Luck is a word so often used within angling circles and we all know some anglers are seemingly far luckier than others. Occasional luck can be just that, be it good or bad, but the consistently lucky angler usually has a few props up the sleeve, just like the magician who doesn't want the world to know, it can be satisfying to pass things off as being lucky when one knows exactly why one was lucky.
To the eyes of the casual observer I have been known to be lucky once in a while. This week-end just gone I was lucky with the barbel action I received but also possibly unlucky to have chosen to barbel fish rather than carp fish. The conditions had turned perfect for both species and I really was in a split decision mode as to which to target. The barbel won by a narrow vote simply because I can catch carp all through the winter months without too much problem, where as the barbel I find a little less accommodating unless the conditions come right. I guess this could come down to many more years spent carp angling than I have spent barbel angling.
The water temperatures were remaining incredibly high for November, air pressure was keeping lovely and low, the water levels had been high but dropped nicely meaning that the worst of the drifting rubbish (leaves, grass and uprooted weed) had already passed. I keep a daily eye on the weather and river levels to aid my choice of venue and of course to aid my ‘luck’.
One of the little tricks I keep out of sight is my daily weather and river level chart which only takes a minute or two to up-date each day but helps no end when choosing a venue being able to see at a glance just what the weather has been doing in the days leading up to a trip. Which way the wind has been blowing can be crucial for keeping tabs on the still water species and knowing what the river levels have been doing is in my mind equally important for where you would expect the river species to have been for most of the week and where they are likely to be moving to, if at all.
It constantly amazes me when anglers turn up on a venue and ask…
“How long has the wind been in this direction” ?
Or they turn up on the river and ask if it’s rising or falling. The information is out there for everyone. Do yourself a favour, make a note whilst eating your lunch and you will find venue choice at the end of the week so much easier simply by glancing your charts. Another thing my charts have been worth their weight in gold for is when you hear of a big fish capture from a few weeks back. I can quickly take a glance and instantly see what conditions suited that fish.
So, yes, I made a little luck this week end by getting myself on the river when I knew it would be perfect for a barbel. Watching the air temperatures had indicated that the water should be around 10 centigrade and indeed it was.
Having said that, I’d had to make the decision for I also knew a few big carp would be caught and indeed the largest mirror in the venue I have been fishing took full advantage of superb feeding conditions and went and got itself caught!
Was my decision good luck or bad luck?
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