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When every day is a new dawn

24 January 2014
Reel Time, with Wayne Rudman
THE most amazing thing about angling is that no day or situation is ever the same. It is like lightning that never strikes in the same place - what you experience today will not repeat itself tomorrow.

The conditions will not duplicate themselves, neither will the fish bite the same. Anglers who apply themselves and learn from each outing will have the edge and find success tomorrow by drawing on these experiences.

Now that the festive season has come and gone, the dedicated angler can fish without the congestion of holidaymakers who make the most of the little time they have to enjoy their vacation.

This sometimes creates animosity as consideration for all is lost through selfish personal interest.

The bait suppliers are still scratching for stock as the sardines are scarce and the demand for squid abroad has created a vacuum in supply to the local markets.

Now is the time to get back to basics and make your own bait. Planning around the tides is essential as fresh bait is so important for success.

And fish are no different from humans. Their tastebuds also ask for variety and a selection of baits - and when to use them - is the secret to whether you will catch or not.

Art-lure anglers have the advantage as they can change the lures and their presentation all the time until they are ready to strike.

Bait anglers have to work much harder and endure many more frustrations in order to achieve the objective of a worthy catch.

Angling destinations this time of year take you back to fishing on your doorstep or from your backyard. It's back to school again, so to speak.

In the year that has passed we have spoken about every possible nook and cranny along our coast and yet there is still so much more to choose from if you steer away from the regular spots a little.

This takes considerable efforts as access and distances to these remote venues take time and planning.

Gone are the days of throwing in a quick line and taking home a fry.

Live bait angling at this time of year can deliver exceptional catches.

Estuaries are the place to concentrate on as their water temperatures render good prospects for live bait angling at the moment.

Mullet collected as live bait are not hard to find either.

There is, however, much debate about which mullet to use.

There are a few species of mullet and much speculation revolves around which are better.

They are commonly called Groovy, Southern, Flathead and Freshwater mullets and there are even theories that each river has its own preference.

Recently at Kromme I saw how quickly a big garrick could spool a reel - if you are not ready and prepared the fight is all done.

Cob is also great to catch this way but they take very differently to garrick. Garrick pick up the mullet and run with it.

They will invariably drop the mullet and then position the fish to take it head first.

Should you strike it on the first pickup you are most certainly going to lose it.

The words "God save the Queen" hold true here. When you think it is time to strike, first say the verse! Cob usually hit and run, swallowing the bait immediately.

These fish are like steam locomotives and keep going.

It is often necessary to up anchor and follow these beasts as most reels don't contain enough capacity to stand and fight.

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NICE CATCH: Anthony Friend with a 65cm leerie caught and released earlier this month on live bait at Swartkops

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