Still Water Fly Fishing

Air Born Still Water Fly Fishing

The noticeable quiet of a late summer morning on still water is unlikely to become a routine experience for many who devote the majority of their fishing time to the rivers of Henry’s Fork country. However, most will submit to a welcome change of pace as the season begins its transition into autumn.

While certainly soothing in its own way, the murmur of moving water denotes a quicker pace in the rhythm of water influenced by gravity when applied to the behavior of trout and what is required in their capture on a fly rod. With constant motion attached to all that lives in this environment we can find ourselves motivated by a sense of urgency to make things happen rather quickly in the false sense that what is moving is actually leaving. On still water, it seems different.

Reflected on a liquid mirror, the dual image of land and sky and all else that lies on or close to an undisturbed surface brings a visual calm to the perception of water that seems only able to be moved by the wind. And it is in this morning calm that I begin to understand how those like my friend, Gareth Jones can become as strongly connected to the still water experience as I am to moving water.

From Gareth, I have learned that a lake possesses unseen currents beneath the surface and that underwater organisms such as insects and fish are by necessity, always moving. I know now that finding the correct zone with respect to the depth I am fishing subsurface patterns will improve my success rate. Also explained is that fishing 3 or 4 different flies on a long leader can make more sense than applying a single pattern when probing the depths of lake or pond. Also to be considered is a trout’s reluctance to pursue prey in the direction of a low angled sun. Not learned from Gareth, however, is the ability to repeatedly cast 90 feet of fly line while seated in an anchored boat – the guy is that strong – But his ability is only half of it. Using and casting with the correct fly fishing tackle is the other half, you try punching a 4wt out over 90feet in consecutive casts throughout the day and you’ll know about it!

While I do not necessarily find dry fly fishing on still water to be more satisfying than the sudden weight of an unseen, subsurface take, I do confess to appreciating the visual excitement of fishing to an ever moving surface feeder.
Callibaetis Still Water Fly Fishing
Late summer is prime time for hatches of Callibaetis and Trico mayflies on many of our local lakes and reservoirs. Damsel flies and meaty terrestrials like hoppers, beetles, and winged ants also become active and available in this time frame, and this combined menu can bring the eyes of hungry and opportunistic trout toward the surface.

In calm conditions, the location of a rising trout in still water is often determined by sound as much as sight. The audible gulp as an insect is taken from the surface is a still water feature that relates to quiet, although calm is not always part of the package.

Perhaps due to a sensitivity to overhead danger from predators, still water trout usually display a reluctance to linger near the surface following a rise to a floating food source. And because they quickly disappear from sight and normally obey no defined feeding path, much guesswork is involved with regard to where the next rise will appear. In this situation, relaxed, efficient casting can give way to frantic flailing as a target fish takes a natural only a foot from your offering or turns to feed in a direction different from your hopeful guess. The real chaos occurs when you become surrounded by un-patterned feeding and try to change the direction of the cast in mid-stroke. Maintaining discipline and composure may be the most difficult aspect of this type of lake fishing, and a take is nearly always hard earned.

Bank Cruiser Still Water Fly Fishing
Like river fish, still water trout will often cruise the shoreline in search of what is often a random assortment of aquatic and terrestrial food items. Because water is typically more shallow along the edges a longer cast is often needed to avoid spooking trout that are more comfortable in greater depth. A more linear feeding path helps to simplify the task of getting the fly in front of the always moving target but careful calculation must be applied to placing it at a point that matches the feeding pace. Efficiency is paramount when fishing to a traveling fish that may allow only one or two casts before moving out of range.
In the right light conditions, subsurface feeders can also be spotted as they prowl the edges for nymphs and other underwater life forms. Sight fishing on still water with weighted fly patterns is especially exciting when the size of the objective is known and the reward of a perfect cast is as visual as the rise to a dry fly.

