Improve Your Catch

By: Dan Carns

There are a number of ways in which to increase your catch rate. Some are simple and cost little while others may take up some extra time and cost more. If you are new to fishing, you will be automatically drawn to terminal tackle. These are products that rapidly and easily help you secure hooks and lures to your line but if you ask around or check online, you’ll find that experienced anglers are tying directly off to their tackle and using inline knots to tie leaders to main lines. Barrel and snap swivels are fine if you’re fishing with spinners and spoons or fishing heavy gear but for most of us the lures are not made to have something heavy added to the front and fish don’t like seeing anything moving unnaturally in front of their prey. Learn to tie inline knots between your main line and a fluorocarbon leader. I know many of you will balk at the price of fluorocarbon leader material, but the stuff is basically invisible under water. Many species of fish are leader shy, like snook, so the price pays for itself when you begin to catch more fish! There are several great inline knots so go on-line, find one that you can figure out and tie it until you remember how to tie it off-line. Another knot you should have in your arsenal is a loop knot. Many lures and most hooks benefit from having a loop knot tied to them as it allows the lure/bait to have a more natural presentation in the water. Walk the dog style top water plugs swing more widely with increased action when tied to a loop knot. Same is true for many rubber bait selections like shad and paddle tails.

If you fish only with artificial lures, you’ll need to be really good at it to catch a lot of fish. Presentation and cadence are ultra-important when trying to trick a fish into believing that your plastic imitation is the real thing. With practice this becomes easier over time. If you haven’t mastered this technique, try using some live or dead bait. Obviously dead bait is simple to store and use but live bait requires some way to keep it alive and in your kayak. It’s quite simple, place a sheetrock bucket or pre-designed bait well in the rear well of your craft and simply add a battery powered bait bubbler. Many states now require that you use circle hooks with live or dead bait. When you feel a fish on the line, simply pull back slowly until you feel the real weight of the fish and at that point the hook has come up out of their stomach and slid into the corner of the fishes mouth. Only then should you pull hard to set the hook.

Try some of these suggestions and catch more fish! It’s A Wild World-Get Out There!

Fishman Dan