If fishing was about catching fish and nothing much more then I don't imagine that I would still be obsessing about it like I do over thirty years into my fishing life. My brain churns with everything fishing probably far too much of the time, and anybody with at least an ounce of interest in what other anglers are doing can't help but have noticed that there are a lot more anglers giving lure fishing a go within UK and Irish saltwater fishing. But why? Why are more anglers doing it now than say ten years ago? It's not as if we have a heap more fish than we used to, but surely you don't do what you do and not sometimes stop and think about why on earth you like doing it so much?
Or perhaps you don't!! Perhaps you do just do what you do and never give a moment's thought to what it might be about what you enjoy doing that gives you so much enjoyment and pleasure. Oh, and yes, this blog post is the product of me waking up at 4am this morning with my brain a bouncing in case you were wondering. I like early starts, although at times I wish I could sometimes sleep a little later. I love watching from my office window as the world around here wakes up. I love the birdsong and I love how the light starts to move across the front of my house. And I do love this lure fishing thing.
But why do we love it so much? Well if it was purely about larger fish then we wouldn't be doing it. We are not exactly overburdened with monster fish in our waters, and the simple fact is that bait fishing for species like conger eels, rays, cod, hounds and huss etc. tends to produce larger fish than we might normally catch on a lure. But some of our larger fish on heavier tackle often don't exactly set the world on fire when it comes to a decent scrap - unless that is you are talking about some of the warmer water species. Does lure fishing give us that rather unique chance to scale right down and fish lighter, which in turn gives us a somewhat more "connected" experience when we hook a decent fish?
Or is it the simple fact that with lure fishing you are always doing something? As with fly fishing which I just love being around, lure fishing requires lots of casting, retrieving, working lures, thinking about where to cast next, what lure it might be worth changing to etc. By no means am I trying to say one sort of fishing is better than the other, indeed I despise any kind of fishing snobbery, but you can't get away from how "involved" lure fishing is. Does lure fishing feed to us anglers who just enjoy a kind of fishing where you need to be doing something all the time, rather than say baiting up, putting the baits out there, and then waiting for a bite while your rod sits motionless in a tripod, on the rocks etc.?
Is it the lure fishing gear that helps involve us so much? Fishing may well be about trying to catch fish, but there is no denying that modern lure fishing tackle is some fascinating stuff. Sure, deny all you like that you aren't remotely a tackle tart, but for many of us all these different rods, reels and lures are a whole new world which we never imagined was out there. Lure fishing for years was spinning to me, as in it was something I might do from time to time but never imagined that there could be so much to it. Going fishing is what floats my boat, but I can't get away from how much the whole tackle side of lure fishing interests me, and it fascinates me how more and more anglers are discovering that saltwater fishing in the UK and Ireland can be bait fishing plus a whole lot more.
I look at something like carp fishing and to be honest with you, the idea of sitting there for hours or days on end while you wait for some potentially big fish to find your baits leaves me cold. I love the fact that carp fishing gets so many people out fishing, but as an angler I look at myself and what fishing needs to be to me to keep me motivated, and I know that static carp fishing is simply not for me. I never say never though, indeed if I had a closed mind I would not have got into lure fishing like I have, but I know that lure fishing feeds my need to be doing something, and of course it feeds the photographer in me. Sight fishing to carp off the surface though? Now that appeals to me big time. Anytime you can see the fish you are fishing for is a massive buzz if you ask me.
Why do you like lure fishing so much? If you have found yourself getting into it more and more, I am sure you must have wondered why on earth the act of whacking lures out there has got to you. I wish we had more and bigger fish, I really do, because if we had a properly healthy bass fishery I can't help but wonder how big this could all get, and more anglers can of course mean a better protected fishery. How? Go Googling the story of the striped bass fishery in the US for starters. I also accept completely that some lure anglers who have been doing all this for years are struggling with the fact that there are more "new" anglers out there fishing and looking for marks, but the world changes, the coastline is mostly free for us to access, and as more anglers are discovering, it can be a huge amount of fun to wander our rather glorious coastline with lure gear in hand..............