Fishing during the early season offers plenty of perks. The fish are more likely to come out of the gate hungry for a fish attractant, and there's also less competition between you and the other anglers. But there's a reason why it's not popular. Many people are turned off by the quickly-changing conditions in the water, which can ultimately make for some pretty fruitless (and fishless) trips. Here are a few tips, so you're less likely to strike out.
1. Ready Your Gear
There's no need to buy out the store, but if you're going to fish during the early season, you'll need to have enough gear to handle anything from deep waters to shallow rocks. The more you have on hand, the more likely you'll be able to adapt in any given situation.
2. Forecast Your Plans
The weather is going to have a lot to do with how you fish. The warmer it is, the happier the fish are to move out of the depths. When it's cold though, you're going to need to plunge a lot further down. This is why having enough gear is more of a necessity than a luxury.
3. Wait It Out
Early-season fish are on their own timeline, so you might need to disregard your own schedule when you head out. It may take a while, but nothing can turn to everything pretty quickly. A good fish attractant can also make a world of difference.
4. Pack the Extras
Yes, you'll need gear for the fish, but make sure you have gear for you too. A spare change of clothes and extra layers can come in handy when the wind kicks up. Being warm and comfortable makes it possible for you to make the most of every trip.
5. Focus on Big Fish
This is another advantage of early season — you're more likely to catch the largest fish. So while you may only catch one for every three trips, it's likely to be a stunner. Having the right expectations can also keep you motivated.
6. Don't Ignore Your Casts
When you're out on the water and casting for what feels like the thousandth time, it's easy to lose focus. Unfortunately, that always seems to be the time when you get a bite and then inevitably lose it.
7. Find the Bait
If you're fishing for species with natural bait, always look for schools of their food first. When you can hide amongst the feast, your lure is that much more likely to be confused with an everyday snack.