THE amazing thing about angling is the conditions can change at the drop of a hat. Last week I spoke about the Kromme River locals complaining about poor catches when things were supposed to be productive – the calm before the storm, so to speak.
Marius Potgieter told me about the cob on the bite as I put pen to paper. He had just landed a 23kg cob along with a number of smaller fish returned.
These fish are normally active at night as they are predatory by nature and stalk their prey using their sensitive lateral lines to locate it. It is almost like using radar.
The cob have been prolific this year and abound in the estuaries. Being tolerant to fresh water they venture high up in the tidal zones so make the trip upriver where the folk seldom fish, especially at this time of year due to much water traffic in the popular easily accessible areas of the estuaries.
The barometric conditions are very instrumental in whether you catch or not. The higher the barometric trend, the better the odds.
Fishing at a falling barometer is usually less productive, to say the least. The higher the barometric reading, the more oxygenated the water is and so the more active the fish are.
Standard air pressure at sea level is 1013mb.
There are many facets to angling, from tackle selection, bait choices and its presentation to knowledge of the target species and their behavioural patterns, weather conditions and naturally the skills to accompany all of these – not to mention the knowledge of knots, equipment and techniques. It would require a lifetime to cover all these facets, skills and knowledge.
The financial investment on its own is considerable. However you can’t just throw money at angling and expect success.
A successful angler requires patience and dedication long before the wallet is opened. Angling was essentially a poor man’s sport but technology and the cost thereof has created a race for excellence.
I look back over the years and in my tackle room, and make that calculation. It is far cheaper to buy your fish considering all these purchases.
However the quest to catch your own makes the difference. The option to return that fish, to many, is the ultimate achievement. It is far greater than the thrill of the pickup!
Giving a fish a fair chance by the correct tackle selection is like saying, “Why use a wrecking ball when a hammer will suffice?” Respect for the environment and the future use of this privilege lie in the hands of each angler.
I look back and see how attitude has created restrictions, yet greed prevails in the minds of the few who tarnish the path of destiny. What we as anglers have lost, through restrictions, most probably may never be regained, not in our lifetime anyway.
Although these regulations have become necessary, the deciding factor has always been attitude along with man’s conduct and respect. Voluntary compliance remains a challenge to many.