Dan’s grandson accompanied him on his last fishing trip. He took Grandpa’s advice and caught some pretty good fish!

It’s no secret that when I get a little R&R time I swap out my sales hat for my fishing hat!  But it doesn’t really change how I do things.  Both tasks require a level of strategy and patience to be effective.  The similarities between sales and fishing go on and on.  When I’m fishing and the bite stops, I take that opportunity to relax, check out the scenery, and appreciate re-grounding myself with Mother Earth.  Being productive with a fishing pole isn’t a requirement when I’m out on the water, but it certainly is a lot more fun!  I love going fishing, but I like catching fish even more!

When we decided to toss this piece into the ATS newsletter, I wanted to share some basic tips that anyone fishng for anything could use.  Even though we’re a few months into the 2013 fishing season, we still have 3 to 4 months of nice weather for some good fishing opportunities.  So, here are a few bits I put together to hopfully help you catch more fish.  If you’re like me, these are also just good reminders to continuously practice some of the basic fishng fundamentals.

  • Re-tie and re-tie!  Before you head out, cut off about 2 to 3 feet of line up from your lure or hook.  Even if it’s not noticeably worn, still cut it and tie a fresh knot prior to an outing.  This part of your line sees the most abuse and is susceptible to the most wear.  Keep an eye on this between casts, checking your line with your thumb and index finger for wear, especially next to your knot.  Some fishing spots will have more obstacles to work through, and when you notice this starting to wear, cut it and re-tie again.  For added insurance, I drop a dot of super glue on my knot.  Clean line and a fresh knot will not only help you catch more fish, they can also save you from losing some of those expensive lures!
  • Keep your hooks sharp!  My preference is using a hook stone sharpener with a groove in it.  This makes it quick and easy.  Simply lay the pointed end of the hook in the groove and apply pressure while sliding the stone in the direction of the round end of the hook.  A couple of swipes on the outside and again on the inside will usually do.  If you lightly touch the point before and during sharpening, you’ll feel the difference and know when to stop.  A hook sharpening stone will cost about $3 to $4, save you up to 10 times that in new hooks, and it’ll probably last the rest of your fishing life.  I catch and release, rarely keeping any fish.  A sharp hook will help your catch rate, and it minimizes harm to the fish.  Besides that, would you want someone sticking you with a dull needle???

Clean line, a fresh knot, and a sharp hook could be the difference between “Catching the Big One” and “The Big One That Got Away!”

  • Fish safe!  A ball cap or a visor will help protect your eyes from the sun and glare.  Always wear impact resistant sun (or safety) glasses.  I prefer the polarized type with UV protection.  Remember, pulling on a snagged line, whether in the water, in a tree, or in the brush, is like aiming a slingshot backwards – towards you!  And instead of a rock, it would be shooting one or more sharp hooks and possibly a chunk of lead!  Glasses can be the difference between a close call and a trip to the emergency room.
  • And most of all, take the time to take a kid fishing!  This can be an awesome experience and possibly the beginning of one of the best lifelong hobbies for them.  It’s up to us to pass it on!