6 Common Mistakes that Will Cause You to Lose Fish

Charlotte Harbor fishing charters explore common errors that lead to no fish in the boat and frustration

While charters can’t guarantee you will catch fish, it is implicitly understood that you don’t want to come away empty-handed when fishing off Charlotte Harbor. After all, you have to get up real early and pay a healthy sum to be there – you want to feel like you got your money’s worth.

Again, many factors come together to determine how good a bite is going to be on a particular day – wind, tides, weather conditions, temperature, a pinch of luck and more all play a role in how things can go. Charters with extensive experience fishing near Charlotte Harbor will be able to work around these issues though and still make sure you come up with something.

However, there’s only so much the captain and his crew can do. They can take you to good spots, instruct you on proper casting and what to do if a fish strikes, but the rest is up to you.

Below are some of the more common mistakes charters see anglers making when fishing around Charlotte Harbor. These mistakes often lead someone to lose fish and become frustrated with the whole process, and therefore not have a good time.

  1. Not Keeping Your Line Tight – According to many charter captains, this is one of the biggest reasons novice anglers lose fish. If your line is lax and a fish strikes and runs, the force will likely snap your line. Keeping the line tight ensures it won’t endure this kind of stress. Also, many fish will know something is wrong and spit your hook out.
  1. Putting sunscreen on your hands – Any good fishing charters are going to recommend you put sunscreen on to protect your skin. However, if you put it on your hands and then reach for bait in the live well, the fish will down below will be able to tell. The sunscreen can be toxic to your bait, and fish will smell something wrong and swim away.
  1. Using a hook that’s too big or too small – Fishing charters will have proper rigs setup for their patrons, but many will bring their own, which is totally okay. However, you can easily lose fish if the hook(s) you’re using are too big or too small. If they’re too big, the fish will not be able to get a good grip, and if they’re too small, they can spit them out or swallow them whole, making catch & release impossible.
  1. Not having enough line – In the same vein as #3, not having a sufficient amount of line on your reel is another mistake that can lead to lost fish. Perhaps you didn’t have as much line as you thought, or you’re maybe trying to save a few bucks. Either way, this can be devastating, which is why having enough line for fighting a Redfish or Snook off Charlotte Harbor is critical.
  1. Not wearing gloves when handling a fish – This may not make sense, but not wearing gloves when pulling a fish into the boat can be a big mistake. There’s also no worse feeling than defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory. Even though a fish may be tuckered out from the fight doesn’t mean they’re always going to come into the boat quietly. A fish will often thrash in one last ditch effort to break free. If you’re not wearing gloves, you will either lose the fish, be injured, or both.
  1. Not focusing on fishing – When you take a charter, you’re often there to spend time with family and friends as well. It can be easy to kick back and get into talking with your company and forget about fishing. Many a patron aboard fishing charters have wasted an entire day talking instead of fishing. While it’s certainly okay to talk and cut up with your friends a little, remember you also came to fish. Make sure you balance these different priorities so you don’t feel like you wasted your money at the end of the day.


Some of these items should be properly handled by the fishing charters – they will ensure you have the proper gear and will even handle your fish if they’re able. However, it’s up to you to carefully listen to their instruction and exercise common sense during your trip.

Captain Leighton Ingram of Krewe Chief Charters has extensive experience fishing the waters around Charlotte Harbor, and can carefully (…and patiently) instruct even the most novice of anglers. To learn more or to schedule a trip, visit http://www.krewechief.com/ today!

Charlotte Harbor fishing - Boca Grande sunset

Image courtesy of Florida Park Service

Featured image courtesy of C & C Robertson via Wikimedia


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