The Art of Giving Good Fishing Advice – Part 1

As someone who has worked in a tackleshop for the last 15 years, I have always strived to be as helpful  with customers as I can possibly be. As in most tackleshops, Most of the help I offer involves answering questions. I recently overheard a lady tell a customer not to cover crabs with water when transporting them. As I waited for her to explain why, I quickly realized that she wasn’t going to tell the customer why it was a bad idea to cover live crabs with water when transporting or storing them.

The reason is simple, when the crabs use up the available oxygen in the cooler or storage container, they may not be able to reach the surface of the water in their container and will suffocate, By omitting this one sentence, the clerk made it much more likely that the lady she was waiting on would forget or not use the advice,  since the reason was not included in the advice.

Another much-given bit of advice is that crabbing is best in the months with an “R” in them. Although frequently given, the rationale  behind the advice is almost never offered  without knowing the reason behind the advice, the advice can often be bad advice.

The plain truth is that crabbing is much better in the fall when coastal rivers are at their saltiest. Adult crabs prefer a salty environment over a freshwater one – so late summer through late fall usually offers the best crabbing – and it has absolutely nothing to do with whether, or not, a month has an “R” in it.

Explaining the reasoning behind your advice will do more than help someone remember a particular piece of advice – it may get them started on the path to becoming a more logical – and therefore more effective angler.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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