Fishing

If you love fishing and could happily spend all day sitting in a boat or standing in a cold stream, it’s not surprising that you are considering starting a career as a competitive fisherman. The sport can be quite lucrative if you have the skill and luck needed to bring in trophy worthy fish, and it is quickly gaining in popularity across the United States. Some high schools are even recognizing it as a sport and you can always find entire libraries dedicated just to fishing. Before you quit your office job and start spending the days with a rod and reel in your hands there are a few things you should know about becoming a competitive fisherman.

 

 

Seasonal

 

One of the most important things you need to know is that competitive fishing is seasonal. This means that you will either have to be extremely successful at reeling in one type of fish, or skilled enough to go after several varieties. This applies to bass fishing, which is often the most lucrative, to fly and even ice fishing. Some professional anglers are able to participate in all types of tournaments, and even travel around the world following the different seasons. My best advice when you are first starting out is to concentrate on one particular season. As your skill and confidence improves then you can start trying your luck going after other types of fish.

 

 

License and registration

 

I have watched several of my friends over the years get all their gear together, including their lucky lures, only to find that they forget to renew their fishing license or mail in the registration form. All fishing competitions require a valid license, along with completed registration forms. You should also know that in most cases there will also be fees that need to be paid in full at the start of the competition. The amount will vary depending on the state, and it will be listed on your registration form.

 

 

Gear

 

You must have the right gear, and it also has to be approved by the governing competition committee. The reason that there are regulations on gear is to ensure that everything is as equal as it can be for all anglers, and to help protect the environment so the competition can continue for many more years. As for why you need to have the right gear, the answer should be obvious. For example if you are trying to score the biggest fish at a fly fishing tournament you don’t want to show up with a spinning rod and reel. As you already know, your equipment will determine how successful you are out on the water.

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A few other tips you could get from here, here and this site.

Greenpeace activists hold up a banner reading "No fish No future" in the hold of the ship 'Heng Xing 1' in an area of international waters near the exclusive economic zone of Indonesia. The Cambodian flagged vessel, was caught illegally transhipping frozen tuna from a Philippine fishing vessel and two other Indonesian vessels in the Pacific high seas, where none of the ships have licenses to operate. Under international law, the lack of a valid license means the vessels forbidden to engage in any fishing activities - including fish transfer. The transshipment of fish from one vessel to another is prohibited in international waters under international law as it has been proven to aid illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities. Greenpeace activists boarded the 'Heng Xing 1' and found the hold to be full of skip jack tuna and juvenile yellowfin, which are likely to be destined for canned tuna markets in the West. Yellowfin tuna is classified on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 'Red List' as 'Near Threatened'. Pirate fishing operations are common in international waters where monitoring and surveillance is difficult. Greenpeace is calling for a network of marine reserves to be established in four high seas pockets known as the Pacific Commons, and for these be declared off limits to fishing.

Fishing can take a serious toll on the environment since some of the major concerns of world organizations include overfishing, fisheries management, and the ecological impacts of the sport, in general. While it’s hard for a regular fisherman to contribute to solving these global issues, there are some simple tips and tricks that everyone can use in order to respect nature and preserve the health of ponds, rivers, streams, and other fishing locations you might visit from time to time.

yak2One of the first things to keep in mind is to avoid littering. Bring a reusable bag with you and be sure to discard all the unnecessary items in it, once you’ve wrapped up your fishing session. Throwing line and pieces of plastic in the water is both unpleasant and dangerous, as there are various species that might confuse those pieces of plastic with food. There’s a myriad of circumstances where your debris can end up in the ocean and add to the plastic build-up that already pollutes the water nowadays.

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Discarding used pieces of equipment can be done easily once you’ve left the fishing site. All you have to do is have a little patience so that you’re able to trash them along with other items you might not find the use for anymore. There are more than six hundred thousand forks, plates, and cups in the ocean and over one million bags and plastic bottles that need hundreds and hundreds of years in order to be disintegrated. Think of it this way - if you’re in your boat or on the shore one day, and you’re looking forward to catching a big fish, wouldn’t it be unpleasant to grab a plastic bag, instead?

 

Some people argue that paper and other biodegradable products will probably be disintegrated by the first rainfall. While this might be true, it doesn’t hurt to be a bit conscious of the extent of the issue and preserve your fishing space so that it looks and feels the right way. There’s nobody telling you to pick up the trash that other people have left behind, but if you’re kind enough to do it and dispose of it in the right place, nature will surely be indebted to you.

yak4Caring for the environment can also be done by the way you handle the fish you’ve caught. While it might not be a primary focus of many fishermen, fish stock conservation is on the rise these days, with many people using the catch and release policy. If you don’t intend to target invasive species where your interference is a benefit for the environment, you may want to let that fish swim free in the water again. Unless you plan to cook your catch, you need to handle it with as much care as possible. Sometimes, the pleasure in fishing is winning the battle with the target and not eating the fish per se.

