Fishing from a riverbank or a dock offers its own excitement, but there is nothing like venturing into deeper waters to catch a fish.
With a boat of your own, you can scout for the perfect fishing spot and, securing your position, you and your companions can relax and wait for a big one to bite.
However, angling from a boat offers a different experience from casting your line from solid ground. So, regardless of which body of water you’re fishing in – be it in a river, a lake, or the sea – you need to be prepared to make necessary adjustments.
Here are some tips that you can follow to be successful when fishing from your boat:
Like any outdoor activity, boat fishing requires preparation. Remember that once you’ve cast off, you may not be returning back to shore for some time; therefore, you need to make sure that you have everything you need.
Making a checklist in advance – and writing down every little thing such as bug repellant and bait – is one of the best methods to ensure that you don’t forget anything.
It goes without saying that your vessel should be in top condition before heading out. You don’t want to have mechanical trouble while out in the sea, lake, or river.
Also, you need to have an anchor with the right size. There are instances when a larger anchor is better, such as when fishing in deep water, as it can hold down your boat better. You also need to have enough chain – the minimum length, as a rule of thumb, should be as long as your boat, but it can be longer.
It’s best to do your research to find out which anchor would suit your boat and your needs. Since different brands tend to have different sizes, it’s best to cross-check two or more manufacture sizing charts. These are usually available in marine shops.
A well-maintained fishing tackle could spell the difference between a so-so fishing experience and one that you can be truly proud of.
But equipment should not be checked only because you’re going to use it – you should give your gear a regular inspection.
This means replacing the reels’ mainlines, particularly ones that easily wear out such as monofilament lines; and changing the fishing leader if you feel nicks when you run your hand across it.
Going out fishing in your boat takes more than just setting anchor somewhere and casting your line. While you can certainly do this, it’s not the most efficient method because you could just be wasting your time.
To make the most out of your fishing trip, you need to do some advanced planning. First, identify what type of fish you intend to catch and see if they’re active during the season.
Conversely, you can check when that fish is most active – like the best weather condition, wind direction, and tides that suit them – and schedule your trip for that time. You also need to determine where you want to fish, and which rod and bait would be the most suited for that area.
Before Getting Underway
Surely, it’s exciting to finally go out fishing in your boat, but it’s important to allot enough time before your scheduled cast off to do a few more things.
· Wear Appropriate Clothing
The gear you choose should be appropriate to the area where you will be fishing. For instance, in a river or shallow cove where you might have to wade in, solid boots would be a good choice of footwear. The climate is also a factor to consider when selecting your clothing, with more layers needed in colder climates.
Also, fishing trips can take a whole day or even longer, depending on your plans, so pack your bags accordingly. Remember that even though the weather is warm during daytime, temperatures can drop as nighttime approaches.
And in any boat ride, even in short distances, make sure you and your companions have a life jacket each.
· Check Weather Conditions
You need to keep in mind that even if it’s sunny on the day before your trip, this can change on the day you’re set to go fishing. Weather can change drastically, so make sure to check updates before you set sail.
So what condition is best for fishing? Sunny days may be fun for humans, but some fish tend to take to cooler waters deeper down to avoid the heat.
Nonetheless, the right amount of sunlight, particularly in the shallows, can make some species active. Overcast is considered to be the ideal condition for angling, since fish eat before bad weather comes.
However, bodies of water can become very dangerous in a storm, so if one is coming, you may want to decide to postpone or cancel your adventure. Besides, fish hardly take the bait in harsh weather.
The winds change the tides, making it difficult for them to stay in the area, and they are less likely to see or notice your bait.
Casting Your Line
While you can drop your anchor at your chosen spot and wait for fish to take your bait, you can also consider other means to increase your chances of catching a big one.
Trolling is a technique in which you let a baited line trail behind your slow-moving boat. This lets you cover a wider area, which often results in catching fish with less effort.
This method, which can be used in a lake or sea, is done by casting a baited line and then securing the pole onto the boat. You then move your boat slowly along the water.
If you’re in the sea and there is a dominant swell, move your boat in its direction because that’s also the direction the big fish are taking. This is one of the ways in which they conserve their energy, so they are likely to follow the lure when it is moving in their direction.
· Trolling Plus Move and Cast
If you’re fishing in a lake, you can combine trolling with another method. With this technique, you move along the shoreline and stop in the space between two fish-populated areas. There, you can cast your line. You can then do the same around the lake in order to make the most out of your fishing trip.
· Using Modern Technology
If you’re not intending to fish in the conventional, old-school method, then you can make use of modern technology to increase your chances.
A sounder or fishfinder, for instance, lets you track a fish, and it can even adjust the position of your boat for the purpose of spotting your potential catch.
A temperature meter, on the other hand, measures underwater temperature – a useful device since heat or cold can affect fish behavior.
Regardless of where you will be fishing and whether or not you like modern technology, there is one important requirement in fishing that doesn’t change: patience. This is one of the virtues of successful anglers.
It can be difficult, but when the big one bites, you will feel the reward of your persistence.