In the last 10 years

Line Clip

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For me it is about incremental improvement as time goes by.

Like ‘northants lad‘ says it is about effort and reward. I keep records of every trip and also relevant trips and fish caught by others on the same waters. If I’m not catching as quickly or quicker than others then I want to know why....it could be lots of reasons. I just have to work out what is making THE difference.

These days I think more and actually fish less than I used to. A lot of that is down to the record keeping and over time working out when to go fishing and when to stay at home. But you need data to work out those trends.

Modern tackle and bait helps - but even with good bait you still have to cast it in the right place ( and at the right time) and use a decent rig. With tackle, the only bits that really matter are the line, hook and bait. The rest is fairly irrelevant as long as the bait is presented in the right way. My 25 year old reels don’t stop me catching fish.

Not losing fish is a big thing for me. Being a specialist angler most of the time I can get away with using reasonably heavy gear. That provides some insurance when that big fish comes along. I’m also a knot geek. But once I hook a fish I do tend to land it (famous last words!).

In terms of actually technique I want to keep improving all the time. some things just require practice - there is no other way.

As an example, with saltwater fly fishing it is all about accurate casting and then watching the body language of the fish. If the cast is rubbish the fish doesn’t see the fly - game over. Once the fish does see the fly you have to move the fly so that it is attractive rather than threatening to the fish. If you do it wrong the fish won’t eat the fly. Simple as... So you have the opportunity to learn quickly because you can actually see what is going on. When my pal and I are permit fishing we score every cast out of 10. We rarely hook fish on casts that score less than a 9. A score of 7 or below and you can forget it.

Chucking a boilie into a murky gravel pit is a bit different. You don’t know how many times a fish has looked at/tried your bait and not given you a bite; you only know you are doing it right when you actually hook something. So the onus is on using the best available bait/rig to covert those ‘enquiries‘ into proper hittable bites.

One key thing I’ve learnt (from one mate specifically) is the need to experiment. Most specialist anglers are set in their way eg 3 rods with the same rig on each all the time. He does the opposite- as soon as he gets a bite he then changes something (and records it). That way he is trying new things when he knows the fish are biting. If you try a different rig after 5 hours catching nothing and still catch nothing, what have you learnt. Answer nothing.

Another way to learn quickly is to fish with anglers who are better than you. I’m lucky enough to fish with some top quality anglers (both specialist and fly) and some of their knowledge, skill and advice rubs off on me.
Thanks good to hear the opinions from a specialist and fly angler(y)
 

BoldBear

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My fishing has definately improved over the last ten years mainly because I decided to concentrate nearly all of my fishing from late afternoons into the evenings and hardly ever fish right through the middle of the day. But secondly because I tend to fish very light and am a lot more mobile, plus I can go at a moments notice whenever the conditions look good because I retired early, so I’m no longer confined to only being to fish on weekends and the occasional day off work.

Although my tackle has got a lot better over the years I don’t think that that has had much influence to the quality of the fish I am now catching and I’m using the same baits that I’ve always used in the past, so bait and tackle has not got much to do with my improved catches.

I guess it’s good old watercraft mostly and the ability to take advantage of the weather conditions a lot more.

Keith
 
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John Step

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I have fished for over 60 years. I catch more now than ever before.
However I do fish much more having retired and practise makes perfect. I can pick and choose venues according to weather and wind.
As I no longer have children and a mortgage to pay for I can spend more on bait and tackle and fuel to visit where I wish.

However if possible I would swap my financial security for someones 40 years of youth.
 

Zerkalo

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There's some areas I've probably got worse at since I was a kid, bloodworm and joke fishing on canals being one of them as that's something I haven't done for years. I've got much better at fishing rivers though and measure my success on amount of fish caught.
 

The Landlord

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Had a long break from fishing & only got serious again a couple of years ago. There were no commercials when I packed up so my return meant learning new methods & upgrading tackle.
I catch more fish now & also bigger fish. Mainly due to joining a club with very well stocked waters. I rarely get the chance to fish matches but would love to. I've learned so much from the info that is out there today....Youtube, our club's facebok page & also the great advice from all the seasoned anglers on here. Still got lots to learn though!
 

Capt Birdseye

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Had a long break from fishing & only got serious again a couple of years ago. There were no commercials when I packed up so my return meant learning new methods & upgrading tackle.
I catch more fish now & also bigger fish. Mainly due to joining a club with very well stocked waters. I rarely get the chance to fish matches but would love to. I've learned so much from the info that is out there today....Youtube, our club's facebok page & also the great advice from all the seasoned anglers on here. Still got lots to learn though!
I bet its a bit frustrating for you mate, the circumstances maybe allowing you to fish the odd match, but no matches to fish ?
 

The Landlord

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I bet its a bit frustrating for you mate, the circumstances maybe allowing you to fish the odd match, but no matches to fish ?
Bang on mate. Pubs open.....no time to fish matches due to the days & times they're held. Now I've got loads of free time & there's no matches!
 

rudd

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Being an allrounder - always learning.
Would say I am very proficient in every area tbh.
BUT I go fishing for various reasons and when in relaxed specimen mode there are times when I dont try or even think about it. On the other hand there are days when I fish my head off and constantly make changes to keep bites coming.
 

