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How catching no fish is a blessing in disguise

I was very fortunate to participate in the recent Lake Tyres Hobie Fishing Tournament on the weekend. And I say participate because that’s all I did. I didn’t contribute to the weigh on the weekend but I did contribute to something far more important, my knowledge of these illusive fish and the art of fishing. I was able to first hand witness some great results by some very skillful fisherman. These include Chris Burbridge The Magician and John the Colonel Clisby. I pride myself on the basic art of catching bream and if they are there I will catch them. Fortunately for me on the weekend I double dounutted as its known in the game. Why fortunate because I realized that I really don’t know a great deal about these fish and that excites me and makes me so hungry to learn more. I would love to have been a fly on the kayak of Burbridge as he commentated why he did what he did and how he did it. His ability to work out patterns in different arenas is something that im looking forward to each and every time he gets in the water. From a fishing point of view his decision making is primal and its not luck its after spending years and years honing his craft, he is a true magician, he is not magical but he can make Bream appear from practically any where.

The colonel, this guy is really a gun on the water with no comps this year outside the top 10 he continues to excite me with his great results and his ability to nut out fish any where and every where. I met John many years ago at a pier in Portland and we became mates almost instantly and he was a bait boy back then and a dedicated one at that I showed him one cast with a plastic and his poor wife has hated me ever since.

The reason I write about these 2 guys is that their consistency is so exciting and I fished in very similar locations to both of them, having since found out after reading their write-ups. I so want to pick their brains about what they do and why. I believe that most of it becomes instinct and they adjust to the conditions as they present them. I want to know why did they pick those specific spots? Why those specific lures? What retrieve did you use and how did you figure that retrieve out? What role did casting play and how did that play in your success or did it? Did the fish strike or did you pause the lure? Did you locate fish on your sounder or were you fishing areas like drop offs that the sounder located? I know they want tell me the answer but wouldn’t that info be great to know. Both these guys not only caught their 3 fish but they upgraded several times. This is so exciting because they nutted it out when the majority of the field could not.

Im 5 years into my bream fishing and still stunned at what I don’t know and yet well aware I have collected great technique and lessons during my journey, but I haven’t been able to consistently put fish in my well like the Somertons and Lewis legends and the 2 mentioned above.

What also excited me on the weekend was the emergence of some new guys who only started 2 or more years ago and were getting little or no fish when they started and now are consistently at the pointy end, they include and not limited to Jason Deenan and Chesney Fung. 

While I didn’t catch a single bream on the weekend I did catch the burning desire to learn more and realize that I don’t know a great deal about what I thought I did. I found myself using the same lure and persisting with it, I think because 1 I was lazy and 2 I was confident in that lure. Im sure many of you have had this feeling before. I was sure my Jackall Chubby would do the damage and that suspending would make no difference if they are there they will bite it….ahhh no they want. The guys who caught fish were using dunks and other lures that I didn’t use and while I think the lure is vital to your success I don’t believe its as important as how you use it. My deep diving chubby may have been hitting the right spot but maybe because it was floating it wasn’t in the zone long enough. Maybe if I had used a suspended lure or added sticky weight the lure may have held it in front of the fish for longer. I don’t know the answer but I do know that I didn’t make subtle enough changes in a timely manner to get fish. I hooked upto one bream on the weekend and dropped it and many anglers said the same thing, so this should have been a sign that something needed to be adjusted.

As I said while I didn’t impact the score board with a fish I learnt how little I know about these great sport fish and how much more I would love to know.

We had great weather and I got to stay and hang out  at the pub with some of the best bunch of blokes going round so I had a sensational weekend yet again and looking forward to the next road trip and learning more about the great art of Tournament fishing and the mighty Bream.

- Scott Baker, SLH Fishing Team