When you’re first learning the ins and outs of fishing, it can feel like every little thing that can go wrong does. Here’s a secret: even pros with decades of experience still slip up. It may not be as often, and their years of experience means that they have the knowledge to fix the issue themselves, but someone who’s been fishing for 30 years is still going to get tangled up every now and then. So, if you want to make your fishing experience a bit more enjoyable, keep in mind these top issues that anglers face so you can know to avoid them:
Getting Caught In Debris
Everyone gets caught in the weeds now and then. Want to know the biggest trick to avoiding this chaos? It’s pretty simple... awareness! By this, I mean being aware of your surroundings — knowing the structures you're fishing in, knowing the agricultural patterns beneath the surface. Even if you get to know your waters well enough, keep in mind that with storms or currents, a lot can change. It's best to find a tool like a castable fish finder or a castable underwater camera to get quick insights into what the structure looks like. The other part of awareness is having a general spatial awareness and understanding how much height and casting space you’ll need. The latter will come with practice.
Not Setting The Hook
This might be pretty obvious to the experienced angler, but not setting the hook (or poorly setting it) is a big reason behind so many “The One That Got Away” stories exist. Setting the hook is a big factor in reeling in your catch, but it can take practice to really hone your technique. The standard technique is pretty straightforward: reel in the slack, then snap your rod over your shoulder or off to one side. Learning the nuances of speed and strength are what you’ll need to practice.
Not Knowing your Lures
This is another case of “practice makes perfect.” When you set out a lure, the goal is to have it mimic the motions of the type of animal it's meant to be representing. For example, too fast of a retrieval on a slower swimming fish could mean less bites and less catches. Make the wrong motions, and sometimes you may end up scaring the fish instead of tempting it. Getting the perfect motions comes with time and an understanding of your gear, so make sure to understand what your lure is meant to represent, and how that action should look. If you have trouble getting the hang of it, a small underwater fishing camera that sits on your line can give you a better idea of what your lure is doing and how it's presenting itself once it hits the water, and how the fish react to those motions.
A lot of anglers tend to fall into this category when they're not catching fish. It's not even that not catching anything is what's frustrating, because let's be honest, a day on the water catching no fish beats a day in the office any day! What is frustrating is not knowing whether you're not catching any fish because there's none in the area, or because they're just not interested in what you're using. Keeping a calm mind, spending ample time in an area making sure to test a variety of lures and baits, retrieval speeds, fishing styles, can lead to a lot more catches (if there are in fact fish there). Experience will help you work towards maximizing your time on the water, but at first, there may be a lot of time spent learning.
If you wish to cut your learning time on the water, try a castable fishing electronic like a castable fish finder or a wireless underwater fishing camera. That way you can know right away if there's something there or not, and then it's a game of catching vs. guessing.
Tying Bad Knots
Another key element in avoiding yet another “One That Got Away” story is simple: know your knots. A well-tied knot — and using the correct knot — can be the difference between landing the catch of the day and losing a trophy. Don’t wait until you’re on the water, either. Get your practice in at home so you’ll be better prepared when you need the skill. For some good knots to know, check out this blog about 10 of the best knots to know how to tie.
A key element to improving your fishing skill is to understand what’s causing a misstep. This is where GOFISH CAM® comes in. Simply add our underwater fishing camera to your rig and record all the action. Shop online today to grow your skills!