If you’ve ever done any sort of fishing before then you’ve likely made your fair share of blunders. Maybe you did a poor job of knot tying and big one got away. Or perhaps you unwittingly rigged a lure backwards and fished it an entire day not knowing any better. No matter how experienced the angler, everyone makes mistakes. The good news is that there’s a new book in town that aims to reduce these frustrating fishing “boo-boos.”

Did you know that yelling, “I got a bite!” or slathering yourself in insect repellent can ruin an otherwise productive day of fishing? Well I didn’t either, until I read Rudow’s Guide to Mistakes Anglers Make, written by one of my favorite fishing writers, Lenny Rudow. Yes, the same Rudow that’s Senior Editor for boats.com. Having already read Rudow’s Guide to Fishing the Chesapeake and Rudow’s Guide to Rockfish, I was amped when I found out about his latest book. If you’re looking to up your game and catch more fish, read on. Heck, Rudow even guarantees that you will catch more fish or he’ll eat his own bait. Well, as long as it’s soft crabs or shrimp.

The premise of the book is pretty simple: anglers make tons of silly mistakes that affect their fishing productivity, without even knowing it. The further I read into the book, the more “ah-ha” moments I had. Who knew that I’d been rigging my live spot the incorrect way all these years? And it turns out that wasn’t the only thing I was doing wrong. Table for one, dish of humble pie, please.

Delving into the book I found it broken down into 10 easy-to-read sections that are each digestible in less than an hour of reading. And that’s a big deal in a world of fishing books that can be complicated, overly wordy, and, well, boring. I’ve always enjoyed Rudow’s light-hearted approach in explaining complicated fishing techniques and methods, and this newest book doesn’t disappoint. Among the topics covered are fishing faux pas relating to smell, sound, getting into ruts, rigging blunders, retrieving and trolling mistakes, boat slip-ups, tackle issues, and more.

Still, Rudow doesn’t take a “lecture-ey” tone, often admitting and explaining his own mistakes and describing how he corrected them in the book’s 175 pages. I chuckled especially heartily reading Rudow’s description of his tuna chunking setup when he fished out of Ocean City, MD, in the late 90s. If you don’t think a tunas have a preference between a stinky, rotten bait and a fresh juicy one, think again. Oh, and you do know how to rig a jig head, right? If you don’t, chapter four is for you.

I’ve got to admit it: I’m sort of energized to start out the fishing season with some new tricks up my sleeve, thanks to Rudow’s book. Looking to improve your own odds this season? This self-help fishing book is a must read.

You can find Rudow’s Guide to Mistakes Anglers Make on Amazon.

Written by: Gary Reich
Gary Reich is a Chesapeake Bay-based freelance writer and photojournalist with over 25 years of experience in the marine industry. He is the former editor of PropTalk Magazine and was the managing editor of the Waterway Guide. His writing and photography have been published in PassageMaker Magazine, Soundings, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters, Yachting Magazine, and Lakeland Boating, among others.