Is it all about the numbers???

Craig808

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
39
Location
Yorkshire
I'm relatively new to fishing so my opinion may not be worth much in the grand scheme of things, but here goes anyway.

I first picked up a fly rod maybe 15 years ago but due to other hobbies and commitments it only lasted for 6 months then it was put in the attic. When the first lockdown came last year I decided I would start fishing my local which is literally 5 minutes from my front door, so most weekends since then I have been out on the lake enjoying myself.

Now here is where I feel I may be missing the point.

When speaking to other anglers or reading about fishing it all seems to be about the numbers rather than the enjoyment. Infact I'd go as far as to say that for many the enjoyment seems to be based on the numbers.

I'm on quite a few fishing forums and groups and I hear that quite a lot. Folk saying that the fishery isn't great or it wasn't a good day because they were catching under 10 fish. So what they are saying is the amount of fish that one catches is the deciding factor on whether it is a good fishery/day and this in turn decides whether that person had a good day out.

A good example of this happened to me this week. I had been out fishing and later that evening I was talking to a mate and he asked me how I got on at my local. "Great, I had a very good day" I replied and explained about battling the crazy wind, catching a fin perfect brownie, a few fights with some tough fighting blues, a decent amount of rainbows and meeting another angler for the first time who I got on with really well. But the best part of the day was two dear walking down to the edge of the water for a drink literally no more than 10 metres from me completely at ease with me being there. They spent a good 5 minutes drinking and watching me then wandered off. That is not something I have seen before and can't imagine I will ever again.

On hearing this his reply was, "yeah yeah but how many did you catch?"

That got me thinking. Don't get me wrong, I would rather catch fish than blank, but am I bothered if it is 5 or 35...no not at all. Does it have to be an overfed mammoth slab of a fish...no. As long as I am enjoying my day out I honestly do not think that the numbers really matter. However, I also understand that we are all different and require different things in life. I actually fished pretty decent for me and made some good decisions which by the end of the day meant I caught the most on the lake. But to me the numbers were irrelevant. I had a great day and can honestly say that the numbers were just an added bonus. Having a day off work, getting outdoors, coming face to face with nature, meeting new people and chucking some flies out made a fantastic day for me.

So I guess all I am saying is perhaps if you are relatively new to fishing and are disheartened that you are catching single numbers while the person to the side of you has caught 30, there is no need to be. Ask yourself what you have enjoyed about the day and take that home with you.

The alternative is that you could be working or doing chores around the house. I know what I would rather be doing.
 

beetlebum

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
227
Location
Chorley
I'm relatively new to fishing so my opinion may not be worth much in the grand scheme of things, but here goes anyway.

I first picked up a fly rod maybe 15 years ago but due to other hobbies and commitments it only lasted for 6 months then it was put in the attic. When the first lockdown came last year I decided I would start fishing my local which is literally 5 minutes from my front door, so most weekends since then I have been out on the lake enjoying myself.

Now here is where I feel I may be missing the point.

When speaking to other anglers or reading about fishing it all seems to be about the numbers rather than the enjoyment. Infact I'd go as far as to say that for many the enjoyment seems to be based on the numbers.

I'm on quite a few fishing forums and groups and I hear that quite a lot. Folk saying that the fishery isn't great or it wasn't a good day because they were catching under 10 fish. So what they are saying is the amount of fish that one catches is the deciding factor on whether it is a good fishery/day and this in turn decides whether that person had a good day out.

A good example of this happened to me this week. I had been out fishing and later that evening I was talking to a mate and he asked me how I got on at my local. "Great, I had a very good day" I replied and explained about battling the crazy wind, catching a fin perfect brownie, a few fights with some tough fighting blues, a decent amount of rainbows and meeting another angler for the first time who I got on with really well. But the best part of the day was two dear walking down to the edge of the water for a drink literally no more than 10 metres from me completely at ease with me being there. They spent a good 5 minutes drinking and watching me then wandered off. That is not something I have seen before and can't imagine I will ever again.

On hearing this his reply was, "yeah yeah but how many did you catch?"

That got me thinking. Don't get me wrong, I would rather catch fish than blank, but am I bothered if it is 5 or 35...no not at all. Does it have to be an overfed mammoth slab of a fish...no. As long as I am enjoying my day out I honestly do not think that the numbers really matter. However, I also understand that we are all different and require different things in life. I actually fished pretty decent for me and made some good decisions which by the end of the day meant I caught the most on the lake. But to me the numbers were irrelevant. I had a great day and can honestly say that the numbers were just an added bonus. Having a day off work, getting outdoors, coming face to face with nature, meeting new people and chucking some flies out made a fantastic day for me.

