DO use bright lures. Fish are most attracted to lures that look new and bright. On your next visit to the store, purchase just enough lures to last a few trips. Always rinse used lures and allow them to dry before putting them back in the tackle box.
DO NOT put away your reel without giving it a good soak. Always soak your reel in a bucket of fresh water for several hours prior to putting it away. This will remove any saltwater from the line and the interior corners of the reel.
DO learn the Bimini Twist. Also known as the Twenty-Times-Around knot, the Bimini Twist is the only knot that maintains 100% strength under even the toughest conditions.
DO NOT pull the line immediately after you’ve hooked a fish. After you’ve hooked a fish, wait an extra few seconds to make sure the bait or lure is completely inside the fish’s mouth. The best way to time this is to wait until you feel a significant amount of pressure on the line.
DO understand tidal currents. This is a key factor to understand because it has a big impact on how you fish since the movement of the water does not always follow high and low tides. In areas such as inlets and channel entrances, fish respond more to the direction and speed of water movement than to the actual height of the tide. However, in open water, the height of the tide is more important.
DO NOT disregard your live bait. Live bait is one of the best ways to catch large fish, so take good care of it by using good circulation and cool water. When incoming water isn’t possible, make sure to use a quality aerator to maintain circulation. Change the water every few hours in an aerated non-circulating system, and keep the temperature cool as warm water cannot hold as much oxygen.
DO use noisy lures. Using noisy top water lures that rattle or pop are easier for fish to find, especially in turbid water. The choppier the water, the larger your lures should be.
DO NOT just throw a tired fish back in the water. When a tired and lethargic fish is thrown back in the water, it’ll most likely die. Give the fish a hand by moving it back and forth in still water or facing it upstream in current. This will assist in getting the respiratory system back in good condition. Use wet hands when you handle the fish, and wait until you feel the fish beginning to move on its own before letting go.
DO attach lures to the line or leader with a loop knot. This will create a more natural action with the line and make it easier to attract fish. This technique works best for live bait as well.
DO NOT use too much or too little chum. There are three main components to chumming: fresh or fresh-frozen food, a current, and judicious use. Your goal with chumming is to create a line of food that attracts fish from far away. If there is too much food over a short period of time, the fish will stay put and just eat. If you use too little chum, it will not motivate the fish to move. The best technique is to start slowly and gradually increase the chum until the fish start to follow.
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