2017 Mission Statement
Mar21

2017 Mission Statement

Zen2 , always on a mission . I cant believe its actually spring at last ! Obviously 2016 was somewhat of a disaster for me from July onwards thanks to that wipe out at the skatepark This has been the longest winter ever for me . I just cant wait to get out there again under the cliffs , out on the reefs and most importantly having a good giggle with you guys ! Every year I need new challenges and goals to keep it fresh . This year I will be spending a great deal more time out on the North Coast of Cornwall fishing out of Hayle and pointing Zen2 West towards to Lands end . The scenery and potential on that stretch of coast is truly epic . In a way it represents the last un turned stone of West Cornwall for me . This approach of never sitting still keeps me excited and hopefully that excitement is felt by you guys .If I am not learning I go stale , thats the way I am wired . By booking Zen2 you can never be 100 % sure what we will be doing until its time to launch . Heaven forbid the day I am stuck in Falmouth with limited options flogging the manacles . I love the reef but there is so much more out there and the wind swings around 360 degrees . Rendering falmouth bay un fishable for days and sometimes weeks at a time . Tackle wise I will continue with Fiiish lures , The Majorcraft Syroads have done us proud . I have brand new Certate Heavy duty reels all ready to go . Fly Rods from Hardy and Sage , Nautilus reels , Flies homegrown as always .We have the amazing Garmin Panoptix system on the boat . This has proved itself invaluable already and it would be a tough day were I to go back to traditional historical data fish finder systems . I get a live feed under my boat . I want to see more fly guys tussling big fish on Zen2 . Its hard to believe I was 100 % fly only a few years ago . If I had the same number of fly guys I used to have on the boat we would see so many more big Bass and Pollock bending fly rods double . Its down to me to get those fly guys motivated. Its a shame that I pulled out from the St Mawes Fly fishing festival but once I was forced to share the room with fools I was left...

Read More
Fathers and sons ( and daughters )
Aug03

Fathers and sons ( and daughters )

Fishing blogs tend to be all about how awesome everything is , well not today  , today was so bad fishing wise that I just did the honest thing and told my clients I was wasting their money and my time , we agreed on an half day tariff , had lunch together at Castaways and I dropped the guys off , bid them farewell , hoped they were serious about a return trip in October and went home to my own family . Its a fascinating experience to be the skipper of a boat when you share the day with a father and his son . Its a special time for my customers and in a funny kind of way I become part of that dynamic for a day . I get an up close insight into the lives and relationships of these two people over the 8 hour day ,life is short and our chances to be together can be limited , if clients also choose to do B & B at my place ,so much greater is the experience and the insight  . Mike and his son Dan have gone home now . It was great to observe the closeness of  29 year old doctor and his 60 something father . I came away wishing I was as close as that to my father and determined too stay as close as I am now to my own son . Mikes son was a son to be proud of , handsome,  gifted and respectful , a man who didn’t rush to reply as he digested information, the guy has an obviously great future ahead of him , It a couple of months now since I fished with Kevin and his  daughter . Likewise I came away from the day with great feeling from sharing a day out on the Cornish coastline with such a close family unit. Kevin has 7  children  , yet he choose his daughter to fish the day . She was lovely and bloody determined to catch fish . Her excitement and his pride beam out of the photo Charles came along with his son Sam . He was 11 years old and keen as mustard . He had first Bass of the day on a surface lure . If i can get a moment like that early in the day its a huge relief to me. The three of us fished together and that day Sam landed more Bass than myself and his dad , he also landed the best fish of the day . To say he was excited was an understatement ! Apparently he was on a high for days. When I have had a...

