OVER many years in angling I’ve seen a number of sights that have amazed and stunned me; from the awesomely good to the incredibly bad.
A quick look through the pages of Angler’s Mail magazine on any one week will bring a treasure trove of ideas to help you catch more fish.
Even experienced anglers can benefit from having their brains jogged or gleaning some info that they can build on.
Yes last week at two club waters I once again witnessed a few aspects of angling that had me wincing…
Not even thinking about it
First, let’s look at the carp angler who obviously didn’t think twice about what he was doing.
He arrived, tackled up in what seemed an age and then chucked his rigs into a likely looking area. That was the good start.
But then he walked around the other side of where he was fishing and lobbed out a stack of freebie boilies – or whatever he was using – despite the lack of fish feeding because of the bright sun and flat calm conditions.
By this time he’d probably fed off anything that was inclined to feed. But he hadn’t finished – he then started to fire out single boilies one after the other at first appearing oblivious to the fact each boilie was being picked off by a seagull. Of course one seagull turned into a flock until he stopped firing out baits.
He wasn’t alone in his lack of thought. I saw another angler heaving in groundbait, which might well have worked if he had managed to put it into one reasonably tight area rather than fill in a load of swims around him besides his own!
A shocking cock-up on the pole
On what was a tough day I then saw an angler pole fishing with elastic that refused to come out of his pole despite the roach he was hooking.
Yes, you guessed, quite a few came off as that shock absorber was now a hook-puller.
At Godalming AS’s Marsh Farm, on Hill Pond (I had to fish it as my first choice of Richardson’s had a match on it) I saw someone fish a seven metre pole to-hand in a howling gale and into water that’s around two to four feet deep at the most. That’s a guarantee of non-presentation and no fish.
Despite the higher temperatures I reasoned that the fish might not be in the margins as there was a very cold wind that probably pushed the fish over the first ledge into the slighter deeper water.
I cupped in groundbait and a few maggots to keep the freebies tight and used a marker on the far bank to ensure I fished the right area. Result – some nice roach (newly stocked), some lovely crucians (like the one on the right) and a few hard fighting tench.
Sharing the winning tactics
Surprisingly, no one copied what I was doing. But full marks to the guy who walked round from the opposite end, sparked up a friendly conversation and obviously wanted to know why I was catching well.
Like most anglers I know, I was only too willing to tell him what I was doing and why. He was also sharp enough to ask what size hook I was using – a big 20 carrying two maggots, alternating a mix of red and whites.
He thanked me for the advice, realised his running line waggler rig couldn’t be as precise as my pole work but still went back and adjusted his tackle and where he was fishing to catch a few more.
As for the kid who appeared to be training for the Olympics by running around the lake – and dropping litter – all I can say is ‘No Comment.’ Well ok I will say something…what the hell was his dad thinking?
Polish do it the right way
Our Eastern European cousins often come in for quite a bit of flak for leaving litter and – more likely – killing fish. So here’s some praise for a couple of anglers, father and son, Polish if my listening skills weren’t damaged by the wind!
When they arrived at the venue and plonked next to me I had visions of the first fish they caught getting a sore head and me losing the plot. They failed to catch so moved opposite me where they hooked and landed a nice roach. I kept a close watch to see what happened…
Son unhooked the fish in the landing net and then with the fish in the palm of his hand kneeled down and lowered his catch gently into the water to swim away. Well done! A few English anglers could learn from that sort of treatment…
Oh and there wasn’t a scrap of litter when they left. Which is more than can be said for the group of locals with the would-be Olympian who fished along the bank!