Catching More Fish.

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I don’t suppose there are many of us who would want to catch less fish………………..

Of course there are some days when you get it really right. Then after a good few fish you might take a break for a coffee or perhaps to change lines and method but usually if you have nothing in the next half hour or more you will be very tempted to go back to what you were catching on before. J

So how do you catch more fish and how are some anglers better than others.

I have just returned from the National Rivers Final held on the River Ure in Yorkshire where myself and 31 others were fishing for the 5 places in the English Rivers Team.

On the second day morning I was fortunate to be controlling for Freddy Bainbridge who would be National Rivers Champion at the end of the day.

Freddy has great technique and when he was controlling me in the afternoon he very kindly said I was fishing exactly the same way he does.

However what sets Fred apart is his decision making. He has a great Fishing Brain and gets the most out of his sessions as proved by his 18 Trout and Grayling in his three hour session in the morning.

Now a great fishing brain can neither be bought nor taught although your experience can and will make you better.

However we can all improve our techniques and tackle.

Taking Tackle first what you can do is go through all your different items of tackle and equipment and ask yourself two questions.

Is this the best tool for the job?

If it is the best can I improve it?

Then if it is not the best am I prepared to invest in something better.

Now say taking a proper boat seat. Great for comfort and visibility but adding a rod holder, some foam for sticking flies on and a fly line sink rate chart and then it is much better.

For landing nets the one you use may be OK but investing £19.99 in a Greys rubberised 22inch diameter net and an eight foot telescopic handle for £10 and you then have got the right tool for the job.

Such a net enables you to land fish easily and is usually quicker so you will probably lose less. However it also enables you to use a greater distance between your point fly and your top dropper and so you probably hook more fish in the first place!

Other things just may make the day easier such as a waterproof bass bag which can have some water added at the beginning of the day. This can save you having to dip a cloth bag frequently which could result in a missed take.

So you may perhaps see that just taking your time to have a critical look at every single piece of your equipment could add a few more fish to your tally.

Then we come to technique.

One way to learn is to join a club and to fish with other anglers particularly in a boat.

I would politely suggest that although fishing with a good friend is always a pleasure your progress may be somewhat limited. By fishing with different anglers you can often pick up little tips and nuances that can add a fish here and there.

Have a go at National Championships where you could end up controlling Freddy Bainbridge for a River Session. On the Lochs and Reservoirs you could be drawn in a boat with Iain Barr or Jock Kettles. Even in the Local Winter League at Chatton or Thrunton you could end up standing next to England’s most capped Bank Angler Rob Frame.

So fishing with other Anglers can help but there is no doubt that tuition can significantly shorten and smooth the learning curve.

I should know as I have had quite a few in my time but I will add that I am not touting for business

Other Instructors are available. J

Going back a few weeks ago I wrote about luck.

Well I had good and bad at last week’s National Rivers Final.

One fish in the first morning session when the river was 5 feet, coloured and rising and I would be back in an England Team.

However in my fourth session I hooked and landed a 50.4 cm (20 inch) Brown Trout and this was the largest fish in the Competition.

That won me an $875 (£660) Loomis Rod.

I would rather have had that other fish…………………………….

3 maybe 3.1/2 Pound