The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 17 No. 12 - January 4, 2017

reel time

An angler's New Year's resolutions

Reel time


I'll have everything in order, so I won't miss that special fish.



I'm always conflicted about making New Year's resolutions related to fishing because I remember how many I've made and broken in the past. Thinking back over the years, I've come up with a list of things that if I practice consistently might render resolutions obsolete. Here's my short list of things to do regularly:

• I'll keep tackle in order, so I can find what I want when I need it. It's amazing how many times I've come across something I've been looking for when I have no use for it. I'll have a place for everything when I'm out fishing. My fishing bag will have a place for hooks, flies, leader, glasses, sun protection, as well as a knife and pliers.

• I'll fish places I ran by on the way to a favorite fishing hole. I'll spend time fishing places I've never fished before and try different techniques.

• I'll fish with a range of lures and flies as well as live bait. I'll spend days when I'll only fish with artificial lures.

• I'll start my day with a plan, but make sure I'm flexible. I won't be so focused on fishing a particular spot that I miss the signs of action along the way.

• I'll have the right equipment for any fish that might show up. When I'm fishing for Spanish mackerel off the beach, I'll have a rig ready should a big cobia show up.

• I'll make sure my spool is filled to capacity. I won't miss an opportunity because I couldn't make a long enough cast.

• I'll make sure my drag is set properly. I will never again lose a big fish because my drag is too tight.

• I'll make sure I've tied good strong knots and have them seated properly. I won't be in a big hurry and forget to moisten them and tighten them using my pliers. I'll remember that the line will part at a poorly tied knot, especially one that slips. I'll keep in mind the fact that more fish are lost to poorly tied knots than any other reason. I'll remember that I don't have to tie lots of different knots, I just need to make sure I do a good job on the ones I do tie.

• Last, but definitely not least, I'll make sure my hooks are sharp. I will have sharpened my hooks before I hit the water and make sure they stay sharp throughout the day. I'll have a hook sharpener on hand and check the sharpness of the hook frequently.

If I make sure I have the right equipment, have everything in good working order, have a place for everything, have a plan and be flexible with the plan I won't need to make New Year's resolutions.

CB's Saltwater Outfitters Fly Fishing School

CB's Saltwater Outfitters, 1249 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, will have an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Sat, Jan 14. Located on Siesta Key, named Best Beach in America, the school will cover fly casting basics, line control, shooting line and the roll cast. Instructors, Capt. Rick Grassett and Capt. Ed Hurst, will also cover leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques.

The course, designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, will focus on basics but also work with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills.

The cost for the school, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., is $150 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle and lunch. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at 941-349-4400 or to make reservations.

Andy Thornal Company Fly Fishing School

The Andy Thornal Co. in Winter Haven will host its Fly Fishing School on Saturday, Jan. 7.

The class runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and costs $125 with half off for the second person.

Equipment is provided, plus a hat, school notebook, breakfast and lunch. Students will learn casting, tactics, equipment, knots and angling history.

Class sizes are limited; pre-register by calling 800-499-9890 or go to

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