A successful fishing trip does not always necessarily mean catching a full mess of fish. Fishing is more about the actual act of fishing itself rather than landing a bunch of fish.

That’s not to say that catching fish while fishing isn’t a whole lot of fun of course, because it sure as heck is! However, it is entirely possible to have a memorable and pleasurable fishing trip without catching a single fish -- especially if you use these fishing dos and don’ts!

Do go with the flow. Even the most meticulously laid plans for outdoor excursions tend to go awry when least expected. Predicting the weather, fish, other anglers, and any number of any other variables is pretty much impossible. However, if you go with the flow and take things as they come, you'll have a great time no matter what. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been fishing where things didn’t go as planned, and wound up having a great time (and catching some really nice fish) anyways.


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Don’t forget your net. Change 'net' to any other vital piece of gear too, and this tip still works. I mentioned a net, however, because you never know when you might hook the fish of a lifetime. I’ve lost too many big fish in the past to ever forget my net again, and I want to spare you that disappointment. Hooking and losing a big fish will haunt your fishing dreams for a very long time.

Do try a new fishing spot. Many anglers (myself included) tend to go to the same fishing spots over and over again. We get comfortable with a certain lake or pond, know how to catch fish there and wind up never trying any new bodies of water. Exploring a new pond, lake, river or creek brings back the thing that got many anglers addicted to the sport in the first place. That sense of exploration that a new body of water provides can add an excitement that is absent when constantly fishing the same place. You just never know where your new favorite place to fish might be. It might even be that tiny little pond in the park you drive by everyday but always ignore.


Don’t put off fishing whenever you can. Time flies. It seems like the older we get, the faster time goes. That's why one of my tips is to go fishing as much as possible. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll have time next week or next month or next summer. Plan a trip and go. Even if it's just for an hour at the nearest park. The grass will still be there for you to mow after you go fishing along with all the other chores that cause you to put off fishing trips. Don’t put yourself into the position of wishing you had hit the water more often when you look back on your life.

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Do pass your passion for fishing on to someone else. The majority of anglers get into the sport of fishing via someone else in their lives. Whether that be a parent, grandfather, some distant relative, or a kindly old neighbor, learning how to fish is usually knowledge passed from one person to another. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have someone willing or able to pass that knowledge down.

If you have the chance to teach someone else how to fish, take it. It is something you will never forget, and a hobby they will never stop thanking you for. Plus, you will then have another fishing buddy to hit the water with whenever possible! Not to mention someone who can take your picture with your next big catch.


The most important thing about a successful fishing trip is not how many fish you catch. Instead, it's all about your mindset. Having the opportunity to spend time outdoors pursuing one of your passions is a gift whether you fill your creel or not.