Whereas some anglers can fish for a single species constantly for years on end, I came to the conclusion a long time ago that my attention span was too short to allow me to do this. This realisation turned me from being a carp angler to fishing for a number of species and has certainly kept me fishing when a lot of my contemporaries have fallen by the wayside.

Each year, I know chase half a dozen different species for short periods of time. Many years these sorties will end in failure, but every so often the combination of my intense interest and correct choice of venue will come together to make something special. To the outsider it may appear that the specialist angler jumps between species almost at random, but nothing could be further from the truth. Closer to the truth is the accusation that specialist anglers chase fishing which is reaching it's prime then move on when the harvest has been reaped. While some anglers take this 'claim jumping' to extreme lengths, the small band of highly successful specialist anglers in the country today do listen to the information they pick up and use it to their advantage. There is often a fine line between following the crowd and being one step ahead and it is not something that you can always get right. This is a prime example of knowing when to start fishing a particular venue or for a particular species.

Several times this year big catches of fish have been taken from waters that I know by anglers on only their first trip to the water. Now, you might dismiss these catches as flukes, but I think that they happen too often to be a coincidence. Certainly from my own experience I know that when I first visit a water my energy level is very high and I try my best. After a few weeks it is very easy to fall into the trap of fishing favourite swims, not studying the water as hard as you should, not baiting up as accurately, and basically not trying as hard. On really difficult waters catches may dry up at this point. Certainly this is the point when my interest begins to wane and I have to take a break.

When I first began specialist angling in earnest I was convinced that my lack of 'staying power' would count against me. Now I am not so sure, and have learnt to accept the non-fishing times as part of my fishing year. I now realise that I don't have to go fishing every weekend and this has made me a better angler by far. Taking a break when I get stuck in a rut means that when I next return to fishing I am fresh and willing to give it my best shot. I always know when to give up. When the fishing becomes tedious - strangely, this is often when I am catching fish regularly - I take a break. Similarly, when I can no longer contain myself, I know it is time to get the rods out again. If you feel your fishing has become stuck in a rut, don't be afraid to do something different or to hang up the rods altogether. It might not be an accepted tactic, but not going fishing can sometimes be the best move you ever made.