The Limits of Technique: What Other Factors Can Help Us Fish More Effectively

How far does your technique take you? The attainment of proper technique is important when it comes to fishing but there are other factors like lures, rods, reels, locations, guides, weather, and sometimes luck, that also come into play in order to catch a fish. Weather conditions and tides are out of our hands, but we can focus on the things we can improve. Read on as these tips may just help you enjoy a better time out on the water.

It is possible that you no longer need to get better. That your technique is just fine. This was a sudden shower thought while out fishing with guests of mine that I’ve fished with for a good couple of years. I have worked with anglers with vast differences in skill level, some so green that they needed to be taught the most basic of the basics like how to operate a spinning reel and how to avoid hitting their guide with a lure in the back of the head by flipping the bail arm over before casting at full send. Most that fish with us have wet their lines just as they’ve learnt to walk allowing us to jump straight on to hunting our fishy friends. And then there are the special ones, who have been deemed worthy by the Jedi Knights of lore and have bestowed upon them the power of “the force”, the ones who have done the hard yards and have travelled the globe chasing their dream fish. I digress, but whoever you are from the list above it just won’t matter when the fish won’t bite.

I find the harder I work, the more luck I have
– Thomas Jefferson

Having just returned from a recent trip with friends, this thought dawned on me yet again during a recent GT popping trip when I was on a boat with two fishos with some disparity in skill level. One had fished most of his life and have targeted GTs for the past decade. His fishing partner for the day learnt how to fish only 2 years ago but has been consistently out on the water ever since, but chasing GTs was fresh as this was only his 2nd big trip. Long story short, the more experienced of the two had better technique but the greenie had the most and bigger fish. Surely you guys have heaps of stories about the newbie catching the most fish of the day and so on. Why? I say it’s luck, among other factors. Let’s try to break down some of the factors and see where we can and cannot try to improve ourselves to fish more efficiently. Keyword is “try”, people. Point is, no matter how good we get, it won’t matter if the fish won’t bite. Or if lady luck is not on our side.


1Physical Fitness

This is where we can always improve but not all of us love doing exercise. Fishing is more than enough exercise, right?! Think about it though, the more cardiovascular strength we develop, the more hours we can cast, pop, jig or just fish in general. Muscle strength isn’t that important but is good to have, especially around the arms and legs. Core strength is vital as you balance through your core and our platform out at sea is constantly moving with the ocean. Back strength is also vital as most of the battles fought on rod and reel use the hips and back for pumping and winding. We won’t go into much specifics, but physical fitness is definitely one factor wherein we can improve ourselves before our next big trip. The better our physical condition is in, the more we can cast, the more we can keep our lures in the water, the more chances we get on getting a fish hooked onto the lure. We could do an exercise plan for fishing if you guys are keen. Let us know in the comments!


2Fishing Equipment / Gear

Tackle maintenance should’ve been the header but let’s talk about fishing gear in general. From rods, reels, line, terminals, boats, apparel, and electronics, there are so much stuff around us that can suddenly break, fail, rip apart or even sink, if we don’t regularly service and maintain them. Developing a systematized maintenance schedule for each component of your fishing armory, besides knowing the right fishing gear to use, will make you feel unburdened by all the tackle and equipment maintenance that you have to do. Depending on how much time you spend out on the water, how much time you use your gear will dictate how much maintenance you need to do. Heading out once a month will require less work compared to fishing every weekend. Another possible article we can do for you if you guys are keen. Maintenance scheduling for the everyday angler. Hit us up in the comments section if this interests you.

3Fishing Location / Destination

The local fishing hole may have been producing well 20 years ago but things change, and the ecological environment has seen better days. Nowadays, travelling to remote places that have little to no commercial and recreational fishing pressure is an option that a lot of keen fishos choose to do. Long drives, multiple flights, miles and miles of steaming just to get to good fishing spots. Anglers will go the extra mile (literally) just to find new water. Another option is to book with a professional fishing charter company who can do all the legwork for you. All you have to do is to come prepared to fish. Professional charter operators handle virtually everything needed for an enjoyable fishing experience. Accommodations, food and beverages, tackle, well maintained boats and motors, professional guides and everything else you can think of. Depending on what species you are after, you can go to any country you want to catch your bucket list fish. The Amazon for Peacock Bass, the Zambezi for Tigerfish, Three Kings for Yellowtail Kingfish and of course Vanuatu for a variety of saltwater speedsters and our big marlin. Charters can also sort out the family with other activities while you head out for a fish like diving, snorkeling, and other watersports. Ocean Blue Fishing Vanuatu offers a variety of trips for different skill levels, fishing groups, and different target species.

4Weather Conditions

This we have no control over. Mother Nature can be ruthless most times, but she does provide us with amazing weather and unreal fishing conditions that are legendary, sometimes. The best we can do is to keep checking weather forecasts. Forecasts are but just advanced guessing, but this is what we can do. Safety is of course our top priority so avoid heading out when the weather is bad, common sense will dictate if you can head out or not. Always notify your marina if you are heading out, always bring necessary safety equipment on board and ensure that your radios and phones are powered up and ready for an emergency call.

Selecting fishing dates are a bit more under out control. Base dates by moon phase is the norm and fishes have different opinions regarding full moon and new moon dates, but both will do well and offer different types of fish activity.


Another mystery of the sea. Luck is success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than one’s own actions. Luck is a favorite subject of ours as it plays a big part in our day to day fishing. We have seen our fair share of beginners’ luck. First cast ever, and fish on straight away. His first big trip, and he gets the biggest GT. All good and well but how can we collect and contain luck so we can use it whenever we want? Fortunately, we can create our own luck. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “I find the harder I work, the more luck I have”.

Preparing all your gear in advance, getting your physical fitness sorted, choosing a well-established fishing charter operator, choosing the best dates and then casting your arms off while out on the water will result in opportunities for your fish of a lifetime. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. So maintain a positive mindset, don’t get bothered by your poor fishing technique, and just keep casting or jigging or fishing. Dry lures don’t catch fish.

If you are looking for a true sport fishing company that offers you more than just a Vanuatu fishing adventure, look no further than Ocean Blue Fishing. Call us now at (AU) 1300 564 616 or at (INTL) +61 436 020322 or you may also contact us through our website at

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The Limits of Technique: What Other Factors Can Help Us Fish More Effectively

John is originally from the Philippines. John has extensive guiding experience throughout Asia and...Learn more

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