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Make "Catching More Fish" Your New Year's Resolution

iStock_000028321086Small-675x446This year, I’m going to catch more fish. For years when the New Year would roll around I’d make some half-baked resolutions that most times were never kept, including weight-loss. Well, this year I am planning a different strategy and going for a different approach. I’m not going to say I’m going to lose weight, but I am going to find a way to decrease the draft of my boat, perhaps by removing some of the unnecessary fishing tackle, or going through what I really don’t ‘need’ on the boat and getting rid of it. You can use this same tactic to allow yourself to catch more fish in the New Year too, here’s how: Go Light, Go Shallow.
Many places that I fish are not readily accessible by the average boat that draws about 12-to 14-inches of water. My boat takes about half that to float and run safely. It’s built to very rigid standards to float and run shallow, and by adding more things that add weight, (including bodies that have had a few too many cookies), it minimizes the effectiveness of that high tech hull. So, this year will be different.
A lighter hull with less draft will get me into the backcountry where redfish, flounder, and some of the biggest trout will hold during the winter and spring months. It will allow me to run across skinny water mud flats that have warmth-holding capabilities that hold fish that will feed because their metabolism is stirred by the warmth.
Recently, fishing from Joe Bay in lower Tampa Bay to New Pass in Sarasota, I searched for a variance in water temperatures. Fish that were holding in the warmest water we fished were hungry. Water temps in productive areas were pegging the thermometer at a high of 76-degrees when surrounding water temperatures averaged 71-to 72-degrees. Fish were in both areas. The fish in warm areas would chew, but the fish outside the upper range seemed noticeably less interested in feeding. Had I not been able to get to some of these warm spots by running through some very shallow areas to get there, I might not have been able to catch as many fish.
I’m going to celebrate this New Year by making a diligent effort to keep my New Year’s resolution, which ultimately will lead me to catching more fish. HAPPY NEW YEAR!