A New Beginning

The Mayan apocalypse has been and gone! It turned out, as expected, to be nothing more than possible misinterpretation of something written thousands of years ago. Some choose to believe that the 21st December was the start of a new age on Earth. I have no insight in to that, but we are at the end of another fishing year with a new one about to begin.

For many, 2012 had little chance to live up to initial expectations. To say the weather has been bad is an understatement. The constant flooding, high winds and constantly coloured seas tainted by flood water has made the fishing hard and seen many missed or lost trips. Having spoken to scores of anglers and skippers in the course of the year, received hundreds of e-mails and good old fashioned letters, it’s obvious most sea anglers have had a less than easy time. A few inevitably have done well catching great fish and enjoying generally good fishing, and to those I offer genuine congratulations. But most sea anglers, me included, can look back on only the occasional red letter day.

My red letter days were catching shore cod on the fly in Iceland to over 6lbs, two fantastic days off Wicklow with skipper Kit Dunne on the Lisun bagging several Irish specimen smoothound. A string of big cod aboard Malc Jones’s Sea Angler 2 off Plymouth, the best just shy of 20lbs, and all on light tackle and soft plastics. I had some big tope in Ireland, some big boat huss, plus a great day catching shore pollack on the fly.

Yet we anglers are forever optimistic. As a new year dawns our thoughts forget what’s gone before and we look forward to new opportunities, new species and ever bigger fish.

I’ve said before I never make New Year resolutions, but in 2013 I have several things I aim to do. One is to fish much more than I was able to last year. I didn’t get any new species in 2012 either for the first time in many years, so I’ll be looking to bag at least two this time around. I want to get more short session plug sessions in for bass during the summer and autumn as I did well for numbers of bass in 2012 using this tactic. I also still have that 50lb shore conger I want to land as prime target, and I’ll be putting time in on this as next autumn arrives. Just a few intentions then and it never hurts to have a basic plan in mind. But as ever, I will keep an adaptive approach and work around whatever the year throws at me.

My thanks to all those who’ve mailed and posted their thoughts, problems and catch reports throughout 2012. It is always a pleasure to hear from you as to what’s happening around the UK, and indeed overseas as well.

I’d also like to wish you all a very happy Christmas, offer my very best wishes for 2013, and as ever say Tight Lines for the New Year to come!

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