Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
When you take someone fishing you generally make an effort to see that they catch something or at least that they see some fish. I'm no exception in this respect and I like to feel that I choose my times and places carefully when my friend is new to the type of angling.
Last week I'd arranged to go with Sara Dunn (a keen local angler but unfamiliar with the saltwater plugging/fly fishing approach) to try and catch a bass or a mullet. It was the first in a series of spring tides, it was reasonably calm conditions and high water was an hour or two before sunset - 'should be OK' I thought. The writing was on the wall as we walked along the shore, I kicked over a pile of weed to look for maggots - it was black and cold under the surface of the midden. Not a maggot in sight. Clearly this was very old weed, the flies had already emerged and there was little chance of a maggot bonanza. Sure enough, as we trudged along, every stack of weed (and there were plenty) told the same story. When we arrived at my chosen spot one of my pals was already fly fishing and shortly afterwards Ben and Phil turned up. Obviously we'd all thought the same thing.
After half-an-hour's fruitless spinning, as it approached high water, we noticed one or two big mullet feeding at the surface close to the water's edge. After pointing them out to Sara I couldn't resist a dabble with the fly gear. I quickly tied on a 'maggot fly' baited it with a few white maggots and began to cast. Within a couple of minutes I saw a fish mouth the fly but my strike met with no resistance - missed! I checked that the bait was still in place and began to cast again. First chuck another mullet took the fly and this time it was well hooked. After a short struggle I slid the fish ashore and took one or two pictures before unhooking it and returning it to the water. It was perhaps 1.5-2.0 lb,much the smallest mullet I've had on a fly for a long time.
I removed the fly from my leader and gave it to Sara so that she could try for a mullet herself with a fly that 'worked'. Meanwhile I returned to plugging. For some unfathomable reason all the mullet now disappeared. Apart from one small school bass that took Phil's plug and a missed bite on Sara's maggot fly - that was it. Only two small fish between the five of us. Wrong again Mike! Better luck next time.
If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you!' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hard at it.