FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 165



On The Curve Or Camping
That kind of issue brings me on to
another point relating to getting stuck
in our ways and being one-trick
ponies. I am fortunate that being in
the army I have had no choice but to
fish many different venues in different
locations all round the world. It just
gives you that piece of versatility that
makes you confident wherever you
end up having a dabble. A willingness
to learn and become proficient in
many different disciplines within the
sport is also key. I know of some
anglers that visit the same lake every
weekend, fish the same swim, and the
same spots with the same baits.
Generally they catch very little, and
spend most of their time moaning
about the others on the lake, especially if they are catching. Now if they
are using this as a reason to escape
the Mrs for the weekend, then fair
play to them, but for the most part
they seem serious about their sport
and want to catch like everybody else.
So why not put that extra bit of effort
in and actually give themselves a
chance of success? Maybe it is being
scared of the unknown, maybe just
plain laziness, but either way it is
bizarre.
Making that extra bit of effort is not
hard; it just comes from that desire to
be successful. A few seasons ago I
fished a winter on a lake where you
could only book one night at a time,
and needed to be in one of two swims
to be confident of being on fish. I
would have the lake recced for me the
night before to ensure the swim was
clear, and then leave home at three in
the morning to get to the lake for just
after four. I would then do a slow
setup and be settled for about six, still
two hours before first light. I would
then get a couple of hours’ sleep
before my alarm would wake me at
first light when the first of the Friday
weekend anglers would turn up. I did
this in the snow, rain and hail. The
desire to get on the spot resulted in
some brilliant midwinter catches in
the most unlikely of conditions.
Driven by my frustration at turning up
on packed-out lakes on a Friday
evening with all the best swims taken
I, as already mentioned, have moved
away from the busy lakes in recent
times. Sure they may not be 50’s I am
chasing, but big fish are not everything. If I had the choice of fishing in
lovely surroundings for three years,
catching some lovely fish along the
way or grinding it out ‘off the curve’,
on a busy venue catching nothing,
but hoping for a lump, I know which I
would choose. If I was lucky enough
to be able to work the lake properly
and give myself a chance, things
would be different, but to be honest,
having that sort of time is a million
miles off at the minute, and the fact I
live in the middle of an army-based
carp desert does not help.
My change of tack has really
opened my eyes. Don’t get me wrong,
I still want to be in with a shout of a
40, but for years I have ignored gorgeous rivers and beautiful canals both
of which contain stunning fish. Look
at the fish Dan Cleary recently had
out of a canal. What a peach! I will be
fishing a stretch of canal this year
where I will not see another angler,
but the fish still run to 40lbs. As for
the rivers, I have found a local stretch
of the Avon on my doorstep with a
A canal stunner for Dan Cleary – 39lbs.
FREE LINE 165

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