No matter how many years you spend embracing a multi-species approach to fishing, it’s inevitable that one species in particular that will grab your attention and become your obsession.
That obsession will occupy almost every waking moment, and your pursuit of the next big catch will be creep into your dreams, and every body of water you see will suddenly become part of those dreams and burned into your mind until you actually get to wet a line and unlock it’s secrets.
It doesn’t matter what species you develop this obsession with, don’t forget your multi-species roots, because those roots may hold the key to your next trophy fish.
Every minute on the water, no matter what you target will teach you something, even though you may not recognize it at the time.
Filming season 1 of Fish East has opened my eyes to this even more than I ever imagined. Targeting and catching 15 different species this season, instead of 1 or 2 has reminded me of many things that I’ve been overlooking, many of which will serve to make me a better angler overall.
EQUIPMENT: Yes, multi-species angling may require a little more investment in equipment, but that doesn’t mean that this equipment can serve only one purpose. For example, that Light, or Ultra-Light rod you just purchased for Trout fishing in your local streams is also an ideal choice for species like American Shad, or a Panfish outing targeting Yellow & White Perch. Do a little research, spend time talking to your local tackle shop and you may discover that a simple line change may be all you need to be ready to target another species. There will always be species that require some extremely specialized equipment, but in general, a few basic setups will cover a huge number of opportunities available locally.
BAITS/LURES: Bait companies like producing products that are intended for a specific segment of the market, and it is often said that many baits catch more fishermen than fish, but if you take the time to break down the species you intend to focus on, you may quickly realize that many of these baits bridge gaps from one species to another. One case where this was incredibly obvious this past season was when we used a popular Smallmouth bait in our quest for trophy size Lake Trout……..there is one other situation that comes to mind very quickly, but you will have to check out Season 1 of Fish East when it is aired, because this is one surprise I don’t want to spoil.
ELECTRONICS: Many of us rely on quality electronics to help us locate fish, or at least the structure where we expect to find fish. Clear your head of any pre-conceived notions about what fish you may find where. Open your mind to a wider variety of fish being found in various locations, depending on conditions. At the end of the day, virtually everything we target if going to chase food, and that may mean looking deeper or shallower than you may “expect” to find the particular fish you are targeting on any given day. This season truly reminded me of this, as we found some fish in places, and at times of year where they “never” should have been based on experience and conventional ideas.
There are many ways that Multi-Species angling can make you a better angler overall, and I’ve just touched on a few, but the biggest advice I can give any angler, whether they are new to this sport, or a seasoned veteran, is to always keep an open mind. We all should be learning from every outing, and from each other. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be shy about sharing your experiences. Maybe what you share may be the secret to unlocking a new personal best for someone you share it with.
When traveling to a new area, don’t forget that our local tackle shops are some of our greatest resources for local information. Shops like Minnow Tackle Shop( https://minnowtackleshop.com/ ) in Fredericton or Big Rigs Tackle( https://www.facebook.com/Big-Rigs-Tackle-100435508108899/ ) in Miramichi are just a couple examples of knowledgeable, local shops that can point you in the right direction before you hit the water.
Get out this season, open your mind, and see what our region has to offer. Every species you target will teach you something, and every lesson you learn, will make you a better angler, and make your time on the water even more fun.
Fish On……Fish East