Mistakes to Avoid

Home ] 2011 Events ] Tips and Trix ] Capt. John's Log ] Members Only ]

Common Mistakes I've Seen  

1.   The biggest and one of the most glaring is when I'm putting the hurt to the fish at a slow or fast speed I don't see the other boats close to me adjust their speed to mine, duh!  Always be alert to boats in you area and copying speed is the first step to a full box.

2.   Most fishing articles I seen are full of misinformation complete with the magic formula to success that seldom works, if ever.  There's no 10 commandments written in stone.......be flexible or be skunked.

3.   Godzilla monster hook sets like "Casey at Bat" are a complete waste of time and the only good that will come of them is when a customer pulls the hook out of his fish and it's one less fish that I'll have to clean.

4.   Cannonballs that aren't all the same size or weight and won't track the same.  Fish shaped weights allow the currents to push them all over the place.

5.   People that get juiced on the water with booze are loosing their "edge" on awareness when it comes to minor changes in the patterns of the fish.  

6.   People who radio fish are making a tragic mistake.  The radio is all over the lake and the boat your in is in one place.  I leave mine off on the weekends so I don't get misled by faulty info.  The temperature layers in Lake Michigan can vary a bunch in a couple of miles and 50 feet down 5 miles up the lake don't mean nothing to your area.

7.   People in the fog with no radar (Duh?).  I bought my first one when I had a close call in the freighter channel back in 1991.

8.   Fishermen who follow directly behind me when I'm cutting a path through the fish and beating up on them, your better off to get the side....why plow dead water that already been cut through.  Never direct follow the boat ahead of you, if you do you'll get the pitiful leftovers and that won't be much.

9.   Folks who turn around because they caught a fish in certain GPS coordinates, just keep going because by the time you turn around, the fish that where there have probably moved.

10.  Anglers who spend way to much dough on premium fishing lines like Maxima.  While Maxima is great line to use if you can afford it, I'll use Ande and get the same results for less money.

11.  People who just plain forgot to learn how to tie a blood knot, palomar, rapala, trilene and improved clinch.  With these 5 knots you can conquer this Salmon thing.  Click here for knot info  Learning how to Snell is helpful too, when your making yarn flies on the river bank or rigging up two hook harnesses for squids.  
     Here's a valuable tip so listen up:  Moisten the knot your tying with plain old saliva or spit to decrease the heat when cinching down the mono and helps lubricate the knot, without the little kinkies you get ahead of the knot increasing the strength.
     Another tip is to get in the habit of trimming your knots with about 3/16 on an inch left on the tag or clipped end.

12.  Folks who don't slow the boat down when they're fighting a fish.  This I'll only do in tournaments with super experienced anglers on the sticks (rods). 

13.  If you're to lazy to keep an eye on your hooks for sharpness, you might as well stay at home.  The 4 inch Luhr Jensen Hook File is a must.  Click here to see one Watch for bent over point plus pinched barbs and make sure before shipping the spoon that just took a fish, the hook hasn't slid up into the spilt ring or it will be "Fish offf" when that Salmon starts twisting and turning.

14.  Folks who don't net a fish head first or those who don't use a net release to keep the mesh bag from dragging back.  Click here to see net release

15.  People who stop reeling and loosen up on the pressure on the rod allowing the fish to relax and dissipate the lactic acid that has been building up in the fishes muscles.  This causes the fight to start over again from the beginning on a semi fresh fish again.

16.  Anglers who point their rod straight at the fish.  Hey, you point a rifle and we're not deer hunting so keep a decent bend in the rod.  This way the rod can serve as a shock absorber too.

17.  Too tight on the drag setting can cause heat to build up on the rod guides and melt the monofilament line if you got a reel screamer on...I had this happen to me before.

18.  The fisherman that doesn't keep his line full to the top of the spool is asking for trouble in two ways: first a big tuna can strip it all off what little is there and what I consider most important the ability to gather line up as fast a possible.  A full spool takes up more line per crank of the handle.

19.   Being to broke to pay attention is a fatal mistake.  All of the really good fishermen I've been around have a silent awareness to them and don't miss strikes.  They turn releases into fish in the box. 

20.   Not checking the last 3 to 5 feet of line for nicks after just landed a respectable sized Salmon.  Their body rubs against the terminal end of the line like you can't believe so pay attention to this tip and it just might save you that trophy of a life time.  Also keep a close watch on the piece of line that enters your release mechanism, this is where it gets the nastiest abuse.

21.   Nimrods who insist on using lead core in crowed conditions.  My experience with it and I've used it for about the past 10 years is that sure it will catch fish 400 feet behind the boat on a single core (100 yards) but it costs you the ability to maneuver in traffic.  I didn't use much of it last season because the profound pressure off Manistee has become to say the least intense and if you check out the photos galleries we hung some pretty impressive racks on the meat hooks without the use of dreaded lead core rods.  The truth here is; that it's not a sporting way to catch a fish......reel fact!

MichiganSportsman Copyrightę2000