Freshwater Fishing Tips

There are always plenty of things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect catch, but these basic freshwater fishing tips can help provide a general overview of what you need to know.  They are great for the beginner or as a refresher for those who have been at it a while.

Be organized

You have a limited amount of time to spend on the water. To make your freshwater fishing experience as enjoyable as possible, organize all of your fishing gear and tackle ahead of time. Preparing a bait bag in advance can also help you keep bait close at hand.  Keeping rods, extra tackle, and keeping the live well full of fresh water will all make your fishing trip just that much better

Wash your hands

This is one of the most often overlooked tips! Fish actually have a very sensitive sense of smell. If the bait your using smells like cigarette smoke or bug spray, they’ll be that less likely to bite.  If your boat has a galley or a small wash sink use it.  Failing that keep a bottle of unscented hand sanitizer on board to remove those unwanted scents.

Follow the weather patterns

Freshwater fish, like all other creatures, are directly influenced by their environment—and that includes everything from the gravitational pull of the moon to how high the sun is in the sky. Days on or near key moon phases can often be prime times to make a catch. Bright sunlight can bother fish, while wind can drive bait fish or insects to the downwind side of a lake (where gamefish are sure to follow). Fish also tend to be less active during hot and muggy, high-pressure periods.  Keeping a radar and fish finder will help in watching these patterns.

Consider temperature

Most species of freshwater fish have an optimum weather temperature that attracts them, as well as a maximum and minimum threshold for any area they’ll be comfortable swimming in. Research different species in advance, to see which temperatures are optimal for the fish your trying to catch.  Many fish finders and boat navigation systems have water temp on them.  Many radar systems also have a temperature gauge killing to birds with one stone.

Use the correct tackle

Twisting lines and snagged baits will make it hard to attract fish, so be sure to adequately match the tackle to your method and bait selection. Your tackle and trolling methods should always match the species you seek- this is one of the most vital tips.  Keeping a variety already loaded on your boat will let you switch if a particular species are not biting.

Wear the right fishing gear

From rain gear in case you’re caught in a storm to sunscreen in case the sun pops out, it’s always important to bring proper clothing so that your fishing experience is as comfortable and safe as possible.  This includes lifejackets, towels, and sunglasses.  If possible you may also want to install rod holders on your boat to keep a couple lines out at once.