Rich and Millie Still Water Fly Fishing
As one whose experience and expertise lies mainly in the details of fishing moving water, I have only respect and gratitude for those still water specialists like Gareth Jones who has taught me so much. This particularly applies to those times when their lessons result in a special catch that would not happen otherwise. Some of my most memorable trout in recent years have come while applying those shared techniques on local lakes like Henry’s and Sheridan. Hebgen Lake and Island Park Reservoir are also productive and enjoyable still waters as are numerous smaller lakes in the higher elevations of this region west of Yellowstone.

While the Henry’s Fork and, to a lesser extent, other rivers continue to own the majority of my heart, there will always be room for those quiet mornings on still water which, ultimately, are not so different after all.

Reward Still Water Fly Fishing

6 steps to get your kids hooked on fishing

Do you remember the first time your dad took you fishing?

Chances are it was one of those special occasions for father, son bonding, and the moment of magic when your enthusiasm for all things angling was kindled.

And now you find yourself in the position of introducing a son, daughter, niece or nephew to the delights of fishing? Feel daunted? Don’t be. It’s certainly a hefty responsibility and because there’s only one first time, you’ll only get one shot at it, but to help you pass on your fervor for fishing, here’s our six step guide to introducing children to fishing.

1. Don’t push it

Game distractions 6 steps to get your kids hooked on fishing

Image source: Messiah College
Modern distractions!

Unlike twenty or thirty years ago, fishing has to compete with a multitude of distractions for your child’s attention. Not only are today’s kids hooked into the internet 24/7, they’re also more likely to be involved in a host of extra curricular activities. Given the time an average child spends on music lessons, karate class, footy club, Facebooking, Instagramming, Spotifying and yes, playing computer games, genuine downtime is at a premium.

With this in mind, introduce the concept of fishing gradually, and if your son or daughter rejects the idea first time around, don’t push it. Keep your powder dry – the perfect time will come!

2. Comfort

Comfort bivvy 6 steps to get your kids hooked on fishing

Image source: Fishtec
Kids get cold, so pack a bivvy.

You’ve generated the enthusiasm necessary to coax your kids to the riverbank – great. But just because you relish the prospect of feeling the howling wind tear through what remains of your hair, doesn’t mean your offspring and their friends will delight in the same level of physical discomfort. And remember, kids get cold quicker than adults. With this in mind, do remember to pack your bivvy, chairs, hot drinks and plenty of snacks.

And if you’re little princess is fishing for the first time, make sure there are adequate facilities close by for when she needs to spend a penny.

3. Safety

Safety 6 steps to get your kids hooked on fishing

Image source: Pohlman
Pick a safe spot to fish.

Don’t overstate the dangers of fishing but do make sure young ones understand the hazards and know what to do if they fall in the water. Younger children in particular need close supervision and buoyancy aids. Do make sure you choose to fish a spot that’s well away from deep, fast flowing water, and that offers an easy exit from the water should someone take a tumble.

For a first foray to the riverbank, choose somewhere that’s quick and easy to get to. Your favourite spot might take an hour’s hacking through vegetation to reach – but how will smaller people tackle the challenge? Always work to the weakest member of the party.

4. Simplicity

SimpleJPG 6 steps to get your kids hooked on fishing

Image source: The Lure of Angling
Start with a simple set-up.

Stick with a simple rig to begin with. Not only will you have (in theory) less tangles to sort out, but children will soon pick up how to set up their own tackle, leaving your hands free to get your own line wet.

Do talk your child through the different tackle items and show them how everything works, but keep the information short and to the point. Teach a simple knot like the blood knot and help your child set up their own rig – remember – learning by doing is much more fun than watching you do it for them. Protect young fingers from hooks by burying sharp points in cork!

5. Patience

Patience 6 steps to get your kids hooked on fishing

Image source: Friendship Circle
Demonstrate and let them practise.

Demonstrate the cast, guide your child through it, practise it – but don’t expect it to go right first time. If every cast your child makes lands in the bushes, keep your sense of humour. At least they’re trying.

Tangles – they will happen – lots of them – so get used to the idea!

Be prepared for short attention spans. Whiling away the hours on the riverbank is an adult pleasure; kids like to be occupied. So when your youngsters get bored and want to play, then as long as it’s safe for them to do so, and they’re not irritating other anglers, let them. And when kids have had enough, pack up and go home. Better a trip that’s short but sweet than the memory of a marathon they’d rather wash the dishes than repeat!

