In the course of a fishing season, I get to fish with a lot of different anglers. Some of these anglers are very skilled and very successful. Others aren’t so skilled, and their fish-catching often reflects that.
I pay a good amount of attention to the things that the very skilled anglers do to increase their odds for success. I also pay attention to the things that the not-so-successful anglers do or don’t do. Much of the time, a quick look at an angler’s equipment and how their baits are rigged will give me a very good idea of their level of fish-catching ability. Following are some observations I’ve made that might help you move into the “more successful angler” camp.
An angler really needs to make a strong effort to use balanced equipment. Balanced equipment doesn’t need to be expensive. It’s just important that if you’re going to be throwing one-sixteenth ounce jigs for crappies, you’re using equipment designed for throwing one-sixteenth ounce jigs to crappies. A medium light rod with four or six pound test line will enable you to cast a small jig much better than a medium heavy rod with ten pound test line.
Along those same lines, make sure you have enough line on your reel. I’ve seen so many reels lately that were less than half full of line. You just can’t cast well with a reel that doesn’t have enough line. You don’t need to take all the line off the reel and start over to fill up. Just tie some new line to the existing line on the reel and crank it on.
When using jigs or plain hooks, tie them directly to your line. You won’t need a snap or snap/swivel to attach most baits to your line. In fact, either of those could hinder your fishing success. Too much hardware will catch more weeds, will spook the fish and will increase the odds for something going wrong. Some swivels have a tendency to straighten out or break. The less stuff on your line, the better.
Become a proficient caster. When you’re working a shoreline for bass, it’s no fun when you constantly have to go back to get someone’s bait untangled from a tree on the shoreline. Spend some time practicing casting accuracy.
Learn how to use your equipment. You should not hear your drag slip when you’re reeling in a crankbait. I heard that a lot last week, and the angler wondered why he couldn’t control the fish on the end of the line when one did eat the bait. Learn how to properly set the drag and the cast control on your reels.
Lots of anglers just want to go fishing, and that’s great. But if they would spend some time learning the little details about fishing, they would enjoy their time on the water even more. When you’re fishing with a successful angler, pay attention to how they do things, and if you have a question about why that angler is doing something a particular way, ask. By doing so, you will catch more fish.
To see the new 2010 episodes of Fishing the Midwest television online, go to fishingthemidwest.com or visit MyOutdoorTv.com.