Catching Fish: Why Are Anglers So Hard to Please?

It is a fact, isn’t it? When we go fishing and catch nothing, we don’t like it?* Is it not also true that catching fish one-after-another is simply not what we want either? (Unless of course we are match fishing)

There’s no pleasing us!


It may be hard to believe, but twice I have personally caught 100 salmon in one day – both times in Alaska. I am in no doubt that this is something I would never want to repeat – ever!! When you KNOW that the next cast will produce another fish, making that cast becomes rather pointless. Exactly why I did it a second time, I find hard to explain, even to myself!

Leaping sockeye salmon on the hook in Alaska

Leaping sockeye salmon on the hook in Alaska, where we fished below Newhalen Gorge, shown in the video below

On that trip – my fourth, and last, trip to that wonderful, wild country – I took my twin twelve-year-old boys. I couldn’t resist the very kind offer by Ray – the owner of Rainbow King Lodge – to take them both for the price of one. In fairness, it was a great success. We caught large rainbows, pike, grayling, char, some giant halibut, plus of course heaps of salmon. It was a lovely holiday for us all to look back on.

The day in question was at a venue known as the Newhalen Gorge. Here, some three million sockeye salmon congregated in a huge pool, ready to run the gauntlet of 150 yards of fearsome, tumbling white water. Six of us caught 500 fish that day. After three or so hours, we all became slightly weary, even my boys. It’s true: catching fish almost every cast can become tiresome, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that they averaged six or seven pounds and fought like demons! It wasn’t long before fishing turned to watching the antics of the local grizzly bears. We observed as they fished on the far side of the same pool, sometimes jumping onto the salmon from cliffs high above the water. They seemed to be every bit as successful as us!

Bream bashing

Getting back to the present day, I have been enjoying some wonderful sport catching fish recently. Big bream in particular have been feeding well at a venue not far from my home. Long-range feeder fishing is the order of the day there, and it is quite a thrill watching that tip twitch and then pull round. 7-to-10lb fish are the norm, falling to a worm offering with surprising regularity. Nevertheless, my visit last Thursday proved to be a little too much!

I had planned an afternoon two-rod approach. Having cast out rod one, I picked up the second one ready to bait up. A glance over my shoulder saw the first rod being pulled almost out of its rest! Lifting it, I knew instantly that I was attached to a good fish, which put up a surprisingly good battle (for its species), before a bream of 8/9lbs came grudgingly to my net.

catching fish - Hollowell bream caught first cast

Having re-baited, I cast out once more,. This time, in view of the speed of the first take, I kept an eye on things. Sure enough, after just a few seconds, around went the rod. I found myself into another big ‘slab’. I weighed this one, as it appeared even larger than the first, and it went a fraction over ten pounds – a nice bream by any standards! It also was sporting those rough ‘tubercles’, which the males often have prior to spawning.

Catching fish - double-figure bream caught from Hollowell Reservoir, Northants

To cut the story short, the action continued in the same way throughout the two hours or so I was there. I doubt if I ever waited more than twenty seconds for a bite. Needless to add, I never got the second rod in action. It was a case of cast out, tighten up, tip around, and lift into another thumping ‘lump’! I was literally catching fish one after the other.

Enough is enough

After a while it all became just too much, so I packed up and left them to it. Sally, my wife, enquired why I was home so early. She found it quite amusing to hear that I was catching fish too easily, but the fact is that, where there is no challenge, the thrill of it all tends to disappear.

As I said before – there’s no pleasing us, is there?!

* In actual fact this doesn’t apply to me any more. I have reached the point where it really doesn’t matter that much… But I’m getting on a bit!

Mike Green About Mike Green

Although a bit of a pike fanatic, Mike Green has been fishing in the UK and abroad for most of his life, catching coarse, sea and game fish in the UK, Canada, Alaska, New Zealand, Asia and Americas.