6. Praise

Praise 6 steps to get your kids hooked on fishing

Image source: Occasional Fisher
It’s a catch!

When your boy or girl gets that first tug on the line, resist the temptation to take over. Instead, whenever possible, let your offspring play the fish themselves. Be ready with the net, and camera, and when they land that all important first catch, be generous with your praise as you show your kid how to handle their catch without hurting it.

And when with fish in hand, your son or daughter’s eyes gleam with excitement pride and pleasure, give yourself a pat on the back – you’ve just passed on the joy of fishing.

11 Perfectly-timed fishy photobombs

Heard the expression, ‘put your money where your mouth is?’ Well here are some folks who’ve put a fish where their face is.

And you’ve heard of fishing clothing? How about fish as clothing? Check out the ladies clad in a mantaray – they don’t look too pleased. Here is a collection of fishy photobombs to get your fins in a flutter – enjoy!

1 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Wanna Joke
Fish face!

2. Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Imgur
A very cheeky parrot fish.

3 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Imgur
Who knew stingrays could be sleazy?!

4 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Drake and Zeke
“Don’t mind me!”

6 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Christian Haugen
A very solemn looking photobomb.

7 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Sultr
Peek a boo!

9 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Fun V Blog
Desperate to be snapped!

5 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Daily Picks and Flicks
“Hmmm, what’s going on here?”

10 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Twisted Sifter
Yo!

11 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Best Animal Photobombs
“This is a family aquarium!”

12 Fish photobomb 11 Perfectly timed fishy photobombs

Image source: Heavy
Perfectly timed.



Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Late August 2014

bass and eel littelstone Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Late August 2014

Don’t you just love this drop in temperature, strong wind and a rough sea – Lots of anglers are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of autumn arriving and an improvement in the shore sea angling. It is though a time to bite the bullet and get out there in some uncomfortable conditions with an onshore wind and sea invariably the time to fish most venues. After the calm sunshine of summer a blustery rain swept beach can be difficult, BUT like all things it eventually becomes the norm and we all get back into winter mode. Time for the heavier fishing gear and time to break out those 7oz fixed wire grip leads, bait clips and the more powerful beachcaster rods. There is no doubt that from September onwards shore fishing is not for whimps with wands, it’s a time when casting distance and keeping a lead where it lands is very important. But it’s also a time when lots of novices catch their biggest ever bass with the species picking up a short cast big bait and so let’s start there and look at the prospects for a giant bass.

Big bass are usually solitary because the rest of their shoal have been caught or died. But there are enough still around to ensure that some lucky angler will nail a lunker in the next month or two. Luck plays a big part because bass are caught really close to the sea edge and rarely at long range. So the early winter cod angler fishing a giant bait in the edge is the one with the best odds of catching a big bass and that’s the novice. Few experienced cod anglers will deliberately fish a big bait close in for cod and so the novice with his inadequate cast is the most likely to get that lunker bass. That is unless you deliberately target a big bass by fishing close in. AND the best way to do that is with a live bait. Pick a calm, dark night and a steep deep beach venue and hook on a small pout and fish it in the first twenty for the waters edge. Keep the noise and light flashing to a minimum and you may catch a big bass. Often at this time of year the bass arrive on a venue because anglers are returning small fish or gutting mackerel etc. This especially as dusk and darkness arrives.

A favourite way to target bass is to slide a short trace down the main line of a rod cast out with a lip or tail hooked pouting on a strong 3/0 so that it floats in the edge.

Lots of anglers will now be thinking about cod and this summer many regions have seen an improvement in codling stocks. The trouble is that this has happened before with lots of codling in August, but by October they have gone. Fish over the size limit are easy prey for the gill nets and trawlers and it’s these that decimate the codling shoals. The bigger cod are very thin on the ground and usually don’t show until November and December.

