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A Journey to Where?

Entry 1 - New Year, New Approach

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Hello and welcome to my blog. I’m a dad of 2 that is the wrong side of 35, my days of playing football are just about over and I have a new obsession to focus on!

I’m from Northern Ireland and I have always had a love of the outdoors, as a family we go camping and love walks in the middle of nowhere or up a big hill just admiring the beauty of creation. But with all this I have never dabbled in angling, that is until a few years ago when we had a family holiday to a cottage in the Fermanagh Lakeland’s in Northern Ireland. Just before we set off on our 2 hour drive to the cottage I thought that since we will be staying on the banks of Lower Lough Erne I should get myself a fishing rod and try to catch me a fish! At this point I didn’t have a clue (still don’t really) I bought a sea fishing outfit with ready packed lures and the reel already loaded with heavy mono.
To cut a long story short I went a full week at the cottage fishing almost every night and caught nothing! This was much to my kids disappointment and the wife’s amusement.

At this point most people would be sensible lick their wounds and give up but my competitive nature took over and I wasn’t going to be beaten by some fish, I was smarter than them (or so I thought).

A week after we returned home from holiday I took to the internet and the school of google and youtube to educate myself on what I needed to do to catch a fish. After many web pages and hours of video I was finally ready, I would use a simple float rig and try and catch some roach. How hard can it be? All the videos I watched made it look so easy!

The following Saturday I left the house and made my way to a very secluded “pond” close to my home. I was far away from prying eyes to save my pride. Armed with some tackle, bread and a pint of maggots I set out to land my first fish.

Things started disastrously! All this tackle seems to complicate maters and setting and cocking a float became a mystery. Confusion reined and my degree in angling from Google went to pot. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. With some bread on the surface I could see the fish surfacing and nibbling on it but actually hooking one was near impossible. Why did they not want my hook bait, What was I doing wrong?
A more basic approach was needed. I ditched the float and went with a small piece of bread on a hook, after some fiddling I managed to get the bread to stay on the hook and float on the surface. The fish began nibbling at it, the excitement set in, now what did I read about striking, I couldn’t remember but I managed to set the hook and seconds later I was proudly holding a tiny roach and I mean tiny! To me though this was a monster, it was an achievement after weeks of trying.

Over the next hour or so I was nearly managing a fish on every cast, taking lots of pictures and sending some to my wife I felt I have finally reached a milestone! I felt a real sense of accomplishment. A man who was akin with nature and his hunter gatherer instinct. The wife soon burst my bubble by stating how obviously tiny the fish were. My hunter gather instinct was then shattered as this fish would barely feed the dog let alone a family, not that I would be eating it, all fish were returned safely.

Fast forward 2 and a half years to the present day and I have been fishing as much as I can when time allows (you could say I’ve been bitten). I mainly like fresh water and mainly coarse fishing but have dabbled in a bit of shore fishing mostly LRF stuff at my local pier.
I feel my journey in angling is only beginning, so many species to catch and so many methods to use. With this sense of beginning we now have this blog.I hope it’s a blog that beginners can find helpful and avoid many of the mistakes I have made. Personally the blog for me will be a way I can keep track of my fishing and the various species I catch along with giving me measurable goals I can achieve and hopefully give me a way to look back at the progress I have made (or lack of it).

As I have introduced my blog I now want to look to the future and what I plan for the year ahead.
“A fish of a lifetime”, I hear this phrase used a lot on you tube and fishing series on TV and like every other angler I hope to someday land the fish of a lifetime. For me this year if it happens that would be great and a real bonus but I will set my sights a little more modest for this year. The main goal I have this year is to catch more fish and add to my species list. I hope to learn and maybe even master new methods of catching fish. I plan to be more organised in regards to my fishing, gone are the days of getting a pint of maggots and pulling out what ever will take my bait. This year I hope to target several different Species both fresh water and salt water and record them on my blog with some pictures for all of you who choose to read.

Hopefully the blog should organise itself as I progress through this year. I am passionate about angling and also about the preservation of the fish for generations to come so they can be enjoyed by my children and beyond.

If you are a beginner hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and not make the same ones, if your a seasoned angler hopefully you’ll get a laugh at my many adventures, mishaps and where I went wrong. Finally, if you’re an English professor maybe you will be gracious with my spelling and grammar. For now I will go and plan the next adventure.

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