These Ten Fishing Errors Can Ruin Your Trip

There is a Way to Have a Bad Day Fishing

Although a bad day fishing is a pretty hard thing to achieve, some errors in preparation for your trip can definitely put a kink in your plans. Avoid the mistakes below and you may never have a bad day fishing!

What NOT To Do

Below are ten errors that, if avoided, can help you to have a great day of fishing:

  • Go out without checking the weather. Whether you’re going out on a boat or to your local creek to bank fish, the weather is important! Check it before and during the fishing trip. If you’re going out far enough that cell coverage is unavailable, be sure to have a marine radio to keep track of potential changes.
  • Go fishing without a license or with an improper license. Conservation officers don’t care if you “left your license in your other pants” or if you were going to renew your license when you get paid. If you get caught fishing without a license or your license has expired then, at the least, you’re going to get sent home. At the worst, you could get your equipment confiscated and receive a pretty massive fine. Also, it’s important to know what type of license is needed for the waters you’re fishing in. Here in North Carolina, we have Inland and Coastal licenses. You can get your license HERE
  • Heading out with old or worn fishing line. Line ages as we use it. That is a simple fact. It’s also one of the least expensive things to keep maintained properly. Check your line often and replace it if it shows any signs of age.
  • Using dull or rusty hooks. “I GOT HIM!” “Oh damn, he broke off”. Don’t let that be you. Old, rusty and dull hooks can snap and leave you crying over that huge fish you were just getting ready to land. They also make it harder to hook the fish in the first place. If they look old, replace them!
  • Using a sledgehammer to kill a fly. If you’re using bluefish hooks to catch crappie, let me give you a little hint. You’re not going to catch any crappie. Use the right size hooks for the fish you’re targeting!
  • Not performing your safety check. Get one of those sharp, new perfectly sized
    two man riding boat photography

    hooks in your thumb and you’ll instantly wish you’d checked your first aid kit to make sure it’s fully stocked. Lose your balance while hooking that trophy bass and hit the water and you’re going to be disappointed if that PFD is old and soaking up water. 

  • Not checking your reels. Especially with baitcasters, make sure that your reels are set up properly for the lures or rigs you’ll be fishing. Nothing spells frustration better than casting your first cast of the day and spending the next half hour unspooling a bird nest. Also, on all of your reels, check your drag.
  • Don’t slack off! If you leave too much slack in your line while fishing, you’ll regret it. Beside increasing the possibility of getting your line snagged, you’ll also be more likely to miss a strike. Tight lines are the rule of the day!
  • Practicing “Catch, Release and Kill”. If you want to catch & release, don’t handle the fish you land with towels. It removes their protective slime coat and will result in their death. Also, handle the fish as little as possible. Sure, get your photo but don’t hold the fish horizontally by the mouth. That can result in a broken jaw and a dead fish.
  • Pulling up too close to other boats. Some people are out on their boats to socialize and that’s just wonderful. Tie up to each other and have a party! Anglers are out there to fish and many, like myself, enjoy the quiet and solitude. There’s a TON of water out there! Give other anglers reasonable space.

Avoiding these errors will keep the phrase “there’s no such thing as a bad day fishing” alive and well!

Tight Lines, My Friends!

Photo by Darry Lin on

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