Being flexible is the key to successful angling

2013-05-11 00:00

AS the winter chill slowly creeps through the Midlands, most of us have been delaying leaving the safety of our warm beds for as long as possible.

I for one have not been averse to cursing my alarm clock as I hit the snooze button one more time. Surely being snuggled in bed with a cup of coffee is more appealing than crying watery tears as the cold wind slaps your hair around while you tear across a deserted dam in the early morning fog and frost. There must be something wrong with anglers that they find it in themselves to get out of bed and on to the water while the rest of the city bate their collective breath for just five more minutes of warmth.

Have anglers all been brainwashed into thinking that the dam will offer them a respite from the dropping temperatures, or is it a question of temperament? The term “tournament temperament” has been thrown around often enough for all of us to grasp its importance, but there is definitely more to temperament than our favourite teams mysteriously misplacing theirs on game day.

Temperament is about character and, just as each person has their own unique personality, fishermen also have their own distinctive fishing quirks and styles. However, there are three broad categories that most anglers fall into.

There are proactive, reactive and passive angling styles. Proactive anglers are highly adaptable and their style may be described as aggressive. They change fishing spots almost as often as they change their lures. This is not to say that they change their women as often as they change their lures. After all, fishermen aren’t fickle. They merely know what they want and they will use every trick worm in their tackle box to get it.

Conversely, reactive anglers tend to analyse the conditions of the day and use these to determine which of their trusted techniques they should fall back on. They rely on observation to determine what will work and rely on methods that they know have worked 100 times before. Reactive anglers are masters of patience and study, and are often recognisable by the hand-held weather stations hanging loosely from their necks.

Passive anglers are often frowned upon by other anglers. They are the foundation on which the reputation of angling as a “lazy man’s sport” has been built. The guys usually tag along for a few beers, and the girls want little more than to catch a tan and doze, with their latest fashion magazine carelessly flung to one side. Passive anglers are typically identifiable by their position at the back of the boat, rod hanging limply as they trapstick their way to doubtful glory. Passive anglers are rarely seen during the winter months, when angling is left to the brave nutters searching for the whopper of their dreams.

Anglers are not limited to one of these angling styles and most will make use of all three on an average day. There is no one style that is better than another. Even the passive angler could dominate a fishing session while using the wind to drift along the dam.

Even the bass are seeking out more comfortable temperatures as the water temperature drops. So make sure that you dust off your sinkers, as well as flasks, this weekend before targeting a deeper bite. Remember, the key to success lies in being flexible.

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