Out On A Hunt
By: Phil Foo
There is this general perception in the minds of non-anglers that anglers are a patient lot. I have met many non-anglers who tell me that I must be a patient person because I am an angler. This whole idea came about because they see angling as a boring sport where the angler cast his or her bait into the water and wait for hours for a fish to take the bait. How cute.
[ one does not need to be a patient person to be an angler… ]
Yes, there are anglers who are patient, but one does not need to be a patient person to be an angler. Depending on the occasion, an angler can choose to hunt or to trap. If you are wondering what I am rambling about, wonder no longer. Bottom fishing is akin to trapping where the angler casts out his bait, waits for it to sink to the bottom, and then waits for the fish to take the bait. Sometimes he or she even use bite indicators when fishing. In this article we look at the hunt.
One can choose to wait for a fish to bite or one can hunt for a fish.
One of my preferred fishing methods is sight fishing. I am not a big fan of sitting back and waiting for a fish to take the bait. Perhaps I am not as patient as what the image of an angler imprints in the minds of the people. I bottom fish when I am with friends who are doing the same. The idea in this case to chat with them with catching fish being a bonus.
Sight fishing requires one to pay attention to the surroundings. When a fish pop’s its head out the angler has about a second or a second and a half to cast his or her bait out to the fish. When sight fishing the angler is holding on to his or her rod and reel, always at the ready to cast out the bait. Accuracy is important.
Out on a hunt.
Just like a hunter on a hunt. He or she holds on to the rifle. Ready to shoot at the sight of his or her targeted prey. Of course there are misses too. Sometimes the prey is just too far. Sometimes we miss the timing. Sometimes the wind blows our lures off course. Sometimes see the fish too late. There are times too when we screw up the cast. An overrun spool causing a “birds nest” on the spool for example. Rifles do jam too. See the similarity?
An angler’s hunting ground.
What about camouflaging ourselves… Yes, just like a hunter certain types of fishing would require us to be stealthy. Fishes like most wildlife are aware of their surroundings and can be spooked too. They can see from their hideouts at the bottom of a lake, pond, or river. While there are fishes that will not be bothered by us being in the area, there are those that do. Fishes in heavily fished areas tend to be more cautious.
Camouflage or camo designed clothing helps us to be less noticeable.
Anglers do wear camo clothing to camouflage themselves so as to avoid being seen by fishes. Why stand out like a sore thumb and risk being spotted by fishes, and have them turn on the intruder alarm when you can go in sneakily and quietly fish them? That said, there are some fishing methods that requires noise. On a striped bass fishing trip in the USA, our boat captain parked his boat and hit the hull of his boat with a piece of wood.
Although going camo is recommended but it is not necessary. If your hunting ground is frequently being hunted on; camouflaging will be better than not.
Dumbfounded, I asked him the reason for creating such a racket. He simply replied that he is calling the fish. Within a minute a few striped bass came to the surface and then dove back to the bottom. The boat captain again picked up the piece of wood and hit the hull of the bait. This time we had our lures and bait in the water ready for them (striped bass).
A striped bass caught at Lake Murray, South Carolina, USA.
So, fishing is not necessary a sport for patient people only. One can hunt down fishes like a hunter instead of merely sitting down somewhere waiting for a fish to take the bait. Well, the beauty of fishing or angling is that we can choose how we want to fish. If the objective is to spent some fun time with friends; one can put on the trapper persona. If not, one can go in like a hunter and hunt down the predators.