Have you ever wondered why some anglers always seem to do well on their fishing excursions? You know them. They’re the anglers that are always catching the “big one.” They’re always catching more fish than you. You can fish side by side with them and they’ll still catch more fish than you do. You know someone like this- don’t you? Let me give you a little hint why some people are known for their angling accomplishments. It’s because they know how to cast. Yes, it’s that simple. I understand that you can open the bail on your spinning reel and cast a ¾ ounce spoon half-way across the Sebastian inlet, that’s great. But can you place a tail-hooked live shrimp two feet beyond and four feet in front of that redfish cruising from left to right at one o’clock, fifty-three feet off your bow in a 10 mph right-to-left crosswind? If you even had to think for one second about your answer, you’re NOT that person. Hey, don’t worry about it. On some days, I’m not that person either. But on most days I am. Why can I, and many other anglers make that cast? It’s because we practice.
I have spent countless hours with a fishing rod in hand. Many of these hours have been very productive. I have perfectly placed the lure or bait in position for a fish to strike my offering. Some of them haven’t been quite as good. I have also pounded more redfish in the noggin, back, and tail feathers than you can imagine, but all the while I have worked at becoming a better caster. This is the real reason that some anglers, and I would put myself in this category, consistently catch more and larger fish than the general angling public. There is nothing that will increase your chances at landing quality fish more than a properly placed lure or bait. Yes, you still have to know how to work the lure in an enticing manner to create an opportunity for the bite to occur, but if the lure (or bait) isn’t in the fishes’ strike zone, then you’re just wasting your time. How do we become proficient at casting to fish? Well, here is my answer to that question. I have been known to stand in my yard casting at a Dixie cup for hours. I’ve also been seen casting at buckets, hula hoops, beer cans (empty of course), trees, mailboxes, sprinkler heads, rocks and small household pets. I’ll cast at just about anything to tell the truth. What this has done for me when I get out onto the water is nothing short of magical to someone less practiced in the art of “lure chuckin”. I’ve gotten hung in more tree branches, mangrove roots, dock pilings, and rocks than I care to remember, but I keep practicing because I know the payoff will be a quality fish on the end of my line from time to time. So do yourself a favor. Stand in your front yard and cast at that bucket, dead patch of grass, or the next door neighbors obnoxious little nose picker until you can knock the booger off the end of his finger with your rubber practice plug. Those wily redfish will in-turn show their appreciation for your determination the next time you meet them out on the water.