Fishing — Like Marmite, Either Love Or Hate It
Fishing A Love That Never Leaves You
I have been a fisherman since the age of 11. Loved it as a kid growing up. Every Saturday and Sunday without fail throughout my early teenage years I would be down one of the local lakes or reservoirs fishing. I would even go Monday evenings during the summer (if I had any bait left from the weekend). It’s an addictive hobby.
The anticipation, seeing your float begin to be pulled down below surface of the water. The adrenaline when you strike and realise you have a fish on. Landing a stunning specimen after a short battle of wits and nerve. I love it. Man vs Fish, a fight throughout the ages.
June 2017 I decided to get all my fishing tackle out of the loft and take up the hobby again. I hadn’t been fishing for 17 YEARS (found my last rod license, which was dated 2000). I headed down the post office to get a new fishing license and take myself off angling a fortnight later.
The Joy of Angling
Why does fishing appeal to me so much? That is a tough question to answer. Well, it gets you outdoors. Yes you are sat on your backside for hours on end (I didn’t say it would keep me fit). But, getting out an about in a country park or next to a river away from the hustle and bustle. It can be very relaxing. Being next to water has always been relaxing for me.
I have already touched on the appeal of man against beast (well fish). You arrive at the place you are planning to fish. Spend time picking which peg to try your luck on. Then begin contemplating what tackle to use. What type of fish are you trying to catch? Rod and float? Rod and feeder? Pole and float? What hook size to use? Which line grade to use? What bait to use? It’s not a case of just turning up, throw a hook into the water and hey presto, a fish. It is normally a combination of decisions that wins the day.
Personally I think it is an exciting feeling seeing that a fish is nibbling at your bait. STRIKE, FISH ON, Reeling in the catch. Depending on the size of fish it can be a challenge landing the fish. It’s also a nice surprise seeing what fish it is at the end of the battle. It may sound boring to you, the process of catching a fish has always raised my heart rate.
Consistency Is Key
As with many, many, many things, such as fitness or learning a new language. Fishing is all about consistency. What ever technique and bait you decide to use on the day. Course Fishing is about putting bait in the same area time after time. Once you have a bit of success. It’s a case of rinse and repeat. I’m simplifying things a bit, fishing is about honing your skills and experience helping you catch more or bigger fish. I think this is another reason it appeals to me, you can always improve. Over time you will get better leading to greater success.
So, back to the question, what does it appeal to me. I think the combination of being outdoors. The challenge of working out to do on any given day to try and get a fish to bite. Along with the reward of catching said fish and that you can gradually improve and become more skilled as a fisherman is what draws me to the pastime.
Back In The Game
So, 17 years after my last fishing session, would I still enjoy the experience? More importantly would I catch anything? I don’t live far from the River Tame in Reddish Vale Country Park. Early on a Saturday morning, I took a single rod and reel, box of mixed maggots and a bit of equipment with me (I have so much fishing stuff you won’t believe) and headed down to the river side.
After a bit of reading on forums the night before I knew the stretch of water I wanted to try my hand at. River Tame contains a fair amount of Chub and Barbel. What a result it would be if I could bag a Barbel. Even though I have fished for so many years I had never fished on a river before. The tactics and techniques I am used too are different. Still I believed my basics would hold me in good stead. I quickly setup and began trotting the float down the river with red maggot hoping to entice something in.
The One That Got Away
Yep, like all good fisherman I have a story about the one that got away. Was my little experiment to see if I still liked fishing a success? Well, I didn’t catch a thing the entire morning and headed home at lunchtime. However, I did get something on the hook which I think was a Barbel. Unfortunately I hadn’t used sturdy enough tackle and the fish snapped my line.
I was re-hooked. I couldn’t wait to get back into fishing at the weekends. The next day I headed to Go Outdoors and ended up spending over £100 on new equipment. Fishing can become and expensive hobby. I also purchased a Stockport Angling Federation card which allows me to fish on 5 or 6 venues throughout the year at no extra cost.
As mentioned, fishing isn’t for everyone. For me it isn’t a hobby you dip in out of either. Any chance you have of going fishing, you take it. It’s a great way to unwind. We are so busy rushing round all the time, it’s great just to be able to stop, sit still and relax for hours on end. Catching is fish is then a bonus.
If you are interested in fishing drop me a message. I’m more than happy to help anyone get started or chat about fishing.
Originally published at https://www.philliphughes.co.uk on May 4, 2018.