One of the biggest traditions we seem to have here in the USA is the making of, and unfortunately, breaking of New Year’s resolutions. This year, lets knock out that bad habit by helping you write down a list of things you know for sure you want to accomplish throughout the upcoming fishing seasons. Here at FishermensHeaven.com, our customer service staff and management always hear from many of our clientele around New Years on how we can help them accomplish some of their goals or resolutions. Looking back, it got us thinking… With 25 plus years of hearing these resolutions, we bet you might benefit from the experience of hearing them as well.
Here are the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions, customized to relate to the 2018 Fishermen. Hopefully you can apply some of these to your personal list of accomplished goals by the time 2019 rolls around :
1. Take a Kid Fishing
This is a no brainer and the one thing that insures the future of our sport for generations to come. As we all get older, who wouldn’t want a lifelong fishing buddy and partner? And with the right change in thought process, that son or daughter or kid down the street could be just that.The key to taking a kid fishing for the first time, (and having him or her want to keep on fishing), is to make it a successful outing. That means as the mentor you need to apply the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple, Sam), with an emphasis on three extra key words, “patience”, “education,” and “advance preparation.” The focus needs to be on the kid, and on catching any fish, plain and simple. A farm pond and sunnies is ten thousand times better than starting off with muskies (the fish of 10,000 casts), on Lake St. Clair. Up their odds of success by insuring they have good equipment. (Sorry, as much as they beg and plead for the foot and a half Barbie or Avengers pole, get better rods and reels.) Always replace line that comes factory pre-spooled, with higher quality, lower pound test. As a general rule you can’t go wrong with 8lb test McCoy Copolymer. Downsize the lure sizes if you choose artificials or the hooks and bobbers if you choose live bait. Bring plenty of water (no sugar filled sodas), good for them snacks, and take plenty of pictures and video, no matter the size of the fish. Take it easy, have fun, and don’t overdo it. Enjoy the experience of taking a new kid fishing in 2018, it matters (…and more than you think!)
2. Visit a New Lake or Body of Water
We see so many people who get in a rut, fishing the same body of water over and over again. Yes, they might get more proficient on that particular body of water, but in doing so they also are severely eroding the diversity of their overall fishing skill set. For 2018, shake things up a bit.If you normally fish on farm ponds, try a much bigger natural lake. If you fish smaller streams, move up to bigger rivers. If you fish reservoirs, try a tidal estuary. If you are a bay fisherman, try surf or ocean fishing. Our point-try something new; stretch yourself; and see if you don’t learn more and have a greater appreciation for all this awesome sport of fishing affords us. We promise it will make you a better fisherman on your preferred home waters.
3. Experience Fishing for a New Species
As stated above, diversifying where and what you fish for offers more chances to learn and grow as a true fisherman. It also gives you the confident option to switch up when one species just isn’t cooperating. If you previously fished only for largemouth bass, then in 2018 make some of your trips solely for small mouth or spotted bass. (We promise you won’t be sorry!) Are you a bluegill pan fisherman? Instead, try targeting for yellow perch or crappie. If you love walleye, learn to fish for muskies or pike. If catfish is your preferred species, give carp a try. For you In-shore Saltwater redfish guys, target specifically snook or speckled trout (or vice versa). You see where we are going with this. Broadening your fish species horizons will definitely make you a more versatile angler. We think it will also make you a better fisherman when you go back to targeting your favourite gamefish.
4. Learn a Brand-New Fishing Technique
Vow to make 2018 the year you get out of being a “one bait” wonder. We all love to catch fish on top waters, but there are other ways to catch ‘em…..lol…. Pick one technique you would really like to learn and master, and go for it. Go to school on the internet studying the “how to,” then stock up on the best quality baits for that specific method, matching it with the right rod, reel and line. Promise yourself to dedicate a certain amount of time on every trip to practicing that technique. For me, it was the art of skipping lures under docks.For someone else, it might be left handed pitching a jig with a baitcasting reel, something as simple as learning the nuances of swimming a jig, or the art of drop shotting. Whatever it is, make 2018 the year you master a new fishing technique.
5. Simplify Your Fishing by Studying the “Science“ of Fishing
We won’t take the time to go in to depth on this topic, but suffice to say, fish have smaller brains than we do, and they are driven by very simple science related aspects. Get out of your own way in making your fishing more complicated than it has to be. Our favourite saying is, “Learn the Science, Trust the Science, Fish the Science!” To learn the science, study the greatest multi-species masters ever, Al & Ron Lindner. They were originally from the In-Fishermen magazines and books, and now they are with Lindners Angling Edge. Do an internet search and you will see what we mean. Enough said!
