Scared you may be jeopardizing your fishing success? Here’s the top five things an angler should never do.
To outsiders, fishing seems simple: bait the hook, cast the line, and wait for a fish to bite. Passionate anglers know just how much thought and energy a major catch can take, from choosing the right equipment for the type of fishing at hand, to using fish fighting strategies that will result in a catch rather than a lost fish or an injury. Here are five common mistakes that beginning anglers and veteran fishermen alike need to remember to avoid.
1. Ignoring the fishing boat captain: Sometimes, the best way of fishing on a vacation – or of learning the ropes of saltwater fishing – is to head out on a fishing boat with an experienced guide. Your captain will take you to the best fishing spots around and give you helpful tips for reeling in some of the biggest fish you will ever see. If you’re paying for a guide, don’t ignore his or her advice: in the vast majority of cases, these professionals know better than you do and will give you the edge needed to land a keeper.
2. Fishing with the wrong set of equipment: Whether you are using freshwater line in saltwater or trying to reel in a huge fish with a rod and reel only designed for smaller species, fishing with the wrong equipment is arguably the biggest mistake that beginners make. Suffice to say, not all fishing gear or tackle is created equal – something that you will learn the hard way very quickly if you try to land a hundred pound marlin with a rod meant for 10-pound trout. You wouldn’t try to slay a dragon with a toothpick, so don’t try to catch a monster fish with unsuitable equipment.
3. Allowing for slack line: If your line goes slack for more than a second or two during a fish battle, then you’re doing it wrong. Your reel is designed for keeping your line tight and maintaining a slight bend in the fishing rod. Slack line can result in everything from an unhooked fish to a snapped line to broken equipment. Don’t let it happen.
4. Wasting time: From gabbing with friends on the fishing boat to tweaking your tackle every half hour, there are dozens of ways to waste time while fishing. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying good company and the occasional lure change can make a big difference. However, if your lure isn’t in the water or if the fish don’t have your full attention, you are bound to miss a few catches – some of which could be career-making.
5. Handling fish with bare hands: You’ve finally reeled in the big fish, after an hour of fighting it, and you’re so excited that you try to pry the bugger from your hook with your bare hands. Unluckily for you, the fish still has a bit of fight left in him and leaves you with a lovely parting gift in the form of a nasty bite. There is no easier way for an angler to suffer an injury, infection, or disease related to fishing than by handling his or her catches with bare hands. So invest in a pair of durable fishing gloves and protect yourself.