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).
Phew! A fish at last.
Sometimes I wonder whether anyone ever takes any notice of what I write on my Tack-tics pages. Well, whether they do or not at least I try to practice what I preach and yesterday it payed off handsomely. Earlier in the week I'd said something about how birds can put you on to fish and on this occasion they did just that.
To return to the beginning. My wife had to go to meetings on two successive evenings this week so I went fishing twice on the trot. The first time it was flat calm and brightly sunny but with that bitter north east breeze that seems to have been about for months. On the shore there was only myself and one friend, Rasmus. We were both armed with spinning gear and fly gear (despite the lack of action I've been lugging my fly rod along on every trip lately - just in case). The reason that we'd settled on fsihing the same spot was a big pile of maggoty weed on the rocks - the only 'honey pot' for miles. It did us no good because, although the water was carpeted with maggots, no fish (or birds) turned up to eat them. The only bite we had was from a garfish which grabbed my plug, hurtled into the air and came off.
The next evening I went down a bit later (allowing for the later tide). I went to the same spot (I'm a glutton for punishment). This time the wind had gone round to the south west but, apart from the onshore breeze and a bit of a chop on the water, conditions were more or less the same as before. I spun fruitlessly for a couple of hours. Once again there were millions of maggots on the water but no sign of fish. I was thoroughly p****d off. I was just thinking about packing in when I noticed, just past the next point of the cliff further a long the shore, a small group of black headed gulls on the water. I picked up the bag and the rods and trudged the quarter of a mile along to the spot. The birds flew off as I approached and I could see no sign of anything on the water. Still, I was there now so I might as well have a chuck! On about the fifth cast with my plug I hooked a bass which kicked and twisted a few times before coming unstuck. You wouldn't believe how it lifted my spirits. I flogged on with the plug but had no more bites. However, five minutes after the lost fish I noticed, for the first time this year, a few mullet skimming the surface for maggots. Eureka!
Back to the bag, Put down the spinning rod. Tie a maggot fly on the fly cast. All fingers and thumbs. Bait it with four or five maggots. Down to the water's edge. Great, the fish were still there. I flicked out the fly - in haste - it landed well wide of the target. "Don't panic Mike!" I told myself. Another cast, the line tightened, I struck, missed! Damn! A couple more casts. Another missed bite. Was I ever going to get a fish? Then, suddenly, the line twitched, I tightened and the reel screamed as a mullet rushed out to sea. Five minutes later I was beaching my near five pounder in the waves. I picked it up and placed it beside the rod for a couple of pictures then returned it carefully to the sea. Whew!!!! A fish at last. As I said - watch the birdies.