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How to have a pleasant fishing day

Fishing is a great hobby as well as a great professional activity. Most recreational fishermen either do this activity for fun, prestige, or for a great bream meal at the end of the day along with the family. But being frank, fishing can often turn out to be quite boring because you either chose the wrong period or the wrong lake or not catch one fish during that day. It may also become frustrating that only small fishes catch the hook. Maybe you forgot some essential gear? The amount of things that can ruin your day are endless, but there are some general guidelines in order to be at least confident that you will have a great fishing day.

I will start by enumerating the type of gear you need to be sure is in your bag.

  1. Enough line

fishing line

Yes, you might not get to meet that 50 lbs. fish which only lives at the bottom of the lake, but line always tangles and breaks in various vegetation and not having enough to replace it can ruin your entire day.

  1. Extra hooks

fishing hooks

These often get misplaced, and since they are small, they are easy to forget at home. Since the fishing line can often break, the hook will obviously remain stuck in the fish, vegetation, etc. That is why you need to carry extra hooks just in case. See how I do not talk about extra bobbers. That is because those float and are easy to find if anything happens, although it wouldn’t be wrong if you added one or two extra bobbers to your backpack.

  1. Extra everything

fishing equipment

I do not advise to get anything that you don’t really need but when speaking of items that you feel you might easily lose like sinkers, lures, line cutters, etc. then you need to get some extra pieces of those as well.

  1. Worms or the bait you prefer

worms for fishingGet enough worms and preferably go for the bait you like. It makes everything easier.

  1. An outdoor watch and a smartphone

fishing stuff

I am not a fan of smartphones but they come in pretty handy sometimes. You might want to look up something about a type of fish on Google, or entertain yourself when nothing is on the hook. An outdoor watch or a G-Shock is also a must because these offer great tools like a compass or different useful sensors for various situations. While G-Shocks, in particular, are not fishing watches, there are a lot of versions with sunrise and sunset data, moon phase indicators and all that which can easily be used by fishermen. I could mention the G-Shock GWM5610 and the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster SBBN035 which are my favorite.

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Now that was the gear. What about other aspects that can help you have a good fishing day?

  1. Keep a positive attitude

Think about the positive aspects of your day and try to relax. You will find that very easy to do since you are surrounded by nature.

  1. Do not despair if you haven’t caught anything in hours

It’s not about what you catch but how you felt doing it. You may catch a lot of fish and still be unhappy. Try to concentrate on other aspects which make you happy since you are not out there trying to make money. I genuinely think you should not worry if fish do not want to get on the hook for the first hours.

  1. Find a lake that you like going to

fishing in lovely environment

This is very important. You should love the environment that surrounds you. I generally go for quiet, small lakes, those yet to be discovered gems are the best.

  1. Be sure to respect the law

Make sure you have all the permits and documents required by law in order to have a hassle-free experience.

  1. Remember it’s all about the experience

Many recreational fishermen seem to forget that fishing should be a pleasant activity. Do not expect to get the biggest fish or expect to get money out of this. As a recreational fisher, you should concentrate on your experience and pleasure above everything.

That’s all I can think of. If you have any suggestions I am more than happy to hear from you.

How to Fish with a Flashlight

Most fish out there are photo tactic, just as insects are. It’s pretty common that fish would search for food in places well lit. Which is why it’s such a nice experience to night fish in midsummer and early autumn, as the water temperature is nice and warm.

Using light for fishing

There are several light sources that you may use for fishing, not only a flashlight. You may also use a torch or any light source from a close building or street lamp as well.

For instance, if you decide to go for a torch, it’s better to know first your fishing spot before nightfall and cast enough for attracting fish. You need a clear view of the float, which is why it’s best to throw the light of your torch ahead of the fishing float. You may easily fix a bulb at the top of your fishing rod and connect it with electrical wire, drying the batteries at the bottom.

If you plan to use a light source from a close building or a street lamp, you can definitely count on some omnivorous or carnivorous fish looking for some drown insects. It’s almost like fishing at the daytime. You can use the bigger hook and the luminous floats to enlarge the biting signals, raising up your chances for landing the perfect fish.

When you’re fishing in an area with no natural light source, it’s a great idea to use lantern for lighting. It’s best to find a place where you can easily place your lantern vertically. Check it so that is doesn’t fall and pay attention to the fish 🙂

Keep this in mind when fishing with a flashlight

Just to make it all clear: you’d better get a tactical flashlight when fishing as it’s designed to take a fall, some splashes and to give bright light in the darkest night.

For instance, when you fish on a lake or pond, you should use a strong flashlight that gets deep into the water (now you get it why a tactical flashlight is a better choice?) so that you may attract some small baitfish. Young fish really like the light, whereas adult fish really like…the young fish. Therefore, a good lantern for fishing has to be bright, waterproof and able to shine down into the water, bringing up very small fish. You are actually going for the bigger fish that goes after the small fish that goes after the light…quite catchy, right?

Strong Flashlight

You may go for a battery operated fluorescent lantern that is very bright on its high mode. It’s great if you may hang it over some gunwale and if it’s waterproof/. You should have the patience for it though, as it may take around half an hour until the action actually begins. However, after all, if you didn’t have the patience, you wouldn’t be reading this anyway 🙂

Let’s give you even more tips. Use lead head jigs that look like fry and minnows and hang them into the water at different depths, with only a little bit of jigging effect. As for the results, it’s all relate to your luck. You may catch four casts in a row, on a lucky night.

