My 10 Commandments of 
Great Lakes Fishing

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By Capt. John King
These are the guidelines that I've used in my fishing career over the past 33 years.

  1. I shall put safety above all else.  
    Mother Nature is nothing to fool with.  Do you know what they call people who take chances on the water? ...STATISTICS!  Keep your boat mechanically sound.

  2. I will be a leader and not a follower.  
    Fish your own fish and have confidence in yourself and equipment.  Look at it like I do, "hey, we all buy our tackle in the same packages."

  3. I won't leave fish to find fish.  
    Sometimes you're better off to wait for them to get hungry or active rather than heading off to an unproductive area.  

  4. I shall remember to keep my hooks sticky sharp.  
    Sharpening hooks is a fact of life because even brand new hooks just out of the package will have chrome plating over the hook point making it dull.

  5. I shall keep in mind Scotch and water don't mix. 
    Alcohol don't get it while on the Great Lakes.  Besides, alcohol dulls the senses and takes away your alertness to subtle changes in fish behavioral patterns.

  6. I shall be as courteous as possible.  
    Hey, we've all had fish cut off by other boats, or been pushed into shallow water by discourteous helmsmen and it don't feel good.  Nobody has an absolute right of way.

  7. I will not have a favorite lure.
    No lure will work under all conditions best, because no particular bait will produce all season long or under a wide variety of light conditions.  My favorite lure is the one that caught the fish we just boated.

  8. I will not be misled by radio traffic.  This is an easy one to fall for.  
    By the time you get to the area, most times, because of the migratory nature of Salmon and Trout, the fish have moved.

  9. I will respect the water resource above all else.  It belongs to us and if we don't take care of it nobody will.  Keep a trash can aboard with spare liners and it keeps the boat mess down to a bare minimum. 

  10. I will my limit catch and take only what's needed. 
    I've seen the rise and demise of  fish populations in the Great Lakes Watershed over the past 32 years.  Besides, releasing some fish to do battle another day always feels good.  Fish left in the freezer over 3 months are not tasty.