Goals for the new year sometimes get anglers into trouble. We sometimes commit to these outrageous plans that usually are forgotten just days if not weeks later. But what if you made a resolution that could improve your fishing for the coming year. Well, I have several recommendations that might make you a better angler. It works for me.
My first recommendation is never allow your gear to be neglected. During the season, maintenance is easy. Rise off any gear that was subjected to the environment, especially sand, salt water or even salt air. Lures, jigs and terminal tackle should always be cleaned and put in its place at the end of your day. Defective or worn gear thrown away. Old bait should be thrown out too but not into the water. Maintained tackle and fresh bait catches more fish so plan to start fresh each day.
My next recommendation is do your homework – now and then all year long. Homework should involve studying the areas you want to fish this coming season. It’s important to know those areas. Good anglers understand the tendencies of the species they target and practice those skill sets to their advantage. Each year, many tackle shops invite representatives to talk about new and innovative ways to catch fish as well as any new products on the market. Ask your local tackle shop when these representatives will be in the shop.
Next one is to go to school – learn more. This is the one I can’t stress enough. Over time we all lose our best angling techniques. Even professional guides sometimes hire another guide to watch their techniques and make recommendations. I have a good friend who has fished for over twenty years professionally and he even uses a guide to evaluate his skills annually. We are never too young or old to get better at what we do.
Next, there are many seminars and fishing classes available both locally and regionally to help the angler. Most are in convenient locations. You can also pick up great tips going to boat shows. I have found professional anglers, fishing club members and boat dealers can be a fantastic resource.
So what if there are no schools locally? Well there are dozens of free online classes available. These classes are just a click away.
My final recommendation is to always “Keep it Simple” when fishing. Never overfish your skill set or knowledge. Start off using tried and true techniques but be prepared to change as the species in the upcoming season change.. The lure or jig that worked great last year might just spook the prey this year. Be flexible and learn to adapt.
So as you begin to prepare for the upcoming season, make it a point to sharpen those skills. I believe they will make a world of difference for you.
Until next time – Tightlines – Cat. Tony