
I have 4 girls, ages 2, 4, 9 and 15, so I like to chill with them. We tend to be an outdoors family, so we’re always of hiking or visiting somewhere. Other than that I love food and I love to cook!

What was your favourite year and why?
2005 – the year I caught my first 100lb+ Tarpon, which was 130lb. I like that year because it marked a big change in my personal angling. Florida opened up my eyes to what a protected sport-fishing fishery could be like here in the UK.

If you were a animal what kind of animal would you be and why?
Animals can’t afford expensive fishing tackle!

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?
Honestly, nobody. I enjoy being myself – I love my life and I love what I do, however being me, with a shorter list of jobs to do, would be even better!

What is your worst quality?
I’m ridiculously anal. I strive for perfection and sometimes drive myself to frustration. Photographing products for instance… they always look messy and I’m forever trying to arrange them so that they look all neat and tidy, but it never works.

What is your most prized angling related item you have and why?
Aha this can change daily! Currently it’s my Ima RBB floatation vest. A proper man gadget. Makes me feel like Arnie in the film Commando!!

If you could only fish for one fish for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Tarpon because they have it all. You can’t beat sight fishing for a 100lb plus fish, that swims in just a few feet of water – they can only run one way. I love their torque and power – the fact that they can drag a boat around for hours and their aerobatic displays and, and, and…!

Don’t get me talking about Tarpon. Those things are my drug!

Angling is supposed to be one of the most relaxing hobbies around so what one thing really pisses you off about our wonderful sport?
People who blag fish sizes. I fully understand that estimating is difficult, but there’s too many liars out there, especially in the UK. Seems to be a bit of “my Willy’s bigger than your Willy!” thing that goes on over here, which you don’t seem to get as much elsewhere.

Who or what got you into angling?
A plastic kids setup with string for line, which I bought from a seafront shop in Weymouth. My dad never fished and the setup was crap, so in the end a friend of the family took me Perch fishing for the day and I’ve never looked back.

Where do you see your self in fishing in the next 5 years?
Quote “You put that line in the water and you don't know what's on the other end.  Your imagination is under there.”  ~Robert Altman

Going with the flow, like I do now! I quite like the fact that life has it’s own twists, turns and surprises. You can’t guarantee what you’re going to catch, and you certainly can’t guarantee what tomorrow will bring!  

Who or what has influenced your angling to get you to the stage you are now?
Seriously, no word of a lie, all the normal day-to-day anglers I’ve met on my travels – that’s why a bunch of normal anglers would be my ideal dinner guests!

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