Fishing for Schools instructor Bob Goble shares his tips for good fishing this February.

We are into February already! It seems that as I get older the time flies by and there are not enough hours in the day. Yes it may be a clique but it’s true and when you are fishing you do not want to waste any of that precious time. Which brings me to this month’s tip.

Of all the tips I have provided so far I probably have not gone into much depth on the importance of good knots. Knots are the crucial link between you and that prized fish.

Take this dream scenario for instance. You have tackled up, tied your hook on, placed a couple of juicy maggots on, cast out, laid the rod in the rest and not had to wait long for interest from something down below the float. The float starts to bob, the excitement builds. You are ready! The float slides away beneath the water, you strike. You immediately make contact with a powerful fish, (wow this feels good!). The fish runs and bucks a little but all of a sudden it’s off as quickly as it was on.

You feel bewildered and can’t quite understand what happened. You start to question yourself, but the float is still on the line with the shot still in place. Then looking further down you discover the problem – the hook is missing and the last couple of inches of line are curling away like a pig’s tail. The fish got away and your barbless hook is now on the bottom of the lake or river having quickly fallen out. Your dream is now a bit of a nightmare.

“Damn it,” you say, “I should have taken extra care when tying that hook on.”

It’s a lesson that also applies when joining or making knots of any kind to do with fishing. So next time take extra care when tying.

Knots to try when coarse fishing are the loop to loop, the half blood knot with a tuck – it’s quite important to put the tuck in on the last loop before tightening – and the double blood knot. These knots can also be used when sea or fly fishing.

Practice tying at home with the nylon, try to get it right, and don’t forget to moisten the knot before slowly tightening.

You can find all about knots from book shops or online or YouTube will give you good advice, as will your friendly local tackle shop.

I have illustrated a few knots for you to look at. I hope this helps.

That’s all for now. Tight lines, be safe and have fun, Bob G.