Read More
Photo Memories  2014
Dec19

Photo Memories 2014

”And so this is Christmas another year gone ”! Time to look back at some photos from this year aboard Zen2 . So many great people so many great days !  Bring on 2015 !!!!!   Merry Christmas  Austen    [Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”1″ gal_title=”2015″]  

Read More
Stargazy Squid
Oct16

Stargazy Squid

If ever I come home full of excitement and try to capture the feeling while its there for my blog , it will normally be some report of a big Bass , perhaps hectic sport or maybe just a great day with great company on Zen2 . Well today I did come home with a spring in my step and the feeling that perhaps everything is falling into place.  I have put aside every spare penny this year following my decision to take up commercial fishing during the winter months . I cant spend 6 months of the year out on the water surrounded by all that marine life and beauty and the other 6 months trapped indoors. There have been times when I wish I was a grizzly bear . I could just sleep in a cave and awake in the spring .   This was not an overnight decision it was the result of perhaps 2 years consideration . This 10 year journey into the world of self employment via fishing has had many chapters and I have  done some amazing things , travelled the world and fished alongside hundreds of people , just an incredible decade both professionally and personally. Being booted off a building site for being the worlds worst carpenter  in 2004 was one of the best things that ever happened to me ! The fishing thing all started because I had exhausted every other traditional avenue , in the end I just thought Fuck it I will follow my heart . This continues ! At 630 am  Sam and I launched my work boat Stargazy into the black remains of the night . I was still rigging the navigation lights at 10 pm last night . I needed to test out the Suzuki DF 25 engine one more time following a fair amount of fiddling with different propellors to suit the hull.  We’re still not really there yet. I think I may need to upgrade to a 30 hp engine ? My knowledge of squid fishing is limited at best . I do however get to spy on the squidders as I come and go on Zen2 . I also have a few friends out there on the water , the inevitable result of spending so much time in the same office space as the commercial fishermen . Its hard to stay hating people when they always smile and wave at you as you by !  Sam and I drifted around keeping an eye on the other boats and how they fish for squid. We landed only 5 . I did however bump...

Read More
People Power
Oct09

People Power

I fished with Ross from Alderney Angling and his brother Sam the other day . You cant beat it when the fish are on the first reef you visit , highly fizzed up and aggressive. It makes my job so much easier . I can relax a little and just watch the drama unfold rather than try to find the fish as I so often have to do. Great to see young and old faces aboard the boat. I fished with Michael the week before , this is our 3rd season fishing together , Mikes just turned 83 years old , he still casts a surface lure and works it well. I do have to choose a nice calm  spot to fish with this true gentleman ! (Sir Michael actually !)     Mark R (Below) Is a regular and now a great friend , we have such a laugh together , we share the same silly sense of humour. Mark has been through so much in the time I have known him , he has fought for his life twice with bone marrow treatments , he values every day and adores his family and so he should . Its these people that make this job so special . As each year goes by my list of good friends who charter Zen2 lengthens . Its the thought of fishing with these guys next year that will get me through the long dark winter !! Saltwater fly fishing requires steely grit and determination , you need to be far more aggressive in your technique , both in terms of casting and also how you work the fly through the water and also cover the water with your fly. As the season for customer  traffic on Zen2  starts to slow down and the days shorten I find myself just that bit more appreciative of every day afloat.   Zen2 will continue to charter for my hardcore clients all winter . My other boat Stargazy will be launching very soon. This is a massive new chapter in my life . I will be commercial fishing for Mackerel and Squid during the winter months . I will do anything to be able to stay out on the water  . I miss the people but refuse to miss out on the scenery !! Thanks for reading Oz  ...

