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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 four 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. 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).
15 October 2005
Change of seasons.
It's getting to that time of year when I shall be shifting most of my operations from the sea to freshwater. The transition is gradual and depends a lot on the weather. If it stays calm and warm than it is likely that I shall fish on for bass, mullet etc. until I go on holiday in late November. If there are lots of storms and cold weather then I shall be spending more time after grayling, pike, dace and the like. Of course the Autumn period can be very good for all sorts of fishing and if I am lucky the next few weeks could produce one or two decent fish and, hopefully, not too many blanks.
Talking about blanks, this week I gave a talk, essentially about Saltwater Fly Fishing, to a branch of the Fly Dressers Guild up near Welwyn Garden City. It seemed to go down well and there were lots of interesting questions afterwards. Just before I left one chap asked me what proportion of totally blank trips I had. Now I've never thought about this so I had a stab and said that I thought it was possibly about one in ten. It seemed to surprise people that I thought I had so few blanks so when I got home I dug out the diary and had a quick count up of this year's results so far. I only counted trips where I actually landed something. If I missed bites or if one of my pals caught and I didn't it was counted as a blank. I included all my 'experimental' trips and 'no hope' attempts at the start of the season (just to see if they were about yet!). The average fishing trip considered was about two hours. Anyway, the outcome was that I had underguesstimated the number of blank sessions. In fact almost exactly one in five trips was a blank. I think that the difference between my first estimate and reality was probably due largely to the fact that even when the going was hard I usually managed bites of some sort or if not, I saw fish moving, thus gaining the impression that it was not a 'blank'.
After catching the bass at Swanage last week I decided to have another go from the same spot but to get down a bit earlier and fish the change of light. It wasn't a blank but it did not live up to my expectations. I had only two bites and landed my smallest bass of the season - even smaller than the one last week - probably weighing less than 500g - my wife tells me that I should be talking in kilogrammes and metres these days - I tend to switch from one to the other having been brought up on pounds and spent my working life in grammes. To be honest fish of this size are what I would expect from the more or less sandy beach and the 'odd one out' was the decent bass that I had last week.
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