At some point in your life you’ve had to deal with rejection. How you go about dealing with it is your business, but one thing is – if you don’t pick your own self up you ain’t never going to learn from it.
Therefore I’ve put together a few little snippets on making a rubbish situation a little more bearable and maybe even turn it into an eat. And also help me get through the flats drought over winter.
Kingfish are by and large a cunning predator. They are on top of their game and one day will be terrorizing bait relentlessly, the next day scrutinizing every single fibre on your fly. So as a rule of thumb for these days I’ll fish as natural as possible. Muted colors and minimal bling can still turn them on. Otherwise “if you can’t catch em, piss them off”! Bright, bulky and loud being the modus operandi here.
Those follows… Heart stopping, time seems to slow right down as they meander along behind your fly. One kick of that yellow tail will see them overtake it but they’re content on just following. You run out of line, now what? Get that fly out of the water, no point educating the fish more than it need to be. Wait for them to turn then flick the fly into their exit path – departing body language will dictate if they eat it or not, just remember to make the fly move straight away. You can also try changing your retrieve but bear in mind you can’t out strip a kingfish.
A few points about these precious few seconds boat side. Don’t look them in the eye, keep very still, no pointing at them and yelling eat the f*%ken fly. Keep the rod still and away from overhead. In fact just ignore the bastards and wait for your next shot, almost as they disappear from sight or at your casting range limits are best bets.
Gear failure sucks big time. Buy the best gear you can afford and keep it in great condition. Saltwater is a reel killer and a water/bomb proof drag is highly recommended. Retie suspect and overworked knots. Research the best connections for each stage of line join and practice them over and over again. And when you’ve mastered that find an even better way to do it…
Sometimes however it just doesn’t go to plan. My mate Andrew Marshall got backlashed on a big kingfish a few years back (keep the drag set, not undone after stripping line off). The monstrous surface take and sound of that fly line snapping as it came tight was epic and forever etched in our minds. All these little lessons serve a purpose to strengthen your resolve, if you’re not learning something from it then get an easier hobby.
Most people don’t eat meals all day long, same applies to fish. Perhaps a smaller portion will be snapped up more readily. This is a good time to mention bite times and solunar activity. Keep an eye on these you’ll be pleasantly surprised when the fish activity correlates to these times, even if it is just a brief window.
And finally the worst of all, blanking! You’ve worked hard all day, covered all your spots and tried all your tricks. Best to go home, clean your gear, curse the fish and have a beer (in no particular order, but if you’re really clever you can do them all at once). Strip things back to the basics and think how you can do better. Often keeping things simple will take the clutter out of your head and fishing. Leaving you free to chase fish, not faff around distracted.
Even the best of the best have had a shit day or two. Just bear that in mind next time you find yourself raging in a bad way. Tomorrow’s another day.