So I guess all I am saying is perhaps if you are relatively new to fishing and are disheartened that you are catching single numbers while the person to the side of you has caught 30, there is no need to be. Ask yourself what you have enjoyed about the day and take that home with you.

The alternative is that you could be working or doing chores around the house. I know what I would rather be doing.
It isn't for me and never has been to be honest. I've fished for most of my life for most types of fish and can honestly say that it hasn't ever been about the numbers. That said....it is nice to get 1 at least and avoid the dreaded blank😂
 

PaulD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
2,199
Location
South Northants
The thing is, we are all 'anglers', and whereas we all go with the intention of catching fish, we're known as anglers not fishers because 'angling' is far broader than 'fishing'.

From the moment we first pick up a fishing rod, we're all on an angling journey. At the start of the journey, catching a fish is often the main motivator and once we've done that, we want to catch more. Eventually, the sensation of catching more fish starts to pale into insignificance and we yearn to catch a big fish . . . then surprisingly (?), more big fish!

Eventually however, many of us begin to appreciate that irrespective of the numbers and or size of the fish encountered, what keeps us fishing is what we encounter during the time we're holding the rod, the way we're fishing, where we're fishing, our fishing environment etc. Fishing is a great and valued opportunity to be somewhere spectacular, look around, breath in, breath out and smile. It's an opportunity to interact with the weather, with nature, with creatures that live in a different environment. It's special.
 

redietz

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
238
Location
Maryland, USA
Does that mate of yours even fish?

I've had a couple of legitimate 100 fish days in remote mountain streams, but I've had more satisfaction with one nice fish from a spring creek (US equivalent of a chalk stream.)

And I've never failed to enjoy myself.
 

boisker

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
2,991
Location
Devon
Nothing is that simplistic.... some days I’m just glad to be out... other days, right in the heart of the season when I know a river has been fishing well, fish are rising on and off all day... if I catch 10, that could feel really unsuccessful... alternatively early season catching 3 could feel really successful....
there’s nothing wrong with wanting to catch fish... but for me it isn’t the number that is key, it’s how I fished to get to that number....
 
D

Deleted member 90002

Guest
I'm relatively new to fishing so my opinion may not be worth much in the grand scheme of things, but here goes anyway.

I first picked up a fly rod maybe 15 years ago but due to other hobbies and commitments it only lasted for 6 months then it was put in the attic. When the first lockdown came last year I decided I would start fishing my local which is literally 5 minutes from my front door, so most weekends since then I have been out on the lake enjoying myself.

Now here is where I feel I may be missing the point.

When speaking to other anglers or reading about fishing it all seems to be about the numbers rather than the enjoyment. Infact I'd go as far as to say that for many the enjoyment seems to be based on the numbers.

I'm on quite a few fishing forums and groups and I hear that quite a lot. Folk saying that the fishery isn't great or it wasn't a good day because they were catching under 10 fish. So what they are saying is the amount of fish that one catches is the deciding factor on whether it is a good fishery/day and this in turn decides whether that person had a good day out.

A good example of this happened to me this week. I had been out fishing and later that evening I was talking to a mate and he asked me how I got on at my local. "Great, I had a very good day" I replied and explained about battling the crazy wind, catching a fin perfect brownie, a few fights with some tough fighting blues, a decent amount of rainbows and meeting another angler for the first time who I got on with really well. But the best part of the day was two dear walking down to the edge of the water for a drink literally no more than 10 metres from me completely at ease with me being there. They spent a good 5 minutes drinking and watching me then wandered off. That is not something I have seen before and can't imagine I will ever again.

On hearing this his reply was, "yeah yeah but how many did you catch?"

That got me thinking. Don't get me wrong, I would rather catch fish than blank, but am I bothered if it is 5 or 35...no not at all. Does it have to be an overfed mammoth slab of a fish...no. As long as I am enjoying my day out I honestly do not think that the numbers really matter. However, I also understand that we are all different and require different things in life. I actually fished pretty decent for me and made some good decisions which by the end of the day meant I caught the most on the lake. But to me the numbers were irrelevant. I had a great day and can honestly say that the numbers were just an added bonus. Having a day off work, getting outdoors, coming face to face with nature, meeting new people and chucking some flies out made a fantastic day for me.

So I guess all I am saying is perhaps if you are relatively new to fishing and are disheartened that you are catching single numbers while the person to the side of you has caught 30, there is no need to be. Ask yourself what you have enjoyed about the day and take that home with you.

