The Specimen Series - With Phil Spinks

This entry was posted on by

The Specimen Series - With Phil Spinks

In this blog entry, Angling Direct’s very own Phil Spinks reflects on his success and filming on his Specimen Series on the Angling Direct Youtube channel.


Filming the Specimen Series is something I'm very passionate about. I’ve always been an all-around angler and with this Youtube series, it gives the viewer an insight into my world of fishing.


What Does the Specimen Series Cover?

The Specimen Series is a reflection of my own style of fishing, as the seasons change throughout the year so do my target species. There are over 20 different episodes in the series so far and I am always planning and thinking about the next adventure.

View all the fishing tackle items Phil uses in his Specimen Series, here.

Who is the Specimen Series for?

The series can be enjoyed by both newcomers and experienced specimen anglers. The aim is to help anglers explore the joy of catching a wide range of different species and to share my passion or some might say obsession for angling. View the whole Specimen Series Youtube playlist, here.

Although I've enjoyed being part of every single episode on the Angling Direct Specimen Series, these are my Top 3 Specimen videos so far…


1. Catching BIG Chub - Three 6lb+ Chub In a Day!

This video was definitely an emotional roller coaster. On the first day of filming, we headed to my local River Wensum. The River Wensum has suffered terribly from otter and cormorant predation in recent years.

What once would have been my favourite river is now a shadow of its former self. Lots of swims were covered on that first day and the river if I am honest was too high, but there is still the odd big chub to be caught from the Wensum and you have to be in it to win it.

Just one small chub to show for my efforts on that first day and I then knew I needed to up my game for this video to be a success.

The second day myself and Chris the videographer for all my Specimen Series (thank you Chris) headed to the River Ouse. I had never fished the Ouse for chub before but knew it had enormous potential. On arrival again the river looked extremely high and coloured, better suited to barbel than chub in my experience.

I leapfrogged along the first chosen section of river casting smelly lumps of cheese paste in every chubby looking swim. Two very average-sized chub paid me a visit, but at least I then knew the chub were happy to feed in the high coloured water.

On the third and final day, I was feeling the pressure to pull a rabbit out of the hat, so to speak. I felt with only three small chub caught so far, a video wasn’t in the bag. I adopted the go big or go home approach. A good friend of mine local to the area had mentioned a stretch worth fishing for a BIG chub. But he also mentioned it might be very tricky too.

I had had a struggle so far anyhow, and all I had to show for my efforts were three small chub. I needed a half-decent fish to save the video. After a slow morning on the final day, I went from zero to hero catch three beautiful big River Ouse chub all over the magic 6lb mark that final afternoon.



2. Gravel Pit Tench Fishing

In this episode, I target the clear weedy gravel pits on the famous Bawburgh lakes complex in Norfolk. I enjoy this style of tench fishing immensely. Filmed in early April the temperatures were still very cold with sharp frosts at night.

I adopted my favourite feeder fishing approach using particle type baits such as hemp, pellet, casters, and of course red maggots. The video is full of tench fishing tips including location, rigs, bait application and much more.

An instant bite within seconds of making the first cast lifted my confidence. But the rest of that first day the bobbins stayed motionless. Determined to make something happen I kept recasting the feeders and fishing as neat and tidy as I could hoping that that second morning the tench would turn up.

Despite the sharp frost the next morning I was rudely awoken at dawn by my second tench of the trip. Once the temperatures lifted later that morning and the wind picked up blowing straight into my swim the tench turned up in numbers. The action starts with a triple take seeing three tench resting in my net together.

The action continued all day with bite after bite. My persistence had paid off and several stunning tench were caught.

View all the fishing tackle items Phil uses in his Gravel Pit Tench video, here.




3. Chalk Stream Grayling

Long trotting for grayling on a cold winter's day is one of my favourite styles of angling. This episode captures the magic of winter fishing.

On the first day, I visit the River Test and on the second day, I visit the nearby River Itchen. Both days were packed full of action. I have honestly lost count of how many graylings I have caught over those two days, not to mention the ravenous trout.

The video is full of advice for anyone looking to target grayling for the first time, but also shows the exact reason I make the long journey from Norfolk down to Hampshire to target these beautiful fish.

View all the fishing tackle Phil uses in his Chalk Stream Grayling video, here.

I am looking forward to filming my next specimen series, and I hope to inspire other anglers to get out on the bank targeting a variety of different species.

Tight lines,



Related Posts:

Phil Spinks - Top 5 Tench Fishing Tips

Winter Chub Fishing Guide – Phil Spinks

Read More from Phil Spinks here.

To top