Fishing Equipment-To do………………….
It is often said that approximately 10 percent of the fisherman catch 80 percent of the fish.
If so, what are the fishermen that make up the other 80 percent doing wrong?
Many times it the little oversights that lead to a fisherman’s downfall and allow a trophy fish
To escape the hook and net.
Here are a few ways I have managed over the years to lose fish.
Old line – Neither braided or monofilament last forever. Long periods of unuse, as well as constant action and excessive heat, weaken a line and cause it to break at the wrong time.
How often an angler needs to change line depends on how much he or she fishes and the type of water they fish in. Braided line does not apply.
Long hours of wade fishing around shell and structure might call for a line change every three or four trips. As a general rule, the average angler should change line with each season (approximately four times a year). Reels should be stored where line is not exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat. You may select any number of lines. Personally, I prefer Sufix Elite or Pro-Mix. Other named brands are P-Line or Berkley. Cost is different with each. Braided line is more costly than mono. Will last up to a year without changing the line.
Frayed line – Abrasion is probably the single greatest threat to a fishing line.
A wise fisherman will scan the line or lightly run it through his fingers to check for any rough spots before each fishing trip. Some anglers make it a habit to strip off and discard line before a fishing trip. Check rod eyes (guides) for rust or rough spots, which could damage line.
Damaged hooks – Dull hooks mean lost fish. Either sharpen the points or replace the hook.
Some fishermen make the mistake of reusing hooks, which have been spread open. Bending the hook back into shape weakens the metal.
And, of course, rusty hook should be replaced.
Boat inventory – I had a nice trout at the side of the boat. When I reached for my landing net, it was tangled in my client’s feet. I lost the fish before I could free the net. To be prepared for such instances, an angler should be certain of three areas:
1. To be able to move freely around the boat if need be, without stepping in an open tackle box, or getting tangled in something (anchor line or landing net).
2. The landing net is within easy reach.
3. Once the fish is on board, there is a storage box or ice chest to put it in so it won’t flop overboard, which has happened on more than one occasion.
FUEL- always has a FULL tank of gasoline when leaving the dock. Never try to do it with less. Either weather or your ability will cause you to run out. It’s expensive to call the Coast Guard or you’re soon to be distant friend. By keeping the fuel tank full, condensation will not form in the tank, which could turn to water and cause the motor to stop. Water and gas is no marriage on the bay.
REELS- always carry an extra reel in your tackle with line on it. That way, if you have a professional override (backlash), you can replace the reel and continue to catch those pesky specs and redfish.
RODS- some will bring an extra rod for that moment when you least expect it to break. Most guides have adequate room for just that. Check the rod after each trip for nicks or stress areas after you may have hit the gunnels rail or a t-top.
BOAT TRAILER- now here a subject that if not properly keep checked, folks will wave at you as they drive by on the way to the bay or gulf. Pay close attention to your buddy bearing, check them after each trip and use a small amount of pressure to place additional grease in the tube. Not too much or you will blow out your seal. Check the springs and lubricate after each outing. Wiring important for turn lights and running lights. McClain Trailers in Channelview has great parts for all your trailer needs.
There are many other ways to lose a fish. Lack of concentration, not playing the fish long enough, poor net handling or lack of confidence can all set fish free.
And, undoubtedly, many more fish losing techniques have yet to be developed.
See ya’ll on Galveston Bay.
Captain Paul Marcaccio
USCG & TP&W