How do you manage expectations for a fishing trip away ?
The grass is always greener is it not, or at least that is what our heads so often tell us. Sure, by virtue of my job I probably go away for photography, fishing or combined photography/fishing trips more than most, but nothing much has changed over the years and the excitement levels I feel at times border on the ridiculous. I know what it's like to dream about a place and/or its fishing. I know all about how the expectation levels can build up to the point where sleep becomes virtually impossible. But how then does one go about managing these expectation levels so that a fishing trip away does not become a crushing disappointment if loads of big fish don't crawl up your line all day, every day ?
Well it's not easy and there is no simple solution. Like you I am sure we plan a trip for different reasons and we go into research mode. Internet, blogs, magazines, forums, mates, mates of mates, I personally want to know as much about a place or its fishing before I go there. I want to be as prepared as I can to maximise any chances (photographically or fishing) that might come my way. I see the magazine articles with the awesome fish and my head starts telling me that in a few weeks/months it might actually be me with fish like that.
Deep down of course I know that a magazine article is going to tell me all about how it is when the fishing goes off, but still I get all overexcited. Who on earth wants to read about a fishing trip that was rubbish, and on this front I understand the magazine world and how they need to come across to their readers. I am honest with my blog posts, but obviously I am at my most animated when the fishing or photography is going well, and I would imagine that those of you who follow me on say a trip over to Ireland will most likely spend more time on a post that talks about when the fishing is going well rather than when it's not.
Ireland for example might come increasingly across these days as the place where you're going to catch loads of big bass regardless, but anybody who knows their fishing knows that this an unfair expectation. I personally feel that Ireland offers the best shore fishing for bass that I myself have come across, but like with any location on this earth it's fishing at the end of the day, and you need various factors to come together for it to really show itself off properly. When Ireland fires it's bass fishing the like of which I thought had disappeared into the mists of time, and when it's tough with the conditions against you, it's as tough as anywhere else, albeit there always seems to be the chance of a decent fish or two if you really work at it.
So let's say that you are going away on a fishing trip for the first time this year. You've done your research, you've booked your transport, accommodation and perhaps even a guide, skipper etc. The expectation levels are rising (quite rightly) and the trip can't come soon enough. What can we do but love the build-up, count down the days and then be on our way to wherever it may be. Fishing is fishing the world over. It's all different and different things get different people going. My main thing these days is to recognise when it's starting to go off and do all that I can to maximise those opportunities, and then make sure to bank those precious memories safely and securely................