Fishipedia Top 5: Fishing Films of 2011

December 23rd, 2011| 1 Comment

From a perilous pike expedition to an Australian wilderness, here are our top films of the year…

Rich pickings

It’s been a bumper year for fishing videos – thanks to the abundance of digital cameras and camcorders, sites like Vimeo and YouTube, and what appears to be a healthy population of fishermen who are almost as handy with a camera as they are with a rod, quality footage from every corner of the globe is never far away.

So, as the sun prepares to set on 2011, we thought we’d select five of what we consider to be the finest short films about fishing to hit the web in the last 12 months. Of course, the process of whittling the year’s contenders down to just five was pretty tricky. But whittle we have and the results (in no particular order) are below.

All of it is work that has stood out from the crowd for a variety of reasons. It might be the quality of the camerawork, the unique story-telling, the ridiculous fishing action or simply its ability to so perfectly capture and transmit the essence of its subject.

As with all such things, the list is entirely subjective – if there’s something you would have liked to see here, just let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page.

23° South: Bonefishing the Flats of the Bahamas
YouTube and Vimeo are awash with fishing videos – some of them excellent – but every so often, just like a double-digit bonefish, you find one that stops you in your tracks.
23° South, made by J.L. Powell Films, is one such creation. Setting a new standard in this field, nothing we’ve seen recently better encapsulates the essence of chasing bonefish in the Bahamas – the stunning natural environment, the relationship between angler and guide, the thrill of the chase and the smug sense of peace that accompanies those evenings in the bar after a day on the flats. All in just four minutes.

Riding High: A Season on the Fly
Never before have we come across a piece of footage on the internet that so perfectly captures the multi-hued perfection of the mighty poon. Or the sense of speed and downright nastiness these fish possess – that raw power that’s so difficult to describe. This little film does a great job – you can even blow it up to full screen without doing the usual thing of instantly shutting it back down again because the resolution is so out of whack. A bit of background for you: filmed over the course of an entire tarpon season from the lower Keys to the Panhandle, Riding High shows the entire tarpon migration and a bunch of fishermen chasing them up the coast.

Do it Yourself Bonefishing
For the wade-fisherman, this is stuff of dreams. We’re talking huge schools of bones, bountiful numbers of tailers, fish duking it out for the fly on pancake flats and backwater lagoons, and all of it shot in super-sharp, ultra-crisp high definition. There’s no fancy title, no ‘story’ as such, no gimmicky camerawork or effects-based editing – it’s just flat-out, pot-boiling, drag-melting bonefish action. Apparently it was all filmed around Salina Point Lodge in Acklins Island. Looks like quite a place.

A Backyard in Nowhere (trailer)
This trailer for Backyard in Nowhere is unlike everything else on the list. In fact, it’s unlike most fishing videos, the majority of which play up to our sense of escapism, providing a little window into a world we’d probably rather be part of than the office in which we’re viewing them. This one is just downright scary – the landscape is eerie, the people appear to be psychotic, and the fish (pike of genuinely monstrous proportions), look like they could swallow you whole. There’s something a little bit ‘Deliverance’ about the whole thing. Impressive work, all the same.

Exmouth Fly Fishing – The ultimate saltwater destination
Declaring somewhere as the “ultimate saltwater fishing destination” is a bold move. It’d have to tick some pretty serious boxes along the way to even be considered. However, if it was the sort place, say, where you could sight-fish for sailfish, catch milksfish, indo-pacific permit, bonefish, all manner of trevally species, tuna and sharks on the fly, while checking out whales, whales sharks, manta rays, turtles and whatnot, and be the only person out on the water doing it… well, in that case, you’d probably consider it worthy of consideration.
Exmouth, in Western Australia, is a long, long way from anywhere, meaning it’ll probably remain a dream rather than a reality for most of us. Thanks to this film, we can still dream about it though…

>> Something you want to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below…

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  1. avatar
    Ray Sugiyama says

    Great video documentation of some awesome fishing.

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