Our popular weekly blogger Colin Mitchell looks at how to balance your fishing life to stay charged up - and on the ball.
IF YOU have ever sat down and wondered why you go fishing the following words could make sense to you.
If you’ve always just picked up your gear, gone to the water, fished and then come home celebrating a good day or bemoaning a bad session you won’t understand…
Some want to go fishing every day of the week. They think it is the cure for all evils or as many days on the bank as they can cram in will make the, better anglers.
I’m lucky in that I have a lifestyle that gives me the chance to go fishing more than most.
Yet I often don’t bother – and go for a walk, see friends, do a bit of writing… just something else to occupy my time.
The wonders of Will
Former World and European Champion Will Raison (pictured above) is in a similar position and could probably fish every day of the week if he wanted.
In fact you probably think that Will DOES fish every single moment he is awake – but you would be totally wrong.
Will and I were discussing this in the tackle shop at Gold Valley last week and, like me, he insists that a few days off fishing is actually better for him!
He’s not lost any of his love for the sport. He doesn’t look on the game as a job.
And he’s just as determined to stay in the England team and be a world-class angler as long as possible.
But he is sure that he wants to enjoy his fishing and sometimes that means having a break.
And a break is often as good as a rest – something a former Dorking team-mate of Will’s, Ireland international Nick Howell, agreed with us about.
Due to personal reasons Nick took a few weeks out of the sport awhile back then decided to kick back into matches. The result – a few good wins on the bounce.
You see a break lets you shake out the cobwebs. You stop thinking along the same lines all of the time.
And you also come back fresh, wanting to catch more, think more and you work harder at getting more from your angling.
Don’t break for too long though!
But don’t leave it too long! I took a break from match fishing a few years ago and although I now dabble in the odd match I realise I am out of touch for competition fishing.
It would take me some time to get back in the swing of things.
I’ve not lost ability or the thought pattern of how to get the best from angling. I just do everything that bit slower in terms of match fishing.
When I should be changing my line, hook, area of the swim I am fishing, method, feed… I am leaving it five or ten minutes longer than I should.
In a match situation, that can lead to vital pounds and ounces being lost.
In fact on the drive home from the few matches I have taken part in over the past two years I have realised my mistakes. The ability to compete is still there, as is the knowledge – but the timing has gone…
Variety – now that truly is the spice of life!
Now having said all of the above sometimes it is not a break from fishing that you want – it is a break from the same type of fishing.
I’ve done a lot of stillwater and commercial style fishing over the summer, in fact since early Spring.
I was right – except the first place I went I couldn’t get to the bank because of floodwater between the footpath and the riverside.
The second place was spot-on yet I caught nothing – well crayfish certainly don’t count in my book!
Yet I went home happy. I’d had a great afternoon in the country, decent weather, some pleasant guys on the bank for a chat and that sense of anticipation you get waiting for a bite.
The bite never came. I never got the barbel I went for. I could have caught small fish but that wasn’t the aim.
There’s always next time – and I won’t be taking too long away from the water’s edge!