Monday's Times has a thoughtful article by Brian Clarke on whether success at fishing is a matter of luck. It focuses on Neill Stephen's recent capture of a 9-05 chub and the preparations that went into this. The essential economy - economy of action. Pretty much all the effort goes into preparation. The cast itself is no random event. Clarke contrasts Stpehen's approach, where fishing has to take a back seat to the normal pressures of life, with those anglers who are said to "bore" fish into the net by fishing days and nights at a time.
I was reminded of a famous Dick Walker set of principles which were mentioned in something Tony Miles wrote recently. There are five such principles, and all successful captures involves compliance with them.
1. Location. The fish must exist in the venue and you must fish for them where they are in that venue.
2. You mustn't scare the fish
3. Your technique must fool the fish and, once hooked, enable you to land it.
4. You must fish when the fish are feeding
5. You must use a bait they will accept.
A successful catch means you have fulfilled each of these. But a failure can be down to any one (or all five). And there are dozens of ways in which each point can fail. Most anglers are principally concerned with rigs and bait - factors 3 and 5. Location is mainly sorted out by fishing commercial fisheries. Factor 2 is usually ignored by adopting a bait and wait approach (where the initial disturbance is inevitable but just sat through). Factor 4 is met by being there all the time and using bite alarms.
It is for these reasons that I don't fish commercial fisheries.