What NOT to do on a fishing trip

A great day on the water can be ruined by one thing going wrong.
Whether you’re fishing alone or in a group it’s best to remember what to do and what not to do. Below are some tips on what not to do based on either personal experience or hearing other people’s stories. Some of these may seem like common sense but sometimes the excitement of a fishing trip could make a person forget something simple.

Don’t forget to scope a new spot. Make sure you know about the lake or fishing hole you’re going to before getting out there. The last thing you want to do is bring the wrong equipment to fish with.

Don’t forget to tell someone where you’re going. This is especially important if you’re going alone. Someone has to know where you are and around what time you’ll be back in case something happens. They should be able to contact you (just like you should be able to contact them) if there is an emergency. This means either putting your cell in a sealable plastic bag or getting a junky cell to use on the water.

Don’t forget to check weather reports. You need to know if it’s going to be raining or clear and from which direction the wind is blowing if you want a successful trip. If it’s supposed to rain, bring your rain gear. It’s better to have extra stuff just in case than to be caught out in the rain with no rain jacket. It’s also good to know how strong the winds are so you know what you’ll be dealing with on your boat or on the dock.

Don’t try to catch bigger than your boat. If you’re in a 10 foot boot don’t try catching a shark or tuna (if you live in an area with these massive fish). A fish bigger than your boat might make you capsize and put you in a lot of danger.

Don’t forget to pack snacks. This is especially important if you know you’re going out all day. Bring a lunch as well as other things to munch on during the day. Even though fishing is considered by some to be a leisure activity we know it’s more than just sitting in a boat. You need to keep your energy level up in order to reel in the big one.

Don’t ignore warning signs of bad weather. If it looks like there’s going to be a big storm coming in don’t ignore the visible signs. Get off the water if you hear thunder, see lightening, or experience high winds and high waves. Always take into consideration what your boat can handle and what you can handle in bad weather.

Don’t fish when injured or sick. When you’re dealing with a cold or an injury while fishing, it will put a damper on any fishing trip. This is especially true if that injury is a cut on your hands or painful blisters on your feet. You definitely don’t want to be drowsy from cold medicines when you’re fishing because you could make a mistake that costs you a trophy fish.

Don’t forget to take stock of your gear. Make sure you’ve got all the tackle you may need, your rods, nets, bait, other tools, and either a compass or GPS in case you get lost as well as anything else you’ll need. Even if you don’t burn easily take along sunscreen and wear sunglasses. A good day fishing can turn miserable if you can’t see what you’re doing or are too sunburned to move the next day. Remember to bring pliers for helping to release the fish. You don’t want to use bare hands when dealing with a wiggling fish that has a sharp hook that needs to come out.

Don’t fish to drink. It’s all right to have a beer (depending on state laws about operating a boat with alcohol in your system as well as age restrictions) but don’t drink enough to become impaired. You might cause damage to your boat or self which may result in you not being able to fish again.

Fishing is about going out and having fun but you have to be safe on the water. The best fishing trips can turn sour if you’re forgotten something important. What are your worst experiences on the water and what tips would you give to prevent it?

What’s in a lure

You can’t catch fish if you don’t have the right equipment.

With all the lures, rods, reels, line and everything else on the market it’s hard to know what equipment is the best for you. No matter what the best fishing lure is one that takes the thinking out of fishing. It’s one you can hook-up to the end of your line and cast without worrying about anything but where the fish are. It’s a lure that responds no matter what the situation or the fish.

Your lure is what connects you to your big catch so it has to have good action. It can’t be dead in the water or it won’t attract anything. The best action is one that has a side-to-side wiggle like an injured baitfish because this is the action that makes the fish attack. Fish don’t vibrate or spin so neither should your lure.

The color of your lure depends on whether or not you believe color has anything to do with catching fish. The best natural baitfish colors are colors are silver, gold, bronze, green and maybe yellow. Other colors will depend on what the fish can see. No one knows if fish actually see color or not but they will see a shadow. So the color that gives the best contrast and shadow in the water will be the best color to use. But it depends on the water clarity and what the fish seem to be attracted to so color is a personal choice.

We all have our favorite lures depending on what we’re fishing or when. Some make it to favorite status because it’s the lure that the most fish have attacked. Others might be a favorite because there’s a story behind them: you got them from a father or grandfather or it’s the lure that you caught your first fish on.

So, what do you look for in a lure? Is it all about action or color? Why do you prefer the lures you use most often? Is there a story behind your favorite lure?

Fishing is a Way of Life

There is something about watching the sun come up while you’re out on the water waiting for a bite on your line. It is the silence before the big one bites and the anticipation of the fight to reel in your next trophy fish. For some (like us) fishing is more than just a hobby. It’s a full time job and it’s a way of life.

Fishing can be done by everyone no matter what their age, where they live, how much money they have or anything else. Anyone can become a professional with enough practice, the right equipment and enough experience. Fishing is about the enjoyment you get out of beating your personal best. It’s about trudging through rainy, cold days and getting covered in mud to find the perfect lake at the end of the path. It’s all about the fish and the excitement.

Not every day is a good day on the lake and not every moment of fishing is exciting. There are days when you’re doing nothing but sitting in your boat (or at the edge of the dock) and nothing is biting no matter what the fish finder says, what lure or what color you use. Even if you know there should be fish where you’re casting you’re just not getting anything. Trust me we’ve had plenty of those days.

But it’s days like those when you have to tell yourself that no matter how bad the fishing is that it’s better than doing anything else. For us it’s about being out there and waiting like a patient hunter for that trophy fish. It’s about watching that monster bass leaping out the water and the struggle to get him in the boat to take that picture. The few minutes of success and excitement are worth the potential hours of waiting.

Those bad days make us stronger fishermen and give us better experience but they can still wear you down. When you’re having a bad day on the water what keeps you going? Why do you fish? What makes you get up before dawn or stay out past midnight when other people are heading home and giving up? Why is fishing your passion?