If you are like me you are always looking for your next big fish story to lie about. Well, here are a five ways to help you target bigger fish. We'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.
It might seem simple, but this is one of the most important tactics you need to employ in order to catch the trophy your looking for. The fact is, the more casts you make, the longer you are soaking your baits or trolling deeper waters, the better chance you have to cross paths with your monster. Think of it this way, some of the biggest fish are caught on bank poles, limb lines, trot lines, and deep sea long lines. This is due to the fact that they are left out there for 24 hrs at a time. Just think about this for a minute. How many fishing stories have you told, or heard from a friend, that go like this:" We were just about to leave and then bam! I hooked into this pig!". Its pretty heart wrenching to think about how many times you left the fishing hole right before you were about to get that bite of a lifetime!
FISH IN THE BEST SPOTS
When I tell you to fish in the best spots, I know that you are thinking, "Wow! Jason, you are a master of the obvious", but hear me out. The biggest fish around are very often the most dominant. This means they get to own the best spots. This can easily be seen in any aquarium where there are multiple fish, even better take a trip to Bass Pro Shops and check out their huge aquariums. The biggest and baddest fish hold onto the best locations. So what does this mean for you? Take some time to evaluate your fishing holes. Where can your preferred quarry satisfy all its needs for life? Search out the very best of those locations and you'll find the biggest fish around.
USE BIGGER BAITS
You most certainly can catch big fish on little baits. I've seen giant flathead caught on minnows, hawg bass caught on crappie jigs, hefty brown trout on tiny dry flies, and just a couple weekends ago, my nephew caught a monster freshwater drum on a little piece of cut bait. That, however, is the exception to the rule. Bigger fish are trying to get the most calories for the least amount of work. You can see this in action on any underwater show on Discovery Channel where they are feeding or chumming fish on a reef. Although those little bits of bait will get gobbled up in a frenzy by the little fish, the big ones keep an eye out for the biggest chunks and can even be caught gobbling up some of the little fish that are feeding on the chum. So this means you might want to step up a size or two with that lure you're chuckin', or use larger pieces of cut bait if that's your style.
KEEP YOUR EQUIPMENT IN TOP SHAPE
This is a very simple tactic that is often overlooked, especially for the casual fisherman. Your equipment must be in top shape when you finally cross paths with your monster. Imagine how terrible it would feel to have the fish of your dreams on the line, just to watch it swim away after your line broke because you didn't replace it when you should have! I had this happen to me this year on a surf fishing trip. I had my heart set on catching a shark from the beach. I fished every night waiting until the early hours of the morning. I caught some bull reds and then finally I had my shark on. It pulled like crazy! I have fished from the beach many times but this was the hardest fight I've ever had! My heart raced, then sank as I felt the line go limp. I reeled it in to find my leader had failed! Never again will I trust someone else to make my leaders!! So give your equipment the maintenance it needs and check out your equipment ahead of time. Here's a few things to think about to get you started:
Line-Make sure it is fresh line that is not over a year old. If you fish a lot, change it out sooner than that. Always check the end of your line. Look for nicks or any damage. If you've been fishing around rocks or heavy cover, then occasionly cut the last few feet off and retie. Its not worth loosing a monster!!
Knot- If using mono, wet your line before cinching down! Nothing weakens a knot like cinching it dry. Study and learn the best knots for your situation and retie every so often.
Hooks-They must be sharp! Its that simple! Make sure they are sharp and strong enough for the prize you are after.
Drag- If there is anywhere to splurge, it is on a reel with quality drag. If you are after monster fish you need have a smooth working drag. At the very least, you should be prepared to work it during a fight especially when that fish is in close.
Rod and Eyes- Damaged rod eyes are most likely responsible for more lost trophies than anything else. Small nicks in rod eyes can be very hazardous to your line. Check them by rubbing a cotton swab over them to see if it catches at all.
GO THE EXTRA MILE
If you are looking for bigger fish, most likely you will be after one that has at one time or another escaped another fisherman. This means getting away from those spots that get pounded by everyone else. This could mean just walking to the less popular side of the small community lake or travelling a few more miles up river in your boat. If you are surf fishing go to some snooty, high end area where everyone just gazes at the water and no one fishes.It will be worth it to have them look down their nose at you when you land the monster! Lol! It worked for me!
I hope these tips have been helpful in your search to be able to land that whopper and tell even bigger fish stories. Here at Atko, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your fishing dreams. If you enjoyed this post, please share it on Facebook and while you are at it please give us a "follow". Also check out our fishing gear here on the site or on Amazon