Equipment and materials needed
There are many types and sizes of rods, depending on the chosen technique, type of fish, fishing environment and the situation. Planning for a fishing session is therefore essential.
Take dropshot fishing, for example, you will need a rod with a sensitive tip. The technique of jigging for fishing for zander requires a rod with a strong backbone to set the hook. If you need to make long casts, a longer rod is advised. In case of fishing in smaller areas (i.e. between the shore and boats), a shorter rod would be the best choice. Running water requires more casting weight, whereas Stillwater requires a low casting weight combined with an extremely sensitive rod.
Balance between conditions and the weight of the lure, will give you the right action needed as well a crucial sense and contact with the bottom.
Good advice from us is to use 2 rods during a fishing session or competition to enable you to quickly switch between techniques. That is for us often a dropshot rod to fish out of the tight corners and a longer rod to fish with a jighead / wobbler or Carolina rig.
3. Landing Net
If you are fishing in a city environment, a landing net with a long handle is needed. Our choice is the 4m version of the Freestyle Flip Net. For efficiency, make sure that the size of the net corresponds to the length of the fish you target (you don’t want to lose that big fish because you couldn’t get it in the net). Fishing in the countryside however requires a shorter handle.
4. Unhooking Material
Make sure you always have good unhooking material and don’t forget the wire cutters. If a fish has swallowed the hook, you can always cut it. A compact unhooking mat, like the Freestyle Lite Mat we use, comes in handy for measuring, safe unhooking and is preventing further injuries to the fish.
5. Soft Lures
Lures come in all shapes and sizes. The best advice is to fish with the lure form and colour you trust and use the most. If the water is clear we use bait with natural colours and when the water is murky, bright colours work the best. For cloudy weather conditions and clear water, the same applies. Below are some samples.
Regarding the colors and shapes, the same principles apply as with as the soft lures. Also keep in mind the diving depth, as occasionally they will touch the bottom. Sometimes that can be your advantage too, as it will cause a cloud of dust in the water, attracting the attention of the fish.
7. Keeping the environment Clean
Keeping a clean environment and taking waste with you reflects your ethics and principals, as well as the fishing culture you are a part of. Keep in mind that leaving waste such as fishing line and hooks poses potential danger to animals, leading to serious injuries and unnecessary deaths. Unfortunately, often, we continue to see fishing gear, especially fishing line left behind at the waterfront. Please pick it up and dispose of it safely.
8. Searching for Spots
Try to identify spots where the water current is slightly faster, for example by a narrowing form, a bridge or at a ferry dock. Other examples would be:
- Water poles
- Other interruptions in a long straight canal
9. Preparation of a fishing day / competition
- Google Maps with Street View
- Navionics app or web page
- YouTube is always good for spots searching around the selected location
- Note that the first and last hours of the day are often most effective for fishing
Our most used techniques:
- Carolina rig
- Cheburaschka rig / bottom jig
Written by Bart Elfering & Mark Besseling
Team Hooked on Fishing.