The Earth has turned again into the point where the Northern Hemisphere sees the least amount of daylight in a year – the time when we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one in. Time to decorate a tree, visit your family, exchange presents, sum up the gains and losses, opportunities and costs, and make plans for the future. And since we, the modern online marketplace, are set on looking into the future, we’ll bring you our season’s greetings in the form of nine New Year fishing resolutions that you might want to make.
- Try a new fishing technique.
Some anglers think fly-fishing is too sophisticated, others that spinning is too proletarian, some have never tried trolling because they think it lacks action (you just sit in a chair and sip drinks, where’s fishing?), for others a backcountry fishing trip is too much labor. Have a look at the list of nine fishing types and seventeen fishing techniques on BaitYourHook.com – have you done it all? Probably not, and if so, why not learn something new this year? Perhaps bowfishing or ice fishing, or even hand noodling can become your new passion. You never know until you try!
- Explore a new fishing location
Have you got a map of the world, or of the state you live in, on the wall in the room you’re in right now? No? Thought so. Then open the Fishing Map on your BaitYourHook.com website or app and look at those alluring blue spots and lines that indicate water. Chances are, there are quite a few you’ve never fished at – yet. It’s also a safe bet that you’ve long cherished a trip to an exotic location. Be it following the wake of Hemingway’s Old Man in the Bahamas, or taking a ride into the trout streams of the Rockies in Colorado, most of us have a dream. Why don’t you try to make it happen this year? It’s amazing how much you can do, even on a budget, with a bit of careful long-term planning. Or, at least, pay a visit to that lake just around the corner where you haven’t yet been, for one reason or another. Why not test it this year?
- Catch a new species of fish
Everybody knows tuna and marlin, bass and trout, but the waters of this planet contain an amazing variety of fish species; over 200 on BaitYourHook.com alone! Some of them are truly amazing – like the drum, the fish that can make sounds, or the taimen, the world’s biggest salmon, or how about the arapaima that has nearly impenetrable scales and can breath air? Of course, catching those exotics will probably require travel to distant areas, but chances are, that right there in your neighborhood there’s a fish that you haven’t ever caught.
Whether it’s because the fish is too small, like yellow perch, or has a certain reputation, like Asian carp in North America, or requires a fishing technique you tend to ignore – just do it this year. At worst, you’ll be able to say “I thought so”. At best, you discover a new source of fun – like those South African anglers, who spent a century thinking that the local yellowfish is worthless because it can’t be caught on the fly. Then someone actually tried it – and started a new local frenzy.
- Go fishing with an old pal
Lean back in your chair, relax, and let your memory take you on a trip to the past. Do you see yourself fishing with someone you haven’t seen or fished together for a long time? Why don’t you track them down, or, if you’re lucky to have kept all your friends from yesteryears, just get in touch with them and organize a fishing trip together? Back on the old waters or exploring new oceans, does it really matter?
For some of us, the person we’d love to fish with has sadly passed away to happier shores. Well then, they say the loved ones never really leave us, they are always around, always in the heart. If you return to that river or lake where your grandpa taught you how to cast a rod, and as you cast that vintage rod precisely where and how he told you, you could feel him standing by your side and hear his voice again.
- Take someone fishing
Admit it. Most dedicated anglers don’t really enjoy the presence of novices, especially children, in the boat or on the bank. It’s hard to be focused on catching fish when you constantly need to explain the basics, untangle the line, retrieve the lure from a tree, maintain safety, and respond to a thousand of “I’m cold”, “I’m hot”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m thirsty”, “I’m bored”, and so on and so forth. But we owe it to our passion to pass it over to the next generation, and to open the eyes of the growing numbers of young and not-so-young adults who have spent most of their lines between four walls to the wonders of nature. There’s hardly anything purer and stronger than the joy of a new-born angler who caught her or his first fish, and sharing this joy is a blessing of the highest order. Try to help at least one person discover or rediscover fishing this year, and you’ll be rewarded!
- Beat your personal best
This is not about size and numbers, I hear you say. Agreed – it isn’t. It’s about self-improvement. Many years ago I made my living giving private lessons in English as a second language. Some of my students needed to take TOEFL or a similar test, others were learning “just for themselves”. Guess which were progressing faster? Correct, the former, and not only because they were better motivated, but also because we kept doing sample tests, so they knew exactly where they stood. If you don’t record yourself, how do you know if you’re getting better? Start measuring the fish you caught and writing down how many you hooked, then try to do better. It will motivate you to try new things, experiment, learn, and in short become a better angler. You can always take it easy if you know how to fish hard, but you can’t start fishing hard if you’re used to taking it easy.
- Go fishing on New Year’s Day
If that’s already on your to-do list, you might be Canadian. Ice fishing is an inalienable part of New Year celebration in many Canadian families; it’s true that the dead of winter usually translates into fishing lul, but who said the fish has to be biting like crazy, with the whole gang on the ice you will have some fun anyway. This tradition deserves spreading far beyond Canada. If you haven’t made plans for this New Year’s Eve – here’s an idea; if you have, well, then why don’t you plan it for next year? Our blog here will give you a few suggestions where to go, but you will find even more options available on BailYourHook.com.
- Learn to cook a new fishing course
If you’re a cooking enthusiast like me, you hardly need to be reminded that the world is full of awesome, strange, unusual, and delicious ways to cook fish. Yet, even the amateur chefs can allow themselves to slip into the boring routine of cooking the same tried-and-trues again and again. Don’t get stalled – go to a cooking resource of your choice and flip through recipes until you go “Wait, what?” You say “I can’t cook”? Nonsense. Anyone can cook. There are fishing recipes where you simply can’t go wrong – follow our blog for more “Fish on the Table” series with recipes.
- Be more environmentally conscious
Sadly, we’re living at a time when you just can’t catch anything you want and as many as you want – we don’t need to remind you that, do we? Of course you know the importance of fishing limits and seasons, and following catch-and-release rules. But the environmental situation changes all the time, and you need to update your knowledge about the conditions of your favorite species and body of water. If you can write the population trend graph for the last ten years and indicate major threats off top of your head – excellent, but, honestly, can you? You may need to go easy on some species, or make a conscious effort to reduce the number of invasive ones, or give a certain lake a break after a spell of wrong weather. Besides, the more you know about fish, the better you are at catching them!
Explore the world of fishing with us – and tight lines in the new year!