Fishing for happiness
Coming? We’re off fishing! Imagine a pretty little river, a peaceful lake... or even a pond far from the crowds. Sit down, bait your hook, cast your line and let your mind wander free as you quietly meditate...
Fishing in all its forms
So, how do you prefer your fishing?
In the midst of silence and surrounded by nature? Settle yourself comfortably as you set up your rod near the still water of a lake or pond.
With plenty of movement and thrills? Then fishing in moving water, whether from the bank or a boat, is just made for you. Your perfect playground: torrents, rivers, seas or oceans.
A real challenge and fraught with difficulties? Look to those more technical types of sport fishing, such as casting or fly fishing.
When someone says “fishing” do you immediately imagine yourself sitting at the water’s edge, contemplating nature and waiting for the big one to bite?
Try traditional fishing to start with. Called “pole fishing” by those in the know, this enjoyable activity is perfect for beginners and children. Why? Because that way you’re almost certain of catching at least a small fish. Which is always encouraging when you’re trying fishing for the first time!
Rod in hand, it’s also the ideal open air school to teach the youngest patience and silence. They’ll quickly learn to recognise their gudgeon from their bream or their bleak. The float twitches then disappears under the surface? You’ve got a visitor!
Equipment to make a start
If you want to have a go at pole fishing begin by finding a comfortable folding seat. That’s where you’ll be spending most of your time! Then you’ll want a rod, line, float, a few lead weights, a hook and some live bait. A bucket and landing net could well come in handy as well.
Before you start, prepare some ground bait to attract the fish: make a few little balls with bread, flour, breadcrumbs, water and some maggots (yummy!) if you’re fishing in freshwater. Replace the maggots with flakes of sardine if you’re at the seaside. Regularly throw the ground bait into the water underneath your float.
Finally, don’t forget that to catch a big fish, you’ll need a big hook! Logical... And to catch very big fish, a reel will also be essential.
Tips from the pros
- Don’t forget that fishing is all about pleasure, it’s not to make the fish suffer, or to eat them. This is what’s known as “catch and release” fishing where any fish caught must be returned to the water. So a quick photo for posterity then gently release your prize.
- When fishing in freshwater, don’t forget to buy a fishing licence.
- For children, choose a small light rod that’s easy to handle.
- Always check the weather forecast before setting off. Thunderstorms and fishermen don’t make good partners...
- Find out about the opening and closing dates for the fishing season and any local regulations.
- Don’t take your eyes off the float. As soon as it sinks or moves even slightly, give a quick jerk of the wrist without lifting the rod.
- There’s a fish on the end of the line? Gently does it. Leave the fish to tire itself a little, then catch it carefully in the landing net.
- You’ll need to buy a disgorger in order to unhook the fish without injuring it.
- Always wet your hands before touching the fish, so you don’t harm them.
- Never put your fish on the ground or in an empty bucket. Slip them gently into a keep net in the shade.
But above all, never forget that a good fisherman is someone who knows how to listen to nature, observe it and adapt to the environment around them. It’s all the secret of making the best catches!