Whenever I give a fishing seminar I spend a few minutes gabbing with folks afterwards, and without any doubt, the most common problem I hear people talk about is a lack of fishing time. If you’re anything like me, between work, family, social obligations, and psychiatry sessions (um… I mean doctor’s appointments), there’s barely any time left over for fishing. That’s why we need to find ways to extend our fishing time to include one more cast, each and every time we leave the dock. Here are a 5 lighthearted tips on how to make that happen.

reeling in a fish

You never know what one last cast could lead to, so extend your fishing time whenever possible.

1. Whenever you go fishing on someone else’s boat, pull the kill-switch lanyard out. You should be able to get in several more minutes of fishing time before they figure out what’s wrong, and get the boat started up.

2. If you’re fishing at anchor, leave the lines over the side as you haul up the anchor at the end of the day. Sure, you may get a few lines tangled or fouled around the prop. But you’ll also discover that quite often, dragging the lines along as you haul the anchor generates a strike or two.

3. Tell everyone onboard that the area you’re in is a dead-zone for cell phones, and helpfully suggest they turn their phones off so the batteries don’t die while searching for a signal. Almost everyone tells the time with their phones these days, and with the phones turned off, you can lie about when you really need to head in.

4. When it’s time to quit for the day, dump all the extra bait or chum over the side. Then you have a valid excuse to fish for five more minutes—with all those fish-attracting goodies sinking through the water, something’s sure to bite.

5. Always reel up and stow lines one at a time. Why reel them all up at once, then work on de-rigging and stowing the rods and reels all at the same time?