Another fact of autumn, its better described as the start of winter, is that waterproofs and shelters return to the sea fishing tackle essentials. Options include the full Hurricane shelter which is ideal for those contemplating a marathon beach session over the complete tide, or a brolly which is a more portable shelter and is especially suited to the mixed weather of this time of year. I prefer the umbrella for the beaches in early autumn, the cheaper Hardware umbrella is ideal, especially where lots of moving with the tide is required, take a luggage strap and strap it to your tackle box, even better to your seat harness. The cheaper green brolly is lighter and more compact and can be erected quickly. OK it’s not the full Monty of the shelter but it’s great for a short session or the occasional shower. Once the weather deteriorates, then I switch to the TF Gear Force 8 brolly which is a bespoke sea angling umbrella like no other. OK others also have wings to widen the protection area, but the Force 8 has a removable cover, tough non metal frame and pockets for the shingle etc to hold it down.

Waterproof wise I prefer the full jacket and bib and brace suit – it goes without saying that being able to take the jacket off helps control temperature when the sun comes out and that the full sallopettes trousers not only keep you warm but clean!

Make no mistake in a few weeks your will need that protective clothing and shelter – we have been spoilt for weather this summer and the winter could well bring some shocks!

Having recently switched to fixed spool reels and braid main line I have to say what a revelation that has been. Bites are bolder, fish pull more and my sea fishing is more enjoyable. For years I tried braid on a multiplier, but it just does not work, but micro braid on a fixed spool reel is another ball game and I recommend those of you out there thinking about a switch to braid, go ahead but only with a fixed spool reel.

Codling and eel from the pier at Dover Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Late August 2014

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

DIY carp fishing bait

What gets the fish biting at your local water? Chances are, you’ll have developed your own particular carp fishing tackle set-up – a unique combination that works for you.

But what about baits? From boilies to groundbaits, from floating, to sinking, there’s a plethora of commercial bait options out there. But nothing satisfies like making a great catch on a bait you’ve concocted yourself.  

Something of a dark art, making your own baits is fun and can save you money, and most, if not all the ingredients are available at your local supermarket. All you need to do is experiment until you hit the jackpot!

What carp want

Carp DIY carp fishing bait

Image source: The Session
Appeal to carp cravings for best results.

Think like a fish – appeal to its appetites and you’ll hook a beauty. The best baits attract because they’re tasty and nutritious; we’re talking bait ingredients that are energy rich and protein packed:

• Proteins
• Carbohydrates and starch
• Fats and oils
• Milk constituents
• White sugar
• Malt sugars and grains

Add colour and flavour and mix to a consistency that’ll either hold together well enough to hook, or that’ll disintegrate, providing a nutrient-rich soup to fish over.

Supermarket goodies

Cat food DIY carp fishing bait

Image source: Cats&Co
Cats and carp must have similar tastebuds!

For a floating feed that works wonders, use your catapult to ping dog biscuits into a small area of water; little and often is best as it provides a concentrated source of food the fish will congregate to compete over.

From the confectionary aisle, a marshmallow makes a great floating hook bait. Bobbing amongst the dog food, although a slightly different colour, the sweet, carb-loaded temptation is approximately the same shape and size, so it’s more likely to be wolfed down by an unsuspecting carp.

Alternatively, supermarket bread lasts well and it’s super cheap. Try a smear of marmite – just like humans, the fish will either love it or hate it!

A not so secret, secret weapon, cat food works a treat. Simply mash it up and pop it in the water before you drop in your meat bait. The soupy cloud of meaty mush is likely to prove irresistible to carp. Your hookbait could be a single hunk of cat food, a cube of luncheon meat or for added punch, why not try a piece of pepperoni?

Health food haven

Health food shop DIY carp fishing bait

Image source: Food Navigator
For health conscious carp!

Beans and pulses are the staple diet of students, hippies and new age travellers, but did you know carp love them too? For a homemade particle bait, soak chickpeas, kidney beans, maize, wheat, black eyed beans – whatever you like – in water for a day or two. Add a birdseed mix from your local pet shop and soak some more.

