Taking into consideration that assumption is the mother of you all know exactly whats, is it safe to assume we are now through the worst of the winter? Could we still get a great big cold snap that takes what is not really that cold a sea and knocks it down a few more degrees? The daffodils are starting to bloom and the wild garlic is poking its head out. Newborn lambs are in the fields around us (I like to call them butterfly, as in butterfly lamb on the barbie, not sure my girls find it that amusing though) and on a few mornings last week you could really notice the relative warmth in the sun. If we are out of the worst of it and therefore we might not be far away from a bit of lure fishing where you feel that there might actually be a chance, what on earth might we find out there?
I noticed a lot of landslips around here after that very wet start to last winter, to the point that some parts of some marks became very prone to colouring up on not very much at all as big tides and almost any chop churned up all that slippage. But landslips aside, I can't help but wonder that those incessant storms we have been going through will have done to some of the marks you or I might fish. What might have changed below the surface, or indeed on the ground that we can see on a low tide? How might this affect the fishing?
We'll find out I guess. I think about those really shallow, rocky and weedy marks that so many of like to fish for bass and I wonder whether a lot of the weed that fish like to use for cover has been ripped out. No doubt things grow back very quickly, but will we find that various places are going to fish a bit differently, and that might well be better or worse of course. You hear stories about how various beaches have changed completely with what has to be thousands of tonnes of sand and shingle removed as if it were never there in the first place - what happens with these places? Anywhere there is sand is for the most part an ever shifting terrain as it is, but are we potentially as anglers presented with more features to consider?
I guess that all this change and our need to ride with it and adapt what we do is a part of why many of us are so drawn to saltwater fishing. I completely get the allure of a single float sitting in the margins of a lake as a misty morning greets you, but I guess at heart I am drawn more to a world where the changing patterns of nature are so prevalent. I like how we can build up a bank of knowledge which is based purely on what nature almost allows us to do, and after such a savage winter I am really excited to see what is going to happen with the fishing this year.
Do we hope for an earlier start than last year because we have not had an extended cold snap (crossing fingers, touching wood of course)? Have the bass especially had a greater chance at survival because the commercial fleet have not been able to spend so long at sea? Will we be able to base our fishing this year upon the knowledge of certain locations that we already have to draw upon, or will what the coastline has been through make us go back to the drawing board more than perhaps we used to? Don't you love that anticipation of the year ahead? Crumbs, it's already March and before you know it we'll be looking back at the year and wondering what the next one might bring..............