Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Wise Persons Guide to Planning Fishing Holidays (TOP SECRET)

My eldest son Jason with a King salmon caught in the Puget Sound, WA, USA
Around this time of year, if you have not already done so, you start to think about holidays, or more importantly holidays that have the potential to get you some piscatorial action on new waters.  This is something that has to be handled very carefully.  If the slightest hint leaks out of what your ambition is you could be in for at least a rocky ride and at worst disappointment!  Imagine having to tour the pyramids with not a stretch of fish filled water within miles.  Now how challenging the planning and execution of a successful fishing holiday is rather depends on your circumstances. So in an effort to be really helpful I have presented my tips under a series of headings, one of which, might relate to your individual circumstances. So here we go:-

YOU ARE SINGLE: Lucky you, you are “foot loose and fancy free”.  You can pick where you go and when. The only challenges are, can you afford it, and will the boss or girlfriend let you disappear when you want to? So feeling jealous, I propose no help for you.

YOU ARE MARRIED OR IN A SERIOUS PARTNERSHIP:  The ultimate relationship is with a wife or partner who fishes.  If that is the case “no problem” you just come clean and involve them in the planning and take them on the trip and you both fish your socks off!  What is more likely is that they “find fishing boring, messy or not nice for the fish”. Whatever the reason you are up against it and so have to box a bit clever. Strategies that might work are (see below) 1, 2, and 3.

YOU HAVE A WIFE/PARTNER AND YOUNG CHILDREN:  If the children are too young to safely fish with you then you definitely need Strategies 2 and 3 below. 

YOU HAVE A WIFE/PARTNER AND OLDER CHILDREN:  If the children want to fish with you and are old enough, you are laughing and Strategy 1 comes into its own. You can even try Strategy 4.

YOU HAVE OTHER RELATIVES OR FRIENDS ON THE HOLIDAY WHO FISH:  This is really useful because it can stop you being accused of being selfish. Taking granddad fishing is as good a reason for some sport as taking junior fishing. However, if you don’t want a mutiny you are advised to use Strategies 1 and 4.

YOU ARE RETIRED:  Now in theory this gives you a lot more time to fish but it still needs careful planning especially if your other half is still with you on the planet.  You might need to use all the strategies listed below!

PRIOR TO THE HOLIDAY YOU HAVE BEEN BANNED FROM FISHING DURING IT:  You can guarantee that if this happens you will find yourself in a location with the most amazing piscatorial opportunities i.e.  wonderful rivers, lakes, sea etc.  Now there are several ways to overcome this challenge. First you must establish that the person banning you from fishing is enjoying their holiday. Then you need to make the point that you would be enjoying it more if you were allowed to have a bit of R and R by the water’s edge.  Having got them feeling a little bit guilty you adopt one of strategies 6, 7 and 8.


1.       Play the “even Steven” card which is: Day 1 we do what you want, Day 2 we do what I want, Day 3 we do what you want and so on. Sometimes you might play the “weather is changing” card and get two days fishing on the trot.

2.       You are out fishing at first light, whilst they are still asleep, but back with them for a late breakfast and then you take them where they want to go and make sure they have fun.

3.       You ensure they have a busy, tiring, fun day and then you get permission to go out for some evening and late night fishing action. The only down side of this, particularly if you combine it with Strategy 2, is that when you get back home you are exhausted from being on holiday. I know I have been there!

4.       Say “why don’t you non fishers do what you want to do, whilst we fishers commune with nature and go fishing.”  Offering to pay for the alternative activities and even provide initial transport helps grease the wheels of cooperation.

5.       Suggest “it would be nice if we had some fresh fish for supper tonight”!  Caution, announcing this puts you under some serious pressure to deliver.

6.       Find an available fishing guide/ghillie who then takes you to the venue and provides the tackle and local knowledge. This can of course all be investigated before the trip using the web.

7.       Suddenly remember that by chance you did pack your frequent flyer 4 piece rod and a reel and a few flies all by accident.

8.       Announce that it would be nice to look round the local shops, this usually gets the full support of spouses.  Then when you happen to wander up a particular street (having done some advanced research on the web) and come across a fishing tackle shop that has a sale on it is only sensible to check it out!   Having got the kit then it is only logical to try it out before you leave the area in case something needs taking back.

The strategies listed above may make you think I am a “devious ratbag”. They are offered with my tongue in both cheeks!  I always find openness and honesty the best policy.  However, for a holiday to be truly enjoyable everyone has to have a bit of the action. What we want to avoid is what happens in Frederick Forsyth’s short story where a wealthy banker, on holiday in the Caribbean, with his domineering and disagreeable wife, sneaks away on the last day of their holiday so go marlin fishing.  During the trip he hooks the local legendary monster marlin.  Having fought it for hours and got it alongside the boat he orders that it be released rather than killed.  This makes him a hero with the crew.  He then decides he has had enough of being hen pecked, so on returning to his irate wife, he announces that he has bought the fishing boat complete with crew as he intends to retire and remain in the Caribbean fishing and he is divorcing her!


Sorry if there are any typos in the above, for obvious reasons I did not get my wife to proof read it!

Not to be outdone by his dad my grandson Sam with his King salmon. 
The holiday fishing trip was his birthday treat!


  1. Fishing is a fun hobby that enjoyed by millions...

  2. It is better to rent a yacht for a luxury fishing trip...