The best way to learn angling essentials is by catching small fish. Here’s why

We all have our favourite fishing spots where we know big bass, walleye, trout, pike and muskies prowl. Sometimes, they’re secret big-fish locations with just the right mix of cover and structure that we’ve found through extensive trial and error. Other times, they’re small pockets we can rely on to save the day, even when the fishing is tough. Understandably, we highly value these places. Rarely, however, do we equally appreciate hot spots for smaller fish, and that can be a mistake.

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Honestly, I have thousands of waypoints on my graphs, and I’d be angrier if you downloaded the locations of my best dink spots—where one- and two-pound bass and walleye roam—than if you pilfered the spot where I caught my personal best muskie. That’s because areas that hold small fish are living classrooms that can quickly teach you a lot about catching fish. Here’s what I mean, and why you should be marking dink spots of your own…