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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default So you think you want to start fishing

    Hi guys, this week's article, for your enjoyment.

    So you think you want to starting fishing

    Off the bat, let me just acknowledge that starting something new is seldom easy and there’s a decent amount of bravery and humility needed to do so properly. Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone into a situation where you’re more than likely going to make a fool of yourself (at one point or another) is no small task- hats off to you! What I’m going to try and do is make this process a little easier for you- not by giving you a “how to” guide, but by sharing a few of my experiences as well as the lessons I feel were the most important on MY journey.

    (One of my first bass)

    But first, some background: I didn’t exactly grow up in the most extroverted, outdoorsy family. We spent time doing outdoorsy stuff, don’t get me wrong, but there were usually multiple years between trips and we seldom (if ever) did them with other people. As such, what my father couldn’t teach me (a fair bit, owing to the fact that I had no patience) I had to teach myself through trial and error. While this helped me establish a learning method of sorts for later years, it also meant that I wasn’t aware of many of the “tricks” that most people considered to be common knowledge.

    Though I grew up in dodgy Joburg, the vast majority of my childhood fishing experiences involved the numerous rock pools of Shelly Beach, where we spent many a happy day, thanks to family-owned timeshare. My mother and father would both take me down to the beach in the early hours of the morning (on their holiday- thanks guys!) and sit with me as I used a handline, bobber and prawns to catch a myriad of small, unsuspecting fish trapped in the pools during low tide.

    (Shelly Beach- Carlos Faria)

    My fresh-water fishing was really limited and with the exception of farm trout- again, big shoutout to my rents for taking me- I think I only caught one other fish (on fly, yay me) which I proceeded to accidentally kill in my excitement to show my mother.

    While my parents did their best to help me learn, going as far as to buy me a fly rod and pay for lessons, I lost interest in the sport. I was a brat- there, I said it. The years went by and I didn’t touch a rod, well, until about a year ago (10 years later) when I decided to give it another go- a decision that would change my life. This is what I learnt from the process:

    First, I had been lurking on just about every local fishing forum you can think of for about 2 years before finally building up the courage to wet a line again. I spent hours reading about what rods to use, what lures to buy and where to go. While there is no substitute for time spent fishing, having someone talk you through the basics makes taking the plunge so much easier- use the forums and use youtube, they’re an outstanding resource.

    (Some of the awesome online resources)

    Second, and most importantly, shelve your pride. A big thing for me was that I didn’t want to be taken for a ride when I eventually walked into a shop and said “I’m new to this, please help me”. You are going to be taken advantage of, to one degree or another, accept that now. You’re also going to make a fool of yourself again and again- it’s okay. You’re going to get hung up, you’re going to lose tackle and you’re going to get skunked- allow yourself to make mistakes, it’s how we learn. Proficiency comes with practice, be humble, give yourself time to get good- it will come.

    Third, enjoy the process and enjoy being outside. I’ve seen things I never would have had I not been out on the water on the slow days. From a surprise visit by a Burchell’s Coucal to experiencing the best sunset I’ve seen in years, you only see these things if you get out there and it’s the slow days that invariably teach you the most.

    (A nice fish and a beautiful sunset)

    Fourth, you need to be persistent, be methodical and don’t worry if the bite is slow (or non-existent)- you will eventually come right. Everyday (just about) should teach you something new. Even if it’s small, these “little lessons” are what count when you put them together and that’s what will help you snag and land your personal best in the days to come. My pb was landed at the end of a day where I hadn’t had a single bite, not one- it just takes one pitch into that magic spot to turn a snail day into one of the best fishing days of your life.

    Fifth, and finally, you’re never too old to learn and sometimes a kid’s advice is golden. As you spend more time on the water, you’re bound to meet more fishermen (women included) and many of them will be more than happy to help you out. Listen to what they have to say and make it work for you. Yes, you’re going to come across tools, like the Googan Squad fanboys (sorry, had to), but even they have some pearls of wisdom for you. Some of the best plastics I have were given to me by other generous anglers- they really are a great bunch (for the most part) and my life has been enriched through getting to know some of them. The fish bellow was caught using a plastic -for the first time- that was given to me by a guy who frequents our local dam- there’s no substitute for experience and local knowledge.

    (A plastic I’d never used and a fish I’ll never forget)

    Fishing isn’t only about catching fish, at least, it shouldn’t be. It should be just as much about making new friends, learning new skills and getting in touch with nature. It’s about making memories with your loved ones, early morning road trips to dams unknown and a cold beer at the end of a hot day. You don’t have to be an expert angler to enjoy the sport, nor do you need the latest and greatest thingamabob that costs a bazillion bucks- you’re GOING to catch fish on an entry level rig, don’t let anyone tell you different.

    So if you’re looking for a hobby that will teach you about your local waterways, help you get in-touch with your surroundings while meeting awesome people and perhaps-now and then- catch a few fish, then I strongly suggest picking up a rod and wetting a line. You might just find that your new “hobby” quickly turns into your next lasting obsession.

    (My PB)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: So you think you want to start fishing

    Very nice writeup.
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