Spring is in the air, and you should make the most of it with a relaxing fishing trip. Spring is a great time for fishing because the lakes and rivers are less crowded and the weather is cooler. In fact, fish prefer cooler, overcast weather. In the spring, they’re less likely to hide under rocks and logs in the middle of the day. 

Fishing is also great for relieving some of your stress from work and responsibilities. A simple fishing trip has been named as one of the top ways to relieve stress because it takes you away from screens and the challenges of everyday life. It’s also ideal for meditation and gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Casting a line on the cool water is a great stress reliever, but only if you’ve carefully planned your trip. Otherwise, your relaxing fishing getaway could become time-consuming and stressful.

Here are some tips for planning the ultimate fishing trip. 

1. Bring the Right Equipment

The success of a trip is often attributed to the gear you bring along. Without the right equipment, you’ll have a hard time catching anything. You’ll also risk your reel jamming up or your line breaking if your equipment is short on quality. 

When going fishing, don’t make do with a cheap pole and sinkers from Walmart. A quality fishing rod for fly fishing will be upwards of $600, and a good rod for casting should cost more than $200. The price is a good indicator of the quality of pole you’re getting, and it can make the difference between a relaxing trip and a stress-filled one.

2. Choose a Non-Crowded Fishing Hole 

There are thousands of access points to lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans in the United States, but that doesn’t mean there are thousands of good fishing spots. Some areas will attract larger crowds than others, and many places will be devoid of fish as a result. 

Loud noises and a lot of people will scare the fish away, and you aren’t likely to catch anything. Rather than congregating in the popular spots, recognize that the ideal spots are remote and secluded. Here, the fish will often be unsuspecting and abundant. 

Additionally, check the quality of the water before casting your line. If the water is too dirty or there have been toxic chemical spills, you won’t be able to eat the fish you catch. Check with local authorities about the water content before choosing a spot. 

3. Do Some Research Ahead of Time 

After you’ve decided on a great fishing hole, learn more about the area and body of water you’ll be dealing with. Research the species you’ll find there and which ones are in season, especially if you’ll be fishing in the ocean. This will give you an idea of the tactics you’ll want to use when fishing, as you’ll use different bait and casts with mahi-mahi than you will for flounder. 

This research is also helpful if you’re seeking a certain kind of fish. Bowfins, for example, are less common than trout, and you’ll have to be selective about where you take your pole to catch them.   

4. Use Correct Bait

Once you’ve determined the kind of fish that will be prevalent in your fishing hole, stock up on the correct bait. Some fish, like catfish and trout, are attracted by plain old flies or worms, and it doesn’t matter much what kind of bait you use. Others are much pickier. 

A little research can direct you to the right kind of bait. You can also ask the clerk at the bait shop. Do this research ahead of time to ensure a catch. 

5. Check the Forecast

There’s one thing that you have no control over but can ruin your entire fishing trip: the weather. Though it can be a little unpredictable, particularly when you’re on the water, checking for decent weather is essential to having a good trip. 

Also, remember that fish prefer overcast, cooler days. If it’s more than 100 degrees with the sun shining brightly overhead, you’ll have a harder time catching anything. Planning ahead for the weather is one of the best things you can do to ensure a great fishing vacation.

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