We all have our own version of lucky socks

2013-06-08 00:00

MOST women have a pair of jeans that makes them feel fantastic.

Jeans that make our bums look amazing. Pair them with a pair of ridiculously high heels and they’ll make our legs stretch on forever. For anglers, it’s a favourite lure. You may think that these two are very far removed, but, I assure you, that their effect is the same. They give us confidence and confidence is vital to success.

Champion fly caster Peter Hayes outlined the secret to being a successful fly fisher in three key points. Angling is an incredibly diverse sport and even though one type of fishing is about as far removed from another, as those jeans are from a lure, the fundamentals remain the same. The secrets that Hayes outlines are simple and they can be applied to all types of fishing. One, know your target. Two, ensure that you use everything in your arsenal of knowledge to get at your target. Lastly, focus on presentation. The success of this tactic relies on landing your lure in the fish’s line of sight without that fish realising that you put it there.

Getting a fish to bite is a lot like going for a job interview, so why do some anglers persist in hitting the dam unprepared? Do your research. Set goals and then determine how to go about achieving those goals. If you are fishing for bass, then determine the conditions that you will be fishing in, keep an eye on the weather, check the forecast and determine how this will impact on the bite.

Winter angling requires a slightly different approach to fishing in the heat of summer. This is due to the fact that fish have a different approach to feeding in winter. They do not necessarily stray too far from the areas that they tend to populate during the warmer months, but, casting five or 10 metres in the wrong direction will without doubt result in a case of close but no bite. The fish don’t disappear in winter. They are merely waiting for the first capable person to wade into the water.

Structure is a huge attractant to bass in winter, so make sure that you are fishing brush piles, deep weed beds, rocky shelves or bridge pilings. Winter requires a measured approach. Fish are not as active as they were in summer and the bite won’t come as often. If you aren’t comfortable fishing deep water, rather focus on shallows that offer better protection with deeper drop offs. Choose a structure and pound it until it either offers up a bite or your arms fall off. It is important to take your time and be persistent. After all, slow and steady wins the race.

Bigger baits will almost certainly catch bigger fish, so pack your light tackle away and rather opt for a jig or crank. Common-sense dictates that while their metabolism is slow, bass would rather feed on one substantial meal than snack on a number of tasty tit bits throughout the day.

Many anglers give into the temptation of retreating to the warmth of their homes as the cold winter days stretch on, but staying on the dam as the day begins heating up can offer another opportunity for success. Bass are likely to move into the shallower water to feed as the day warms up, so keep those spinner baits ready.

Being prepared is tantamount to wearing lucky socks. The only difference is that you remove the luck and replace it with something tangible. Eating the fudge to catch the fish can only result in one thing, sticky fingers. While wearing lucky socks may keep your feet warm, it certainly won’t net a fish. So heed this advice: know your target, use your knowledge to your best advantage and make sure that your presentation doesn’t let you down. You don’t want the fish to notice your lure because of its unnatural action. The taste of a hook should be the only lasting impression you leave on it.

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