The alternative is that you could be working or doing chores around the house. I know what I would rather be doing.
Personally the people who are committed to Numbers in trout fishing are far far few than the ones who enjoy all aspects including blanks..
Just my opinion..
Gary
 

JCP

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
2,904
Location
Dorset Wilts Borders & Baja
Whatever floats your boat.Competitive folks are often driven by numbers and often these ranks produce excellent fly fishers who pass on invaluable tips.Takes me back to when I wanted to catch plenty of fish in freshwater or salt.Then it was the biggest ones.Nowadays and always I like fish which pull back and release far more than I take.I am blessed to live in the ''sticks'' here in Dorset and know all about the feelgood aura especially when out in a boat on Blagdon lake in a corduroy ripple fishing a buzzer hatch.....
 

Attachments

  • UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a2.jpg
    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a2.jpg
    297.1 KB · Views: 27

Craig808

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
39
Location
Yorkshire
Does that mate of yours even fish?

I've had a couple of legitimate 100 fish days in remote mountain streams, but I've had more satisfaction with one nice fish from a spring creek (US equivalent of a chalk stream.)

And I've never failed to enjoy myself.
Yes he fishes.

But he really is only interested in numbers.

There are 3 relatively well known small fisheries near me and the vast majority of people who fish them are too hung up on the amount that they catch.

In fact the whole scene has left me slightly bewildered of late. I am digressing here from the original post but the winter fishing seems a little too false for what I am after. Big bright artificial patterns that are not natural in any sense, fishing under a bung, manmade ponds, over fed fish etc etc.. It is all very man-made.

With the above in mind I have just bought a new river outfit. I live 10 minutes away from the Wharfe so can't wait to spend days meandering up the river fishing the various beats, pools and glides, using natural patterns, surrounded by the glorious Yorkshire countryside and catching a few wild browns.

Now that to me is fishing.
 
D

Deleted member 90002

Guest
Yes he fishes.

But he really is only interested in numbers.

There are 3 relatively well known small fisheries near me and the vast majority of people who fish them are too hung up on the amount that they catch.

In fact the whole scene has left me slightly bewildered of late. I am digressing here from the original post but the winter fishing seems a little too false for what I am after. Big bright artificial patterns that are not natural in any sense, fishing under a bung, manmade ponds, over fed fish etc etc.. It is all very man-made.

With the above in mind I have just bought a new river outfit. I live 10 minutes away from the Wharfe so can't wait to spend days meandering up the river fishing the various beats, pools and glides, using natural patterns, surrounded by the glorious Yorkshire countryside and catching a few wild browns.

Now that to me is fishing.
Please take this a friendly suggestion.. Your a relatively new member but voicing bug opinions on various forms of fishing It could be wiser just to enjoy the forum a little more..
There are many here who enjoy the bright lures the man made ponds.. And others who don't..
You will truly get a chance at some point to have a discussion.. But at first just tread carefully.. As its a big can of worms to open on a second post.. Who should fish what and where..
Gary
 

redietz

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
238
Location
Maryland, USA
I live 10 minutes away from the Wharfe so can't wait to spend days meandering up the river fishing the various beats, pools and glides, using natural patterns, surrounded by the glorious Yorkshire countryside and catching a few wild browns.
You're lucky. The Wharfe is on my bucket list.

OTOH, I have year round river fishing for trout, so maybe it's a wash.
 
Last edited:

beetlebum

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
227
Location
Chorley
Yes he fishes.

But he really is only interested in numbers.

There are 3 relatively well known small fisheries near me and the vast majority of people who fish them are too hung up on the amount that they catch.

In fact the whole scene has left me slightly bewildered of late. I am digressing here from the original post but the winter fishing seems a little too false for what I am after. Big bright artificial patterns that are not natural in any sense, fishing under a bung, manmade ponds, over fed fish etc etc.. It is all very man-made.

With the above in mind I have just bought a new river outfit. I live 10 minutes away from the Wharfe so can't wait to spend days meandering up the river fishing the various beats, pools and glides, using natural patterns, surrounded by the glorious Yorkshire countryside and catching a few wild browns.

Now that to me is fishing.
That's the beauty of the pastime, everybody can take away what they want from it. I'm very much in the same camp as you in that I prefer to fish wild places for wild fish and yes, the Wharfe is a lovely river and you'll enjoy it but I'll still have the odd trip out to fish stocked waters if only for the social aspect (possibly this afternoon actually as an invite has arisen) Horses for courses and all that, it's all fishing though and much better than being sat at home.
 

