Waterside behaviour

The most effective way of making sure you don’t catch any fish is to noisily stamp around on the river-bank or lakeside. If you were only spoiling your own chances of catching fish by doing this you would only have yourself to blame, but the chances are that you would be ruining the sport for other anglers fishing nearby or on the opposite bank. Fish are wild creatures and just because they live in a different element to our own doesn’t make them any less cautious than other wild animals. Always respect the area being fished by another angler and don’t encroach too close without being invited. It is very tempting to start moving closer to an angler who is catching fish from the next swim when you are not getting any bites. There is no harm in politely enquir- ing from a successful angler what bait and tackle he is using but don’t start fishing in his swim. Most anglers will be only too pleased to give tips and information and quite often invite you to fish next to them.

Bankside disturbance is frequently the cause for failing to catch fish so always be careful when walking past other anglers on the river bank. There are times when it is impossible to escape bankside disturbance through no fault of your own. On warm, sunny days many other people besides anglers may be at the waterside. Boaters, picnickers, swimmers and people out for a stroll can all seriously interfere with fishing. On a number of rivers these people have every right to be there so never be rude to them. Instead try to arrange your fishing at the times when the least number of people will be present. Noisy people and boats are not compatible with good fishing, so try and avoid them if you want to catch plenty of fish.

Never interfere with farm livestock or crops growing near the water, and always leave farm gates either open or closed as you found them. If you come across an open gate which should obviously be closed then inform the farmer.

This article may appear to be full of do’s and don’ts but most of it is just good manners and common sense. It is up to each generation of anglers to look after our fisheries so that other anglers in the future may enjoy the same standard of fishing.