Fishing and hunting are two of the most popular outdoor activities globally. Millions of people take to the waters and woods searching for fish and game every year. While fishing and hunting can be great fun, they can also be very challenging.
Most people who enjoy fishing and hunting do so because it gives them a chance to relax and commune with nature. Doing these activities the right way can result in a great deal of enjoyment.
You get to spend time outdoors, hopefully catch or bag some game, which can be thrilling, and then have the satisfaction of a good meal cooked from your day’s work.
On the other hand, making common mistakes while fishing or hunting can result in a frustrating experience. These activities can be difficult enough without worrying about making simple errors that you could have easily avoided.
This is what Zac McKenzie, an experienced hunter, spearfisherman, and wildlife photographer from Australia, said, “I literally drove 13 hours to go for a hunt, and I forgot my boots. And I was wearing Crocs for the whole hunt. Things like that happen, but it can be avoidable.”
Listen to the Cast & Spear Podcast
Here are some of the most common mistakes made while fishing and hunting:
Common Mistakes for Fishing and Hunting
Most anglers and hunters are guilty of making at least one of the following fishing and hunting mistakes:
Not Being Prepared
Preparing for fishing or hunting trips in advance is essential for having a successful and enjoyable experience. This means packing the right gear and familiarizing yourself with the area you’ll be fishing or hunting. Also, ensure that you have the proper licenses and permits.
“Before I go game fishing for a lion, or before I go for a backcountry hunt, whatever it is, I’ve got a checklist of everything I need,” Zac McKenzie said.
If you’re fishing in a new spot, research the type of fish that live there and what kind of bait or lures they respond to. The same goes for hunting. If you’re hunting in a new area, make sure you know what type of game is in the area and the best methods for hunting them.
Fishing Too Deep
When fishing, it’s common for anglers to cast their line out and then let it sink to the bottom of the lake, river, or stream. This can be a mistake, especially if you’re fishing more than 20 feet deep. The fish you’re targeting are often suspended in the water column at mid-depth.
They may be near the bottom at times, but they’re likely to be near the surface or in the middle of the water column. To be successful, you need to fish at the right depth. This means fishing deep enough to reach the fish but not so deep that your bait or lure gets snagged on the bottom.
Using A Towel to Handle Fish
You might have seen this in movies or on TV, but using a towel to handle fish is a big mistake. This is because the fish can easily slip out of the towel and back into the water. Also, if the fish has any sharp fins, they can easily puncture the towel and cause you to get cut. It is better to use your hands or fishing gloves to handle fish.
Not Wearing the Right Clothing
Wearing the right clothing is essential for both fishing and hunting. If you’re fishing in cold weather, you need to dress warmly to avoid hypothermia. This means wearing layers of clothing that will insulate your body and keep you warm.
If you’re fishing in the summer, you need to wear light-colored clothing to avoid sunburn. You need to wear clothes that will help you blend in with your surroundings for hunting. Wearing bright colors can make it easier for your prey to spot you and avoid you.
You cannot go hunting if you are blasting music from your car or making a lot of noise while setting up your hunting blind or tree stand. You need to be as quiet as possible to avoid scaring off the game.
Animals have keen hearing and can easily pick up on the slightest noise. While fishing, you also need to be quiet. Fish are easily spooked by noise, so avoid talking loudly or making any sudden movements. This way, you’ll be more likely to catch fish.
Not Being Patient
There are certain days when fishing is tough, no matter what you do. The same goes for hunting. When you cast your line out or take your shot, you need to be patient and wait for the fish or animal to bite or come into range.
Rushing things will only increase your chances of making a mistake. So be patient, and eventually, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.
Using the Wrong Bait
You can have the best fishing rod and reel in the world, but if you’re using the wrong bait, you’re not going to catch anything. The same goes for hunting.
Using the wrong bait or lure is a common mistake that novice anglers and hunters make. When fishing or hunting, make sure you’re using the right bait or lure for the type of fish or animal you’re trying to catch. For example, if you are fishing in muddy water, you will need to use a different bait than you would use in clear water.
Not Cleaning Your Gear
Whether you were successful or not after a fishing or hunting trip, it’s important to clean your gear. This includes everything from your fishing rod and reel to your hunting rifle.
Not cleaning your gear can cause it to break down and malfunction. It can also attract insects and rodents. And this way, you’ll be able to enjoy your fishing and hunting trips for many years to come.
Trying to Catch Every Fish
While fishing, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and try to catch every fish you see. However, this is a mistake.
Not every fish is worth catching. Some fish are too small to bother with, while others are not good to eat.
How to Avoid Making These Mistakes
While you might not be able to avoid all fishing and hunting mistakes, you can certainly try to minimize them. Here are ways to avoid making some of the most common mistakes:
Check the Weather Conditions
As Zac McKenzie said, “I always check the weather. Even if we wake up at three in the morning to put the boat in, I check it at the ramp every time because it changes overnight.”
Before you go fishing or hunting, it is vital to check the weather conditions. This will help you to dress appropriately and be prepared for the conditions.
Have a Partner
Having a fishing or hunting partner can help you avoid making some of the mistakes often made.
According to Zac McKenzie, “Always go with someone; it’s very important. If you do go solo, we’ve all done it, and we’ll probably do it again at some point, but I always restrict my limits.”
For example, if you are fishing and one person gets a fish on the line, the other can help net the fish. In case of danger, your partner can also help to protect you.
Do Your Research
Before you go fishing or hunting, it is essential to do your research. This means learning about the area you will be fishing or hunting in and the type of fish or game you are trying to catch.
This information can help you avoid making some of the mistakes often made.
Ask For Help
If you are new to fishing or hunting, it is important to ask for help. Some experienced anglers and hunters might be happy to help you.
“And you go with someone very experienced,” Zac McKenzie said. They can teach you about the area you will be fishing or hunting in and give you tips on how to avoid making some of the common mistakes.
Practice makes perfect. This is true for fishing and hunting as well. The more you practice, the better you will become at these activities. This means that you will be less likely to make mistakes.
Get the Right Gear
Another way to avoid making fishing and hunting mistakes is to get the right gear. This includes a fishing rod, bait, lures, and a hunting rifle and ammunition.
Take A Class
“I would recommend going and doing a free diving course, ” Zac McKenzie says.
Taking a fishing or hunting class is a great way to learn about these activities and avoid making common mistakes. These classes are often offered by organizations such as the National Rifle Association or the fishing club.
As mentioned earlier, patience is definitely a virtue for fishing and hunting. These activities often require a great deal of patience. So, if you can learn to be patient, you will likely have more success.
There is no doubt that fishing and hunting can be difficult and fun activities, but they can also be frustrating. This is often due to making mistakes. However, if you can avoid making these mistakes, you will likely have more success and enjoyment.
So, be sure to do your research, get proper instruction and practice, take your time, have patience, be prepared, pay attention, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Doing these things should help you to avoid making fishing and hunting mistakes.