6. Master Your Electronics
Again, not a topic for a long dissertation, but spending all that money for all those hi-tech electronics, only to try and just “plug and play,” isn’t going to cut it. Make it a point in 2018 to go to “school” on your electronics, really spending the time to learn all they can do. Where? There are YouTube expert videos for your particular brand or even off-site seminars you can attend. Our point, do it! Quit guessing what that “blip” means, make your electronics work for you, not the other way around.
7. Invest in One High End Rod
If there was one area of your fishing arsenal that all anglers should invest more into, that would be their fishing rods, especially those needed for techniques like fishing soft plastics. Make it a point in 2018, well before your fishing season starts, to get the very best, high quality, most sensitive baitcasting or spinning rod you can afford. If your budget is tight, hold off, don’t settle for a cheaper version, but start setting aside the money now. When it comes time to pick, select the most versatile medium heavy rod, and make it the longest your height can handle (longer rods equal further, more accurate casts or pitches as well as better hooksets and control of fish).
If we were to select one brand to recommend (and by doing so, please note, we aren’t being compensated in any way for this endorsement), it would have to be a Helium from Kistler. Simply a great company, led by great people, making the best handcrafted quality fishing rods available here in America.
Courtesy of Fishermens Heaven, try this free coupon code, for 20% off, “ TESTDRIVEAKISTLER “, at checkout thru Kistler (https://www.kistlerrods.com).
8. Learn a New Knot
This is a personal goal for the writer as well. With the advent of micro guides and the need for a small seamless connection between braid to fluorocarbon, even we struggle with this issue. Our point, everyone needs to learn the right knot, for the right situation, and while we still love our Pmaralo, we all need to stop relying on just one knot you learned years ago. Here is a great site to get you started, which offers step-by-step instructions(http://www.fish4fun.com/knots.htm) for any knot needed in fishing.
9. Change the Line on Every Reel Spool you Own
Other than not having sensitive enough rods, this is the biggest mistake we see fishermen make. They don’t change their line anywhere near enough. We get it, line has gotten expensive, but your fishing line is the one and only connection you have to feeling that fish hit and getting that fish back to the boat or shore (and isn’t that the reason we all fish…lol…). Make it a point in 2018, before your fishing season starts, to replace EVERY spooled reel you have, whether it be simple monofilament, fluorocarbon or even braid. If budget is a factor, purchase something like a bulk spool from McCoy, and then learn this trick. For the first half of your spool fill, use your old line (as it will now only act as a filler) and then take electric tape and wrap completely around the spool. Now use an arbor knot (see point 8 above) and fill your line with a premium co-polymer, which has the best characteristics of all lines out there, the right strength, castability, abrasion resistance and low stretch. Now you can afford to change your line much, much more often, all throughout your fishing seasons. With braid, do the same, and when it comes time to change, simply reverse the line, as long as it hasn’t broken down too much, that way you get twice the usage. With fluorocarbon, be careful. All of us have had the “fluoroline pop” blues. Because of its chemical make-up, it just doesn’t hold up and breaks down quickly when exposed to excessive heat/cold, sunlight or even gas fumes. So change often, even more than your other fishing lines.
10. Start Training for Fishing as a Sport
Anyone who doesn’t think fishing is a true sport is kidding themselves. A full day on the water, standing and casting constantly, will have you thinking otherwise. It’s been found that fishing an eight-hour tournament can burn up to 5,000 calories. That’s more than pitching a nine-inning baseball game.Not to mention dealing with adverse weather conditions from brutal sun and heat, to wind and the need for balancing through rolling wave after wave.
Your goal for 2018, and ours as well, should be to lose some weight, eat better on and off the boat, drink way more water and start doing some fishing related exercises and stretches.For help with this, try Troy Lindners “Fit 4 Fishing” program. It focuses on exercises to keep arms, wrists, legs, and etc. in working order during grueling days of angling on the water.
(Youtube Channel – Fit4Fishing)
Well, there you have it, a pretty comprehensive to-do list for your 2018 New Years resolutions. Write yours down and make an action plan to get started, we believe in you, and know that any positive steps forward in any of these areas will make you a better fishermen in 2018!