Mobility is Everything

     I see it all the time when wandering the banks here in Madison.  People that are trapped in one spot because of the sheer amount of gear that they carry.  I still haven't pinpointed the exact reasons shore anglers feel the need to bring along everything they own, but they do.  Sometimes I wonder if it's based on personal image?  Maybe they just want to show off all the gear they own?  It could even be that they really want a boat and they think that if they carry all of the stuff they would store on a boat, they're one step closer to boat ownership?  I'm not 100% sure why shore based anglers do it, but they normally do.  Let me give you an example.
That's a whole of gear to only fish one spot.
     While out chasing muskies last week I ran into this guy on the break wall.  The first thing I noticed was that he had a lot of gear.  Three rods, a huge musky tackle box, giant net, and at least 8 tackle trays.  Working my way down the wall I asked if he had any luck today.  He said, "Nope, been here for five hours and haven't seen a single fish."  I asked him were else he had tried and he said, "Just here, it's to hard to move all this stuff."  Even with his modified luggage cart it was still to difficult to move all his gear so he was trapped in one place.  I made a few more casts then started working my way up the shoreline towards the boat house.
Spiderwire Backpack
      Now you might be thinking, "Maybe you don't carry enough gear to properly chase muskies?"  Maybe I don't, I had 2 rods, top water baits, jerk baits, buck tails, and my Lucid Fishing Grips, release tools, and terminal tackle.  I also pack rain gear, snacks, and usually a soda or two.  I keep them all in my back pack and only carry what I need each day to cover the species I plan to chase.  It keeps me organized, hands free, and mobile.  Using the backpack helps me cover water by limiting what I can take with me.  Downsizing helps the shore bound angler cover large amounts of water.  Which in turn gets you the best chance of finding fish.  Don't believe me, look at the guys in the boats.  They use the engine and trolling motor to cover giant expanses of water, it gives them the best chance of finding the fish.  We're talking about any fish, not just the rare and finicky muskellunge. 
     Just because you have the ability to carry everything you own tackle wise, it doesn't mean you should.  Downsizing what you carry and making sure you have what you need for the fishing you plan to do that day will help you as a shore based angler.  I know I sound a little preachy, but this is probably the single most important thing I cover in my seminars.  Using some form of backpack or waist bag will allow you to cover water much more effectively, which will obviously help you find more fish.  Because as the title suggests mobility is everything, at least in shore fishing.
Hands Free Fishing Fun
     Tight Lines.

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