Ask the Expert: Capt. Jake Bates

By Wellness360 Magazine
Capt.Jake Bates

Fishing Captain Jake Bates is a native Floridian with four years of experience as a fishing guide. He has experience guiding fishing trips in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Alaska. Capt. Bates is based out of Northeast Florida and specializes in inshore/nearshore fishing trips.

I love to fish, but, when I go out, I never catch anything! What am I doing wrong?

There are so many factors that can result in bad fishing trips. I would recommend talking to local fishermen, visiting tackle shops or researching what gear and equipment to use in the area you plan on fishing. It is important to stick to it and learn from your mistakes. Even the best fishing guides will have off days. Learning from your mistakes and growing from them is essential.

We are getting ready to take a vacation and my kids want to go fishing! What are the top five things I should make sure we have before going out?

Whenever I go on vacation, I always pack a few rods and put together a tackle bag. I usually plan on picking up lures or flies from a local tackleshop once I arrive. I pack a hat and sunglasses for every trip. Lastly, I pack a small cooler with water and snacks. It is important to prepare for kids’ needs as well. I recommend always bringing extra sunscreen, snacks and safety equipment such as life jackets.

My wife has very little patience for fishing, but I love to go. What are some tips to make it enjoyable for both of us?

I think the majority of people set their expectations too high, and they expect to catch a lot of fish on every trip. Over the years, I have learned that Ienjoy fishing because you never know what you are going to see while out on the water. I would try to make it more about the experience than justfishing. That way, when the fishing is good, it is a bonus! I would also try to take your wife out for shorter periods of time. That way, if the fishing is slow, she doesn’t get bored! It may also be beneficial to show her your joys of fishing, and when there is a good fish on the rod, let her do the work and help her find her own enjoyment in fishing.

If I am just getting started in the fishing world, what should I invest my money in?

I always tell people that kayaks are a great way to get into fishing. They are relatively cheap and are a great way to get out on the water. Kayak fishing is how I started and got into the sport.

What can a fishing captain help me with?

Fishing guides are experts in their field because they spend countless hours on the water. Hiring a guide is a great way to learn new tips and techniques. Captains, such as myself, can also help build confidence while on the water and out fishing.

Why do fish have limits, seasons and restrictions? Aren’t there “plenty of fish in the sea”?

Fish have limits, seasons and regulations because they are a resource that we depend on for food. They also serve an important role in their ecosystems and could have a detrimental impact if they became extinct.

As a fishing captain, can you teach me to be a better fisherman?

I always try to gear my fishing trips more toward a learning experience to help people understand what we are doing and why at each spot. I think that it helps my clients appreciate and enjoy their time on the water even more.

Does noise from a boat really scare the fish away?

Yes! Fish are very sensitive to noise, especially highly pressured fish that live in shallow water. I try to be as quiet as possible, so I pole up to spooky fish.

Contact Capt. Jake Bates at:

Instagram: @capt.bates


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