Anglers will always read about the successes of others, and try to emulate their tactics and catches.
I only wish that when people read these articles, they think about when and where they can apply the information they’ve learned to their own fishing.
If you read about an angler fishing the tidal reaches of the River Trent using two beefy 3lb test curve rods pointed to the sky, 5oz leads, 15lb mainline and clonking great size 4 hooks, it doesn’t mean that this is the way you should fish on the middle Severn in low water conditions, targeting a spot under a tree down the near margin.
On the Severn and other rivers like it, fishing with mega heavy gear will eliminate all of the pleasure you get from playing a fish. What’s more, in many cases it would also lessen your chances of catching. It’s not rocket science to realise that fishing down the near margin with rods pointing skywards would cause the mainline to come up vertically from the rig, spooking any feeding fish!
This is where the local tackle shop proves its worth, with a good local angler behind the counter. He’s the chap who will put you right concerning the kit you need for your local water.
It’s much the same in carp fishing. When experts are writing about chucking 150yds with heavy gear to target 50lb-plus fish, the same tactics won’t apply to the smaller water you’re planning to fish. There’s no real pleasure to be had in playing a 15lb carp on super-strong gear, but there’s a lot of fun to be had doing so using a 2lb test curve rod and a smaller reel loaded with 10lb line, which is more than strong enough!
This year I’ve seen anglers using gear that’s way too heavy for the venue they’re fishing. I’ve watched them bully fish in, then moan about the lack of fight. I can see why match anglers would want to get fish in quickly, but does it really matter on a pleasure session?
On the Severn I use a 1.75lb test curve, through-actioned rod and 10lb line and enjoy every barbel that I hook. Most of the fish are around 5lb, with a good one just reaching double figures. I’d be able to land them more quickly on stronger gear, but it wouldn’t be as much fun. And surely that’s what it’s all about. You can only catch what’s in your venue, so make sure you get the balance right between the size of fish being targeted and the tackle you are using. That way, you’ll get full enjoyment out of every fish that you hook!