How to land it
So, you’ve got your gear, you know where to go, and now you're there. Then what. Well, my friend it’s time you learned a little Fishermans' math. It’s different from regular math. But a math we can all appreciate. Because it’s useful. Though I doubt NASA ever uses this to send rockets into space. It will help you get fish into your cooler.
Casting is an art form. Very subtle little differences get large result changes. You also have to decide where, how far, and angles of approach. There’s a lot of math involved.
"Don't worry, Fishermans' math is a lot like regular math, except It's useful. "
Or you can just wing it. Let it rip and see what happens. This can actually work sometimes. But if you want results you can repeat, better think. . . A little. Don’t overthink it. It’s supposed to be fun. Fishermans' math will help you with the fun part and the catching part.
You could say there are only two types of casts: Ones that catch fish, and ones that don’t. As outdoorsmen and fishermen, we believe every single cast is going to bring in a record breaker. With that in mind we have 3 types of casts.
- Overhead - cast comes from behind your shoulder; straight forward and out; This is the distance cast
- Sidearm - cast goes across your body usually about waist level; good for getting under cover but still a little distance on it; accuracy is the main objective here
- The flip - This one's for kind of close but you need a soft landing; like on a lily pad; it’s underhanded; mainly a flick of the wrist; a soft landing is the key point
Practice is the key to good casts. I used to practice in the yard with a weight and no hook. Set out targets and try to hit them. See if you can get it under that bush. Can you get it inside that little circle 20? 30? 40 yards out? Better to get it hung in the yard than have to cut it fishing.
Less time fishing because of retying means less fish caught. See MATH! Just Fishermans' math.
The basic idea here is to make your bait look like something a fish would eat. Only problem is there are already things down there the fish eat. So how do we get it to choose our bait instead?
Fishermans' math will tell you:
By making it irresistible.
Easy. If you keep 3 things in mind
- Bait fish do NOT want to be eaten
- Predators go after the easiest meal FIRST
- They will also go after the biggest and easiest meal
So, what you need to do is make your bait look like an injured prey item. If it mimics a perfectly healthy baitfish, it will blend in with all the others. We don’t want this.
We want it to look EASY. Like MATH.
Fishermans' MATH - The better I present my bait the more fish I catch.
Bigger fish will attack bigger baits. This is a rule. There is probably real math that could tell you how big a baitfish a predator fish can eat. I don’t do a lot of real math. I do Fishermans' math. Bigger equals Bigger.
Sometimes though the best approach is to just throw something they have never seen. Some fish spook easy. After a few times of getting a hook in the mouth they won’t hit that thing again. At least not for a while. That's fish math. Real math and science can tell you how long. I just stick to what works according to fisherman math.
If they don’t hit this, I throw something else. The whole color of the water and kind of bait fish theory goes out the window. I open my tackle box and look for the one thing I know nobody ever threw at them. It works when nothing else does. See how Fishermans' math works. It’s not the formula we care about but the result.
One final note here. At some times of the year, spawning time in particular, they will usually hit anything. All you have to do is agitate them. Throw the noisiest, brightest, awkward looking thing you can find. They’ll hit it just to get rid of it. Fishermans' math rule of subtraction.
Setting the hook
Once you get one to bite it’s on to step two. There is a little thing called a hook we have to get into the mouth of that fish before they realize it’s fake and spit it out. And they will. Pretty quickly.
This is where setting the hook comes in.
Hooks don’t set themselves.
Usually. They don't. Some people are born lucky though. Fishermans' math rule of random chance: luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
"I SET HOOKS."
This part is actually pretty easy. To set it you just jerk the rod back quickly. The tricky part is the timing. Different types of baits require a different timing. For now, stick to the basic rule.
When you feel anything pull, twitch, snap, or anything else unusual. SET THE HOOK!
You’ll know if you timed it right. If you miss, then nothing happens. But if you timed it right
HANG ON! There’s a fight coming.
Now it’s time to see who wants it more. And usually, it’s the fish. Any of them worth keeping won’t come easy. Would you? If someone put a hook in your mouth and tried dragging, you forcefully out of your environment you’d fight like the dickens too. I hope so anyway.
This part isn’t really something people can tell you how to do. You just have to do it. I can tell you some tips but by no means is the fight the same with every single fish. And before you get too cocky, you’re going to lose this battle sometimes. But the more you do it the less you lose.
I’m only talking about fish here.
You're on your own if you go thinking this works anywhere else in life. Fishermans' math rule of division.
- I hold my rod down. That’s right DOWN. It keeps them from jumping as much. They sling more hooks out of the water than in it. But most people will tell you to hold your rod up. You probably should start this way, I guess. Try both. See what works for you. The rules aren’t as strict in Fishermans' math.
- Set your drag - you have to adjust your drag depending on the lbs. test and the size of the fish you're after. If you're using light lbs., test keep the drag loose. You’ll also lose less of them this way and the fight is more fun. You have to use finesse not muscle to get them in. Trying to muscle in a lot of fish will just pull the hook out of their mouth. Patience newbie.
- Fishermans' math rule of multiplication- taking your time saves you time or: Giving more gets you more. This one does apply to the rest of your life. This is defiantly one I hope you understand one day. If you don't already.
- Don’t be afraid to let them run till they're tired. Once you wear them down, they come in a lot easier. You can’t force something to happen that’s not meant to happen. Trying will only lose you the fish. This is counterproductive.
- Fishermans' math - More fish is more fish
In your Hand
So, you’ve made the cast. Set the hook. Won the fight. Now the fish is next to the boat. You have some options here too.
- Pull him straight up and in the boat. If you got him hooked good enough and he’s not too big. This will work. If your wrong on any of the "if’s" you’ll watch him float away. Your own judgment is what will decide this. Don’t get too mad when you misjudge some. We all do.
- Grab him by the mouth. That’s right. Reach down and grab his mouth. This works good on bass and a few other kinds. But don’t try this with the ones that have teeth. It will hurt. You will bleed. The fish will laugh. And away he will go.
- Use the net. Always carry a net. If you're unsure about how to bring him in. Use the net. Just don’t use it like a spear. Put it in the water gently and guide the fish into it. Then scoop him up.
Just be careful when you get them in the boat. They still might not want to stay there. One wrong move here and it’s a flop, flip, and a jump back into the water. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Well not to me but I’ve heard of it happening.
So, remember to use your Fishermans' math all the time. Sorry, there are no calculators for fisherman math. You just have to learn it and apply it. Fishermans' math is like am I living well math. If I’m using more Fishermans' math I’m definitely living better.
See, it's easy. Like math.