Fish Like a Pro - Carolina Country

Fish Like a Pro

Embrace these habits to catch bigger fish

By Brandpoint

Fish Like a Pro

Fly Fishing in the Tuckasegee River (Photo courtesy of

Anyone who has put time in fishing knows that the big one isn’t always caught by the most experienced angler. In other words, there can be a lot of luck in fishing. On the other hand, if you want to consistently catch more fish and bigger fish (and create your own luck), you can set yourself up for greater success if you follow these tips.

Go to the fish.

It sounds obvious but it’s important. Conditions in some areas produce an outsized number of fish or trophy-size fish. For example, professional bass fishing tournaments tend to be conducted on big bodies of water known for their big numbers. Before you head out, read fishing reports online. The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries’ website offers coastal reports. The regional summaries estimates catches of various fish by interviewing hundreds of anglers throughout the coast. Resources on the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s website include a map that shows ponds and lakes where fish attractors have been placed.

Wobbling is good.

Big fish zero in on wounded fish for an easy meal. Lures that mimic wounded motions include the Original Floating Rapala, a lure created with natural balsa wood that recreates the wobbling motion of a wounded bait fish.

Use needle-sharp hooks.

Many fish have hard mouths so you need to use a hook that will hold on when a fish bites down on your bait. Fishing pros like Ott DeFoe and Jacob Wheeler rely on needle-sharp hooks to win major bass tournaments.

Focus on structures.

Have you ever noticed when you go to a party how everyone hangs around the island in the kitchen? Fish are no different, really — they like to hover around rocks and reefs, hang around dock and pier posts, and hide in weed beds.

Keep asking why.

In a fishing magazine article, pro angler Mike Iaconelli was asked about why he loves fishing and why bass pros are so good at it. Iaconelli said he looks at fishing like solving a puzzle. When he catches a fish, he asks himself, “Why did that happen?” so he can learn from it and keep catching more.

Replace your fishing line.

Don’t take a chance. Check your line regularly for nicks and abrasions, according to professionals at Sufix, and get in the habit of replacing your fishing line annually if you fish frequently.

Dangle big lures.

In general, big fish are kind of lazy. They want to eat as much as they can while spending the least amount of energy getting their food. It’s hanging out on the couch all day and having a fully stocked fridge within just a short reach. So, when you’re going after bigger fish, try using bigger lures.

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