Yum Cha Chats: Alan Fitzpatrick baits us with his all-time favourite fishing spots around the world
Techno's dark horse enjoys a relatively sunny hobby to de-stress
Sunday’s are hard but can be made easier with unexpected delights — so here’s some fluff to get you through it. Inspired by a recent jaunt for dim sum with Miss Yellow in Hong Kong, allow us to deliver a new edition of Yum Cha Chats — which means let’s go eat dim sum and drink tea in Cantonese. The series will dig into the obscure and tasty 'fillings' you never knew about your favourite DJs and have nothing to do with music — every Sunday. Best enjoyed from bed…
Gosh, it must be fun to be a DJ: touring the world, parties every weekend, indulgent restauranting, lavish hotels, ROOM SERVICE...The often-overlooked element is the stress your body goes through running on high octane most of the time, the lack of sleep, the pressure on friends and family, and especially on one's mental health. Alan Fitzpatrick has found a good ol’ fashioned way to deal with it all: fishing. “My touring schedule can be gruelling and amidst the jet lag, tinnitus and sleep deprivation I sometimes find it difficult to properly switch off, so fishing is my go-to for relaxation and stress relief. I find it equally calming and invigorating.”
When you think about it, the sport is actually extremely meditative: calm water, near-dead silence, serene vistas and a stress-free vibe. Maybe it’s something more young people should take up in their downtime? “I think it’s becoming more popular actually; you’d be surprised how many younger lads I see at lakes,” says Alan.
Although the Englishman hasn't managed to go fishing on tour yet, he makes it a priority to get out often when he can balance it with his hectic DJ schedule. “I probably go out once or twice a month, depending on how busy I am with work. For me, it’s the perfect hobby — not too strenuous and very rewarding.”
Looking to get some (socially distanced) fishing in? We had Alan put together a little list of what he deems are some of the best spots to fish around the world.
Stoneham Lakes, Eastleigh, United Kingdom
"This is my favourite spot. It’s very close to home so I can easily pack up my gear into the van and be set up on the lake within an hour. It’s a beautiful lake with clear waters, it’s also where I’ve had my biggest catches. Usually, I go alone and enjoy the peace and quiet but more recently I’ve brought industry friends along with me and they’re fishing converts now too. I sometimes bring my son but he’s yet to be convinced, we always make sure to pack the iPad!"
Sumner Ponds Fishery, Horsham, United Kingdom
""Maybe I’m biased but I think the fisheries in Southern England are fantastic. I bring my wife and kids along for a fishing holiday when I visit Sumner Ponds, the glamping pods are family-friendly and sit right on the edge of the lake so I can set up my gear and still spend quality time with the others. It’s a very tranquil setting and perfect for short summer breaks. On our most recent visit, my daughter fell off the decking into the lake which was quite unnerving as she’s only six years old and got a bit of a fright. On the other hand, I caught a 20lb carp later that day so all is well that ends well."
Villareal Fishery, Villeréal, France
"I had planned to visit Villareal this summer during a stay in Southern France with my good friend Reset Robot. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to Covid restrictions, which was very disappointing. This place is an anglers dream, no permits or licences required and everything you need is on-site and covered in one fee. It’s a seven-acree fishery with 60lb carp and secluded fishing spots but anglers also have use of the neighbouring tennis court, swimming pool and restaurants. I planned to drive my camper van over from England but there are various airports nearby if you’d prefer to fly. "
River Ebro, Iberian Penisula, Spain
"Renting a villa on the River Ebro for fishing holidays is always a great idea. The unique biodiversity in the river attracts anglers from all over Europe and beyond. I’m an avid carp angler and the carp here can grow to 15kg and I’ve hooked some huge catfish here too. My top tip would be to visit in winter, the climate is milder and the fish tend to congregate and swim in shoals. This is one for the more experienced anglers but it’s definitely worth the visit. You’ll always get a catch. "
Palm Tree Lagoon Fishery, Ratchaburi, Thailand
"For carp anglers, I’m not sure you could find a better fishery. I visited Thailand earlier last year with my family and fell in love with the country. The world record catch was recorded here last year, a 105kg Siamese carp was caught by an Englishman. Coincidentally, he claimed to be a casual angler so maybe there’s hope for me! Now I’ve just got to convince my wife it’s a good idea ha! If you want to get into carp fishing, my recommendation would be to invest in top quality gear. My terminal tackle, bivvy, overnight accessories and clothing are all Ridge Monkey. It’s the best you can buy, really high quality and will last forever."