One of the biggest attractions to fishing is that there is always something new to learn. Every time you drop a line in the water, you have the opportunity to pick up a new technique, discover something different about the behavior patterns of your favorite species, or learn something you didn’t know about how certain changes in weather affect the bite. The bottom line is, you can never know everything there is to know about fishing. Angling offers a constant process of discovery that lends itself well to certain post-fishing rituals. Here are four examples of rituals that you can think about adopting after your next outing:
- Track your experiences in a fishing log. You may notice that the bite is consistently slow under certain conditions or that the bite really turns on in a few of your favorite spots when using specific baits at the same time the atmospheric pressure is dropping. Log some notes on a small memo pad about where you fished (including the time and date), what you used, what the weather conditions were like, and how the water clarity may have affected the fishing. Be sure to look for consistent patterns so you can adjust your schedule and techniques to produce the best possible results.
- Take inventory of tackle and gear. After a day of fishing, anglers often think about what other kinds of lures, baits, weights or gear they could have used to yield better results. Instead of just thinking about it, get your tackle box back out and take inventory of your gear. If there are certain types of tackle that might be more useful on your next trip out or basic items that you are running low on, make a list and plan to pick them up at your local tackle shop or sporting goods store.
- Check your fishing line for abrasions. Fishing line can easily rub up against the sides of the boat, trees, rocks, and a variety of other objects. This can lead to lost fish if the line has weakened or frayed. Find a piece of nylon stocking, then try rubbing it up and down the length of your line to check for abrasions after each trip. If the nylon snags, you’ll want to take a look at the line and change it to be on the safe side.
- Plan a “meet up” and share your tales with other anglers. We all know that anglers bond over fish tales, so why not schedule a local “meet up” or club gathering to share your post-fishing experiences with others? New anglers will appreciate advice from veteran anglers and the veteran anglers will appreciate the enthusiasm of those new to the sport.
What post-fishing rituals do you practice? How do you feel they contribute in a positive manner to your growth as an angler?