A lot of what you’ll learn about fishing will come with experience, but there are always a few mistakes that new fishermen and women make when they’re getting started. Here are a couple that we hear people regularly running into, and how we suggest avoiding them while you get your sea legs.
- Using worn-out fishing line is a no-no. Using old line can prevent your lures from shifting like you want them to, or the line could snap on you when you’re trying to reel in a bigger catch. Swap out your line on a regular basis. Doing so will keep you from losing good lures and baits. Run your fingers over your line regularly to check for abrasions or nicks and cut off any damaged line you find. Replace old line with braided or monofilament line.
- Giving the line too much slack is a mistake everyone is guilty of at one point or another. A line with too much slack on it reduces the amount of control you have over the line, making it easier for a fish to shake loose from your hook or snap the lure off your line completely. You’ll also be less likely to feel gentle tugs on your line. Keep the line comfortably tight and allow just a little bit of slack.
- Using an old hook or the wrong hook for the job will significantly reduce your chances of catching a fish. Fish vary in size and strength, meaning a small hook won’t do the job when you’re trying to reel in a big catch, but a large hook could scare off those smaller fish. Plan ahead and know what you’re intending to catch before you cast into the water. Avoid using a dull or rusty hook—chances are it’s not as sharp as it needs to be and you run the risk of your hook breaking.
- Avoiding windy conditions might mean missing out on a great chance to catch some fish. The wind can be a hindrance to you, but plenty of fish like to search for food when the wind picks up. Use the wind to your advantage by casting downwind to catch those feeders.
- A tired fish is easier to reel in. Don’t immediately try to get your catch on the boat. The shorter the distance between you and the fish, the stronger the pull. Let them wear themselves out a little before you pull them in.
- Too much talking can take away from your concentration and potentially scare off the fish. Keep it quiet and stay focused when you’re out on the boat. Some bites will be very subtle, requiring a lot of focus on your line and a steady hand. Plenty of pros preach the importance of staying focused and quiet, so get into the habit of it from the beginning!
Do you have any mistakes you made when you first started fishing? Let us know what they were in the comments below!