FISHING MEANS many things to many people. For most it’s relaxing recreation. For some it’s a way to make a living through tournaments and endorsements. For others it’s a way to connect with the dreams of childhood.
No matter which group you fall into, there is no question all fishermen want to catch more and bigger fish. That means doing the best you can on the water and in planning and gear selection before the trip begins.
This list of five mistakes anglers make is all about pointing out the obvious as well as the not so obvious and suggesting quick fixes.
Here we go…
“Wind from the north fish do not go forth? Wind from the south blows bait in their mouth?”
Ever heard that saying? How about this one?
“Wind from the east, fish bite the least. Wind from the west, fish bite the best.”
Wind direction can make a difference, depending on where you fish, yet many anglers take these sayings at face value. A universal force that impacts fish, no matter where you are is barometric pressure.
Barometric pressure is the probably the least understood aspect of fishing. It’s one I am continually exploring. High pressure puts a strain on fish and typically makes them a bit finicky and sometimes there’s no effect. Pressure falling or on a downward trend means a strong bite.
That’s why the day immediately following a front is beautiful (clear skies with high pressure), but the fishing is subpar. Some suggest pressure over 30.20 is too high, and if it gets below 29.80 things can get a little shaky. If it’s above 30 and falling you have ideal conditions. Remember if you are fishing high-pressure days, use light line, small lures and be ready for a soft bite. Throwing those super-sized lures is probably not going to get the job done.
Even the best anglers have dreaded backlash incidents. It’s amazing and disheartening to see line you spent time spooling the night before going into a mass of knots that only a knife can undo.
Adjusting your drag according to the size lure or bait you throw helps as does practice, but some new technology makes a difference.
One solution is a reel that greatly reduces your chances of backlash, such as the Daiwa Tatula SV TW103. What really makes this reel special is the patented SV spool and air brake technology.
These two features work together to truly reduce backlashes while still allowing the reel to perform amazing distance with unmatched control by using both magnetic braking and centrifugal braking technology.
Additionally, the Daiwa adjuster spool provides settings to fine-tune the spool tension. The T-Wing System level wind opens-up line feed. These two features work together to help you cast longer and more accurately. This provides you the stress-free control of not having to worry about backlash when casting in the wind, skipping baits or casting light lures.
Sometimes you can have the right lure and fish in the right spot, but are using a reel with the wrong gear ratio. A prime example is with topwater bass fishing.
Topwaters are great for catching big bass. When you have a falling barometer and the fish are in heavy feeding mode, try “walking the dog” as fast as you can in transition zones between deep and shallow water. Any spot where the water drops immediately from say three feet, to eight or 10 feet is a killer place to find a monster bass.
You will need a reel with a higher ratio of at least 7:1 or up to 8:1 for this technique. Topwater fishing creates a lot of slack in the line, and a higher gear ratio helps you take up that slack quickly for hookset.
For slower strategies such as slow rolling a spinnerbait, a lower gear ratio is preferable. The Tatula SV TW103 for example comes in three settings. Standard (6.3:1) High Speed (7.3:1) Hyper speed ( 8.1:1) should have most of the bases covered for serious anglers.
One of the biggest mistakes anglers make is not learning to make soft landings with their lures. This is magnified fishing in clear water and in small bodies such as ponds because the fish can be so much spookier, particularly in a heavy pressured area.
Learning to cast softly and keep the lure just above the water’s surface when it lands (when possible) is a highly valuable skill. Many anglers are concerned about noises made on the boat, but often do not consider the noise they make when a lure hits the water.
“Soft” casting can be a difference maker.
Anyone can catch fish when they are feeding aggressively. It takes skill to get bit when they are not so hungry.
Anglers need to focus on matching the hatch, no matter whether they are seeking bass on big reservoirs, trout in streams or redfish on the bays. In other words, be cognizant of what the fish are feeding on.
When bass are eating crawfish, red/brown colors are good and so are crawfish imitations. When redfish are schooling under schools of shrimp, something in a rootbeer (if it’s brown shrimp) or glow (if it’s white shrimp) can be the difference maker.
Study the areas you fish and the primary baitfish of your quarry. Keep a variety of colors, shape and lure sizes on hand to help you match the hatch and catch more and bigger fish.
THE DAIWA development team has redesigned the Tatula SV reel to be the smallest and lightest and most stress-free reel they have ever built. It comes in at a featherweight of 6.9 ounces, and it may be the lightest, most controlled casting reel in the market today.
Comfort is enhanced by a smaller low-profile design and soft touch handle knobs. It is formed around an aluminum frame and chassis providing rigidity and a smooth performance. The100 size Tatula SV is available in Standard (6.3:1) High Speed (7.3:1) Hyper speed (8.1:1) all gear ratios come in both left- and right-hand models.
—TF&G Staff Report