You'll never really know unless you go looking

Never has our ability to be able to do so much groundwork before we actually go fishing been greater, but as much as we can so easily and efficiently access information via the internet and fishing magazines especially, yet again it has been rammed home to me yet again only recently how nothing can actually beat getting out there and having a proper look. A resource like Bing maps is simply incredible with us being able to look at a straight forward map, a bird's eye view, and also the O/S maps on there, but how about getting in and out of fishing spots at different stages of the tide? Ah, good old fashioned walking and scrambling around - it warms the cockles of my heart on a cold Monday morning...........

I love going looking for new ground and fishing different spots. I like fishing with friends but I don't particularly want to have stacks of other anglers around when I am out on the coastline, and I find exactly the same thing when going to the beach with my family - thank god the majority of people are pretty lazy. The further you walk, the less people you see, it's always the same all around the world. Most people just don't like walking very far or doing something different, and I can't help but rejoice in this.

The bit of coastline that is most local to me can produce some good bass fishing sometimes, but without a doubt it's been far more fragile since those storms of last winter. Things start to fizz up nicely and large parts of my local stretch simply blow out. It seems to be getting better, but it will depend I am sure on how this winter pans out now. To find decent looking water I have essentially had no choice but to go looking a bit further and try to find areas of shallowish ground that had deeper, rockier water close in that was not going to colour up so easily. I spent some time on Bing maps and chose to start looking at some ground that was further west from a couple of marks I have fished a fair bit.

I've done trips to various beaches with my family and then nipped off with Storm for an extra bit of walking to go check out bits of coastline. I have jumped in my car and driven down various lanes and dead ends while looking for access and parking, and then jumped out with Storm and simply gone walking and exploring. I've gone fishing and then just kept on wandering and scrambling to familiarise myself with the terrain. My interest was initially pricked by various details I found on Bing maps (or Google Earth etc.), but that research only gets you so far. Getting out there and physically checking things out - surely that's a big part of fishing?

Now I've probably found and fished say five different marks on this bit of coastline. I have had a heap of wrasse on a couple of them especially, and I have either caught or seen bass caught on all of them. I can't pretend I am there yet with the ins and outs of each spot, but I feel that we're starting to get to grips with them, and most importantly for me is the fact that in certain wind directions and big fizzing seas I can fish away in some pretty stunning conditions and feel like I am in with a good shout. One of the spots in particular is a decent hike, but I love that kind of thing, and of course my dog literally jumps for joy whenever I pull up there.

I have done as much looking around as I can on the internet at this bit of coastline, but that only gets me so far. By really looking around I have found all kinds of paths and different points of access, and I feel that this puts me in good stead for the future. One particular part of this coastline looks pretty stunning for bass fishing when it really fizzes up and makes other places unfishable, but my initial looking around had thrown up only one way in there, and I was being forced to fish around the LW because a deep gully was blocking access - when I wanted to concentrate a bit of effort around the HW and then back.

I was down there on Saturday morning, and whilst the fishing was absolute pants, to me it ended up being a very worthwhile few hours. I was sitting down having a my glorious cup of coffee (see here) and taking in the rather lovely morning warmth and light, and I was scanning the cliffs to see if I could see another way in that would give me access to the ground over the top of the tide. I was looking and looking and I then suddenly noticed a bit of a colour change in the vegetation. Was that a bit of a path?

Well the only way you find out is by getting off your arse and having a look. I finished my rather lovely cup of coffee, left my fishing gear where it was, and went to have a look with Storm. Lo and behold it's a well hidden path that now gives me pretty easy access into all this ground at whatever state of the tide I want, rather than being forced into certain times because of the other way in. Now the fact that there's small path there I am sure means that other anglers must fish here, but it's not as if I am going looking for "secret" marks. I am just trying to expand my horizons and give myself all manner of options to get out fishing in different conditions, and for all the resources out there these days, you're never going to beat actually getting out in the fresh air and having a good old fashioned look around - and I need to do more, because there's a load more good looking ground around here and I need to see if I can find a way down to it...........