As a beginning fisherman, there are a lot of things to learn. In this guide you'll learn some common fishing mistakes and how to avoid them in order for you to be able to know the best fishing practices whether you are just getting started or maybe have forgotten some of the tips and tricks!
Fishing at the Wrong Time
Most fish tend to prefer to stay deeper in the water during the midday sun, and prefer to come closer to the surface during the morning and evening sun. This is because the rays are not as bright during these times, and because the water temperature gets hotter during midday. While the early morning or evening are generally the best times to fish, it can vary depending on the species of fish you are going for, your location and the weather. For example, cloudy or overcast days are better to fish at any time because the sun is not increasing the water temperature or too harsh for the fish to come to the surface.
The species of fish you are going for is a big factor in what time and season is best for fishing. For example, to catch catfish you may need to go fishing at dusk while it is best to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon when fishing for bass. You can look at the daily fishing forecast online for your area in order to determine if the fish are expected to be biting and to help narrow down the best time to go.
Choosing an Ineffective Lure
There are a couple of things to think about when selecting the right lure for your fishing adventure. The first is the color of the water you will be fishing in. You should try to match your lure to the color of the water - for example in darker water you will want to choose darker lures while in clear water you will want to go with more of a natural color. Lures that look unnatural in the water tend to get less bites.
Another consideration is what type of fish you are trying to catch. Lures come in different shapes and sizes, and you should try to match the shape and size of your lure to the mouth of the fish you are trying to catch. If the lure is too small, too big, or oddly shaped for the type of fish you are going for, they likely won't touch it. For example, for a largemouth bass you may want to use a jig, while for trout you may want to use a spinner.
If you are planning on trolling, then there are a couple more things to take into account. Your lures should look like they are swimming in a lifelike manner while trolling. There are also different lures depending on if you are in rough water or calm water, how fast you are planning on going, and the size of your tackle.
Selecting the Wrong Hook
The hook is small, but one of the most important aspects when considering your tackle. There are different sizes, hook points, hook eyes, materials, and many other features that can vary in hooks. It is recommended that you match your hook to the species you are trying to fish for. For example, a circle hook is optimal for catfish, while for bass a straight shank hook is a top choice. Another important thing to remember about your fishing hooks is to check your hook’s sharpness at the beginning of every fishing adventure. If it is not sharp enough, you should either sharpen it or get a new hook. Dull hooks can cause you to miss out on a big catch, so it is better to take the extra few minutes to test it. One common way of testing it is to run the hook point across your thumbnail - if it doesn’t catch at all then it is too dull.
Not Doing Your Research
It is extremely important to do your research before you go fishing. You should research the place that you are going and see what the best fishing times and spots are, what kind of lures and bait work best, what types of fish are present, if there are any rules for the area, and the weather. You should also always be conscious of tides and currents and the effects they have on the species you are trying to catch as these can affect different species in different ways.
Not Properly Setting Your Reel's Drag
You may be asking, “what is the reel's drag?” The reel's drag regulates how much tension is needed to take the fishing line off the spool. Having a tighter drag decreases the chances that your fish will get away, while having a looser drag increases the chances that your fish will take your line and swim away. You should set your drag for about 20-30% of the breaking point of your line. For example, if you have a 10 pound line, you should set the drag at 2-3 pounds. While you can set your drag without a scale, a scale is the best way to ensure it is set correctly and it is highly recommended to use a scale.
While these are just a few main tips for anglers, there are many other things to learn about fishing. If you are just getting started, there are some important steps you may have to take that you haven't yet thought about.