Adam Clancey finds the key to consistent success often involves the ability to adapt in response to changing factors.
One of the things that make fishing so addictive – and often frustrating – is the fact you may go out one day, have a good catch and think you’ve got it wired, only to miss out on the very next trip!
Therefore, the ability to achieve consistent fishing results often relies on your ability to change tactics, which can be minute by minute, day by day, or month by month.
Some tactical changes can be pretty obvious, but require having confidence in your tackle and rigging skills. For example, you may be snapper fishing when a school of kahawai starts busting up on the surface. There are quite a few things that can be done tactically to take advantage of this. Firstly, if you have a light casting setup rigged with a small metal jig and the action isn’t too far away, you can simply whip out a cast to the feeding fish and crank the lure quickly back to the boat. Alternatively, you might get the anchor in and put the boat into a position where you can get close enough to cast over to the working fish. Bust-ups often happen very quickly and can end just as quickly, so speed is essential to get a result – a great reason to have multiple rods set up and ready to go for a variety of techniques.
Subtle changes can make a huge difference to fishing success or failure. These include changes in the wind and current speed and direction. Many times I have been in the middle of a hot bite when the wind changes or the current shifts and the fish go off the bite. Slack tides tend to affect how fish bite – and can be in positive and negative ways. While there are no hard-and-fast rules, it pays to have an awareness of what the wind and current are doing.
A couple of very simple tactics can be used to deal with these sorts of changes. If the current or wind is dying out, try using lighter sinkers or even pull the anchor and try drift fishing. Or, if the wind changes direction and opposes the current, creating a situation where your rig ends up underneath the boat, try tying your anchor off in a different position, or even double anchoring if conditions allow. Otherwise, try attaching a bucket or a drogue out the back while still anchored – much more of the current is harnessed, so the effects of the wind are negated.
When using soft-baits, you can try using a dragging technique or casting at a different angle to achieve better lure contact and control.
Seasonal tactical changes play a big part in being able to enjoy year-round fishing success. In many areas certain species become more common at certain times than at others. It is therefore