You blink and the year has gained a momentum that leaves you wondering if the holidays were just a figment of your imagination. For every family man or those unfortunate enough to be committed to a partner who just can’t comprehend your infatuation with fish, ‘the holidays’ can be a relative phrase. Obligation might seem like a heartless term, but be honest with yourself, how much time did you spend doing exactly what you wanted to do in December? Life is all about compromise, but if you weren’t allowed to throw a line over the festive season, then you need to get in touch with that pig-headed brute that climbed down from the trees and grow a set!

A fishing resolution is a simple one, spend more time doing it. Which, considering we’re already looking back at January and you still haven’t bent a rod, your year planner is in need of some resurrecting

We’re lucky that most fish have a season, so at least we can plan our campaign on what to target when. Understanding that your time is the most significant constraint, coupled with the post-festive season finances, you want to take a good look around at your local options to wet your appetite, hopefully not resorting to the Koi in your neighbor’s pond.

Being ‘invited’ to an event is always a guarantee for some quality fishing time, but don’t wait for that call, create it, get the lads together and make it happen. Should you be in that unenviable position of having to justify a boys weekend, you can always pitch it as having been selected, which brings me to the most important aspect. Join a club! You don’t have to attend all the meetings, or even read the newsletter ( although it will generally improve your fishing), but it gives any fishing trip some legitimacy on the face of it…..hell, start your own club, that way you get to control the whole process.

Then you have to plan at least one big excursion. Now, this isn’t always possible every year, so if not then get it in your and everyone else’s sights for 2021. The incredible benefit of fishing is the places it takes you to, so make sure you get out of your comfort zone and reach for a new destination and notch up some fresh species. If necessary and I say this with caution, plan your next family holiday around this. This can of course backfire should you not have ensured that the fishing far outweighs the tourist attractions. For, as enthralling as the environment and cultural history might be, should you be within casting length of tailing fish whilst listening to some tour guide drone on, it’s likely to end in a proverbial boxing match.

Consistency is the key, as it gets your friends, works colleagues and above all family to associate you with the sport…..and yes they need to be convinced that it is a sport!

Granted, it lacks the agility of football or the speed of a Hussain Bolt and the average angler is no Swartznegger to look at, but finesse and skill it certainly takes, as all of us know, having seen the seasoned Pro consistently teach the fish a lesson. And that’s the real point, all it takes is practice. As a good friend of mine once advised me, ‘There’s nothing wrong with your fishing that a decade or two on the water won’t fix!’

The benefits of the great outdoors are irrefutable, as more than ever in today’s manic society, the need for a digital detox is paramount and provided each time you go out fishing, you don’t have to Uber home and stumble incoherently into bed, your better half will realize that this is valuable time in which you get to destress and make sense of our existence.

So stop making excuses as it’s not about making every cast count, it’s making sure you don’t have to count your casts.