I just came back from one of the best fishing trips that I have ever had, and it is one that you can have too. It was with my grandson, Zachary. The creek again played a major role in fishing knowledge for Zachary and helped his ole granddad have a great day.

You have heard me talk many times about the creeks and you have probably read the four "P’s” of fishing article in the tip section. Creeks are the place to learn to fish.

The variety of fish in creeks and the ability of the fisherman to see what he or she is going after are a big plus when teaching kids or grownups the ways of fishing.

On this trip to the creek with my grandson Zachary these questions and comments came up. Now when these things happen take the time right then to help the new fisherman to figure out what he needs to do in order to catch the fish. You should NEVER use the phrase, “You are doing it the wrong way.” That is a big turn-off. Don’t you just hate for someone to tell you that you're wrong? Try this instead, “You missed the fish. Well, let's see happened.” Now is the time to connect with the fisherman and say, “Let's see if we can figure out what happened.”

Here are two comments that I got from my grandson the other day: “He got off” and "I set the hook like you said, Papa." (Zachary calls me "Papa." I like that.)

With those comments we started our talk.

Zachary's problems are also the most common mistakes made by first time fisherman, so we stood together and resolved the issues.

The fisherman can detect the strike in two ways: 1) By feeling the strike when it happens or, 2) By watching the line twitch when the fish inhales the bait. Either way is good, but both used together increases the angler’s chances of catching the fish.

What makes a good fishing trip?

Good Fishing with Smallmouth Fisherman Tony Bean

The creek is not only a great place to learn fishing, its the perfect place to spend quality time with friends or kin. On this outing, my grand son, Zachary, was my fishing buddy. By the way, this is the same creek where I taught my son, Jay, to fish over thirty years ago.

The common mistake made (and this is one of the things I went over with Zachary) is that a fisherman may have too much bag in the line when the fish hits. He may be well aware of the fish taking the bait, but he is setting the hook on the bag in the line and not on the fish. Once I went over with Zachary the importance of keeping the line somewhat taunt so he could feel the fish better, his catching improved from a 2 to a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. That’s a big improvement in a very short period of time.

Next we talked about dropping the rod just a little to allow for more of a hook set. In other words, drop the rod tip and reel at the same time, once you feel the fish set the hook. Dropping the rod gives you a more positive hook set and lets the rod remain in front of your body instead of being over your head or behind you where you have to regain control before you start to control the fish.

These were two easy lessons for Zachary his fishing experience got better and better as the day went on. We caught a good stringer of catfish and red eye, we had our time together and most important of all Zachary looked over at me on the way back and said, "That was fun, Papa. I want to do it again!"

DO IT AGAIN! Those are the words that you want to hear. Take the time to help someone learn the great sport of fishing. You will develop fishing buddies that will last a lifetime. Remember never use the word "WRONG," instead suggest the correct way to do it and say, "Let's see if this works." — IT WILL!

Until next time ~ TONY BEAN

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