Start Your Fishing Season Off on the Right Track


Every fisherman starts the New Year hoping to have a better fishing year than the last. So, what are your fishing wishes for this year? Let’s take a closer look at a few things to get your 2019 fishing season off on the right track.


Have a plan and a goal


Ask anyone. To succeed at something, you have to have a plan. Fishing is no different. If you have something that you want to start to get better at, you have to have a plan and a few goals. With that thought in mind, what is it that you want to achieve this year in your fishing? Could it be to learn a few new lakes, or maybe just learn your favorite lake better? These are great goals to have when starting any fishing season.


Learning resources


So, how do you go about reaching your goal? You will have to do some homework. If it is lake information that you are looking for, check with your state DNR site. They will have information of all the bodies of water that they manage in the state including records about creel census, netting numbers, and past stocking information.


Maybe you want to learn a new technique this year. YouTube videos are a great place to get started. See what is needed and how to fish this new presentation, then make your way to your local sports show. Ask your local experts their thoughts on how they fish this presentation. I bet you they will walk the aisles with you. They’ll probably show you exactly what is needed and where to get it.

To every method its season


When you have all you research done, execute your plan for your new technique when the time is right! If you try to do this out of its timeframe, you will not catch as many fish. You will get discouraged at your results and have a tendency to put it down. Fish this new pattern when the time is right, you will see better results and become a better fisherman in the long run.


I myself have a goal for this fishing year. I have been fishing a certain tournament circuit for many years now and have never won Angler of the Year. That title is my goal for 2019. It will take some hard work on my part, but this is an achievable goal.


So, make your goals out for this year’s fishing season and come up with a plan of how you can get the job done.


Organize your tackle


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Fishermen will all carry to much tackle. When it comes to adding more tackle to our system, all we do is add another tackle box or get a bigger one. Here is a system that I have been using for a while now that is pretty simple and it works. Take your tackle box; go through every compartment and ask two simple questions. One: did I use this bait last year? Two: did I catch fish on it? If you get a yes/yes answer, it stays in the box. If the answer is no, then out it comes. This will allow me to add new baits to my tackle without adding new boxes to my tackle system. It also helps keep all my tackle in check.


On another front, take the time to clean out your boat. Last year I ordered a new boat. I cleaned out my old one in the fall to get it ready for its new owner. I was amazed what I found in the boat. There were things that I had no clue when or why I even put them in the boat. When I got done cleaning it out, I could not believe how much stuff was in there. After seeing the pile of tackle sitting on a cart, I promised myself that only half of it was going into the new boat. I bet I lightened my tackle load by about 100 pounds or more.


Sharpen all your hooks


Now that you have all your tackle sorted out, it is time to sharpen all the hooks on your hard baits. I generally do this on a Saturday when my favorite fishing shows are on. I will grab my hard-bait box, sit in the recliner with a hot cup of coffee and start to sharpen hooks. By the time that all the fishing shows are done in a few weeks, all my baits in the box will have nice, sharp hooks. The fastest way you can lose a fish is with dull hooks. Do not let that happen. Make sure all your hooks are sharp before you tie that bait onto your line this season.


Get better with your electronics


One of the best ways to catch more fish is to use your electronics better. Make this the year that you get better with your electronics. One way is to go to a few seminars to learn about the units that you have on your boat. Also, make sure that you have your unit’s software updated to the highest level. I am on Humminbird’s National Pro Staff. We put out updates for a couple of different reasons. First, updates are used to take care of things we see that need improvement or correction. Second, we put out updates to give you new features. If you are not keeping up with the updates your electronics company is putting out, you are only cheating yourself.


Maybe this is the year that you buy a new unit altogether. Do your research. Figure out what unit it is that you want. Get it installed and start to watch YouTube videos to get an idea of how to run the unit. Once again, go to some seminars, talk to the pros and ask questions. That is one of the best ways to learn.


I hope some of these ideas will help you get your 2019 fishing season off to a good start. Figure out what you want to accomplish this year, set a few goals to help you along the way and get started.



Scott Petersen has been writing for the past 30 years. A Minnesota native, he has a passion to fish all seasons on ice and open water. “One of my main goals is to teach people how to fish through my articles and sport-show seminars.”