Fishing may as well be Canada’s national pastime. Whether it’s competitive sport fishing, catch-and-release or fishing to put a delicious filet on the table, this is an outdoor activity that everyone can enjoy. May is the fishing season opener for many of Canada’s most popular game fish including lake trout, northern pike, smallmouth bass and walleye. If you’re an avid fisherman, you probably already have a plan to get out on the water and start casting.
If you’re more of a novice to boat fishing, there are some things you should know as the fishing season begins. Read on for some of Innovative Outdoors’ best tips to keep in mind when fishing on your boat.
A Beginner’s Guide to Boat Fishing
- Be Licensed – Before you go boat fishing in Canada, you’ll need to pay for the proper licenses. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 64, you’ll need your province’s Outdoors Card and applicable fishing license. Depending on the type of fishing you’ll be doing and whether you’re fishing exclusively in freshwater or in both fresh and saltwater, you may need to purchase a special type of license. Be sure to read up on the fishing rules and regulations for your province before you disembark on your first fishing expedition of the season.
- Bring Safety Equipment – While boat fishing is a pretty safe activity as long as you follow standard safety guidelines, it’s always good to err on the side of caution by bringing some safety equipment along. There should be at least one life vest for every person on the boat and, if you’re fishing out at sea, you should bring flares as well. Provided disaster doesn’t strike, the most dangerous thing out on the water is the sun. Be sure to pack strong sunscreen and wear a good pair of sunglasses while you’re out on the water.
- Don’t Cross Your Lines – If you’ve never fished out of a boat before, figuring out where to stand to avoid getting in the way of your fellow anglers can be awkward. While the exact positioning will vary depending on the size and the style of your fishing boat, it’s generally good to space out so that you don’t cross your fishing lines when casting. If there are four fishers in a boat, try to have one person casting from the bow, one from the stern, one on port side and one on starboard side to avoid any annoying tangling of lines.
- Stock Up On Bait, Tackle & Line – The last thing you want to do is get out on the lake, make a good cast, then have a big fish bite through your line and realize you have nothing else to throw out there. Always bring a spool of fishing line, a big bucket of bait and a diverse tackle box in the boat with you. Be sure to consider the type of fish you’re trying to catch, too. Trout have small mouths that require smaller hooks while pike can bite through your line if it doesn’t have a steel leader; these are the kind of things you need to consider when preparing your fishing equipment.
- Pack a Cooler – This is one boat fishing tip that you can skip if you’re just doing catch-and-release. But if you actually want to keep your catch to cook it or mount it, you’ll need to pack a big cooler and fill it with ice. Otherwise, if you catch something good early in the day and stay out on the water, it will start to spoil by the time you return to shore and that’s a smell no one wants to inhale.
Keep an Eye on the Sky – Nothing ruins a fishing trip faster than a thunderstorm. If you’ve brought the right clothing, boat fishing in the rain isn’t so bad but you don’t want to be in the water for a severe storm. Strong winds can create waves big enough to capsize a boat, especially if you’re out at sea or on one of the Great Lakes. If lightning starts striking, it’s important to reel in and get out of the water immediately since fishing rods can become deadly lightning rods during a storm. Make sure to check the weather before getting your boat out on the water; if there’s a chance of severe storms, it’d be wise to postpone your fishing trip to another day.
Make Boat Fishing Season Easier With Roll-n-Go
When you need to get your boat back onshore after a fishing adventure, Innovative Outdoors Roll-n-Go On-Shore Docking System can save you a great amount of time and effort. There are many different sizes of Roll-n-Go to accomodate all different types of fishing boats. Call Roll-n-Go today if you’re interested in purchasing one of our state-of-the-art boat docking systems to be used anywhere in Canada!