Instructor, narrator, producer etc.: Kent Fraser, Nick Reygaert, Craig Worthington, Mat McHugh and Simon Cox
Reviewed by Martin Joergensen Sometimes you run across fishing DVD's, which are so different from the average fishing DVD that it's remarkable. This DVD is definitely one of them. And that in a good way.
The setup is this: Five New Zealand "mates" Kent Fraser, Nick Reygaert, Craig Worthington, Mat McHugh and Simon Cox have obviously been surfing Google Maps too much, circling small spots in French Polynesia indicating probable bonefish spots, places to go for GT's and generally interesting looking spots. The guys have heard of potentially great bonefishing in this area, and set out to find remote spots with fishable flats. So they leave home, travel by air and water to get to these unknown spots.
We follow them in their search in something, which I can only describe as a professionally produced home video. The imagery is pro grade, cutting and music is great and the scenery is mostly breathtaking. But a manuscript? Nah, no worries mate! We get what we get, don't we?
And that's what we as viewers take part in: the hardships at sea, the uncertainty, the fly fishing from the stern of the coconut boat, the fishing from the odd pier, sharks in the shallows as well as the real fishing from the beaches, the atolls and the flats.
So the first real fishing takes place from a small atoll where they can barely get a tent to stand and where freshwater seems to be a very scarce resource. Starving and thirsty they hunt for fish, run low on water and generally seem in way over their heads.
Luckily this scene changes to showers, shaves and pancakes before anybody looses their wits (or their life for that matter), and the guys find their bonefish going out with pearl farmers. And they get all the action you want and bonefishing the brutal way. As one participant says: "I actually told the people back home that all the hype about bones is just BS. It's just all hype. But I have to take that back!"
And it *is* exciting. Large bonefish, 10 weight rods, lots of chorals, huffing and puffing and a fair amount of broken leaders and hooks. No, it's not hype. This is really great fishing, and being there and seeing the excitement, the joy as well as positive surprises of catching all kinds of new species.
Together with these guys you loose count of fish and days. The mix between fishing footage and interview bits brings you away from the home video and into a very informative and interesting and in many ways even more exiting video. No chance is left alone, and even swimming over the reef to the edge of the bluewater standing on a small rock fishing for fish so large that you never see them. They just break off.
The guys make their way through dangerous reefs to a small island, originally located on Google Maps and almost impossible to get to. But they manage and once they break the spell and start catching - or rather hooking - fish, we the viewers are in for a roller coaster trip in untouched waters.
But fishing under these conditions is not for the faint of heart. We're talking infections, bruises, sun burns and lots of examples of what not to do. Add to that running out of food not to mention water. We experience all these events right next the these half crazy anglers, who do what we all dream to do - pursue the goals and dreams and just go out there and... search. In spite of the improvisational philosophy of this project, in spite of the chances taken and in spite of the somewhat random events that are chained together in this film, it's become an excellent production.
Warmly recommended for those who want to spend a couple of hours dreaming about adventurous trips to warmer places.
Pictures by the producers of The Search