There is nothing quite like having the freedom to explore new fishing spots in your very own boat, spending quality time with family and friends and reeling in that big catch of the day. Owning a boat places you in a prime position to enjoy one of Australia’s favourite recreational activities.
Whether you prefer the calm, tranquil waters found in rivers and lakes with freshwater fishing or the excitement of pursuing deep sea fishing in the open ocean, here are some helpful tips and reminders to get the most out of your next big fishing adventure on your boat.
Here’s our Top 10 Tips for Safety and Success when Fishing on a Boat
- Be Prepared Before Leaving Land
More likely than not, once you leave the land, you won’t be coming back for some time. Ensuring you are fully prepared before heading out to fish is important. Make a list of needed items and check them off before you leave, such as bait, safety gear, bug spray ect.
- Make Sure The Weather Is On Your Side
It can be a very simple thing to overlook, but make sure you aren’t planning a fishing excursion on days the weather is predicted to heavily storm. Being stuck on a boat during a heavy downpour is not only not safe, but no good for fishing conditions. It changes the water flow, so fish have a harder time staying in position and seeing your bait. Furthermore, you don’t want any damage caused to your boat by stormy conditions.
In terms of ideal weather conditions, each has their advantages. Normally when it’s very sunny fish are going to move to cooler, deeper water in an attempt to hide from the brightness of the sun. Despite this, the right amount of sunlight can make certain fish more active, especially in shallower water. Overcast is often considered one of the best fishing times, despite the risk of wild weather, as fish like to look for food before a storm.
- Wear The Right Gear
As with any outdoor activity, it’s important to be properly dressed. Solid footwear in the form of boots is essential, as there is a good chance you will be in, or at least wading through water. Fishing can be a day long activity so pack clothing accordingly. Temperatures can drop significantly in the evening so make sure you bring enough layers to keep warm, and be sure to have a life jacket.
- Size Matters With Your Anchor
Having the right anchor is crucial if you want to anchor properly down in one spot. To hold well, it needs to be sized properly. To get an understanding of what size best fits your boat, check marine retailers who publish manufacture sizing charts. Keep in mind sometimes a larger sized anchor may be more beneficial depending on where you’re fishing, like deep waters. There is also disparity between anchor brands with sizing, so it can be worthwhile to double-check another manufacture’s chart as a second reference. An anchor chain is needed as well. As a general rule, the minimum chain length should be the same length as your boat. Of course, having more can be useful, especially as it aids the anchor’s holding power.
- Cover Large Fishing Areas By Trolling
A technique often used in lakes and oceans is trolling. This method of fishing allows you to cover a large area from your boat relatively quickly. By securing polls to the boat and casting the lines over long distances, a slow moving boat can go trolling through the water and have much success catching certain fish with reduced effort.
If trolling in the sea where there is a dominant swell, ensure your boat is moving in that direction and not against it. Big fish swim in the same direction as the ocean to save energy, and they will be more inclined to chase a lure if you are moving with them.
- Move And Cast When Trolling
An effective way to catch fish is to combine trolling with moving between populated areas along the shoreline, before stopping and casting your line. This technique allows you to work your way around a lake to effectively find the best fishing areas, maximising your haul. Remember to mark down key spots so you can double back to them later to cast out again.
- Utilise Electronics and Technology
Technology is here to help, and there are many gadgets you can use from your boat to assist your fishing trip. GPS and sounders can dramatically improve your fishing, as these electronics have become increasingly accurate over the years with their technology continual getting better. A sounder can track schools of fish and work on autopilot acting like your eyes underwater. More expensive sounders give a clearer picture, so it’s something to consider when making an initial purchase.
- Develop A Plan For the Day
Before taking your boat out on the water, have a think about the ways you’re going to approach your fishing that day. Developing a plan of attack is important to efficiently make use of your time and get the most out of your trip. Know what type of fish you’re aiming to catch, and then check the best tidal, wind and weather conditions for when that species is at its most active. Likewise, know what rod and bait type are considered the most effective in the area you plan to fish.
- Keep Gear Maintained
It becomes good practice to check your equipment before heading out, as properly maintained tackle can be the difference between a good fishing session and a great one. Regular inspection and replacement of mainlines on reels is vital, specifically if you’re using monofilament lines that wear out quickly. Be sure to inspect your fishing leader and run your hand over them to feel for any marks or nicks, a sign that they may need replacement.
- Be Patient
It goes without saying that patience goes hand in hand with fishing. Persistence pays off, so take your time to make certain you are ready to convert that opportunity when it finally arrives. Knowing there will be times of fishless hours will help you better prepare for when the fish can’t stop biting.
If you are new to boating and fishing from a boat, we hope these tips provide you with some extra guidance of what is good to do, and how to take care of yourself and your boat when out on the water. Send us your pics to our Facebook page when you get the catch of the day!!