Silver fan 82

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To Match, and Pleasure Anglers, that have fished regularly over the last ten years or more.
Would you say your fishing skills have got better in the last ten years,

Do you catch more, or bigger fish. ?
Do you win more money in Matches ?
If so what do you base your success on. ?
Most definitely. I don't match fish but as a pleasure angler my catch rate has definitely improved as has the general stamp of fish in most cases. I think its just a case of gaining experience that accounts for this.
 

Markywhizz

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I’ve improved massively in the last two years compared to the eight years before that. After eight years fishing I was still a beginner really but I’ve learnt so much over the last two and constantly improved. I never had anyone to fish with or to learn from so the two years on maggotdrowners have made the biggest difference. I’ve never been afraid to ask stupid questions and I really take the answers on board.

The other reason is that MDs spurred me on to fish much more often so I have gained quite a bit more experience. As Mark Selby once said “The more I practice, the luckier I get”. One of the main things I’ve learnt through experience is how to find where the fish are.

I think buying some better tackle has made fishing more enjoyable and made me more efficient but I’d rather have a few years experience and £100 worth of tackle than little experience and £5000 worth of tackle.
 

Dave Spence

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Every day spent on the bank is a learning day. Doesn't matter how young or old or how long you've been fishing, there's always something to be taken from the day. ;)
I agree mate, although the more experienced you get, the smaller the improvements are. A bit like an old car, you can make dramatic improvements very quickly but then have to put in lots of time/cash to squeeze another mph out of it. The best formula for improvement in fishing imho is success. The benchmark for me was when i picked up my first 'envelope', my attitude went from "wonder if I'll catch anything?" To "wonder what i'll catch today?" My confidence soared and my fishing improved, that was 50 odd years ago. I have got to the stage where I don't improve my basic skills but often discover a tweak whilst I am fishing or from a fellow angler. I Have never, nor will I ever do so, stop listening or asking. Only a fool stays silent.
 

crackatoa

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Only really started getting back into coarse fishing about 10 years ago, after a 25 year break. For the first couple of years it was just a Dad and Lad pleasure thing on local ponds. Then we joined a club. The club had monthly matches on a natural water and didn't mind my then 7year old partaking. Then we discovered Commercials. Having never fished one in the past, the whole concept was new to both of us. This meant new tackle and a need to learn about different baits.
This led to us joining another club. A club that fished Commercials every Sunday. It was around this time that my fishing ability stalled and the lads accelerated. He began winning or framing every week. He'd even had 2 over the ton bags at 11year old.
Now it's just Opens. He was travelling to these with a pal of mine. A top angler on the NW scene but after a year or so Covid put a halt to that. Now it's down to me to take him and so it means I have to fish at a level that is way above my ability. However, all is not lost and with intensive coaching from my now 14year old, I am at last beginning to see improvement in my results.
So I would have to say that my fishing has improved in the last 10 years.
Onwards and upwards
 

Northantslad

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Think there is a point to, that where i suggested you can improve by reducing blanks, by fishing the right place at the right times, there is an element in many of us, especially currently, where just getting on the bank and sometimes knowing it will be tough, doesn't deter us. Cold temperatures, limited as to where.

In doing so, it's like having your own trump card, where you know it will be hard going and there is more reason to get out than catching fish- ' i won't count today's session in progress measurement' type thing.
 

Silver fan 82

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Think there is a point to, that where i suggested you can improve by reducing blanks, by fishing the right place at the right times, there is an element in many of us, especially currently, where just getting on the bank and sometimes knowing it will be tough, doesn't deter us. Cold temperatures, limited as to where.

In doing so, it's like having your own trump card, where you know it will be hard going and there is more reason to get out than catching fish- ' i won't count today's session in progress measurement' type thing.
But those sessions where you think it's going to be tough but you catch are IMO some of the best sessions? Only if you catch maybe one half decent fish and break that blank?
 

Northantslad

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Definitely, which is why i only write off a session afterwards. Get excited before any session and try hard as can during it.
The days where you get a nice surprise for your effort in getting out is good reward.
 

minkyandbear

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I have fished for over 60 years. I catch more now than ever before.
However I do fish much more having retired and practise makes perfect. I can pick and choose venues according to weather and wind.
As I no longer have children and a mortgage to pay for I can spend more on bait and tackle and fuel to visit where I wish.

However if possible I would swap my financial security for someones 40 years of youth.
Snap! (Well almost, 58 years in my case).
 

John Step

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In a similar vein I have notice the reverse in some old timers. One small club I belong to has 3 pools. Not lakes by any stretch of the imagination!
Its useful when the winter sets in for bites or to try a new technique as its highly stocked.

There are a number of old timers who are content to sit there with 2 or 3 inches of quill poking above the surface waiting for a carp to hang itself.
Most on here will have seen these types. Their tackle is usually old and well used and the fishing in warmer months is so easy they get lulled into a rut it seems.
I have often wondered if they have fished like this all their years or have just got stale and lazy with too easy fishing.
 
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