Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rant: How to Keep your Private Fishing Hole Private!

We have all had it happen to us, our spot, our fishing hole, our sacred place that we truly believe belongs to us, gets stolen, boosted, taken away.. How does it happen? why does it happen? Well, we may never truly know how our private fishing hole became public knowledge.. but at time we can only blame ourselves!

here are the top 3 reasons you lost your private fishing hole

1) The Internet

10 years ago this would have been unheard of. But with the onslaught of fishing forums and social media sites Anglers are posting photos and at times geographical information on where and when they are fishing. Many of us are cognizant of this and take steps to avoid spot recognition.. here is some do's and dont's when it comes to posting photos on-line

Do's: Take a moment to look around you, is there any landmark or highly distinguishable piece of nature that will give away the spot you are fishing. A Pink Cottage or split tree is pretty obvious, a simply fur tree will not be. watch your backdrop as I can assure you other anglers will be paying attention when they look at your photos

Before posting your photos on-line use the crop feature in your photo editing program, this will allow you to remove any items you missed when on the water, and will allow you to better centre the photograph so the focus is on your fish and not the background

Dont's: The dreaded photo shop blur. We have all seen it, the entire background of a photo blurred or blacked out. This looks awful, and ruins the image. If you follow the above steps you wont need to alter your photo with effects that take away from the fish

On larger bodies of water naming the lake is not an issue. If you start calling Okeechobee "Lake X" people are going to think your crazy. But if you have a small lake with limited resources you may be best to avoid naming it. Some-one may call you out, but who cares, your lake is safe

2) Word of Mouth

When you find a new fishing hole it can be hard to keep it a secret. You will want to share it with friends and or fishing partners.. this is a good thing. But what you need to consider is that these friends also have friends and fishing partners. So for each friend you tell, you can expect them to share the sport with a few of their friends and so on and so on. Be sure to share this info with friends that have the same fishing ethics as you do, or at least make they cough up a spot you can hold as ransom on yours (I may have to try that)

I always go back to the time in which my room mate told me about one of his dads fishing holes. A few weeks later I headed out to fish this spot only to find his dad already there, and fishing. He recognized me immediately and was polite about it. so we spent the hour fishing together. The next day he called his son and laid into him for giving up the spot (to this day I have never caught a single fish there)

3) Fishing & Parking in High Traffic or Visible spots

I think the majority of us realize this one, if you fish the same spot day after day, week after week, month after month, you are going to be noticed. Even more so when you are driving one of those fancy bass boats we all love. Anglers take notice of this kind of thing, most guys leave a lake with a mental image of all the boats they saw fishing that day, the ones they thought were "local" and ones they thought were "pros. Where they were fishing and many even notice how long a guy sits on a spot. So if you do all of the above when on the water.. what makes you think others are not doing the same damn thing to you!

Obviously Im not telling you to stop fishing you favourite spot, or it wouldn't be your favourite spot. But what I am saying is pick your times, you may not want to spend an entire Saturday afternoon of the long weekend parked in a favourite spot knowing there is 3x as much boat traffic on the water. (watching you). Weekday trips are great for fishing hot spots, the lake is nearly empty and you have most spots to yourself.

Parking is also a tactic to keep you secret spot hidden, especially on smaller lakes. I fish one lake that has small boat access only, if it was not for the 2-3 trucks parked in front of bushes I would not even have known there was a spot to drag a boat down. Each year more and more people fish this small lake, and it is solely based on the traffic and word of mouth

My last story in this mini rant has to do with a small lake I fish with my tournament partner. He showed it to me, and thus far I have kept it private. But this year he made friends with a TV Angler who he gave the spot up to. My partner assured me that when filming they would remove the landmarks and not say the name of the lake. This is all well and good, but the only parking for this lake in right along the the busiest stretch of HWY in the area.. so for 6 hours a day 4 times a month, every car and truck driving this hwy got to see the fully wrapped truck of this TV angler. Again, this was his spot and his choice, but I did dig into him a bit about it.

That's it, my mini rant is over, I hope you took something away from this, and remember the more clues you leave to how good your spot is, the more people will search it out. So if you want to keep you private fishing hole private, turn off your computer, shut your mouth and fish hard.

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