The Top Five Mistakes We ALL Make as Anglers

Mike Iaconelli
Mike Iaconelli

This one is going to be short and to the point. There’s no reason to go on and on. All we need to do is list them and then make sure we avoid them. That’s easier to say than do. I know that. I struggle with them myself. Nevertheless, we’ll ALL catch more fish if we keep them in mind and avoid them like the plague.

We don’t listen to the fish

I know fish can’t talk. But their actions say it all. Every fish—no exceptions—tells us something. It was where it was for a reason or reasons and bit our lure for a reason or reasons. If we figure out what and why that was, we’ll catch more of them.

Make note of the water depth, the cover, the structure, the water temperature, the water clarity and especially the bait you were using and how you were fishing it.

We fish history, not the moment

It’s not yesterday, the day before, last week, last month or last year. It’s today at this specific moment in time. Fish it!

It’s not a sin to think about the past. History can give us clues as to where and what we might do when we start our day. But, fish are prehistoric coldblooded creatures. They don’t know about time. They know only about their immediate surroundings and what’s happening to them in the moment.

So, the only logical thing to do is to fish the moment.

We get stubborn

We get tunnel vision based on what we think the fish should be doing. The problem is that sometimes they don’t get the memo.

I have a basic rule. No matter how good the area or what I think will catch them I don’t fish more than an hour in the same place or with the same lure. We have to accept the fact that sometimes we’re wrong.

We fish too fast

There are times when covering water makes sense. There are also times, however, when we need to slow down.

Moving slow lets us see things with our electronics that we miss when we’re moving fast. Slow down and pay attention to the details. And, especially when we’re flipping, pitching or fishing a lure on the bottom we need to hit every place around us no matter how small or insignificant it may seem at the time.

Doing this sometimes seems like a waste of time but it isn’t. It’s fishing efficiently.

We ignore our line

It doesn’t matter who makes your line, or what it is made out of—mono, fluorocarbon or braid. It will get worn and damaged. When you’re fishing, or catching, check it carefully and replace it or tie a new knot. I’m thinking after every fish or every 15 minutes or so.

We don’t want to lose a fish of a lifetime because we were too lazy to do this.

Nothing in this blog should be taken personally by any reader. I’m as guilty of doing these things as anyone. In fact, all anglers struggle with them. The thing is, though, those who fight them off catch more fish at the end of the day.

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