Instincts Can Help Saltwater Anglers Catch More Fish

It is always good to have a plan when you embark on an angling adventure. But it is also good to listen to your intuition and be prepared to alter your plan based on your observations once you are on the water.


I was reminded of this during a recent trip with Port Isabel guide Capt Andy Salinas. We were fishing in tough post-front conditions, but we had discussed what we believed would give us the best chance to boat some fish and put together a solid plan.

While running to our predetermined spot, Capt Andy saw something that made him reconsider. He asked if I minded us taking a quick detour. He mentioned where he wanted to go – an area that was once one of my go-to spots in my guiding days. I had to laugh and agreed that it was worth a look.


Two casts in, Capt Andy confirmed his suspicions when a solid keeper trout whacked his DOA Terroreyz. Once that first fish was landed, the action was fast and furious. It was literally two days of non-stop action for us on that spot. Out of curiosity, we eventually tried our predetermined spot -- both days -- but it didn’t hold a candle to the spot Capt Andy instinctively stopped at based on what he observed at that moment.  Had he blindly run past the area on his way to our predetermined spots – as many fishermen do – we wouldn’t have caught nearly as many fish as we did.


Just think -- How many times do fishermen blow past slicks or working bait or gulls simply because they have already decided where they need to fish? Again, a plan is good, but instincts and adaptability can be better. You have to know what to look for, but most experience fishermen do. So, if you see signs that fish are present and feeding, why not shut down and makes a few casts?  After all, you don’t have to spend all day at an impromptu stop just because it looks fishy. But if the signs are there it is worth a few casts. Taking a few minutes to find out if there are fish in a spot you are running past won’t ruin your preformed plan. If the fish aren’t there, simply pick up and continue to your original destination. But, if they are, you may end up having an even better trip than you planned on.

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