Colin Mitchell, the popular pleasure fishing blogger here at anglersmail.co.uk, is back with a look at what's behind success or failure. If you like this blog, share by clicking the social media icons.
OVER the past couple of weeks I will bet that you have either bagged up or blanked.
In fact if I asked you to put your hands up I am certain that there will be more admissions to dry or almost dry landing nets.
How do I know? Well the blankety blank – or very nearly – syndrome has happened to me on days when it really shouldn’t have.
In fact the other evening, despite nearly spot-on conditions of overcast, warm and a ripple on the water I could only get five tiny bleeps on the alarms. I would have expect some nice chunky bream…
So what’s been wrong?
You could blame too much sun – but not on many days.
You could blame it on not enough rain – well in some parts of the country.
Some might tell you it was the fault of the moon – and although I admit the old lunar orbit does have an effect on fishing I don’t think you can blame the big glowing silver ball this time around.
Nope from what I can tell – and I know other anglers agree – it was down to air pressure.
I’m no expert on reading barometers but I do know that the pressure was ‘heavy’ and it made me feel like the air was ‘sticky’ and it didn’t feel very fresh.
Now it is easy to imagine that the feeling we have in the air is transmitted in some form to the fish in the water.
Even venues with aerators haven’t fished brilliantly over the past few weeks – so it’s obviously something outside the water that has had an effect on the fishing.
“It’s great here, but…”
I went to a new venue last week and the locals all told me how great a place it was… but that it would not fish that day.
They said that the venue had not fished like it should for a couple of weeks and they were a bit puzzled.
The sun was out – but this was a mainly carp and skimmer water where you would still have expected to catch, especially with the various depths, colour of the lakes, lily pads and other cover about.
I struggled to land 12lb that on the day, was still a half reasonable weight, even though there was a 100lb catch around the other side of the venue to me. There was nothing else near that on the lake.
Check out recent match results and you will see some monster winning weights – but with lesser back-up weights to usual and only on certain venues.
By the time you read this maybe the pressure will have changed, I certainly hope so… and we can get back to bagging days.
Mentally in a bad place
Sometimes you can forget about blaming the weather for poor catches.
The reason you haven’t caught anywhere near enough – or even close to what you might expect – is that you have given up before you started, especially in the case of match anglers.
With many venues permanently pegged it is so easy to pull out a number and hear the words ‘rubbish’ or ‘flyer’ bandied about.
Likewise if you turn up at a water and don’t get your first or second choice swim for a day’s pleasure fishing your head drops.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all done it. We can’t help it. It’s called human nature.
Well, in actually fact we can help it!
Positive attitude = success
Have you noticed how many times the same anglers frame in matches or the same big fish boys get the best results?
That’s not just because they might have the best gear – I’ve seen some of them bag up on stuff you wouldn’t buy at a car boot sale!
It’s not because they are magicians, just plain lucky or have more bait than you.
It is quite often because they are positive wherever they fish. They believe they will catch, that all pegs hold fish.
Also they add the most important ingredient you need for any fishing – feeding!
You can present your bait correctly on great tackle but if you don’t feed right you won’t catch.
Think about it. You are tackled up correctly, you cast to the right spot but you are catching nothing. Why?
The fish don’t want to hang themselves on the hook – they need to be tempted to it. More often than not that means feeding, whether it’s banging in the bait or trickling in some grub little and often.
That’s the skill. Knowing how much bait to put in and when.
Changing your feed pattern
There is something you can do on bad days when you are not catching – and that is quite simply changing your feed pattern.
This time of the year you will often get a response by blasting out a big quantity of food at one hit.
It’s a bit like you and I saying we are not hungry – it’s quite easy to tempt us into having something to eat by offering us a very tasty snack.
How often have you gone past an Indian restaurant and been tempted by the smell?
How often have you just had to pick up that big cream cake covered in chocolate?
Fish like their food too – so serve them up a feast they just can’t resist!