There are many factors to consider when it comes to planning any fishing trip. Location, target species available, facilities, weather, price and equipment to use just to name a few. Perhaps the most important thing in my opinion is to have a detailed plan and manage one’s expectations.
I try to plan ahead and be realistic every time I go fishing. If you set lower and more realistic goals, then you put less pressure on yourself. Ultimately you will be relaxed and enjoy your day more as well as not make silly mistakes. I know this might sound like common sense, but you would be surprised by the number of people I meet who set themselves up for disappointment before they even wet a line – and then, when they finally get a golden opportunity, make a simple mistake with a lost prize as the result.
There are many resources available in this digital age so make sure to do your homework before you go fishing. All reliable fishing parks, charter skippers, fishing guides etc should have their own website and are probably on Trip Advisor, Google or Facebook. To confirm that the facts being shared are realistic, make sure to look for recent catch photos and reviews or even live videos. If fish photos are black and white, or if the weathered captain is a teenager in the fish pics, this could definitely be a bad sign.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of what you can expect from the people who will actually be taking you fishing. I would assume that all fishing services want their clients to catch fish and it would be very rare to find one who would blatantly lie to a potential customer. Saying that, there might be a few who would stretch the truth or spin a yarn, but that’s a whole other topic for another day.
Most experienced anglers know that there are many factors which can affect fishing on any particular day. Fishing is not an exact science and frankly, if it was, then for me anyway it would not be so interesting, challenging or fun.
I am often asked about different types of weather and how they affect the fishing. What are the best conditions? Sunny, cloudy, raining, windy, or calm? What about moon phases, air pressure changes, rising barometer or falling barometer? The list never ends. My general yet careful answer whether its right or wrong is usually that fish like consistent weather conditions irrelevant of what they are BUT certain changes can trigger short feeding activity or shut down the fishing completely.
I suggest that keeping a well-presented quality and fresh bait in the water for the maximum amount of time, or even increasing the number of rods/lines, will obviously increase your chances. It should be noted to always comply with local laws regarding number of lines allowed and all other conservation or fishery rules.
If you are not using your own equipment, don’t forget to check your equipment, lines and knots as you are ultimately responsible for your own success. I see a lot of anglers making the mistake of using line or knots which have become frayed during the day and don’t think to re-tie. This will always end in a lost fish story .
Control the factors you can and then put the odds in your favour for everything else. Make sure you have equipment which will land the biggest fish you can hook or you will be in for further disappointment if you spend a long time waiting for a bite and can’t land your dream fish once you connect.
If you are fishing a new location, take note of guides’, owners’ or other anglers’ advice as they have already fished the water so could have valuable local knowledge. My suggestion is always to try what is recommended and then, if not successful after a reasonable amount of time, to make adjustments.
I hope this advice helps you to enjoy your fishing and also to be more successful. Remember that it’s not always about the catch report but to enjoy and learn from your experience and, most of all, cherish your fishing time with family and friends.