Cap'n Fishy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Messages
27,942
Location
Embra
... am I bothered if it is 5 or 35...

When I go out for a day on Loch Lomond, the target is 1 (usually a sea trout - just occasionally a salmon), and anything more than that is a bonus. But the anticipation of a day on Loch Lomond is greater than most places and far greater than a day on a heavily stocked water.

And for me, one fish caught by casting a dry fly to a rising fish is worth 10 caught pulling lures.

All a matter of perspective and what gets our juices flowing, eh? 😜

Col
 

eddleston123

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2012
Messages
9,721
Location
Peebles, Scottish Borders
There is a feeling amongst a certain group of anglers that if they pay for their day ticket, then they have a level of expectation of catch numbers.

When they have a disappointing day they feel cheated and do not feel that they have had
'value for money' - Fortunately, anglers with this mind set are in the minority (I think)

I am referring more to stocked still water fisheries.



Douglas
 

Craig808

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
39
Location
Yorkshire
You're lucky. The Wharfe is on my bucket list.

OTOH, I have year round river fishing for trout, so maybe it's a wash.
My kids, wife and I regularly walk along the Wharfe. A couple of weeks ago I was stood at the water's edge and said to my wife that it seems silly that I don't fish here.

So I contacted the Appletreewick, Barden and Burnsal Angling Club and luckily managed to bag a membership. Happy days 👍
 

Craig808

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
39
Location
Yorkshire
When I go out for a day on Loch Lomond, the target is 1 (usually a sea trout - just occasionally a salmon), and anything more than that is a bonus. But the anticipation of a day on Loch Lomond is greater than most places and far greater than a day on a heavily stocked water.

And for me, one fish caught by casting a dry fly to a rising fish is worth 10 caught pulling lures.

All a matter of perspective and what gets our juices flowing, eh? 😜

Col
Agree 100%
 

Craig808

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
39
Location
Yorkshire
Please take this a friendly suggestion.. Your a relatively new member but voicing bug opinions on various forms of fishing It could be wiser just to enjoy the forum a little more..
There are many here who enjoy the bright lures the man made ponds.. And others who don't..
You will truly get a chance at some point to have a discussion.. But at first just tread carefully.. As its a big can of worms to open on a second post.. Who should fish what and where..
Gary
Friendly suggestion taken onboard.

I actually did think that before I wrote the post. And in the original post I did write that everyone is different and expect different things from a day - which is absolutely fine.

I am not telling anyone to fish where and how. Maybe it has come across like that and if so I apologise, that was not my intention. It was me merely saying that I was surprised at how many people (at least in the circles that I currently seem to be) are more bothered about numbers than anything else.

Quite often people say that I am not backward about coming forward - maybe I should take heed 😂
 

dcb

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
48
Location
Midlothian
Quite happy to get out in the fresh air and leave the drudgery of work behind. Yes, its great to catch whatever you are targeting, but, I'm more than happy just to get out. We all have that "magic day" where everything goes right and the rod bends into many a fish. However, I often take more gratification on landing a single fish on a hard going day. It's all about personal enjoyment IMO
 

Gdog

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
736
Location
Dublin
There's enough competition in life, if you worked where I work, you'd know what competition is, and you wouldn't want more competition on your time off from the bloody work related competition.

I fish to unwind, relax, drive to somewhere outside the city, enjoy nature and hopefully catch a few trout. I fish various stillwaters and the odd river, some are relatively easy, some are very difficult. So its never about numbers, and the numbers caught vary greatly from one water to the next.

Let's all just enjoy fishing when we can for as long as we can, I haven't wet a line since mid last September due to lockdown after lockdown. Hopefully I'll get out sometime in the spring or summer.
 

wrongfoot

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
1,848
Location
Northumberland
I guess it sometimes comes down to what your alternatives are.

If you have a lifestyle where a fishing trip is to one of the few locations or few times you can find relative wildness and tranquility, then you might value those aspects more than the catching.

Nothing wrong with you valuing all those aspects of your day out, but, if you feel very strongly that the fishing is the least rewarding bit, then maybe you should view fishing as some view golf "a good walk spoiled". Perhaps go for few walks, bird-watching photography outings until that need is filled and you're able to focus on fishing a bit more again? Plenty of people here do. Look at the nature photography thread for example.

If I've really not got a fishing head on I go out without a rod, walk the dog, take a camera. etc.

PS. I don't consider wanting to catch fish and competition fishing to be anywhere near the same thing.
 
Top