Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
May 28, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Learning to Cast from a Boat

When taking a novice angler fishing on a boat, perhaps as a mentor or on a free fishing day, here are a few things to share:

1) One of the great parts of fishing from a boat is that you are going closer to the fish. Sometimes, you may even find yourself directly over fish. Long, forceful casts may not be necessary. A stealthy approach will be helpful too. Save the loud voices for the celebratory “Yee-ha!” for after landing that big one.

2) Consider the stability of the boat, when casting and landing fish. Pontoon boats are amazingly steady, allowing freedom to move around, but keep everyone seated in that canoe.

3) Position the beginning angler at the front of the boat. This will help you keep an eye on them (see Number 4). They may need assistance rigging, unhooking, or for a photo opportunity. Additionally, the front of the boat likely offers them first choice of casting targets.

4) All anglers on a boat need to develop an awareness of others aboard this floating island. When casting, allow ample spacing behind to avoid tangles, snapping off lures, and ears.

5) If spacing is tight, as on a tandem kayak, a side arm casting technique is much safer than overhead. Plus, a gentle, sweeping sidearm cast helps keep bait on a hook, instead of being launched across the lake.


Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at

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