Increase your productivity with the following helpful advice
By Tamara Spence, Sports and Recreation Editor
While owning a boat is not a realistic expectation for the greater population of students, there are many ways that you can become a more successful shore angler! Don’t let not having a boat become a barrier between you and the catch of a lifetime. Many communities have a selection of prime shore spots, and to be candid, my personal best catches have never been from a boat.
In my experience, the first step is always to check out the surroundings and do a cruise around the body of water – maybe even two if you have the time! Chances are that you may get overly excited and be incapable to resist the impulse to drop a line and hope for the best, but you must resist this urge. Check out the area to the best of your ability and look for structure; vegetation, rock piles, weeds, and docks are usually good indicators of harbouring fish. Examination of the surroundings will benefit you in choosing a more productive spot, and will increase your odds of catching a fish. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for baitfish – we all like a good snack, and fish are not any different.
Another helpful tip is – try not to spook the fish. Believe it or not, they can see you long before you can see them. You may be fishing a location with limited coverage that will act as a blind between you and your species of choice. Take care of where your shadow lands and try not to have it on the water, because fish are trained to associate the shadow with predators like birds of prey. If you can, try to stick close to the tree line or anything that can block your shadow from being viewable on the water beside or below you.
When fishing a new spot try to keep your casting near shore. I know if you’re like me, you likely just want to open the bail of your Stradic and do a Superman cast for giggles…Resist this urge. More often than not, fish are near the shore or at the first deep drop off, especially in river or streams – so try to keep your bait or lure in the strike zone for as long as possible.
Match the hatch, match the hatch – this can be said a million times and still hold its meaning to a T. In river and stream situations the average body of water is going to be predominantly minnow and pan fish, so make sure your presentation stays true to that. Downsizing your presentation is also extremely effective; for instance, toss a 3-4 inch jerk bait instead of a 6 or larger.
One thing to always take into consideration is gear and the fact that you’re going to have to lug it around with you everywhere. In the beginning, it may seem like a great idea to bring all 60 casting spoons you have collected, 18 jerk baits, and every variation of plastic you own. This is an awful idea and you will have regrets. Keep it simple and bring a handful of effective tried and true presentations: a spinner or casting spoon, a topwater bait, a jerk bait, and the standard plastic and jig.
While it takes time to learn a location and really figure out the snags on the bank, sometimes it can be worth its weight in tackle once a location is perfected. For more information about fishing and to be a part of our fishing community in Thunder Bay, become a member of Thunder Bay Fishing (www.thunderbayfishing.com).