Worthing-based broadcaster and lifelong angler Jimmy Willis admits it wouldn’t be a massive disappointment if he didn’t catch a thing during a day’s fishing.
Of course, he likes the photos with the big catches, but above all it’s the act of fishing and the fact of being near water that he loves – aspects he explores in his first book, A Year Of Fishing 2018, self-published and available on Amazon.
Jimmy promises a book that will strike a chord with anyone that has ever been fishing: “It’s also about defying expectations, trying new things and, just occasionally, winning.”
It starts with Jimmy’s start to sea match fishing and then within two weeks taking part in the European Championships. There’s also carp fishing from a number of day-ticket venues and some fishing off the pier in Worthing.
Jimmy said: “It’s not a book for the expert angler to get advice, even though I’m hoping, if you’re just starting out in the sport, you could pick up a few tips. It is more about my love, passion and dedication to fishing and about the happiness and enjoyment it brings to me.
“Fishing is something that I did almost even before I could walk. My father used to go fishing, and he used to take me along when I was two or three, and I became obsessed with it pretty early in my life. It was the only thing that I was really, really passionate about.
“After I wrote the book, I spoke to my mum and she said that fishing was the only thing that I was really, really interested in. It was just how it was. I don’t know why. It is not the fish itself. It is about the water, being near water. I used to be obsessed with the sea, rivers, lakes, climbing trees so that I could see water. It was about being outside and the nature side of it.
“I do spend lots of time on my own, but less as you get older. But fishing is about working away the madness of life and just taking a little bit of time away from everything.
“Five or six years ago I was not fishing so much. I was spending a lot of time in London, and I was doing all the things you do when you are in your 30s. But I moved to Sussex about six years ago, and I started doing a bit of sea-fishing again, and it was great. It is great to have the chance to think about things. We get so busy as we get older than you just don’t have time to think for yourself. We just have so little time for ourselves.”
And maybe that’s why Jimmy would never consider a day on which he didn’t actually catch anything to be a wasted day: “You could never waste a day if you are fishing.”
Jimmy’s girlfriend Anna is laid-back about his angling: “She is a retail manager and so she works quite a lot of weekends and just lets me get on with the fishing. I have tried persuading her to come fishing, but she is not that keen. She is not so massively outdoorsy. We are different. It is good to have different interests and both do your own thing.”
In April, Jimmy was contacted and asked to write a book about carp-fishing, but when he researched the market, he saw that there was already a lot of books on the subject: “But what I found people were interested in, with the online stuff that I do, is my own experiences more than the actual fishing.
“This isn’t a how-to book. I just take the reader through a year in my fishing…”