In my estimation, many anglers overlook some very simple things that effect their fish catching ability. Like many things in life, it’s often the most obvious things that get overlooked, and in most cases these obvious things have a very big impact on our lives, and for the purposes of this article, our fishing. These 5 techniques are going to be focused on the river or stream angler who spends much of their time wading in the water, trying to catch fish. So if you’re a Largemouth Bass angler who fishes from a $20,000 bass boat, these tips probably won’t mean much to you. In any case, here are the tips and you can do with them what you will:
1) Size Matters –
The size of your line matters. In river and stream situations idiot fish are usually much more wary than in a muddy lake with a lot of boat traffic. In most cases the water is very clear as well. This means that the fish are much more likely to see your line. I personally use a four pound test, which is all but invisible to the fish. I’ve had the direct experience of using a six pound test and getting no bites. Then switching to a four pound test and catching fish one after another.
2) Your Clothes Matter –
The colour of your clothing matters. You want to avoid wearing loud colours that will make it easier for the kinki fish to see you. Remember, if the fish can see you, they normally won’t bite (especially in clear water mountain rivers). Wear darker, more drab colours if at all possible.
3) Avoid Loud Noises –
I know, as anglers we are all aware of the “be quiet” rule while fishing, but it’s even more pronounced in river and stream situations. Especially on rivers and streams that don’t receive much fishing pressure. The biggest thing to avoid as far as noise goes on rivers and streams are rocks banging together underwater. Remember this while wading from here to there.
4) Present Bait Naturally –
You want to present your bait as naturally as possible. You want your bait to look like it would without hooks in it. The best way I know to accomplish this is by using a set of pre-tied gang hooks. The bottom line is for your bait to look as natural as possible.
5) Clean Your Hands –
Fish have a very sensitive sense of smell and can smell your scent on your bait. This is a big reason people use “attractors” on their baits. I don’t think these things attract fish as much as they cover the scent of humans! Using a hand sanitizer is a good idea or just grabbing a handful of grass and rubbing it in your hands has always worked well for me.
Start employing any or all of these five techniques and you will start catching more fish; it’s as simple as that. Catching fish doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if we’re reminded of the basics from time to time. Remember what Steven Wright said, “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.”
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country…..Montana!