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Viewers asked to 'take the bait' as fishing show screens

Viewers asked to 'take the bait' as fishing show screens

A six part TV series on trout fishing in the central North Island including Rotorua’s famed ‘trophy’ lakes, told by a “real angler,” will screen on Sky TV beginning later this month (November 24).

The series called ‘Take the Bait’ was shot by award-winning film maker Mike Firth, known for iconic films such as Kiwi ski documentary ‘Off the Edge. and The Leading Edge’

Long-time trout fisherman, Tauranga-based Mike Firth, says Take the Bait is what he describes as “point of view filming” which takes the viewer on a journey, wading remote rivers and boating across pristine lakes.

He says the style is both informative and entertaining as trout fishing personalities “reveal to us their world and stories.”

Professional fishing guides are also featured, “telling us how to catch that elusive fish.”

Mr Firth says the series was filmed in stunning locations, from the many lakes in the Rotorua central North Island district, to pristine back country rivers in remote locations in Urewera National Park.

“The series will cover the many techniques and methods of fly fishing, from trolling to the more modern art of jigging. The anglers fish from modern craft to old character wooden boats.”

Take the Bait also focuses on fly-tying experts, and a whole episode is devoted to Fish & Game’s hatchery at Ngongotaha near Rotorua, where more than 100,000 fish are bred annually to stock the North Island’s lakes.

Mr Firth says that hatchery experts Mark Sherburn and Lloyd Gledhill “take us through the rainbow trout breeding program, one of the most successful in the world. “Their breeding program plays a key part in New Zealand’s and the Rotorua lakes global reputation as a fishing mecca.”

Take the Bait screens on Heartland, Sky TV, from November 24 through to December 29th.

About the Producer/Director
Mike Firth is a keen fisherman and award-winning documentary film maker. In Take the Bait he saw an opportunity to combine his passion for film making and trout fishing.

His first feature ‘Off the Edge’ provided an emerging industry huge domestic box-office success and an Academy Award nomination as producer for best ‘feature documentary.’

The film put New Zealand on the world film-making map and was a catalyst in the formation of the Film Commission. ‘Off the Edge’ and its sequel ‘The Leading Edge’ have both become cult classics.

In recent times Mike produced ‘Adrenalize,’ a 52-episode extreme sports television series filmed throughout New Zealand sold globally into major television markets. He is also developing a 3D movie production based in Tauranga.

Take The Bait

Six half hour episodes

Episode 1
Mark Cropper takes us nymph fly fishing on the world famous Ngongotaha stream that flows into Lake Rotorua. A major spawning stream for both rainbow and brown trout, the Ngongotaha stream is well known for its challenging small pools. The Ngongotaha is Mark’s backyard and he knows the stream intimitly and is able to provide insight into nymph fishing including making his own nymphs and many useful fly fishing tips.

Episode 2
Grant Adams runs a charter fishing tour SplashnCatch on all the Rotorua lakes. Grant takes us to his succesful fishing spots and catches some big rainbow trout on the stunning lakes Rotoiti, Tarawera and Rotoma. Grant steams a rainbow in the hot sand at Hot Water beach lake Tarawera, smokes up another with totora leaves and his mate Lorrie shows us how to tie his most successful lure the “Woolley Bugger”. This is an entertaining ride aboard SplashnCatch with Grants colorful fishing friends.

Episode 3
Legendary fishing guide, deer hunter and possum trapper, Graeme Ryder shares his secrets nymph fishing on remote streams in search of wild trout in the spectacular Urewera National Park and Whirinaki Regional Park in the central North Island. Graeme stalks his trout expertly never failing to hook his prey.

Episode 4
Local Lake Rotoiti fishing guide Guy Nelson recently restored a 1928’s wooden boat to its former glory and we cruise the many pristine bays and inlets of the lake to Guys succesful fishing spots with Ken Parker an expert on fish finders and who shares his knowledge on how to get the most out of your fish finder. Guy and his mates catch some large rainbow trout with the typical humour from these old timer fishermen.

We then visit Kilwell Sports in Rotorua, world leaders in nano carbon fibre technology and see their hand crafted legendary trout fishing rods made and the iconic toby lures. Owner Jeremy Wells shows us his unique collection of fishing gear that dates back to the 1870’s and we learn of their history including early trade with China through trout fishing.

Episode 5
Rainbow trout experts Mark Sherburn and Lloyd Gledhill from the Eastern Region Fish & Game hatchery at Ngongotaha, Rotorua take us through the rainbow trout breeding program, one of the most succesful trout breeding programs in the world. Their breeding program contributes to the globally recognized trout fishing mecca that New Zealand has become famously known for.

Episode 6
We are back with young gun fishing guide Grant Adams catching many rainbow trout aboard his boat SplashnCatch on lakes Rotoiti during some very stormy weather but productive fishing. We then travel up the Ohau Channel to lake Rotorua and visit the legendary Mokoia Island on Lake Rotorua with Maori tourist guide Bryan Hughes and learn of the legendary love story between Hinemoa and Tutanekai with some insight to fishing and food gathering skills of the early Maori settlers on the island. Then it’s off just before sunset to catch a large brown trout on the often overlooked lake Rotorua formed inside an extinct volcano.


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