An angler who is always prepared has a significant advantage over those who are not. We have talked many times about using any available data to the advantage of the angler. And if we do our research properly, and there is plenty out there, we can increase our chances of success.
A prepared angler is one who will be able to anticipate, recognize and then control the given conditions they find during their fishing trip. And the only way to do this is to do their “homework” or in other words, develop a strategy.
Developing a successful strategy involves many steps and components.
And one of the most important steps of this strategy should be to know your prey and their comfort zone or their safe environment. And how any outside influences can affect them.
Most fish species don’t achieve longevity or size by being fooled easily. Their environment is one of familiarity. And any unusual or unnatural condition raises a concern for their safety.
All natural underwater environments contain certain influences, sounds and vibrations. These conditions and affects can originate from structure, feeding activities, travel of other aquatic and non-aquatic sources or just a natural flow of above ground vibrations from greenspaces or surface encumbrances.
So the anglers first step of preparation is to know how each of the discussed conditions affect the species you’re targeting in their own underwater environment.
Anglers should also know feeding patterns, temperature preferences, travel highways and how tidal changes affect your target.
One component not typically discussed but is always out there and should be considered: How will your presence affect your prey when fishing from the shore or boat? There is a big difference between friendly noise and strange unnatural noise. A good knowledge how this affects your target can greatly improve your chances.
Another important consideration – if the fish hear or sense you are near, can they also see you?
Most anglers just grab a rod and bait bucket and head to the nearest bridge or pier and expect a great catch. Sometimes this works but others times especially in aggressively fished areas where your prey is wise to anything unusual, preparation is the key.
Tackle shops and our local pier staff are a great resource. But the best strategy is to study your prey and develop a comprehensive strategy on your own. It will definitely help you understand your prey and improve your catches.
The best advice a good friend gave me some time ago and has helped me catch more fish is, “More fish are caught the night before”.
Until next time – Tightlines. Capt. Tony