Fishing Tips to Get that Extra Edge

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On my way to a fishing spot I passed an angler who was catching loads of fish. He didn’t have much tackle with him, just the right tackle. I saw others catching more fish than everyone else while using the exact same bait. This wasn’t luck. They had an edge over those around them. In time I learned how to get that edge and I’m going to show you how to get it so that you too can have a better chance of catching more fish.

How to Find the Best Fishing Spots

One of the most common mistakes anglers make is dropping a line at a spot closest to the parking spot. There are lakes where indeed you can catch fish close to the parking lot. But for most lakes and rivers, most of the time, those aren’t the best fishing spots.

When I consider every pier, jetty, beach, river, pond, lake, and reservoir I have ever fished, the best places to fish were almost always a good walk away from the parking lot.

Fish, especially trout and bass, shy away from human commotion. Ever wonder why it takes about fifteen minutes to a half hour to start catching trout? A trout can feel your footfalls as you walk along the banks of a river or a lake and it will stop them from feeding for approximately ten to fifteen minutes.  Thus, the better spots are usually where there is less foot traffic, less people throwing stones into the water and other disturbances.

Low Tide in Long Island Sound

I explored a point during low tide and learned a lot about the bait that lived under the rocks, as well as what the terrain looks like during high tide. I learned this was a very good fishing spot by exploring it first!

Popular Fishing Spots

Some fishing spots are popular because they’re convenient. Some spots are popular because it is known that fish tend to congregate in those areas. The reason fish tend to stack up in certain areas is because of something very important called structure.

Structure is a change in the underwater topography. This can be a steep drop off between shallow and deep water. Structure can be where the land forms a point. Structure can also be rocks or plants. When not swimming around in search of food, all fish can be found close to structure.

It’s important to understand why a spot is popular. Do anglers regularly catch fish here? If so, why? Is there a point or a steep transition from shallow to deep? If so, then you can be extra certain there’s a good reason the spot is popular.

How to Fish in a New Location

The reverse is also true. Why is a spot not popular? Is it because no one catches fish there? Or is it because the spot’s too far. I know a guy who used to take a shortcut through a golf course to get to the far side of a lake that was miles from the park entrance.

Nobody on foot ever fished that spot because it was such a long hike.  Only that one guy, anglers on boats and interepid anglers on bikes could get to that spot. And it was a good one!

I arrived to a pier one night and was disappointed to see so many anglers elbow to elbow with their poles all out to ocean where the current was. All except one goofball who was soaking bait behind the pier, in the still waters of the lagoon.

There’s are good reasons not to fish the lagoon, such as there’s not enough oxygen in still water to support a striped bass, not to mention all the bait stealing crabs. If are new to a fishing location, take note of what everyone else is doing.

No Rod Holders at Fishing Spot

Walking this fishing spot BEFORE I fished it taught me that there were no fishing rod holders. I learned I had to come prepared to bring my own rod holders. Always walk a new spot before fishing it. You’ll catch more fish!

Walk the Fishing Spot Before You Fish

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to take a walk around the area you’re going to be fishing. You’ll be able to find clues about where the fish are. You’ll be able to see who is catching lots of fish and thus identify all the so-called secret fishing spots.

If you have the time, take that time to walk your dog around the lake or river you intend to fish. Or take a bike ride with your kids. You’ll get some exercise, gain points with the family, while gathering valuable intel for your next fishing trip. It’s a win-win!

Anglers are liars and will lie to  your face about how bad the fishing is. They will tell you the fishing is terrible while pulling another fish out of the water as they say so. That’s just the way it is, you should not be surprised or outraged by this behavior.

That’s why you shouldn’t wear anything that might identify you as an angler. You’ll be surprised at how much information you can get about a lake or fishing spot if the angler thinks you’re just out to walk the dog.

Brown Trout Caught Fly Fishing

I caught this trout while fly fishing a tough stream. Walking the stream before fishing taught me where the best spots were.

Prepare Your Gear

You’ll have a better idea of the gear you will need when you have collected information on the conditions at the spot you’ll be fishing. Always bring the absolute minimum to a fishing trip, especially if you’ll be on foot. An angler with a light pack can move from spot to spot.

An angler lugging a tackle shop on their back will tend to become stuck in a single spot, stubbornly casting and catching nothing but misery. Don’t be that person. Travel light and you’ll have a better time!

Knowing the conditions at the lake, river or fishing pier ahead of time, you can organize your tackle and lure selection ahead of time. This is one of the most valuable results from scouting out a fishing spot ahead of time.

Low water at a fishing spot

Knowing fishing conditions ahead of time is helpful.

Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized glasses have an amazing ability to cut glare, allowing you to see directly into the water. You can see more fish swimming around if you’re wearing polarized sunglasses. Never go fishing during the day time without them.

If you wear prescription glasses, you’ll save a lot of money by purchasing a pair of polarized clip-ons to wear over your regular glasses. I have a pair of prescription sunglasses but I don’t wear them anymore because it’s inconvenient to keep track of where they are. For me it’s faster to grab the clip ons from the glove compartment of my car, snap them on and go.

Make Friends at Your Fishing Spot

It doesn’t cost you a penny to be nice to those around you. If someone leaves their tackle behind, speak up and let them know. If someone needs a hand landing a fish, lend a hand. The person you assist may become your next fishing buddy. I have a network of friends who text me or message me on Facebook to let me know if the fishing is hot. These are strangers who live in other cities and states! Yet we are connected by the strength of our friendship forged during several days and nights fishing side by side. I have helped friends net a thrashing shark. I have had friends pass along fishing tips to make me a better angler.

I am confident that if you follow the above fishing tips you will catch more fish. You will be the smart angler who catches all the fish while no one else is catching. Nobody catches fish all the time but you will significantly improve your odds by following the above advice.

Good luck and please tell a friend about!

Disclosure: This article may contain Amazon affiliate links. I receive a commission from products purchased at through my links at no extra cost to you. Reviews on reflect my actual testing and opinion of the products reviewed.
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