Cook for 30mins to make sure your mixture is nice and soft – and to ensure any kidney beans are safe for fish to eat – then blend half the mixture into a sticky paste. Mix it all together and you have a killer bait you can make in bulk and that won’t cost a fortune.

DIY boilies

DIY boilies DIY carp fishing bait

Image source: French Carp and Cats
Boil up your own tempting treats.

Flour, semolina and eggs are the bedrock from which to make your own unique boilies. Sports supplements like whey protein powder and casein will make your boilie mix super nutritious, help ingredients to bind, and add attractive smells to the water. When you’ve mixed all your ingredients into a stiff paste, simple roll into balls and boil!

To make your boilies a taste sensation irresistible to the biggest, wiliest carp in the lake, you need an attractant that’s different to the run of the mill flavours out there. How you decide on your final concoction is up to you, but while you’re stirring your carp equivalent of ‘love potion number nine’, consider adding any or all of the following ingredients:

• Liver powder, paste, or pate
• Anchovies
• Beef or yeast extract
• Garlic
• Cheese
• Fruit juice
• Honey or sugar

We’d love to hear what you add to your homemade baits, so if you’ve got a recipe you’d like to share, do get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter!

TF Gear DVD Big Carp Tactics with Dave Lane

Join Dave Lane on the banks of one of the most famous carp lakes in history, the prestigious Yateley Pads lake. Dave attempts to lure the elusive Pad lakes monsters, learn how to successfully target the largest carp in the lake on methods which are no so widely used. Joined by Total Carp editor Marc Coulson who gives a master class in chod rig fishing and shows you everything you need to know about this devastating presentation.

Get an exclusive first look at the exciting new carp fishing tackle Dave has been developing for TF Gear over the past 12 months. Highlights include Laney’s new long distance carp rods and watch in amazement as he erects his new Force 8 Shelter, the fastest shelter in the world, in under 10 seconds.

He reveals the new Hardcore Brolly System with its unrivalled luxury, versatility and stability – this is surely the ultimate all season brolly system. Including many other TF Gear products which are all available from Fishtec.

Look out for part two, three and four over the next week.

 

12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Tying the knot? Will that be a blood knot, a stopper knot or are you simply getting ‘hitched’?

We know how much you love your fishing, but when you’ve fallen for someone, hook line and sinker, just how far do you go to make their special day that bit more memorable?

A fishing themed wedding? Here are some happy couples for whom the special day wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of a fishing rod, reel and line!

1. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Flickr
It’s offishal!

2. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Wedding Bee
Hooked on one another!

3. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Kunelius
Anyone for catch of the day?

4. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Sweet Violet Bride
These two were meant for each other.

6. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Green Wedding Shoes
A very fishy affair!

7. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Today’s Bride
Top marks for the cake topper!

8. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Pinterest
He hooked a good’n.

9. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Team Bekki
“Come on, you’ll love it really!”

10. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Blommade
Gone fishin’.

11. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Fowlefoto
“We really should get back to the guests…”

12. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Procopio Blog
She’s got her something blue sorted!

13. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Rutheh
He fell for her hook, line and sinker!



New Anglers Buffs at Fishtec!

insect repelant New Anglers Buffs at Fishtec!

What’s the worst possible way to put you off staying out fishing? Many anglers will say nothing, but those who fish high in the mountains on a warm summer evening will undoubtedly say midges! The invisible menace can often spoil a great evenings fishing where many of the jungle formulas and insect repellents simply don’t work.

Buff have introduced a new and exciting UV Insect Shield Buff which is based on High UV protection Buff® which offers at least 93% protection from harmful UV rays, this new Buff also features ‘Insect Shield’ technology; It’s been impregnated with a special long lasting, effective, odourless and convenient form of insect repellent.

The treatment is effective for at least 50 washes against mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, fleas, chiggers and even Scottish midges. Insect Shield technology is a man-made version of the active ingredient found in some chrysanthemums – an additive which only the bugs will know is there!

The UV Insect Shield Buff features everything you would expected from Buff, it’s seamless design which offers unrivaled protection in hot weather activities is made with Coolmax Extreme which wicks moisture away from your skin whilst offering a bug repellent buff.

