(StatePoint) Want to catch your limit this fishing season? You`ll need practice and time-tested wisdom.
"Even with the basics down, perfecting your techniques can help you take home bigger catches. A day on the water is a learning opportunity for a novice or a seasoned fisherman," says Joe Cermele, fishing editor of Field & Stream magazine and author of the new handbook, "The Total Fishing Manual: 317 Essential Fishing Skills."
With that in mind, Cermele is providing anglers of all levels fishing pro secrets he's learned from years of experience:
o Use the right gear: No matter how you slice it, there's no one rod, reel, bait, or lure that will get the job done in every situation with as much success as gear tailored to specific fishing tasks. Choosing the right tackle means thinking about more than what kind of fish you plan to catch. Your surroundings, weight of baits and lures, distance you need to cast, and fighting ability of the species, are just a few factors that must be considered when gear shopping.
o Farm your own bait: Worms can attract more fish than any other bait, but they're often difficult to find just when you need them most. Consider propagating your own steady supply of wigglers with a worm farm.
o Perfect your techniques: In many cases, subtle nuances that change the presentation of bait or lure in a minor way can produce major results. The more techniques you have in your repertoire, the better prepared you'll be to catch fish under any conditions.
o Listen to Mother Nature: Believe it or not, there are other methods of figuring out when the fishing's hot besides looking up Internet reports. For example, if it's fall and you want giant walleyes, wait until the same time leaves start falling. The air temperature will likely be cold enough to lower local water temperatures to a range that kicks on the walleyes' instinct to pack on the pounds before winter.
o Find your secret fishing spot: Those little ponds in manicured neighborhoods and tucked behind strip malls can surprise you with bass, pickerel, crappies, and bluegills that are bigger and less pressured than those in the closest reservoir. Use Google Maps, to find those small bodies of water, searching a mile or two at a time in all directions. For hidden gems, focus on housing developments, shopping centers, and office complexes.
o Sneak Up on Fish: Fish are extremely sensitive to vibrations and instantly become wary when they sense an intruder. After wading into a new area, stand perfectly still for two minutes. It will feel like an hour, but you'll get more strikes. In a boat, approach the area you plan to fish at a low speed and wait two minutes after shutting off your motor before casting.
More fishing tips can be found at Cermele's blog, www.FieldAndStream.com/blogs/honest-angler.
With experience comes intuition, and with intuition comes technique. Make this season your most successful one yet.