"Blueprint for Success" by Bay Flats Lodge
June 12, 2013
In a perfect world, all you would have to do in order to be considered a success at coastal angling is to launch your boat, run across the bay, hop into the water, toss your favorite lure, and begin catching fish. But we all know that this simply isn’t the way things happen in reality, at least not for me in the years that I’ve been fishing. I’ve generally had to rely on lots of planning, strategy, and due-diligence in order to reap the rewards that I have experienced in the past. Intuition has also played a large role in my years on the water, and I will even throw in the distinct possibility that I’ve been extremely lucky on several occasions by just being in the right place at exactly the right time. We’ve probably all been there at one time or another in our fishing careers, but that just isn’t the way fishing trips usually end-up happening for most anglers, most of the time. However, there are some simple things that anglers can try that can possibly enhance their success rate on a regular basis.
I absolutely love to fish, so I work hard at it. But at the same time, I strive to keep things uncomplicated. For example, you probably won’t ever see me rushing out to be one of the first to buy the latest-and-greatest saltwater lure that’s just hit the market and that everyone seems to be talking about. Nowadays, with all the new technologies and latest techniques, it can quickly become all too easy for anglers to lose sight of their main objective of catching fish. All kinds of new lures and new techniques have been introduced over the years, but I prefer using the ones which have repeatedly produced for me in the past. Why? Because I’ve come to be able to rely on them because I know that they work. Also, using a lure that you know works for you can build your confidence tremendously, which is something you’ll certainly need in order to be successful each time you’re out on the water – if you don’t truly believe in yourself and the tools you’re using, then you’re probably already halfway defeated.
In an effort of getting to another level of detail regarding lures, I think it’s also necessary for me to mention to you the importance of you remaining versatile in your selection. I realize I just mentioned that you should use lures which have produced for you in the past, but this isn’t to say that you should simply throw that favorite top water you caught all your fish on during your last fishing trip regardless of the conditions you may be fishing in today. Instead, let the water call the shots as to what color(s) to use. When the water is really clear I usually prefer using smaller lures and maybe even a smaller diameter fishing line while throwing brighter colors, unless the day is overcast. In dirty water I routinely will throw the larger baits in darker colors. Nonetheless, I work to restrain myself from simply tossing my favorite baits unless the conditions appear to support that decision.
If you’ve read any of my past columns, then you have heard me speak of my preference for starting out early each morning in shallow water before trying my luck out deeper. I always like trying the shallows first because I’ve found that following the bait can be very productive. Shallow water cools quite rapidly during the nighttime hours, making them a preferred environment for the bait. The shallows also offer protection to both the baitfish and the game fish in that it provides them with a safe overnight haven from other marine predators of surrounding deeper waters. Besides, it always seems to be much easier to catch fish in shallow water simply due to the fact that you don’t have to deal with trying to work different types of lures throughout varying levels of the water. My golden rule, again, is to start out early in shallow and then follow the bait out to deeper water as the day progresses and the shallows begin to warm under the heat from the morning sun.
There are a number of other things you can do to help enhance your odds at success like reading magazines, watching television, surfing the internet, or hiring a professional guide, but the one last topic I want to mention is one that’s become very important to me over the years. Use acceptable equipment! Spend a couple extra dollars for some good line, and replace it prior to your next fishing trip regardless of whether it looks like it needs, or not. It’s one of the least expensive things you can do to keep from having a break-off with a really nice fish. Another simple thing you can do is make sure everything else is in working order before your trip. As for your reel, I’ve discovered the hard way that trying to be “el-cheapo” in this area can be extremely costly. I’m not proposing you need to buy the most expensive reel available, but buying the absolute least expensive one can (and will) cost you dearly, especially in saltwater conditions and with larger fish. Just food for thought!
July is going to be here before we know it, and it can be a great month to catch plenty of fish if you fish wisely. It can also become a month of frustration for many anglers due to the transition that the trout generally make from shallow to deep. The successful July angler may need to start early, stay late, transition to a bit deeper water on occasion, and be properly prepared for a full day of hot sun.
What makes your fishing more successful? We would love to hear from you...
Bay Flats Lodge, Inc.
P.O. Box 580
Seadrift, Texas 77983-0580
Lodge Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z97C5pSEWCc