As an avid fisherman, Adam V. Slatniske is familiar with the feeling of waiting (and waiting) for a fish to bite. And while patience is one of the hallmarks of a true fisherman, it can be discouraging to go hours – even days! – without catching anything. Luckily, even if your bad luck seems to follow you to every favorite fishing spot, there are a few steps you can take to improve your fishing game.
If you’re a late sleeper or you like to be in by dinner time you may be missing out on the best fishing hours! The same goes for the weather – if you’re only going out on the prettiest days, you could be missing prime fishing time. It’s important to know what kind of fish you’re hunting for and study up on their habits, says Adam V. Slatniske. Different fish have different preferences and patterns.
Some fish are low-light predators, which means they prefer to hunt when it’s grey, overcast, or in the twilight of dusk or dawn. Other fish only bite when the weather is warm enough for their favorite bugs to be active. And if you’re fishing in the ocean, part of watching the weather is knowing when the tides come in and out – many fish are easier to catch when the tides are shifting.
Don’t Reel Your Fish In Too Quickly
It’s tempting to reel that long-awaited fish in the second it bites. But that would be a mistake, warns Adam V. Slatniske. If you fight a fish too violently by dragging it in, you risk breaking the line and losing it all – hook, line, and sinker.
But the opposite is also true. If you let the line go too slack, you risk the fish being able to wriggle off the hook! Not too tight, and not too loose – just keep the line taught and steady. Adjust the speed of your reeling to match the fish. If they pull hard, give them a little line. If they stop struggling, reel a little faster. It’s all about the give and take and – above all – patience.
It can be easy to get wrapped up in keeping score – how many bites you got and how many fish you caught – but try to remember that you’re supposed to be having fun! Fishing is a sport for a lot of people, says Adam V. Slatniske, but you have to remember that the only one you’re competing against is yourself. If you’re not having fun and enjoying nature while you try to improve your skills, you’re missing the whole point.