Revised Dec 28 2005

New Year's Resolutions

This is the time of year for renewal. It's a new year and what better time to make some real new year resolutions - ones that will better your fishing output for the coming season and/or make you a better fisherman in general. I made this list years ago but find it still relevant and a good thing to look back at during this time of year.

Since my resolutions never really change from year to year, the real question is if I adhered to them. If I didn't, then I resolve to this year. You may share some of these same resolutions.

1. Share More
Consider yourself a halfway decent fisherman? Then, by all means, share your knowledge and experience with those who want to know. Make yourself available and approachable and take a child fishing if you can. The more people we have loving this sport as we do, the stronger we all become.

2. Get More Involved
Keep track of proposed recreational fishing restrictions and lend your support to those fighting the good fight. The lack of knowledge and concern by the recreational fisherman is the greatest weapon used by both environmentalists and animal rights activists.

3. Care For Thy Equipment Better
If you leave your gear sitting idle until spring approaches, don't be upset when it fails at the most critical time. Make a resolution to replace the line, clean and oil the reel, and organize your tackle box. The time you take now will pay big dividends come summer.

4. Keep Better Records
Always a tough one, but one that I can proudly say I've been able to handle well recently. By keeping records of your catch and the conditions prevalent at the time, you not only will find some beneficial patterns to your success, but you will be able to set some goals and add to the fun.

5. Be More Positive
Approach every fishing trip with the same enthusiasm as you did when you were a kid. Rememeber when you didn't even think about "if" you would catch fish, but only wondered what kind or how many? None of us ever know when it may be our last fishing trip. Enjoy each trip like it was.

6. Fish More
Did you know that there are 8,760 hours in a year? Now ask yourself how many hours you logged fishing last year. Now, calculate the percentage of time spent fishing. Show your wife the figure as it will be undoubtedly low. Lastly, make a resolution to increase the percentage this year.

7. Journey A Bit Farther
Spend more time looking around and trying to fish those seldom touched out-of-the-way spots where anglers are few and fish are...

8. Care More
I know of no good fisherman who litters, defaces, or harms the area they fish in. However, how many of us can say that we picked up someone else's trash or took part in a "clean-up" day? Most of us can do more to better protect our precious resources.

9. Swallow The Pride
Any self-respecting fisherman thinks they are pretty good. However, if you're like me, you get beat at least a few times a year by someone who is just a wee bit better. Swallow the pride and ask the individual what they're using, how they're using it, etc. If they don't tell you, shame on them. If you don't ask, shame on you - you just blew an opportunity to become an even better fisherman than last year.

10. Wake Up Earlier
Some of the best fishing is done the first few hours the sun rises. However, it takes a lot of discipline to have the boat and gear ready to roll at the first glimmer of sunlight.