Seasoned anglers and rookies alike make these eight fishing mistakes and what's worse is that they keep doing it!
Becoming a better fisherman is rooted in good patterns and good habits, but too many of us continually fall back on the bad habits. These bad habits are fishing mistakes that can cost you fish, the fish of a lifetime or maybe your life.
1. Not retying after getting your lure snagged
An angler usually searches out cover to throw a lure at and when it snags we fight to get the lure back. Too often if we do get the bait back we are so excited we forget to check the line for abrasions and retie our lure. We want to get back to fishing quickly and retying a bait takes a minute.
Fishing mistakes like this one will haunt you and usually sooner than later as your next hookup will result in a broken line and heartbreak. You'll lose your lure and your fish.
2. Stuck in a rut
We all have our favorite places to go and fish, but often we won't catch anything. Nostalgia of that one perfect day when everything aligned and we caught the snot out of them clouds our better judgment.
Don't be afraid to search out new water and new patterns when your old ones dry up.
3. Failure to check the weather
Of all the fishing mistakes, this one could be the most deadly. Weather changes in many places hour to hour. Checking the forecast days before a trip is good but don't forget to check it the day before and morning of your trip.
Water and lightning don't mix and being caught out on the water with a storm is bad news. An even better solution is to keep a weather app on your smart phone so you can check the radar and get emergency updates if needed.
4. Buying the flashiest new lures
Many lures are made to catch fishermen more than fish. We assume if a lure looks like a fish then it has to be good right? Not necessarily. It could swim horribly through the water.
Gimmicky lures are also a trap. If you are buying baits that plug in, need batteries, chirp, flash, sing or click, chances are you have been caught.
Stick to proven colors and styles. When in doubt, throw a Senko.
5. Analysis paralyses
Fishing mistakes can sometimes be a mental game problem. Overthinking things to the point of running from spot to spot, only to make a couple of casts and leave is a fishing mistake. Staying in one spot hoping for fish to show up is another.
It's amazing how a creature with such a small brain can outsmart us. Do what the pros do. Find the bait; find the fish. Electronics are a huge help.
6. Taking the joy out of fishing
Of all the fishing mistakes, this is the hardest for some people to avoid. Fishing is fun. If you can't have fun while fishing, it may be time for a new hobby.
Tournament anglers can get into this mode. The added pressure of performing can suck the joy right out. When this happens, take a kid fishing and watch them. Fishing makes them smile ear to ear. No pressure. Just fun. Get some of that back in your life.
7. Not using the right tool for the job
Learn about the lures you want to use and what equipment will work best with them. If you try to throw a Strike King 10XD crankbait on a medium light spinning rod, it's not going to work out very well.
If you try to throw a five-inch Zoom Fluke weightless on an XXH casting rod, it's going to be frustrating.
8. Old dogs need new tricks
While it may seem contradictory to the fourth point, this is actually some middle ground. New styles of fishing are constantly coming out. Some work, some don't.
Try a new style now and again to test it out. I remember hearing about wacky rigging worms and thinking the angler must be crazy. When I heard it many more times I tried it and it worked. I feel the same about the Ned Rig and the Chicken Rig.
Sometimes you have to just try new tricks to get fish to eat.