4) Match your hook size to your bait- small for small, large for large. It makes a difference in holding your bait, and in how many strikes you will get.
5) Know your gear and how to use it. Learn the features and functions of your reel: how to set the drag, how to cast. Practice, Practice, Practice (darn shame you have to go fishing to practice fishing!)
6) Change your line. Fishing line has memory- it will retain the twist, nicks scrapes, and it gets weaker every time it is used. Losing the fish of a lifetime to old, brittle line is about as bitter and preventable a problem as there is.
7) Learn a strong knot and stick with it. A good, non-slip knot makes a good fisherman a great fisherman. Need a new knot? See the links on the top right of this page.
8) Maintain your gear. Rinse/soak your reels (lubricate according to mfg. instructions), wash your fishing rods (paying special attention to the guides), and clean your tools. Your gear will last longer and perform better when it counts.
9) Fishing is patience, practice, and skill. Take the time to properly set up your gear, tie a solid knot, and check your surroundings. Be aware at all times of what you are doing- sharp hooks and knife blades are accidents waiting to happen.
10) See tip #1