Most people wouldn’t really understand these fishing struggles – unless you’ve been there yourself.
Are there methods to avoiding these common pitfalls while fishing? Certainly. But every angler is guaranteed to face one of these fishing struggles in their lifetime.
1. Getting snagged.
You feel a fish at the end of your line and set the hook only to find out all you hooked was an old, gnarly piece of driftwood. No fisherman or woman is immune to this struggle. Unfortunately, this one is usually followed by snapping your line and losing your brand new or favorite lure.
2. Casting into an overhanging tree.
But don’t limit yourself to just trees. Be it a bush along the shore, a log extending from the bank, or a dense clump of slough grass, sometimes we (or friends we’re fishing with) over-cast right into the only spot we shouldn’t have. Maybe it’s lack of focus or focusing too much on where not to cast, but it happens.
3. Rat’s nests.
There are many reasons for line twist that ultimately lead to that unsightly, unmanageable tangle of line known as the rat’s nest. The most common cause is generally not using swivels appropriately, or at all, for certain lures (such as spoons or spinners), as this action tends to twist the line around repeatedly. While it’s possible to address line twist, there’s not much you can do once it really coils up into the dreaded rat’s nest except cut it and toss it.
4. Getting fish to the surface, and then losing them.
This fishing struggle also happens to everyone. If you practice mostly catch and release with barbless hooks, this happens even more. If you’re quick with a landing net and keep tension on the line, you can decrease the number of times this occurs. Maybe it’s just the way our minds work, but doesn’t it always seem like the one that gets off the hook right at the surface is always the biggest?
It’s how fishing stories are born.
More from Wide Open Spaces:
5. Equipment not starting.
Tell me if you’ve been there. After a long drive, you finally get to the lake or river you’re planning on fishing for the day. You go to fire up the auger or start the boat and…nothing. It started just fine at home or last week on a different lake! Obviously, preventative measures will help avoid this one, but sometimes your equipment just wants to be a little fussy.
Warning – this is usually followed by a brief cursing rampage while other fishermen or women look on with sympathy.
6. Someone casting over your line.
Many people fish with friends or relatives, or sometimes even next to strangers on busy fishing piers. Whoever they are, they just sailed their biggest crankbait right over your line, forcing you to reel in and sort it out. It’s even more complicated if they’re in an adjacent boat. Try to remain cool, as most of the time it’s just a one-time, accidental miscast.
If it continues, you may want to move spots for your own sanity.
7. Dropping the chisel or ice scoop down the hole.
You’re late to the lake while out ice fishing, just drilled your holes, and go to scoop them out. Hurriedly, you start flinging ice chunks out of the hole. With a silent “plunk” the metal ice scoop slips out of your hand and down the hole, never to be seen again. I’ve heard this happen with ice chisels as well. Like my dad always told me, slip a loop of rope around the chisel to your arm so if you lose your grip, you won’t fling the chisel into the water like you’re spear fishing.
8. Getting lures caught in landing net.
While this can happen with many lures, it generally happens more, and is more difficult to correct, with treble hooks on crankbaits. While using a landing net quickly and effectively can help reduce the chances of number four above, sometimes this is the opposite fishing struggle.
The fish will spit out the lure into the net and proceed to thrash about for a while, embedding the hooks into about seven places in the net, which ultimately takes away from your precious fishing time.
9. Forgetting to put the drain plug in the boat.
You knew it was going to make the list. Every fisherman or woman has done it themselves or has known someone who’s done it. You back the boat into the water, tie it up to the dock, and go park the truck. You return and see bubbles rising in the water…behind your boat! Frantically, you pull it up near shore and start baling water out trying desperately to find that little critical piece of equipment, the drain plug.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve done this – you’re not alone. Fortunately anglers are thinking of ways to remind themselves.