Read More
Sunset and Sunrise with Mike Ladle
May29

Sunset and Sunrise with Mike Ladle

Life can be very short so don’t ever waste time when it comes to doing the things you love to do or spending quality time with people you love or admire .  This was brought  home to me this week when I discovered that lovely guy I fished with 10 days ago on the Eddystone suddenly and unexpectedly died while still on his fishing holiday in the West Country. His wife told me he loved his day fishing with me aboard Zen2. He had a heart disease with no idea whatsoever , gone in a split second . Just like that! I found a new friend that day and lost him within 72 hours . So after many aborted days fishing with Mike over the years  hell or high water would not have stopped me from heading down to Dorset for a couple of sessions with the Author of ” Hooked on Bass” Mike Ladle . What a gentleman he is ,a great fisherman and a great waterman too  . He is like an old mountain goat with silver hair . I struggled to keep up with him as we scaled the cliffs and stumbled over the boulders . Im involved with a couple of writing projects so I wont blow my words on the blog page . 8 Hours driving , 7 hours fishing , 4 hours sleeping . I guess the other 5 hours must have been spent chatting about fishing ?   Mike landed a 5 lb Mullet Second cast a was quite content to just watch them graze on seaweed maggots while we discussed Bass fishing and put the world to rights. I met a hero of mine and made a new friend , so it was well worth the effort . I landed with a very nice Kelpy  Golden Bass on the Dot crawler fished super slow. (Gotta show these Dorzzet boys where they are going wrong !!) Don’t waste  a moment !! No one ever wishes they had spent more time cutting the grass or washing the car when its time to leave this mortal coil !  ...

Read More
Dolphins !!
May22

Dolphins !!

They bring so much joy to us and often seem to know when were having a tough day and need cheering up !! They are as fascinated by us as were by them. Catching Double figure Bass is quite Joyful too ! What an amazing start to the new Bass season !    ...

Read More
A living worth scraping
Feb20

A living worth scraping

I love the feel, atmosphere and philosophy behind this film . This film inspires me on a number of levels . It seems wrong when you see so much crap receive so much recognition and traffic on Youtube or Vimeo and yet a film like this that has won awards has less than 100 ,000 hits. Somehow I would guess that Micky Smith is not to worried. He doesn’t seem the type ! Quote …… If i only scrape a living , at least its a living worth scraping (I can relate to that !) Darkside Of The Lens from mickey smith on...

Read More
Riding High – A season on the Fly
Dec20

Riding High – A season on the Fly

Am I alone on this ?? If Im honest I find the whole Flats dude / Fly Dude thing quite annoying . This video for all that I find irritating also inspires me . I have fished for Tarpon in Costa Rica- Cuba – Venezuela – Mexico – Belize . I spent 3 days in the Florida Keys in 2010 . It was those 3 days that I really loved. We did’nt even boat a fish, you name it , it went wrong , it was inspiring and intimidating , technical Fly fishing .Just casting at and hooking those submarines was enough fuel my desire to return . Im stealing a phrase but its great one ” There are 2 words that describe hooking a Giant Tarpon , Those words are ”Fucking Hell” . The day you stop saying that when you hook one is the day to quit Tarpon Fishing !” Great cinematography , Good fun and an amazing fish as the star !   Riding High: A Season on the Fly from Waterline Media on...

Read More
Roger Baker
Nov17

Roger Baker

The wise old man at the foot of the Mountain. Roger used to work in IT ( and made  a few quid ). He then purchased the Atlantic Inn Porthleven which he ran for  11 years. He also had a condo and Skiff on Islamarada Florida where he spent his winters flats fishing.  After my saltwater fly fishing exploits in Australia 1999 – 2000 Roger was the first person for me to share these with upon my return. Roger now  lives at the foot of a mountain close to lough Currane. Not the most stressful of lifestyles. He has become a good friend over the years. Roger has been one of those people I have bumped into along the way that has influenced my direction. Roger and Val have a great fishing Lodge , focusing on Sea trout fishing on Currane. Roger who has turned his love of fishing and the great outdoors  into a life style , hense the inspiration . Heres a link to Rogers website http://www.cloghvoola.com/ UPDATE 2014 Time flies by and its a 13 years ago since I first fell for the charms of West Ireland . I have watched the East Coast Bass fishery explode with hype and anglers . The Far West has kept its dignity and mystique . This place can be very cruel and I have experienced more failures and disappointments here than anywhere else I know in the world. I have never guided there or hosted trips despite requests from regular clients , reasons being both selfish and respectful to those that do live and work there . Everybody needs somewhere to escape the hype and crowds. Lets hope it stays that way ?...

Read More