In spite of the fact that some of these simple measures aren’t marketed enough, your perspective can change only by analyzing your mental depiction of the fishing space. Besides, with so much waste in the water, who knows when your favorite species will become extinct?

For more info on overfishing, you can check out this link.

I’m writing on this topic because I know it is one that interests many amateur fishermen. When you have years of experience behind you and all your friends tell you how great you are at catching fish, choosing the right spots and picking the perfect gear, you start thinking about taking that maybe you should take your hobby at professional levels. So what are the conditions to participate in a professional competition?

MLFMost fishing tours will require a participation fee that can vary and sometimes be quite expensive, but will rarely include any other conditions that could stop you from participating. These tournaments are numerous and it shouldn’t be hard to find one you can participate in.

Even so, if you’re planning to start a career in fishing, you should first join a local fishing club and participate in local fishing competitions. There are a couple of advantages and connections you can make only by being a fishing club member. Plus, most fishing clubs are included in a bigger regional or state network, making it easier for you to know other fishermen, talk with professionals and even find a tournament partner.

If you don’t know what type of competition to choose, there’s a traditional and successful scheme of Pro-Am (professional-amateurs) fishing competitions. Prior to the start of the tournament, you team up with another fisherman and you go into the competition together.  In the beginning, it is preferable to join a professional partner, one who has extensive tournament experience. In the team’s structure, the amateurs assume the co-angler position, which means they fish in the back of the boat belonging to the professional, while they are also allowed to use some of their partner’s gear. This is an advantageous way to go pro for beginners, because it doesn’t require a large investment from their part. You don’t have to own your own boat, for example.

mlf 2Besides the material advantages of starting your professional career as a co-angler, you can also learn a great deal from your team partner, such as finding the best fishing spots, new fishing techniques and even discover useful pieces of equipment. Even if you don’t manage to win the competition, you will still feel like you’re the winner given the possibilities offered by such a tournament. Plus, in the contest, you’ll be competing against amateurs such as yourself and not against professional fishermen, but you’ll have the opportunity to use professional tools and receive advice from the best.

However, choosing the right partner is as important as choosing the right competition. Not all professionals participating in Pro-Am tournaments will be willing to teach you their tricks and help you, even though you’re a beginner or will do so as long as it serves their goals. That is why it is important that you are the member of a fishing club. There you will have the opportunity to find great team partners that you can communicate and work with efficiently during competition. Once you start making a reputation for you, you can start thinking about assuming the position in the front of the boat yourself.

Now that weather is starting to get warmer and warmer, it is a really good idea to get out of the house and start searching for activities to keep you outside. Instead of just spending hours in front of the TV or the computer, it is much better to grab some fishing equipment and head for a fishing spot to catch some fish. Since we want to introduce everyone to a more active, much healthier way of living, we decided to give you the perfect motivation by showing you what fish you can catch in the US during springtime.

Fishing for tarpon in Florida

yackity tarponIn case you want to go somewhere that is warmer, a good idea would be to go on a fishing trip to Florida. Between March and April, you will find here plenty of tarpon to fish, and there are so many great fishing spots, that your main dilemma would be which one to choose. With tarpon being quite an exciting fish to chase, you will have quite an amazing trip if you choose to go to Florida during this time of the year. Tarpon is available all year round, but seasoned anglers say that the best season is just close to their spawning cycle.

Largemouth bass – a real trophy

yackity bassBass fishing is a good way to get started with this great pastime and hobby, but if you are really into getting a trophy, you should go for largemouth bass. Depending on where you choose to fish, you can find better timing for getting a nice looking specimen. When the water goes under a certain temperature – 55 degrees Fahrenheit – largemouth bass tends to become lethargic and swims deeper into the water, so it may be more difficult to catch. At the beginning of spring, better fishing spots for largemouth bass can be found in California, but if you are among those who are getting their vacations a bit later in spring, going up north, in Iowa, for instance, is a much better bet.

The always on the move carp

051807CARPFISHjc10 Sports photo by Jim Commentucci 5/18/07 A common carp weighing in the mid teens fights at the surface against French teammates Numa Marengo and Frederic Labrousse during the second day of fishing Friday in the American Carp Society's Northeast Regionals tournament on the Seneca River in Baldwinsville. The fish was caught on a flavored dough bait called "boilies." FISHING DERBY

Another good bet you can make for starting to fish this spring is carp. Like many other species of fish, as soon as spring comes, carp is on the move and it starts migrating. To catch this one you definitely need one of the best portable fishfinders. For anglers, this is the best moment for catching some really nice specimens and carp is often on the list. Shallow bays are good fishing spots, because this is where carp tends to gather during its move in spring.