In addition, if you’re trying to teach your offspring how to fish, never miss the opportunity of night fishing! For kids is a great, fun adventure to try!

What kind of flashlight should you use?

Some say that you should definitely try the halogen lamps as they give yellow light and are quite powerful, resulting in a very intense light. After all, the whole point in night fishing is to use a flashlight with bright light. There are some downsides though as they do overheat when running for long. You should get more than one with you. If the light is too dim, you can’t really see the fish, whereas if it’s too bright, you may have your eyes hurt.

halogen lamps flashlights

Don’t hesitate to use Xenon lamp beads that feature large-capacity batteries as power source. A flashlight like this presents high brightness, a battery that holds its charge for long, a long range and…it’s quite durable as well. The catch? They do have bulky bodies and may not be that comfortable to use after a while.

Another choice for the night fishing would be the common LED light flashlight. its light is whiter than in halogen type, but it may also be very bright and durable. The risk for overheating is minor and this type of flashlight has low power consumption also.

If you’re ready to step up your game, you should definitely try the night fishing flashlights that use blue light or purple light LEDs. They’re actually great for finding the fluorescent powers on the fish’s tail and they don’t have to  be very bright in order to be efficient.

Keep in mind that, even if the UV light is good for fishing, it’s actually harmful for humans. UV light has the shortest wavelength and the most powerful light transmittance, which is why it’s not good for the human eye.

Play it safe and wise and go for the blue light when night fishing as it’s harmless to human and it’s dependable as well. It’s not too strong, but reflective enough to reach so you may see what lies in the water.

fishing with the blue light

How to Fillet a Catfish

Filleting a catfish is no fun, but let’s start with the fun part. The one about getting the catfish in the first place.

Many of you actually like to catch their own catfish, but we’re not gonna talk about that. Just make sure you are not fishing in a polluted or heavy metal laden waterway.

You can also get a catfish from a friend, buy a live one or…get a dead one instead. Even though the last one may feel like a total cop-out, who are we to judge? After all, it’s what you put on the table that counts the most 🙂

Step 1: Start with the head

catfish head cutAssuming your catfish is already dead (not a pretty picture, we all know), begin by cutting through the sink in a ring, all around the bade of the head. You will come back in this area later and you only need to do this to get a better grip on your fish.

 

Step 2: Get rid of the fins

You continue with cutting off  the back (dorsal) and stomach (ventral) fins as you want to handle easier your catfish. You may keep the small fins and the tail as they’re going to be very helpful when handling the fish.

An average lake or channel cat fish comes with large, spinier fins that may even draw blood or slice an inflatable boat. You should definitely remove this type of fins so you don’t end up hurt while filleting your catfish.

Step 3: Get rid of the skin as well

If your catfish is small, young and farm-raised, its skin should be thin a delicate. When you’re handling a bigger, older catfish though, you may need a pair of pliers to skin it.

work your way from the head back and the top down, using some fingers, a sharp knife and …a lot of patience. Keep the knife close to the skin and make sure your knife is very sharp. Note to self: you want to cut the fish off its skin and not the other way around! After all, you do want to have as much flesh as possible!

Step 4: Throw away those head and guts

Find the line where you scored around the head earlier and cut through, using a big knife. You need to bend the head back against the body until you separate the vertebrae.

With the head all gone, cut a slit along the belly up to the anal fin. Try to pile all the weird bits, along with the head. It’s better not to puncture the guts…you don’t need the extra-mess.

Rinse well the catfish so that nothing is left.

As for the head and guts, it’s all up to you what to do with it. You may use them for baiting some crab traps or simply bury them under some plants.

Step 5: It’s time for the dorsal cut

Important detail: you really need to know a thing or two on fish anatomy.

Keep your knife parallel to the catfish, over the top side of its body. You begin by slicing in, nice and easy, to top side of the midline. You need to go close to the backbone so you end up with as much fish as you want. You stop when you hit the vertebrae. A move starts in the front and stops in the tail.

Step 6: The ventral cut

Work your knife around the tail and back along the ventral side. Detach the fillet from the vertebrae and hold well the tail section while doing it.

Trim even more carefully when you get to the ribs. It is also important to know how you’re gonna cook your fillet. If you’re planning some stir-fry nuggets, you don’t need the extra-attention in the ribs. However, when you’re cooking the fillets whole, you should keep them intact. In this case, it’s best to work from the backbone down, skimming along the ribs to get as much flesh as you can.

Step7: Repeat!

Flip the fish over and repeat the whole process on the other side. You may find it a bit more difficult this time, but the spine is more flexible now.

Step8: What to do with the carcass?

Some bag the carcass and put it in the freezer for a future fish stock. Keep in mind to label it with the month and year.

Step 9: Always clean up

If you’ve done this outside, kudos for you! You may skip this step and you only have to bury the scraps and wash off the grass.

If not, you need to scrub the cutting board with some soap and hot water. Go nuts…or not! It’s entirely up to you 🙂

Step 10: Let’s cook!

Fillet of Catfish

Catfish combines with very strong flavors so you may try some East Asian dishes or any other spicy dishes.

You may deep-fry, stir-fry, pan-fry it or use it in a fish taco or a soup. Get creative and…enjoy it!