If you’re going to go out fishing, you might as well catch big fish. After all, a bigger fish means a bigger fight to bring it in, and a more impressive story to tell after the fact. And if you fish for food, a bigger fish means more meat on the table.
Of course, catching big fish is easier said than done. It takes preparation and some know-how to reel in large fish, as well as the right equipment and related gear.
1. Acquire Proper Tackle
If you want to catch large fish, you’re going to need appropriate tackle capable of letting you cast to where the big fish live. That tackle also needs to be strong enough to stand up to the fight involved with reeling the fish to shore or your boat.
There are three primary pieces of tackle you’ll need to tailor toward fishing for large fish – the rod, the reel and the fishing line. All fishing equipment is rated by the number of pounds of force they’re equipped to withstand. If you’re fishing for large fish, you’ll need to make sure to acquire tackle that can handle the size of the fish you’re going for.
2. Get Lures or Bait
As you doubtless know, to catch any fish you’ll need some way of attracting it to bite and become hooked. There are two broad categories of ways to attract fish – Lures and bait.
Lures are objects made of plastic, wood, metal or other non-organic substances and frequently attempt to mimic the form of a living creature such as a small fish, a frog, an insect or other creature fish prey upon.
Bait, on the other hand, is some kind of organic material. Often but not always, bait can be alive, like a minnow or an earthworm. However, baits can range from chicken livers to corn to any number of foods and organic substances.
The general rule when it comes to catching big fish is that you’ll need large enough bait to attract large fish to bite. This isn’t always the case, but when in doubt, use bait on the larger end of the spectrum to attract large fish.
3. Find a Suitable Body of Water
It may seem simple and obvious, but if you want to catch large fish you need to fish on a body of water containing lots of accessible large fish. There are many bodies of water that either don’t contain large fish or else don’t feature fishing access to those fish.
The internet is a wonderful tool along these lines, allowing you to research lakes, rivers or ocean access points where large fish can be caught.
4. Choose the Proper Time of Day and Season
Depending on the species of fish you’re fishing for and the region in which you’re fishing, certain seasons and times of day are better than others for fishing. For example, if you’re in the American South in July, fishing in the middle of the day is practically a waste of time, as fish are largely inactive during this period. And in northern climates, fishing late or early in the year when the temperatures plunge greatly decreases your chances of fishing.
Again, doing research is the key. Find out the peak fishing time for the season in which you’re fishing, and when the fish you’re going for is most active feeding.
5. Select a Good Fishing Spot
To the untrained eye, a lake or river may appear to be a uniform body of water. But fish tend to congregate in very specific spots while other areas have almost no fish in them. This is doubly true for large fish, which tend to have predictable patterns.
Large fish tend to like structure, which can come in many forms. A sunken tree, a patch of lily pads, a rock outcropping, a bend in a river – all of these provide shelter and concealment for fish. Seek these spots out and target them to find large fish.
6. Know How to Work Your Bait or Lure
Now that you’ve got your equipment, picked out a body of water and fishing spot, you’ve got to actually catch the fish. To do so, you’ll need to be able to cast your lure or bait to the spot where large fish reside and work the lure or bait appropriately to attract the fish.
In the case of baits, this can often times be as simple as letting the bait suspend or sit on the bottom until a fish strikes. But with artificial lures, you’ll usually need to retrieve the lure to simulate life. Whether it be a steady reel or jerks and twitches, you’ll need to bring the lure through the water in a lifelike manner to trigger a large fish biting.
Once a fish bites, reel it in – You’ve caught yourself a large fish.