It’s no secret that when I get a little R&R time I swap out my sales hat for my fishing hat.  If you’ve been reading our newsletter for awhile, you might remember that last July I shared some basic tips about line re-tying and keeping your hooks sharp.  These practices can improve your catch rate, save you from losing your favorite lure, and minimize harm to the fish.  Keep in mind that a good catch rate doesn’t come from one individual thing you do or lure you use.  It’s a combination of good practices along with your lure selection.  So, let’s get a jump on the season with a couple simple fundamentals to think about.

  • What to wear – Fish are sneaky so we need to be sneakier!  Yes, they can make out colors and see activity out of the water… including you!  If you can see them, they’ve probably already spotted you.  When you get dressed, think of what your surroundings will be.  If you’re fishing from a boat or an open bank on a sunny day with no trees or brush, choose blue jeans and a white or light blue shirt.  You’ll blend in with the sky.  If it’s hazy or gloomy, choose khakis and maybe a grey or tan shirt.  Will you be along the bank with trees?  Maybe wear some green and brown, including a camo hat!  Some of the pro anglers even prefer blue and green as their boat colors solely for this reason.  So reconsider your tie-dyed shirt from the 70’s and save that bright orange hat for hunting season.  Plus, the fish won’t confuse you with a bobber!
  • Be Quiet!  This is also part of being sneaky.  Any noise you make on the bank or in a boat echoes into the water.  Fish have sensors along their bodies that pick up noise and vibration allowing them to find their next meal or know if they’re about to get swallowed!  Unusual noises or vibrations can easily spook them and cause them to leave the area.  Have your poles rigged and tackle ready before you hit those favorite spots keeping activity and noise to a minimum.  When bank fishing, leave your tackle box back away from the bank and use this area for re-tying or switching lures and poles, keeping any noise away from the water’s edge.  In a boat, everything you do echoes into the water even more.  So think about any noise you make.  Even slamming a tackle box lid can spook them away.  If you get the urge to “River Dance” during an outing, wait until all of the fishing is over!

Remember to fish safe.  I can never stress enough the importance of protecting your eyes.  A ball cap or a visor will help provide relief from the sun and glare.  More importantly, always wear impact resistant sun (or safety) glasses.  Pulling on a snagged line is like aiming a slingshot loaded with sharp hooks and chunks of lead backwards – toward you!  Glasses can save you a trip to the emergency room.

My last tip, and the one closest to my heart, is to pass on your love for fishing by taking a kid with you!  You just might help them develop a lifelong hobby, but you most certainly will create awesome memories!