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Going to the ends of the Earth

Going-to-the-ends-of-the-Earth_hero-1200x450

"I love catching fish, and not just for the fish – the locations, the challenges, the thrills, the people, the food, and even the culture. Which is why I endured 67 hours of non-stop travel to film an episode in São Tomé and Principe." - Matt Watson

Where? you ask. It is about 140 nautical miles off the west coast of Gabon, West Africa. 

Why? you ask. That's easy: it was a part of the world I’d never been to before, I’d heard reports of lots of big blue marlin, and it was still largely unexplored – adventure was calling!We packed 130 kilograms of camera gear, fishing tackle and spear fishing gear and set off for Principe. The first leg was a familiar one, a four hour drive to Auckland, where we picked up our drone operator, who came complete with three drones and an additional 30kg of baggage, including lipo batteries – airlines just love lipo batteries (... that was sarcasm).

After five hours in Auckland we were on our first flight, which was a 19 hour haul to Dubai, via Sydney. A four hour stop in Dubai and we were off on an 8.5 hour haul to Lisbon. We had a 15 hour stop in Lisbon; I’d not been there before, so instead of sleep we checked out the city. We found a place that did seafood, they had huge crabs and giant prawns that had been imported, so I asked for the signature local dish.  I ate pilchards and they taste just as you’d imagine them to taste – like bait. From Lisbon it was a further seven hours to São Tomé, and a wait there of several hours when we had to unpack our bags to fit them into a tiny plane, all the while trying to communicate with the Portuguese speaking locals. The last flight was just 40 minutes to Principe, where we were greeted by our host, gear was loaded on the back of a Hilux and we set off on a trek through a jungle. And 67 hours after departing home we emerged from the jungle and the most idyllic beach lay in front of us. We camped on the beach, but we weren’t roughing it. The tents had beds and power! An open sided cabana bar with a huge dining table, bar and commercial kitchen was central to the camp. Dozens of brand new Shimano Tiagra big game sets hung from the ceiling and the view opened out through the palms to look straight at our boat we had for the week. An immaculate 41 foot G&S Sport Fisher. It was all set up to be an epic experience – and it was.

You’ll have to wait until the next series to see that action, but we’ve got plenty of ITM Fishing Show episodes for you until then. We’re posting new content every week on ultimatefishing.tv, and you can keep up with the latest stuff by following us on Facebook.

Keep 'em tight,

Matt

 

Source: Believe Magazine - Issue 12 2015