Activity Levels
One thing that's important to do as your fishing day unfolds is to ascertain the activity level of the species you are targeting.   Water temperature, time of day, calendar period (whether fish are spawning or pre-spawn, pre-summer etc...) weather conditions and water conditions all play a role in a fish's activity level.   The sooner you can determine the activity level of the fish you're after, the sooner you'll be able to come up with an optimal presentation for these fish.    Fish will give you the necessary clues.   In general, the less active the fish, the more vertical elements you'll want to incorporate into your retrieve - the more active the fish, the more you'll want to focus on a horizontal presentation.