If you see other anglers catching lots of big fish and you just never seem to get lucky there must be a reason.
If you are a deer hunter you know that you don't enter the woods breaking limbs, talking loudly or playing the radio if you want any chance of having a successful hunt. You get your camo on, shut up, de-scent, hand signal, and sneak in way early in ultra-stealth mode and remain that way throughout the hunt.
These same hunters out for a day's fishing motor right up to their spot and drop the trolling motor with a thud, scrape around their tackle boxes and pound the floor as they clod around the boat slamming lids completely clueless they already have ruined their trophy chances before casting.
Capt. George Tunison
Never ending equipment malfunctions from zero maintenance, old worn out junk reels, short 25-yard casts due to inadequately filled reel spools causes constant frustration and loud swearing at non-hearing inanimate objects.
Some even enjoy blasting the radio sending out a steady bass drum beat through the bottom of the hull for 100 yards. If there's some grass in the water, at the end of each cast they power slap their lure on the water to get it off. The end of each and every retrieve is accompanied by a loud surface explosion, cast after cast.
They fish for 30 minutes, look at each other and proclaim: "Well, this place stinks, let's try somewhere else."
At the end of the day the results are usually pretty dismal and we find our wannabe trophy anglers proclaiming to everyone that will listen that "Pine Island must be fished out" or "the fishing stinks, must be too hot." Or better yet: "Everywhere we went today, the fish just didn't seem to be there."
Well, actually they were for about one, maybe two minutes.
Little do they realize that our waters team with trophies that didn't get that big by being stupid. A 45-inch snook caught while in kindergarten and got away with it can probably now name most rock tunes, trolling motor brands by hum, and tell what brand of fluorocarbon and sunscreen you are using. They have seen, heard, and smelled it all and they instantly recognize the noises that conjuror up memories of that bad day years ago when something had them and they couldn't get free. PTFF (post traumatic fish fear)
Sure, our pair of knot heads may boat some little trout and occasionally get lucky on a bigger but very depressed fish looking to commit hari-kari by knowingly swallowing your blatantly fake and poorly presented lure, but generally our boys are coming home less than elated about their day's adventure on the water.
These anglers usually repeat this clueless behavior season after season, never learning, passing it on to their children, which in a way is fine with me as it improves my trophy chances and those of my clients in the seasons to come.
Just for fun, jump in the water this summer and go under and let your buddy clod around the boat and bang a few lids. Then you just might finally understand. The hollow spaces (sound chambers) in the hull, amplifies the deck sound and transmits it through the hull into the water very efficiently. A 10-inch trout might stay around, but that trophy snook knows those sounds mean danger.
Shut down way back from your spot. Drift, pole, or troll to your casting area. Pick up your feet Mr. Clodhopper and walk lightly, soundlessly. Become aware of your bad boat habits and correct them. Stay put and cast. Constant shifting from one side to the other sends out pressure waves from the hull alerting trophies in eight-inch water
Stealth, preparation, knowledge, and simple common sense are the keys to successful trophy angling.
Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.flyingfinssportfishing,com.