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For a time longer than I am willing to admit I always planned my entire fishing trip the day of the trip. I never rigged any of my rods until I got to the water and I did this primarily because I did not check to see what the conditions of the weather had been on previous days. Before a fishing trip I would check to see what the weather conditions were going to be the day of the trip, and that was about all of the planning that I would do. On several occasions after my drive to the river I would find big surprises like the water being super brown and flowing too hard, or the opposite; as in lack of water causing me to get out and drag my kayak for stretches that seemed like, “forever”. So take it from me, a little planning goes a long way when it comes to a successful fishing trip on the river or creek.

One of the first things I do now is check the level and flow of the water I plan to visit as well as see where these levels have been over the past couple of weeks. There is a phone application I use to check this data that a good friend shared with me about two or three years ago, the app is named Flood Watch. I also check to see if wind will be a factor, and at times wind can be a really good friend while fishing, but that is an entirely different topic.

One thing that I have gotten in a good habit of doing the day before a fishing trip and most importantly after checking water levels and flow is to rig my rods with the baits in a color that I think will, or should do well. Of course this is always just a guess, but I have gotten lucky a time or two. I stopped rigging any bait that contains treble hooks, the reason is that they hoods end up in anything and everything way too easily. The night before the trip I make sure to check my first aid kit which is probably the most important thing you can do prior to getting on the water.

There are so many things you can do to plan for a fishing trip, so don’t forget to collect your thoughts for a safe one before you get to the water.