Tracy&James | Thursday, 7 November 2019

Now the clocks have gone back in the UK there’s no daylight left after work for any fishing or casting practice – unless using lumi-lines of course. This is far from my favourite time of year and will only get worse, soon I’ll be going to work in the dark as well as coming home in it. It’s about this time however that I start to think about what I’d like to target next year, it’s also when I do the bulk of my fly tying.

I have a constantly changing list of species or specimens that I’d like to catch at some point.  I must admit that this is often influenced by some of the great photos that come through on our Facebook feed of friends in tropical (and sometimes not so tropical) places with some fine fish.  Tracy also has a list and the overlap between them both gives us a starting point for discussions on where we’d like to fish – that said I know for certain that number one position in her notes is always going to be the bonefish.

Any reader of our FPs will know that a fly-caught, 100 pound plus shark whilst wading has been on my list for some time and will remain pretty high in my priorities.  I think this is because we’ve come so close in the past but never quite managed it.  I have actually caught a triple figure shark in the Bahamas on conventional tackle – I caught it in a bar whilst sat drinking beer with my feet up on the sea wall.  The rod was also propped up against the wall with the big multiplier reel in free-spool waiting for the ‘click, click, click….’ like in the film Jaws.

A large(ish) tarpon is always high on my list.  Again I’ve caught quite a few but they’ve all been juveniles, including perhaps one of the smallest I’ve ever seen landed.  I’ve always been slightly underwhelmed by the fight however, I’m sure the right fish on the right tackle is going to be a completely different prospect, so the tarpon is staying on my list until I get a proper one.

Tropical species that I’ve yet to catch that make my list include most tunas – I suspect the fight from pretty much all of these is going to be awesome, especially if it’s scaled up from the bonito and mackerel I’ve caught.  Golden trevally also makes an appearance along with milkfish, redfish, cobia and kingfish (there’s a whole lot more depending on whether I’m doing a top 10 or 20).

With regard to freshwater fish, I think my current top ranking species must be the pike, no doubt influenced by the stunning fish pictures that Bernd posts from the Baltic.  All my previous pike have been on conventional tackle or have been accidental captures of very small fish when targeting trout.  I suppose I should put the snakehead on my list also, although the pictures don’t come through as thick and fast as those of the pike – maybe there’s some extra desirability due to rareness here.

So what’s on your list?