“Honey, I’m leaving for fishing practice now, see you later.”

What? Fishing practice? Sounds absurd doesn’t it? While your spouse or significant other may be suspicious, I submit it’s not absurd at all. We practice hoops, golf, shooting-heck every sport we engage in except fishing.

I wouldn’t waste valuable hunting time without practicing with any new equipment or touching up rusty skills but yet that’s exactly what I often do when it comes to fishing. Whether a new rod, reel, bait, trolling motor, depth finder or even a completely new boat my ‘practice’ usually takes place during actual fishing time. Not very smart but I’m certainly not alone. I really don’t know anyone that practices fishing.

When I was guiding I sometimes saw people whose casting skills weren’t very good. I think most of us could use a little practice there believe it or not. It sure is something we can do in our yards, behind our apartment, in a park, or wherever, we don’t need water. Get to the point you can hit or hit near your target every cast-then try again into or cross wind. Bet that changed things didn’t it? Now put on a lightweight lure or one that’s aerodynamically challenged and try it. Eye opening I bet. Take a buddy along and make bets on the most accurate casts – you’ll improve in a hurry. My point is we can all improve and all get better and believe me, that will help when you need to land clean in that weed pocket next year.

What about new baits? Try them before season. We can all access water somewhere. Get familiar with them and how they work before you start the season.

As those that fish with me know, boat control is a big thing to me. We can ALL get better at it. That’s a fact. I’ve been blessed to fish with many of the best in the world and ALL could get better. How? Practice is a smart way. Particularly if you have a new boat. Practice in the wind. In current. Whether backtrolling or using your electric learn what you and your boat can and can’t do. Learn on a sand beach, with you and a friend wearing bathing suits, rather than the hard way, on rocks when you can not only damage or lose your boat but put yourself and any partners at risk. Better boat control=more fishing success. Fact.

“Yes dear, you heard me right, I’m going to fishing practice.”

Remember: thinking is just being thoughtful.

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