5 Things to Check Before a Day of Fishing

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Sharpen Your Hooks

Do you have a variety of baits and lures? Depending on the time of day and conditions, fish may be attracted to a variety of different baits or lures. When planning a day of bass fishing, bring a few top water plugs to try out in the morning, several packs of plastic worms of various sizes, three or four different spinner baits and a few crank baits.

Are your hooks sharp? If your hooks have been used a few times, sharpen them with a flat metal file or battery powered hook sharpening device. New hooks generally come sharp, but after a couple of casts, they can get dull quickly and cost you a few landed fish.

Have enough weights of varying sizes? The size of the weight will affect the rate that your bait falls. Heavier weights will get your baits to the bottom faster. I use weights that are a bit lighter (3/16 oz) until I start fishing water deeper than 20 feet or if there is considerable wind (1/2 oz).

Do you have extra leader line? Keep extra leader line handy for abrasion issues or when fishing near structure, rocks or branches. I keep two to three extra spools of 30 lb Yo-Zuri fluorocarbon leader in my tackle bag at all times.

Have you checked your reel drag? Your drag should be set so that you can pull about one-third of the line’s breaking strength. If your line is rated as 20-pound-test, for example, set the drag to pull about 7 pounds before giving way and allowing line to come off the reel. Avoid adjusting the drag in the middle of a fight with a fish if at all possible. If you set it too tight while fighting a fish, the line can easily snap.

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