Fish and Trips
You might remember that last week I said I would show how to find your own fishing, hunting or even diving spots.
I could tell you some of my favorite spots but that would help you for only a short period, if at all. You see, I'm a great believer in the adage "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime". And for good reason – it's true.
We need to keep in mind that we are all a part of the animal kingdom; at times we are smarter than most animals and at other times the demarcation line is not so clear.
The reason I say that is so I can help you relate to fish and game by first looking at yourself. If you believe that men only think about sex, food and TV then you're not far off figuring out the animal kingdom. The only difference is that they don't watch TV.
Well, some cats and dogs do, but are they really watching or just keeping you company? I digress.
The majority of the fish and game we chase have pretty basic lives. They are constantly seeking food, shelter and reproduction. Very similar to us, aren't they. So to find your quarry on a consistent basis, all you need to do is figure out how and where they will find those three things.
For example, in most cases you would look for deer on the warm side of the hill, close to a good food source and with protection from danger. Find these and the deer won't be far away. Obviously you may not pinpoint their exact location but odds are that you will be in the right area.
The same goes for fish – find a food source, some cover perhaps in the form of a reef or rocks and a steady and comfortable temperature and you will generally have a better-than-average chance of going home with a feed.
Unfortunately there are other variables that come into play, such as the weather and moon stages, or maybe localised conditions, so there are no guarantees but this will give you a great starting point.
Over time you will build up some very good possies by returning to these places at different times of the year to see when the area produces. The best way to make sure you learn as you go is to keep a diary and fill it in after every trip, successful or not. You will build up a good record of different locations and see the patterns of the best times and seasons to go to a particular spot.
Everyone has their favorite spots but not many of them are as secret as we like to think. The thinking hunter-gatherer will have worked out where the game is and will be doing the same as I have outlined, so it may be secret to someone but they may not be alone in knowing the great spot.
It's a good idea to keep learning new spots so that on any given day you have options depending on weather, tides, moon phase, season, and so on.
To be successful at anything takes hard work and this is where our hard work comes in. There are few overnight success stories, except for maybe Lotto winners.
Hard work in this case means getting as much information about an area as you can. You can use topographical maps, marine charts, bathymetric charts or talk to other divers or commercial fishermen or even look out the window of an airplane flying around the country. All these things help to build a picture of what an area has to offer and can save a lot of time and fuel aimlessly driving around trying to catch something. Even worse, you can walk for hours in an area that has nothing to attract game.
Over the coming months I will expand on some of these thoughts, but I am sure you are starting to get the picture.
Trust me, the effort you put in will reward you for years and the best part is getting better and faster at finding locations that suit what you are hunting or fishing for.
There you have it.
This week's challenge is to do something proactive towards finding a new fish, dive or hunting spot. You may find that even the library has something to offer and it's free (the only cost is your time), and the benefit might repay you a hundred-fold.
- The Marlborough Express