There are many things which make the bass angler unique. Creeping around in the dark, the secrecy, studying the winds, moon, tides & temperatures. Perfecting knots, checking hooks, seeing fishing opportunities whilst watching television, drivelling at the sight of white water & breaking waves, these along with countless other factors combine to cause the bass angler to look for the perfect combination of an endless list of variables.
Perhaps the strangest of behaviours though, the most at odds with friends, family & work-mates, is the longing for the end of summer, and for autumn to arrive. Why on earth would someone want the long warm days of summer to cease, and for the nights to shorten and chill ?
The sight of bracken dying, brown leaves, dropping temperatures and the coast emptying of tourists are all welcome sights to the true specimen hunters.
Maybe it is that hunting instinct which causes the angler to notice subtle changes that are missed by the masses. The working week seems synchronised around tidal movements. Days are spent checking and double checking wind direction, swell size, referencing maps, and cross-referencing records. Where will she be, and when ?
As obsessions go there are worse, but nevertheless it’s an obsession.
Solace is found with like-minded souls, with emails, txt’s and the whole social media machine being flexed to increase the odds of success. Snippets of information are carefully correlated and interpreted, with hard-won time on the coast being the final adhesive to stick all of these pieces together.
Finally it’s the evening before the pre-dawn raid. Gear is assembled and checked. Lists are ticked. The early retirement to bed is a futile gesture, as there’ll be no sleep tonight, just the quiet of the room to allow thoughts and awoken dreams. The morning is envisaged, the scenario acted-out over and over. The outcome is always the same – success ! The details differ in each re-enactment, the wait, the hit, the strike and fight, then the shimmering prize sliding onto the sand or the rock. The excitement is unbearable. There’s no sleep.
The experienced hunter has everything ready for a stealthy exit. Everything is placed precisely for maximum efficiency, and the mark of success is to slide away unnoticed.
There’s a sense of satisfaction, as the chilling air filters through the open car window. Conditions are as predicted. The car is parked precisely where planned, the gear is out of the back, the headlamp on, and there’s a gentle crunching of leaves on the narrow track. The leaves give way to sand. Not long now. The air is cooling, but a bead of perspiration drops from the band of the headlamp. Adrenaline is fueling a purposeful hasty stride. The eagerness to reach the water is overwhelming. Were the right decisions made …. will she be there ……
Roll on autumn.