At the age of 10, I was admitted to hospital and had to undergo surgery to my nose and throat.. and to cheer me up my parents purchased the one thing that I’d been on and on to them about for weeks.. a beachcaster and large fixed spool reel to go seafishing with.. plus a few "essentials" that the tackle shop owner had assured them would be needed.. About a month after coming out of Hospital I was well enough to go fishing..
My father dropped me off with my new equipment, but could offer no advise as he himself had never fished.. but he handed me my bait for the day.. the very latest thing the Tackle Dealer had told him.. "sure to catch fish".. plastic lug and ragworm with authentic added sent.. I fished for three hours, although at that age it seemed like days, with nothing to show for my efforts, but weed, and an old rusted mono-pod left behind by some kind individual before.. Just before I had to pack up to be collected by my dad, an "Old Man" who had been fishing next to me, and who had caught four fish in that time, came over and asked what I’d been using for bait.. I proudly showed him my plastic/rubber worms.. he took pity on me, and handed me a bait box with "King Rag"….. " That’s what you need lad, none of that plastic muck.. and if you’ll take my advice, spend your money on some squid from the fishmonger yonder, and fish the Castle, you’ll not need to cast far, which is probably your problem today".. I learnt two very valuable lessons that day:
1. Listen to what people have to say who fish a particular area.
2. Help others, so that maybe others can help you.
And what does this have to do with catching bass? .. EVERYTHING.
The next Saturday I went to the fishmongers and bought a number of squid.. I walked almost 2 miles across a shingle bank to Hurst Castle as the "Old Man" had instructed me.. and two hours later, when my rod "leapt out" of the rod rest and half into the sea.. I was battling my first sea bass.. the salmon of the sea.. It was not the biggest bass in the world.. only 2.5lb, but it was the largest fish I’d ever caught, and knocked spots off the small brown trout, minnows and gudgen that I’d been catching in the streams of the New Forest up until then.. But most of all, it was my first sea fish, and when I remember how I felt on that long walk back, being stopped every now and then so that other "proper" anglers could see what I’d caught.. well I hope that you may sometime soon experience that delight.
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