Eagerly awaited since the original series’ release in 2001, Blue Planet II has dominated the weekly viewing ratings. The series’ first episode drew in over 14 million viewers. There are many reasons Blue Planet’s millions tune in, its awe-inspiring cinematography and editing, and the narration by British national treasure Sir David Attenborough. However, the biggest reason we tune in every week is to see the fascinating behaviour of fish.In this blog post, we’re going to go over some of the series’ highlights so far, and one or two lessons anglers could take from it.
(1) Bird-Eating Fish – Episode 1: One Ocean
Blue Planet doesn’t shy away from the grisly reality of nature. This nail-biting moment was likened to Planet Earth II (2016)’s iguana vs. snake faceoff. The series’ debut episode showed a swarm of 50 giant trevally fish hunting fledgling birds. David narrates how each fish ‘amazingly, has a brain that calculates the air speed, altitude, and trajectory of a bird.’ With a trevally weighing over 40kg, they’re a formidable predator. But one thing we also took from this scene was how amazed viewers were. Twitter erupted at the prospect of a fish eating a bird. People really are surprised at the true range of what fish can, and will, eat. However, an experienced angler will know that fish can eat almost anything. Savage Gear, for instance, sell highly realistic lures modelled after ducks, rats and even bats!
(2) Beware the Bobbit Worm – Episode 3: Coral Reefs
If you thought the bird-eating fish was nightmare inducing, you should see the metre-long bobbit worm. It’s just as terrifying as you’d imagine a ‘giant carnivorous worm with jaws as sharp as daggers’ would be. In the third episode of the series, we saw how fast the bobbit worm can strike, when it preyed upon a hapless lion fish. We could summarise the bobbit worm’s feat, but Sir David’s words carry more resonance than we could ever hope to articulate: ‘the hunter has become the hunted.’ Bear that in mind next time you’re out predator fishing. We believe that some anglers may underestimate the power of their catch. But, the common pike for example has teeth as sharp as razors. That’s why you must always have a wire trace between your lure and your main fishing line. We recommend this PikePro Trace Wire (20m) for its reliability and ease of use.
(3) The Hypnotising Cuttlefish – Episode 3: Coral Reefs
Fish are incredibly evolved creatures. It’s simply amazing how they adapt to survive. In this episode, we saw a cuttlefish advance on a crab. With its robust claws, the crab proved quite challenging prey. But, the cuttlefish has developed an astounding way of rendering it defenceless. It hypnotises the crab with its flashing skin. Sir David explains that ‘its skin contains millions of pigment cells, with which it can make ever-changing colours and patterns.’
Research shows that fish are very similar to humans in how they perceive optical illusions. That’s why several bait manufacturers use bright colours to draw them in. Korda Kiana Carp Goo was a game-changing product when it was launched, because it uses visuals to provoke a feeding response in carp. To learn more about how Korda Kiana Carp Goo works, click here to read our blog post on it.
Throughout the series, Blue Planet II has managed to show the countless ways global warming and pollution are taking their toll on ocean life. This ranged from walruses fighting for space on depleting ice, to turtles becoming tangled in plastic bags. The United Nations state that ‘as much as 40 per cent of the world’s oceans are heavily affected by human activities.’
Unfortunately, this means that the millions of people marvelling at the Blue Planet could also be responsible for its decline. But thankfully, the show is having a definite impact on viewers. Many have voiced on Twitter that they will be much more mindful of pollution, with some vowing to never use plastic bags again. We hope that, as anglers, the readers of this blog post are all doing their bit to keep our waters sustainable, so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.