A new year is upon us, which means “new” is in style. New habits. New gym memberships. New hairstyles. A whole new you!
I’m all for setting goals and trying new things — especially when it comes to fishing. With that in mind, here are some ideas for a fun year of fishing in 2019. I invite you to try them along with me!
Fish with new people: You can never have too many fishing buddies. It’s fun to get to know new people out on the water, and each fishing partner brings a new set of experiences. My newest fishing buddy, Bryce, is a diehard angler and amateur comedian who has been showing me the ropes on catching sturgeon in the Snake River. See, it pays to make new friends!
Fish in new places: There’s something special about fishing new waters for the first time — the excitement is addicting! There are so many rivers, lakes, streams and ponds in Idaho, it shouldn’t be hard to find a new fishing hole.
It’s also fun to test waters outside of the Gem State. In 2018, I caught my biggest bass of the year at Owyhee Reservoir in Oregon and tangled with Coho and Chinook Salmon on the Puget Sound in Washington. The next time you take a trip, remember to bring your tackle!
Catch a new fish: Once again, Idaho anglers are blessed with a bounty of species to fish for. And while it’s always fun to catch your favorite species with tried-and-true methods, chasing a species you’ve never tangled with brings a whole new level of adventure.
I started and ended 2018 by catching two signature Idaho species for the first time — a rare bull trout in January and a wild Snake River sturgeon in November. I’ll definitely be a repeat customer on both, and I have my sights on a walleye for 2019!
Step outside your comfort zone: This is the spirit of the entire column, right?
Get out there and try something new this year! If you’re a fly-fishing fanatic, go sling some bait and catch a catfish. If you’re a diehard bass angler, try using a Tenkara fly rod in a tiny mountain stream.
If you do most of your fishing in the summer, venture out and drill some holes in a frozen lake.
Try fishing from a float tube. Experiment with a fancy new lure. Book a deep-sea trip on your next vacation. Fishing is all about new experiences, so get out there and go for it!
Wherever your new adventures take you, I hope to see you on the water in 2019.
Happy New Year, and tight lines!
Renew your license! With my first column of 2019, I’ll issue a friendly reminder to renew your fishing license.
This is especially important for ice anglers and other year-round diehards, but even if you don’t intend to fish until spring, snagging your license now will save time when your first trip arrives.