In the first half of January the weather was good for fishing: not too cold and not too windy. I like the winter. It is much quieter on the bank, with fewer people about, and this enhances the feeling of getting away from it all.
Curt came for a lesson. One of the first things he learned was how to bait the hook:
We were using pinkies for bait, a type of small maggot, half the size of the usual ones. When the water is cold, the fish aren’t as hungry and smaller baits can be more effective. Soon he was fishing, with just me and a swan for company:
The fish were a bit elusive to start with, but eventually he caught his first ever fish – a small perch:
Next I showed him how to set up the rod and reel:
After a casting tutorial, he was able to fish further out into the lake, and after missing a few bites, caught this roach. Not big, but the fact he caught it indicated he was starting to master the skills of casting, line control, striking and retrieving:
Beth and Dan were looking to take up fishing as an outdoor activity they could do together. I started them off whip fishing and they both caught roach and perch. Here is Dan with a perch.
We moved on to the rod and reel, where there is quite a lot to learn including assembling the tackle, adjusting the drag and how to bring a fish in. Learning to cast is quite easy:
It is crucial to learn how to undo the inevitable tangles around the reel and wind the line back on neatly, as Beth is doing here:
For the last 45 mins we went back to fishing. As the light started to go, we had a bit of a magic spell during which Beth caught several good sized perch on the whip, while Dan was getting a bite every cast with the waggler float on the rod and reel. It is quite common at any time of year for the fish to start biting more freely as dusk approaches.
Matt and his son Seb had never fished before but hoped it might become a shared interest in the future. I got them to work together where possible, for example, threading the line through the rings of the rod:
They both caught a few fish:
Seb was surprised at how hard even a small perch can pull! He also learned that you have to concentrate on the float at all times, as otherwise you miss the bites. As the session drew to a close, Matt was in the zone and focused: