Summer vacation is in full swing and as I write this, I am on vacation with my family on Anna Maria Island, Fla. Traveling to new locations and attempting a “Do It Yourself” style of fishing can be a lot of fun, as well as a challenge. Of course, as a full time guide, I always recommend hiring a guide to increase your success. But, I also enjoy the adventure of exploring new waters in search of fish.
Here are a few things I do to be successful in new locations while traveling.
1. Do your research. Prior to hitting the road, search the internet for articles, fishing reports or even videos that talk about fishing in the area you’ll be visiting. Even fishing reports from years past can help you discover a pattern and perhaps help determine what tackle you should bring. This will help you pack the right gear and not waste space on unnecessary fishing tackle.
2. Listen to the locals. Stopping at local bait shops is always a great idea. Be sure to ask for any insider info like what’s running, or what has been the “go-to” bait, live or artificial. And don’t be afraid to ask to be pointed in a direction. I love searching for and finding fish, but remember these aren’t your home waters so a little local knowledge can go a long way.
3. Look for life. Once you do make it on the water, regardless if by foot, kayak or boat, look for signs of life. Are there birds diving? Is there bait in the water? Are there visual cues showing signs of life? These are things to pay attention to as they might mean the difference between fishing and catching.
4. Be mindful of others. Just like at home, we must always pay attention to other boaters and anglers. It’s crucial that wherever we fish and explore that we respect others, as well as the environment. Do your best not to crowd other anglers or to cut them off if they are poling/fishing a flat. Also pay attention to channel markers and warning signs as you wouldn’t want to run in a no wake zone or run aground.
Keeping these simple tips in mind will aid in your success on new waters.
Now get out there and fish!
Capt. Jonathan Moss
Go Castaway Fishing Charters