Buy the UV Insect Shield Buff at Fishtec!

We’ve also introduced more designs to our range of Anglers Buffs and Original buffs here at Fishtec, these include the new Bonefish, Tarpon, Trevally and the Original Chalk Buff Logo.

newanglersbuffs New Anglers Buffs at Fishtec!

 

 

6 Fun fishing games

Don’t seem to be able to find the time to go fishing? When family, work or other commitments make an escape to the riverbank, lake or shore impossible, why not cast from your couch instead?

We’re talking computer games.

Fishing games have been around since the 1980s, and today they’re more popular than ever. Here are six of our favourite fishing video games…

1. Gone Fishing: Trophy Catch (2012)

Gone Fishing Trophy Catch 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Tech Tabloids
Over 14 million downloads in a few years!

The figure of 14 million downloads speaks for itself. As a fishing game app,Gone Fishing might lack the excitement and drama of other fishing games but it’s obviously a hit with casual ‘screen-prodders’.

Purists who enjoy the slower pace of real-life fishing might baulk at the speed with which fish bite onto the virtual lures here. But if a fraction of the gamers who’ve downloaded Gone Fishing are inspired to pick upreal fly fishing reels and rods, then what an advert for the sport we love.

Available for Android or iOS – why not give it a try?

2. Ninja Fishing (2011)

Ninja Fishing 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Viva
Silly, fun and utterly addictive.

Imagine catching 30 fish on one line, flinging them into the air and then slicing them into sushi before they hit the floor. That’s Ninja Fishing; the smash hit, genre-bending fishing game of 2011.

Ninja Fishing is available as an app for either iOS or Android. If you’re an angler who loves nothing more than quiet hours on the riverbank with a box of hand-tied flies and a thermos of coffee, then this is NOT the game for you.

It is, however, extremely addictive. Be warned.

3. Go Fishing (2011)

Go Fishing 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Go Fishing
Features real life fishing locations.

Racking up over a million Facebook ‘Likes’ since its release in 2011, Go Fishing is a Facebook integrated fishing game app available for PC and iPad.

Gamers compete in challenges and tournaments against their Facebook friends. Complete a challenge to win ‘coins’ and ‘pearls’ which can be traded for better fishing tackle and bait. All the fishing spots in the game are modelled on real life locations, like Lake Michigan, Florida, or Loch Ness.

4. Bass Pro Shops: The Strike (2009)

Bass Pro Shops The Strike 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: XXL Gaming
Fish in 10 real North American lakes.

Bass Pro Shops: The Strike promises to ‘bring the lake to your living room’. Gamers have 10 North American lakes to choose from, each containing the same fish species found there in real life.

The aim of the game is to catch big fish. But to land real whoppers, you’ll need the best equipment. Gamers earn money to ‘buy’ tackle and bait by competing in tournaments and challenges.

On its release for Xbox 360 in 2009, The Strike was heralded as the best fishing game for many a year.

5. Sega Bass Fishing (1999)

Sega Bass Fishing 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Neko Rnadom
Based on a 90s arcade game.

Arguably the best fishing video game of all time, and based on a real arcade game launched in 1997, Sega Bass Fishing was released for Dreamcast in 1999 to massive critical acclaim.

Its unique ‘rod and reel’ controller, meant gamers could battle big bass from their bedrooms, with an all new degree of reality. Anglers and non-anglers alike were hooked on this classic, now adapted for Wii, XBox 360, PS3 and PC.

6. The Black Bass (1989)

The Black Bass2 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Giant Bomb
Ultra retro!

Step back in time to an age before 3D graphics and sophisticated storylines in computer games and you’ll find The Black Bass from 1989. The 8-bit mono internal speaker sound and 64-colour display are prehistoric by today’s standards, but the game is the foundation of modern fishing video games.

You’re a hat wearing character with a fishing rod, and your task is to catch big fish – the eponymous black bass. Land lots of these fish, and virtual anglers can climb from 200th place to 1st in the ‘Wranglers Tournament’.

