Not every bass angler is a serious tournament competitor. I suspect many just want to have a day out with Mother Nature, away from it all, or they fish club tournaments as a hobby. Family, jobs and careers take precedence over fishing.
If you fit into one of those groups, you still want to get the most out of every hour you spend doing it. Here are six tips for your consideration…
Tie good knots
There are few things more frustrating than having a bass break your line, and most of those breaks come at the knot. But that doesn’t have to happen. The most important thing is to tie them correctly. There are several sites on the internet that have animations showing you exactly what to do and how to do it.
Another thing is to test them after you tie them. This is not the time to be gentle. Don’t be afraid to pull hard. Better it breaks in your hand than on a fish.
Spool your reels before you get in the boat
There’s no reason to waste valuable fishing and boating time spooling a reel. That can be done the night before while you’re watching television.
It’s especially important to do this with spinning reels. They twist and kink, no matter how careful you are with them. Get rid of all of that before your day on the water starts.
Sleep the night before you go
No one can be at their best without sleep. Go to bed early and get a good nights sleep. If you do, you’ll feel better, be more alert and make better decisions.
Drink water and eat snacks
Dehydration is more than something you hear about in the doctors office. It can sneak up on you before you realize it. Drink water periodically to stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. You’ll feel better and have a heck of a lot more fun.
Eating is important, too. I said snacks because you don’t have to take along a big, fancy lunch. Things like nuts, fruit, crackers, hard boiled eggs and the like will take the edge off and allow you to concentrate on catching bass.
Organize your boat
Organize your boat and keep it that way. Know what’s in it and where everything’s at. Believe me when I say that will make a whale of a difference in how your day goes. You’ll experience less frustration and more relaxation.
Control what you can
There’s no excuse for running out of gas. Why let it ruin your day. Fill your tank before you launch or make sure you know where to get it on the water and that the place you’re thinking about is open. And what about oil?
If something is important to your day, make sure you have it and that it works before you launch. Things like a file to touch up hooks, a knife and a landing net do you no good if they’re back at the house.
Make sure your trolling motor batteries are charged and that your electronics units are in the boat.
Do you have your medicine with you? If you take medicine periodically during the day, put what you’ll need in the boat. Your health is important. You won’t have fun if you’re sick.
What I’ve outlined here is simple, inexpensive and for the most part common sense. If you think about them and act on them, though, you’ll have more fun and catch more bass.
P.S.: I don’t want anyone to think I’m talking down to them. Most of what’s in this column comes from personal experience. I have an advanced degree from the "school of lessons learned the hard way."