well-being of the angler might seem
like an unlikely topic for a book
about catching pike but when you are
in the middle of a long, hot, day's
lure fishing things will look much
different. The main enemy of efficient
lure fishing is tiredness. When you
get tired, which you will do after
a three a.m. start, don't force yourself
to keep on fishing. Not only will
you begin to fish in a mechanical,
almost robotic way, but when a take
does come your reactions will have
slowed and it's an odds-on chance
that you'll miss it. Take a break,
sit down, lie down, have a nap. O.K.
so you might miss out on a fish or
two, but it is better to start again
refreshed in the long run. It will
also make a long drive home much safer!
hot weather ensure that you avoid dehydration
by having plenty of drinks. Glucose
tablets come in useful too for replacing
lost energy. Casting and retrieving
all day is hard work, especially so
with large lures, and really takes it
out of you. You will find muscles aching
that you never knew existed. Wrists
are another weak spot, and wrist supports
help relieve the strain here. I find
that my neoprene mitts help me in this
respect, the adjustable wrist being
particularly useful. Back ache is another
problem that some anglers suffer from.
It could be well worthwhile investing
in a back support. Shoulders, too, take
a lot of punishment. One solution is
to pump iron. Weight training is not
everyone's cup of tea (it's certainly
not mine), so fish as often as you can
to keep muscles in shape - I know that
even a brief lay off can see me suffering
again next time out.
pike angler gets cut from time to time,
either from the teeth of the fish or
from hooks. Should you get into the
habit of hand-landing most of your pike,
and keeping your hooks as sharp, there
is a chance that the incidence of minor
cuts will increase a little. Because
much lure angling is done in the warmest
weather hygiene is of paramount importance.
Keep up to date with your anti-tetanus
injections, and carry antiseptic wipes
and sticking plasters at all times.
It might not look very macho to have
a plaster on a finger or two, but it
is far more comfortable than fishing
with a gaping slash on the ball of your
thumb. Trying to control a multiplier
spool with a thumb in this state, a
spool which is soaked in sticky blood
from the wound, is a painful experience.
How do I know? Three guesses!