Attitude is the thing to truly make a go of it
MARK WATSON | FISH AND TRIPS
I said last week that I would talk about snapper this week, so here we go.
First, let me say that I had grand intentions of writing this while in the boat waiting for a big snapper to come along, but with the run of weather we are having those plans never materialised.
Instead I will give you a bit of an insight into how and what I would have done had I gone out this week.
You see, back when I was a bit younger, the weather never bothered me. I would happily go out in strong winds and rain and fish happily in small aluminium boats. Sure I got wet and cold but I just wore the right clothing for the conditions and concentrated on fishing.
I always figured that it was only miserable for a time and once I had caught my fish I could go home and have a hot shower and all would be well with the world.
How times change. I have become something of a fair weather angler, choosing to fish and dive only when conditions are pleasant. Do I miss out on fish? Yes, but then, so what?
I have usually chosen some other activity which is equally rewarding that fits my mood. or it could even be that I just feel like a day at home.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago I played in a golf tournament. Well, I hit an awful lot of golf shots with other golfers anyway.
This past weekend I learned how to make a proper coffee as well as dabbled in a bit of latte art, so you see it's not all about fishing and diving for me to be enjoying myself, which is probably why I have become more selective in my fishing trips.
The point of all this is to show that everything we do has an impact in some way on how we can be better fisher people. Our attitude toward the things we do in life also is what will help to make our fishing trips more successful and enjoyable.
For example, by making the most of any opportunity around us that may not necessarily be what we had first planned, we learn to adapt. Once we have learned how to adapt, we become far more effective in our fishing.
So, this is what my fishing trip could have been had I gone out this week.
I would have most likely gone out after work as the longer daylight hours mean I can still get in a good few hours fishing as well as taking advantage of the dusk bite time.
I would have chosen a place that made the most of the tide flow, whatever the direction was. If the tide was going out, I would have positioned the boat up-current of some reef structure or a place where two currents meet or anywhere I thought snapper would be searching for food.
This could be a mussel raft or a pipi bed.
This is how we adapt. No matter the tide or wind direction, we can find a place that uses the natural flow of things. By fighting nature we only tire ourselves out. We must learn to embrace nature and get in sync with it to be in the best position for fishing success.
I would have likely started with setting up a berley trail and then I would have caught some fresh bait, most likely in the form of herrings or mackerel. Of course, I would have taken a bag of frozen pilchards just in case the bait didn't play ball, and one or two of these would have been cast out while I was catching fresh stuff.
If I had no success doing that I would try and work out why. Perhaps the tide wasn't really pushing where I was or the wind had changed direction so now the boat was in a different position over a barren sea bottom.
All the while I would also have been watching the seabirds to see what they were doing. Were they actively feeding? Were they all flying off in one direction?
Seeing these things has often turned a bad day's fishing into a good one for me.
Again, it is getting in sync with nature.
People often ask what colour and type of lures I use or what bait, but I change as I need to.
Sure I have favourite colours and the like, but really it doesn't matter what my favourites are, it's what the fish are interested in.
Trial and error can be your best teacher. It will help you build up a better idea of the things that consistently reap rewards and so your ability to find fish will increase and you will enjoy your outings so much more.
It's not just about the catch, it's about all the other things going on around you as well.
This is why I believe attitude has everything to do with catching fish, or any other activity really.
Try and get outdoors somewhere this weekend, no matter the activity.
- The Marlborough Express