I’m sure i can’t be alone. It’s Friday, so that means scouring the weather sites, swell forecasts, tidal predictions. Then mooching through my mental map of marks, correlating times, tidal coefficients, swell directions, size, wind, and past experiences. How to maximise my chances ?

The more organised amongst us will have kept detailed diaries, maybe spreadsheets. Trips noted, wind, tide, catches, lure, bait, all diligently recorded for future reference. I admire anglers who are disciplined enough to keep these records, as they undoubtedly offer an advantage (along with probably being fine winter-reading). Apps are even available for smart-devices to track these trips, it’s even possible to add GPS coordinates (something the secretive bass angler will be keen to avoid ;-)).

A bass angler fishing a reefI however, remain in the ‘mental’ group of anglers. This no-doubt means i forget the odd detail, but whenever i try to formally record the progress of a season, my enthusiasm for bringing order to my fishing world usually wanes by mid-spring, and by the time summer arrives i’m left with a withering incomplete list which is lost within my computer archives. Useless.

The bottom line is that deep-down i probably don’t feel the ‘need’ for these records, as i’m happy to go with my gut feel on any given day. It’s a flawed approach i suppose, but ultimately fishing is not an exact science, and we must all approach it in whichever way gives us the greatest pleasure. Part of the whole experience is ‘getting it wrong’, as it adds to the elation when we get it smack-on ! For some, the hunting instinct is strong, and their intuition accurate, for others it requires a more ordered approach. No doubt the very best anglers are those who combine the two, but they are a rare breed i feel.

Are you a hopeless wanderer, or a precision hunting machine ?

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