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1999 Carolina Skiff 16
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I do 3 type trips
1. Saltwater, 5-1/2 hours one way, definitely planned, usually weeks in advance. This involves overnight, usually tent camping.
2. Trout, usually about a 2 hour one way trip. Also planned, but usually a day or two in advance. Weather is a factor, but less so than a trip to the coast.
3. Local freshwater lakes, I can load and go. Total time from loading up to first cast is less than an hour. I usually plan in advance but will take off and go if there's nothing else planned. Weather is a factor, but being this close to home, I'll take a chance on it.
 

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2020 Chittum Mangrove
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Just go when you can. My weekends are generally booked with kids sports but during the off season or tarpon season I don't book weekends if I can help it and will plan for some weekdays off.

Realistically it rarely goes like that so I look the day before or even the day of and go. My parents were just here for Thanksgiving and my dad and I went once at 12:00 and Black Friday we went at 10:30.

I have two specific instances I can recall that were great and they were unplanned late weekend trips.
 

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I’m always tinkering with the gear in the event that I get that last minute call to go fishing. I can literally go with a moments notice. I really do love the trips that are planned though!
 

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Definitely, yes. But it depends on a number of factors.

Short range forecast doesn't come in until 48 hours. That means if you are looking for weather on Saturday, it's a crap shoot until the short range comes in on Thursday. Before then, there is a lot of uncertainty, mainly if a front or weather may be an issue.

Moon - very important for salt water species.

Tarpon are nocturnal feeders - fish for them on a new moon. I have found them less interested around a full.

Permit like big pushes of water, so two days after a new moon is best, full moon second. But wind can also provide a big push of water regardless of moon phase.

Bonefish will stay on the flats longer on quarter moon phases - the tide changes are smaller with less magnitude. Tides on full and new moons move water faster on and off the flats, and the bonefish will move with the tide, so they are on the flats less.

Reds - they are water movement dependent, like all fish, but less picky than the above three. But, you just have to know where to find them based on the water level and water movement.

Freshwater bass - they tend to follow the solar / lunar feeding cycle since lakes typically do not have current.

But you can't catch fish if you aren't on the water. And also cannot wait to fish for the perfect conditions. The forecast is just that - a forecast. There was a day this week where at 9 am NOAA had out a small craft advisory for gusts over 20. Guess what - it didn't happen - I watched the weather buoy report flat to 5 kts wind up to the afternoon. And the water levels did what I predicted would happen if it was calm. I kicked myself for not going.
 

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I fish infrequently enough that I'll brave less than ideal conditions but I also have my limits. I had "planned" to go a couple weeks ago but we got crazy rain all day glad I cancelled that one. Went the following week in optimal conditions and didn't catch shit, LOL!
Good or poor conditions, catchem or not, a day on the water is better then the couch!!
 

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I use my iCalendar to alert me of times of the year & conditions where I've had good fishing results. This inspires me to pre plan specific tackle to have ready. It's just a matter of getting my chores done ahead of time ,enabling me to grab my gear in the corner when those conditions come together.
 

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Moon phase calendar and solunar calendar influences my decision. I typically preplan the trip using specific information to inform decisions about where to fish and when.
 

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Plan? :unsure:

No.

Skiff is in the garage, everything is aboard except food, drink and ice.
As long as it ain't raining horizontal I'll go.
There's always a spot in the marsh I haven't been to yet. :cool:

Baitcaster is by the back door rigged with a small hookless topwater plug
for when the shad are being herded and hammered by the bass in the waterway behind the house.
I can get 3 or 4 hits per retrieve when the the blast's are happening. :p
 

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If hunting, fishing, boating and outdoor type things are a life long obsession, not just a flash in the pan, I recommend positioning yourself and living where you can do such out the front door, or pretty damn close. Then it becomes part of your daily lifestyle and not some separate activity that requires too much planning. I understand it affects work and family, etc. It took me a few decades to figure it out and get there - its been worth it
 
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Perfection Challenger / East Cape Glide
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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Made plans to go today….

Electrician cancelled so I had to add a soffit outlet and run wire/tie in to the fuse panel. Plans ruined.

Planned a late afternoon trip tomorrow instead. Shutter contractor just called and bumped my install back to “late afternoon”

This weekend, beach volleyball tournament for daughter. Monday and Tuesday visiting colleges with my son.

Lol, maybe I’ll shoot for sometime in March? :LOL:
 

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2020 Chittum Mangrove
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Made plans to go today….

Electrician cancelled so I had to add a soffit outlet and run wire/tie in to the fuse panel. Plans ruined.

Planned a late afternoon trip tomorrow instead. Shutter contractor just called and bumped my install back to “late afternoon”

This weekend, beach volleyball tournament for daughter. Monday and Tuesday visiting colleges with my son.

Lol, maybe I’ll shoot for sometime in March? :LOL:
You basically just posted my last 8 months to a tee.
 
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