1. The major reason why fish are lost is poor equipment. You as
Dad may have the good stuff, but the wife and kids get your hand
me down worn-out junk!!! Now you know why they don't want to go
2. Now once good stuff has been obtained, we'll go to the second
most important reason - it's maintenance. Clean reels with
smooth working drags, rods with good eyelets - they're a must to
land good fish.
3. Line!!! New!!! Repeat, !!!New!!! Put on new line every three
trips. What is between you and the fish once you have it on?
!!!Line!!! !!!New Line!!! What is that 30 lb. cat, 7 lb. bass or
even a big crappie worth, $1.49 for a spoon of line??
4. Once you've got it on your reel and are using that new line,
how about getting into the habit of checking the first three feet
of it every 3 to 4 casts. Make it a habit. I've checked, found
a nick and retied only to land a big one on the next cast.
5. You're in pretty good shape, but we have two things left which
still make a lot of difference. One of them, is to learn one
knot, learn it until you can tie it without thinking, in the
dark, in the wet, in the cold with fingers' freezing. Now make
another habit of checking your knot each time you check your
line - knots get weak. Grab your bait or whatever you're using
and yank hard. I'm sure a fish will do it for you, but if you
don't, and you'll lose him.
6. I left the greatest secret until last. Everyone knows it, but
they don't do it and it costs millions of people good fish every
year. Buy a good, no several, good hook stones. Keep them
where you can see them in your boat, in your pocket if walking.
Now just as with checking your line, now start a habit of
checking your hooks to see if they're sharp each time you check
your line and knot. I've lost a good fish, checked my hook and
found it dull.
I didn't hit anything or pull my bait through rocks, so how did
it get that way? Your guess is as good as mine. During the
winter's long nights, go through and resharpen everything. If
it won't hang in your thumb nail surface when pulled across it
at most angles, it won't hang that big one's mouth either.
You've got them, these tips. Make and break pro's every day on
tour. They will help you get into that elusive 10% club. I
know - I'm there!!