If you are aware of all the benefits that come with spending time in the outdoors, you’re probably making a few New Year’s fishing/boating resolutions for the upcoming year. According to the American Psychological Association, spending time in nature is associated with positive mental health outcomes like improved focus and lower stress. Check out these six ways to set fishing goals for the new year, learn new boating skills, and start making the most of your time outdoors.
Resolutions for Fishing/Boating Beginners
One of your New Year’s fishing resolutions should include attending local fishing seminars. Look for upcoming fishing seminars to attend by checking with tackle shops, fishing clubs, and charter captains in your area. Local seminars will cover fishing techniques to learn in the New Year, educate you on the best types of tackle and gear to use, and help you become more proficient as an angler.
2. Boat Shows
Attend at least one boat show this year to compare boat makes and models. If you are a first-time boat buyer; boat shows are a great place to do research on boat manufacturers, talk to local boat dealers, and learn more about boat features that complement the type of boating you plan to do.
3. Safety Education
Take a classroom boating safety course with the USCG AUX (United States Coast Guard Auxiliary) in your local area. There are courses, such as “Introduction to Basic Boating Safety” and “Boating Skills & Seamanship,” that will empower you with the knowledge and skills you need on the water.
4. Improved Skills
Make a short list of fishing habits to improve in the New Year. This list might include practicing your casting accuracy, keeping your tackle more organized, or taking a few new friends or family members out on the water with you this year. Whichever fishing habits you want to improve upon, be sure to set achievable goals that are measurable. Do some research on how to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound).
Come up with one or two specific ways you can contribute to water or fisheries conservation in your state. This could mean attending a local beach or waterway clean-up effort, volunteering your time to help a local conservation organization, and/or spreading the word about catch and release best practices.
6. New Locations
Find a new place to fish or boat near where you live. Most of us are creatures of habit and tend to visit the same waterways every year. Do some online research to find new places that will get you out of your typical fishing or boating routine. By visiting different waterways, you can learn more about fish behavior, boost your boating knowledge, and soak in a new adventure on the water.
Once you put these New Year’s fishing/boating resolutions into writing, they are up to 42% more likely to happen and contribute your success on the water. Get more ideas for improving your fishing or boating skills set by r/eading about how to tie fishing knots or watching fishing/boating videos.