Doing your homework with these fishing preparations will help you be better prepared for your next fishing trip. There are several things every highly successful angler, and tournament angler, does before a day of fishing to make sure as soon as they are up the next morning, they can chug a mountain dew, launch the boat, and catch some fish.
Homework for an angler includes researching information about your next fishing destination. Research the body of water you intend to fish through back issues of magazines, internet web sites of fish and game agencies, fishing blogs and local contacts such as guides or bait-and-tackle shops. The front desk of a local bait shop can be just as informative as HOURS spent researching forums online. Key information you should gather before your trip includes: best lure colors, water clarity, best sections of the fishery to get a bite, type of cover available and seasonal patterns.
Studying maps of the fishery will help you find various types of structure such as channel bends, humps, ledges, drop-offs and flats before you get on the water. This is one of the most simple, but effective, fishing preparations any angler can do. These underwater maps can point out exactly where you want to get started. You can use these maps to schedule your day, deciding where to try for morning bites to afternoon PB hunting.
Map sources include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and downloads from the various electronic mapping companies. You should be able to look at the map and find good spots to start fishing based on the information gathered through researching seasonal patterns.
If you keep a fishing log and have fished the body of water before, then consult your diary to see how you caught fish there in the past. A fishing log also comes in handy even when you are fishing on your home waters. Even though I have lived at the Lake of the Ozarks for more than 30 years, I still frequently check my fishing log before going out on the water to put together a better plan for my next trip. If you can make it a habit, it is one of the most useful fishing preparations you can accomplish, just seeing what worked last time!
Tackle preparation is crucial to the success of your next fishing trip so make sure your equipment is in tiptop shape. Check your line for nicks or weak spots and replace any old line on your reels. Make sure your fishing reels are clean and oiled and check for any cracks on your rod’s blank or nicks in the rod guides. Taking these precautions ensures your equipment will work properly throughout the day and prevent you from losing any fish. The last thing you want to happen is to hook into your PB and have him snap off, just because you didn’t check the strength of your rod before you launched the boat.
Organizing your tackle prior to your next trip helps you maximize your time on the water. Today’s tackle storage systems are great for separating lures, hooks, weights and other accessories into various boxes and bags that make it easier to find what you need in a hurry. This will help you stay organized the next day, as one of the physical fishing preparations, over all those mental exercises.
Knowing the seasonal patterns and best lure colors for your next fishing destination will help you stock your tackle box with the right baits and avoid making way too many trips to the local bait-and-tackle shop.