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Small Details For Bigger Catches

Over a lifetime of fishing, I’ve shared a boat or a dock with many different anglers. Some of these anglers spent a lot of time on the water and were very, very skilled. They caught a lot of fish. I soon learned that I could learn a lot by watching the different things that the better anglers did to catch more fish. There were more than a few times when I set my rod down and observed. I paid attention to how the successful anglers cast and retrieved their baits. I also asked how they decided what bait to use. I was looking for their secrets. Come to find out, there were no crazy, shake-my-head, how’d-ja-ever-think-of-that magical secrets. The most successful anglers paid attention to minute details. The following are some of those small things that can help anyone catch more fish.

Much of the time, a quick look at an angler’s equipment and how their baits are rigged will give a very good idea of their fishing success. To be consistently successful, an angler needs to use balanced equipment. Balanced equipment doesn’t need to be expensive equipment. It’s important to know that if you’re going to be throwing sixteenth ounce jigs for crappies, you need to use equipment designed for throwing sixteenth ounce jigs. 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.

Make sure you have enough line on your reel. You 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 new line to the line on the reel and crank it on. There are lots of videos available that show how much line is appropriate and which knots to use to attach new line to existing line.

When using jigs, hooks, or most lures, tie them directly to your line. A crankbait might work better with a snap, but on most hooks and lures, a snap or snap/swivel isn’t needed. Almost always, the less hardware on your line, the better.

Become a proficient caster. When you’re working a shoreline for bass, it’s no fun when you frequently must go back to get someone’s bait untangled from a tree on the shoreline. Spend some time practicing casting accuracy.

Sometimes the color of your hook can influence your fishing success. Walleye chasers use live bait rigs frequently in the summer months. Walleye expert Mike Frisch is convinced that there are times when a Mustad Octopus hook in red or chartreuse will catch more walleyes than the traditional bronze color. That little spot of color in front of a crawler or leech is often what it takes to get a lethargic walleye to bite. These hooks are also very sharp. They’ll turn even the softest biting walleye into a hooked walleye.

Perhaps the most important factor I have learned about successful anglers is that they’re curious and imaginative. They’re always thinking about or willing to try something else to help them catch more or bigger fish.

When you’re fishing with someone who frequently has fishing success, watch how they do things and ask why they’re doing something in a particular way. Learn why they catch more fish, and you’ll catch more fish.

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