It’s easy to forget the little details. Even experienced, professional anglers forget to bring everything they need or update their clothing every once in a while. It certainly makes sense to do research on your fishing territory, study seasonal feeding and spawning habits, and invest in specialized gear. As often as not, however, it’s the little details determining whether or not you’re getting fish in the boat. Never forget the basics. Sometimes that process is as simple as picking up a hook file and some performance fishing shirts.
TRADE OUT YOUR LINE
Many anglers put a lot of thought into the line they use. A lot of thought and time goes into deciding what pound test you should be using, whether to go with mono or braided, and whether to use a blue, green, or clear line. Switching out your line when it’s getting old is a step that’s easy to forget and overlook. That’s particularly true for anglers with a dozen different rigs in the boat at any given time. Throwing the perfect crankbait in the perfect spot at the perfect time will prove useless if the lunker that hits it snaps off your line.
DRESS FOR THE ELEMENTS
When the pros wear professional-grade, high-tech polyester fishing shirts, fishing masks, and other performance fishing apparel, they’re not doing it just for show. They wear that sort of gear because it’s very comfortable, it provides protection from the sun, it wicks moisture away from the skin, and it’s also quick drying. The best high-performance fishing clothes are also antimicrobial and stain-resistant. Both of those are obviously huge pros when fishing. If you’re cool, comfortable, protected, and dry, you can fish longer. It’s as simple as that.
DO SOME DAY-BEFORE PREP AND GEAR GEAR CHECKING
To catch fish, you have to have bait or a lure in the water. If you show up at your lake or river of choice and find your gear in a jumble, you won’t get anything in the water for a while. The evening before you go fishing, make sure your gear is squared away. Be sure there are no tangles of line hanging up your reels or in your tackle box. Go into the tackle box and put everything in order. Separate the gear you’re most likely to use the following day into easy-to-reach slots. Unhook those trebles all hooked up to each other. Sharpen your hooks with a hook file—it’s a small step that can yield a big payoff.
If you’re using a boat, definitely be sure it’s in order. Make sure you’ve got gas, make sure it fires up and runs smoothly, just give it a once-over. When the time to fish arrives, you want to be on the water, not trying to sort out last-minute hassles.
Photo courtesy of Ande Monofilament.