Reel It In: 5 Common Fishing Mistakes to Avoid

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Hours out on the water, a clear sky, and fresh air — there is nothing quite like a weekend fishing trip. As your waterfront getaway approaches, you’ll look forward to spending time with friends and with no worries at all. If you’re lucky, you’ll head home with a few catches in addition to some peace of mind.

To up your chances of catching quality fish this season, it’s important to follow some basic best practices. The following are some common mishaps that novice and seasoned fishers experience. By avoiding these mistakes, you can successfully catch fish without incident during your upcoming trip.

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Using old gear

Whether you have been fishing for decades or are casting out with a hand-me-down rod, you should be wary of old gear. Fishing rods can be prone to cracking, which can easily ruin a fishing weekend. It’s especially important to avoid old fishing line, as fraying line can easily snap and let a potential catch swim away. If you aren’t sure whether your gear will hold up, carefully inspect every piece before your trip. Just leave enough time to buy a new piece of gear if something is faulty.

Fishing in the wrong spot

When checking out a new fishing destination, it’s always essential to do some research before setting up on the water. If you simply wing it, you could end up in an area that is not ideal for fishing. Check local guides and browse online listings to learn where the ideal fishing sites are. This is especially important if you are looking to catch a certain species of fish. With some planning, you’ll be more likely to reel in a catch.

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Changing your lures too often

Fishing takes patience, but it’s easy to overlook this basic principle. If you have been waiting with no luck, you might be tempted to switch out your lure and cast another line. However, doing so too often can scare fish away and leave you waiting even longer. While it can be difficult, try to wait patiently with one lure. Then, if you don’t get a bite, change your approach. It can also be helpful to learn which types of lures work best for different environments and fish, so you won’t need to change your gear as often.

Forgetting your gloves

Even if it feels rustic and exciting to handle your catch with your bare hands, you will quickly regret that decision. Struggling fish can cut your hands and even introduce bacteria to your skin. You might also let go of a flailing fish by accident, undoing all of your hard work and patience. To avoid this mistake, keep a pair of gloves in your fishing kit at all times. It won’t hurt to also pack an extra pair, just in case.

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Leaving your cooking gear at home

While you will likely bring some catches home to freeze and enjoy throughout the year, there is nothing quite like a freshly cooked fish. Especially if you are camping out for the weekend, bring some basic cooking supplies. This can include fillet knives, tongs, aluminum foil, and seasonings. A smoky fish cooked over the fire will be a delicious ending to a long day on the water.

As you look forward to your upcoming fishing trip, be sure to take plenty of time to plan. Make a packing list, inspect your gear, and look into local fishing guides. With the right know-how and some patience, you can enjoy your time on the water and come home with some delicious fish.