On the water, mistakes come just as often as victories, and it’s easy for anglers to fall into the wrong kind of patterns or let emotion dictate their decisions. More often than not, relying on your own personal biases means ignoring the biology of fish and what you know needs to be done, which ultimately means less fish. Today, I’ve listed some of the most common fishing crimes committed on the water in hopes that you won’t become one of the next perpetrators.
Every fisherman has a confidence bait or lure that always seems to catch fish and outdoes the other lures in their tackle box. Don’t shake your head; you know it’s true. I’ll be the first to admit that I usually throw my black and yellow spinnerbait right off the bat, no matter what. While there’s nothing wrong with this, necessarily, if you’re going with your confidence bait, you better know how to catch fish with it day in and day out in all conditions. It’s easy to fall into the trap of catching fish after fish with a lure one day and then sticking with it the enxt time out, no matter what. When you find yourself fishing a lure and not getting any bites, two things should come into your mind: change locations or change baits. The next time you’re on the water and not getting any strikes, change baits. Don’t assume the fish will start biting and what you have tied on is your best bet. If you’re not getting bites, changing up should be the only thing on your mind.
Often times, whether the particular piece of cover has given up good fish in the past, or just looks like a winning hotspot, fishermen often make the mistake of camping out on it for too long. Let’s say a large tree has fallen into the water and has hundreds of branches and every nook and cranny would have to hold a ten pound bass. Anyone in their right mind would fish that. However, if you hit the main spots of the tree with your best lures and get nothing, get out of there. Time is a precious commodity, especially in a tournament, and if you’re not getting bites on a piece of cover, disregard it and move on.
I like to think of “focus” as actively making your bait seek out the fish. As much as some would like think of fishing as a relaxing sport, if the goal is to catch the most fish possible, it really isn’t. Your mind has to be sharp and everything you do must have a reason and a purpose. Losing focus will cost you fish. Treat every cast as if it’s your last, and you really want that one last strike before you pack it in for the day. Do that each time, and you’ll see increased numbers.
After a few hours on the water, it can be easy to lose focus or isolate on one of the best looking pieces of cover around, but ignoring that little voice in your head that tells you to move on can be costly. There’s simply no point in fishing a spot that doesn’t have fish, or using a lure all day long that isn’t producing. Be smart and always resort to what you know to be true about the sport and I guarantee you’ll be in good shape.