Simon Pomeroy – My Obsession With FishingPallatrax Angling
My angling journey has certainly been varied to date with my first memory of catching Sticklebacks on a tiny Scottish Burn, through to owning boats in this country and abroad, running fisheries, tackle shops and for the last 20 years designing and producing baits, terminal ranges and fish catching tactics. All in all, it has been an interesting angling ‘career’ which has certainly opened my eyes to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – and though I’m now in my 50’s I’d like to think there are still a few years left to build upon my experiences so far!
Fishing has always been the ultimate escape from the rat race for me, whether it was floating in the ocean off Bermuda for Amberjack or casting a fly on a shallow moorland stream for tiny wild brownies. To be amongst nature at times when most people will still be wrapped up in bed or watching television, seeing things that only nature can provide is both wonderful and inspiring, but my ultimate aim has always been to catch, and to catch more in a safe and responsible manner – whatever the species.
I certainly do not pretend to know it all, but some of my experiences have led me to study entomology and ecology and biology of fish allowing me to open my mind, as best as I can as a human, to what really counts to challenge the quarry I hunt. Taking such a position is not that easy and sometimes it is difficult to see through the ‘fog’ of the modern sport with slick marketing and unchallenged mainstream trends, but I try to never assume anything whilst always being happy to question everything.
By having such a questioning approach leads me into my first piece which focuses on some, if not the most, important factors that have influenced my angling and without doubt put me in a position to catch more on the day. Nature has an incredible way of challenging us as anglers with so many variables that change so frequently but some of the basics never really change and they are a great place to start at and learn about. Obviously each of the following topics are far more in-depth that I can write about in such a short piece and at some stage I will revisit to really drill down into each topic.
Location / Watercraft:
Whether I have been drifting over a channel wreck for Bass or Carp fishing on a huge Dutch water system, location will always be the key factor. Simply put: if there are no fish in your swim you are up against it and never expect fish to come to you! When I owned my own lakes it was incredible how many anglers would plot up in swims away from showing fish with an assumption that these fish would at some stage turn up to be caught! Unfortunately if only it was that easy and the fact was those fish were where they were for their own reasons, which could be anything from keeping away from angler pressure to feeding on a natural hatch – only the fish ever truly know!
Outside of match fishing, where the draw decides, or on a water you have to fish a particular spot, swim selection is key and there are a host of factors that can make the decision of swim selection for you, the main being seeing fish show. Walking the water, making no assumptions and local knowledge all revolve around the best location on the day and always be prepared to move. If you’re not catching and fish are showing the pain of a move will quickly disappear once you are catching!
Another mind boggling topic from my early angling days, where the most exotic we got was cheese laced with Elderberry wine! The bait market is a minefield with so many options – where do you start? For me the main thing is that the bait has to be of the top most quality and designed to be both of benefit to the fish eating it and to have a positive impact on the water and environment in which it’s fished. By taking that correct stance, by default I also end up with a far better bait – giving a fish something it wants to feed on and not something we, as humans, want it to feed on. A subtle reframing of a few words, but with huge implications either way!
Natural baits will always stand head and shoulders over man-made ones, as these are the very food sources ‘designed’ for fish to survive on with the essential proteins and nutrients they require for a healthy and sustainable diet. I try to incorporate naturals within most of my baiting approaches but using maggots, worms and the like can be difficult as everything eats them and within carp fishing that can be frustrating!
Try to investigate the ingredients and design behind your baits and don’t just accept a boilie or pellet ‘as is’ because the main factor is the ingredients and not the smell (the flawed sniff test!?) or price being the deciding factors. I’m not here to critique as fishing is only a joy, but if some anglers were to put more focus to their bait selection they would certainly catch more, as well as benefit the environment fished within.
Are we trying to reinvent the wheel when you consider the ‘Old Skool’ approaches to angling i.e. quality components, consistently effective, fish safe and as unobtrusive as possible? I’m from an era where these were the key factors within our rigs, whatever the species or tactics. I would certainly say that in the fog of time the unobtrusive element has been forgotten when with pressured fish nowadays it is even more applicable. There is a trend that the focus is what we see as humans means it is the same for what a fish may see. What we should never forget is it is actually a case of what a fish can sense, seeing being one of those senses but far from the most efficient. It could be said that their eyes are their most inefficient as most of the time they are swimming in dark, at night, and murky conditions.
If we look at carp, though you can dovetail this with all species, they are masters of their own environment whilst we are but visitors. It is incredible when you discover their true sense and how heightened they are and learning this, especially from my fish farming, has given me a very conscious mind-set of how complex and efficient a creature they are. They can detect, and ‘read’, tiny changes in water pressures.
Food for thought – would a top match angler overlook the need to be unobtrusive? Never. As this is the case why in other areas of angling, especially carp fishing, are we now prepared to accept the opposite? There is a belief if you paint your lead green it has been suddenly, and miraculously, camouflaged but that can never be the case within the sensory perception of a fish – it is still man-made and, therefore, out of the norm of its ‘safe’ environment. Believe me, if you can see it they can sense it, and ignore this fact at your peril!
Though this is a very much an introduction piece, can I firstly thank you for taking the time to read and I hope it has piqued your interest! My intentions going forward will be purely to explain the conclusions I have come to within my own angling after my experiences to date.
Until next time stay safe and enjoy your fishing.