The reactive angler is patient and waits for fishing opportunities to present themselves. An example of this may be making the choice to anchor in an area and remain there until there is a change in tidal movement or when the fish may start to bite. This angler can remain quite content and patient in fishing one or two places during the course of the day. It is not uncommon for this angler to experience “hot” and “cold” periods of fishing throughout the day with the change of environmental conditions like tide and wind. Like most fishing enthusiasts, reactive anglers enjoy the intrinsic value of being on the water and perhaps the fellowship of friends and family. Catching fish is often considered a real bonus, but not a requirement for a successful day on the water for the reactive angler, as this person is truly “fishing” – not always “catching.”
The proactive angler, on the other hand, spends most of his/her time actively seeking or hunting for fish with a bit more single mindedness to “catch.” Patience is not a virtue for the proactive angler. Seeking signs of “active” water including tidal movement, baitfish on the surface and feeding birds is how the proactive angler spends a good deal of his/her time. Moving from place to place is also characteristic of the proactive fisherman. Active fishing is usually done by anglers who understand the feeding patterns and habitats of their intended targets. The proactive angler is quite serious about catching fish and will determine the day’s success by the numbers and types of fish caught.
One dead giveaway in the clear determination of an active angler is that of prepared anticipation. It is a requirement for most proactive fishermen to have three or more rods pre-rigged with specific tackle for specific situations in anticipation of just about anything that could happen on the water, such as a feeding “blitz” or breaking fish on the water – when a buck tail jig or a rapalla would be a good bet. Proactive enthusiasts will surely have some type of bottom rig prepared in advance as well as a simple leader and hook for free lining live bait. There is nothing worse for the proactive angler than to run into a feeding blitz and be found unprepared. Timing is everything in active fishing where the preparation of tackle and jigs before heading out can make or break a fishing day when it comes to productivity.
As a charter captain, I am clearly a proactive angler, especially when hired. However, on my “days off” when I don’t have a charter booked, I can easily kick back into the more laid back approach that the reactive angler enjoys. There’s not a place in the beautiful Ten Thousand Islands where anchoring for a day wouldn’t be a pleasure!
Which type of angler are you?