Fans of retro video games will have to scour ebay or vintage game stores to find this one – but what a classic.

Best beach fishing holiday spots

Planning a summer holiday? The family are certain to want some quality beach time – but at the back of your mind is the need for some serious beach fishing time!

But how do you tick all the boxes?  How can you spend time with the husband or wife and kids, and get to fish some of the best coastal waters in the world?

It’s time to pack your shorts, suntan cream and beachcaster. Here’s our guide to just a few of the world’s top beach fishing destinations – fun in the sun that keeps everyone happy!

France

France fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: French Bass
Anyone for garlic sea bass?

It’s close, boasts fantastic beaches, great campsites and whether you’re eating out or self catering, the food is to die for. France offers some superb beach fishing opportunities. From the craggy cliffs and rocks of Brittany, to the ruler straight sands of La Cote d’Argent, and on to the Basque country and the Med, there’s ample opportunity to build sand castles and wet a line.

Family friendly and with plenty of picturesque vineyards and villages to visit, you’ll also have chance to hook bass, sole, and skate. And who knows, if you get time off for good behaviour – a boat fishing trip in the Med or Atlantic South West might even see you get into some tuna.

New Zealand

New Zealand fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: Surf Caster
Head down under and catch some beauts.

About as far away as it’s possible to get from the gloom of the British winter, New Zealand offers superb coastal fishing. In the North Island, you’re talking snapper, tarakihi, kingfish and kahawai. Head south for blue cod, trumpeter and grouper.

With so much to see and do in New Zealand, you won’t want to spend all your time at the beach, but the joy of Aotearoa, the ‘land of the long white cloud’, is that wherever you go you’re never too far from the sea. In fact, Cromwell at 119 km from the coast is almost the same distance from sea fishing as Church Flatts Farm in Derbyshire which lies 113 miles from the brine. Can you see our thinking?

If you’ve been on a beach holiday that doubled as a fishing adventure, do let us know. We’d love to share your story.

Spain and Portugal

Spain and Portgular fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: Luz Info
Easy to get to with plenty of top spots.

Get yourself organised and a beach holiday to Spain or Portugal could yield some fine sea fishing opportunities. But you will need to plan ahead. That’s because in either country, to cast a line into the blue, you need a fishing license. A quick internet search could hook you up with a fishing guide who can organise the necessary paperwork for you and guide you to the best spots.

Perch atop some of Portugal’s most dramatic cliffs to fish for bass in the boiling sea hundreds of feet below. As for Spain – much of the Mediterranean has been ravaged by overfishing, so unless you fancy scuba and snorkeling at a marine reserve, it’s perhaps best to keep to the Atlantic, where you can bang a line out from any of the dozens golden sand beaches.

Cuba

Cuba fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: Cfye
Follow the locals for the best spots.

For fishing, music and cigars, there’s nowhere better in the world than Cuba. With bonefish, cowfish, snook, tarpon, mangrove snapper & cuda, all on the target list, you might have to get up early to avoid the tourists but the rewards make it well worth the effort.

Unless you’re on a specialist guided fishing holiday, it’s probably a good idea to pack a telescopic rod and a cheap reel in your holiday luggage. Speak to staff at your hotel – or to the hotel chef – who could perhaps provide you with some bait and point you in the right direction. Fish where the locals fish – and when you’re done, make a discrete gift of your fishing equipment to someone who has helped you.

South Africa

South african fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: Gane and Marshall
Fish the surf in South Africa

Big waves, big rods, big baits – the coasts of South Africa boast serious beachcasting for serious fish. A winter sun holiday to the cool waters of the Atlantic off Cape Town, or to the surf beaches of the Indian Ocean will be a definite hit with the family – and a fishing paradise for you.

You’ll need a powerful 13 or 14 foot beachcaster to deliver your bait beyond the surfline – but the rewards are well worth the effort. Rock cod, grunter, and kingfish are just three of a host of saltwater species that swim in the seas off South Africa. And who knows, if the gods are smiling on you, perhaps you’ll hook a giant trevally. Now wouldn’t that make a good holiday snap!