Richard Holroyd Assistant editor
A BODY of water can often appear lifeless, particularly in the middle of a still autumn day, and no matter how much you look at it, there are no obvious signs of fish. This is when you’ve got to rely on instinct, past experiences, or local knowledge, to decipher where the fish are likely to be.
I was given a lesson in where I should have stayed on an autumn day, when fishing for flounder at a mark where I’d had success in the past. I cast my rig out in a calm sea and began to watch my motionless rod tip. I then noticed a cormorant on the sea, a few hundreds yards to my left. In the hope of locating fish, I moved along the beach, casting to where
I’d seen the bird, which had then decided to make its way to where I was fishing before.
My rod tip didn’t move, but the cormorant dived and came up with a flatfish, which it swallowed, and then perched on a groyne to dry its wings in the autumn sunshine. That was the end of the action – I’d watched a supreme fisher at work.
In this issue, John Bailey takes a look at how big fish have developed survival strategies to avoid another predator, otters, in p.3235. We also bring you a fascinating new series in p.14-17, Reading the Rivers with Pete Reading, an angler who has dedicated much of his life to helping to conserve the species that he enjoys catching. He starts with barbel, explaining his tactics, and revealing the biggest threats to their populations, created by the most destructive of species… humans.