Clocks go forward this weekend and the evenings are already stretching.
There’s a real joy when you realise you’re leaving work in daylight.
A bit of hibernation is over and you can start fitting in after-work shots.
My friend Iain recently retired from teaching and his part-time job means he got off to a bit of a headstart with after-work trips earlier this month.
He’s always fancied a fish but he never really had the chance to pick it up properly.
Fish of the Week
This week’s winner of the Daiwa Fish of the Week is Brian Maginess.
Brian has been chasing a PB all through the winter, coming close on a few occasions until his last, when he had this beauty.
Brian was absolutely over the moon.
The pike took a huge mackerel bait at about 10am on a cold morning at a loch in south-west Scotland and fought Brian for almost 20 minutes before landing.
A proper croc that he’ll never forget.
Send your entry to: Fish of the Week, Glasgow Angling centre, Unit 1, Point Retail Park, 29 Saracen Street, Glasgow G22 5HT, or email with a photo and your address to firstname.lastname@example.org
But instead of picking up golf clubs this year, he bought a coarse starter kit and has set about teaching himself the ropes of match fishing.
Coarse fishing is all about laying traps for fish and building up your swim, drawing them in to a likely spot, holding them there with a steady stream of free food along with your hookbait, so that you can fool them into feeding confidently.
There’s also a bit of watercraft to suss out where in the water column they are feeding.
It’s about playing the waiting game and not getting distracted by fish splashing around or trying to do a little bit of everything in a short session while actually doing nothing.
Years of dealing with classroom chaos means Iain has the patience for angling in spades.
Over a few beers and texts, he’d gone through a waggler and feeder set-up with a couple of us, working through a checklist and getting all the bits ready for a field trip to put the theory into practice on an afternoon visit to Magiscroft.
I was delighted to get a first fish pic through on my mobile before I was even close to finishing time.
Once he’d plumbed the depth and managed to set his float, Iain was getting plenty of bite.
But they’d been proving difficult to pick up on the waggler – line bites and false indications can be frustrating to start with but at least you know fish are there.
As he’d drawn them on the feed, Iain quickly swapped out to plan B and changed on to a mini method feeder .
A couple of false starts on getting a cast somewhere near the first spot and then the tip ripped round, a quick pic of the silver-scaled capture for posterity and a happy angler in the making!
Long evenings, friendly competition and spring has sprung.
It definitely makes the drive home better when you know you’re getting fishing first.