by Blake Rankie –
There are times when I am out tournament fishing or even fun fishing that I have to make certain decisions to catch fish. Very often to do well on any given day I have to go against the grain of what the majority of anglers are doing to be successful out on the water. Community fishing holes tend to hold fish but they get pounded day after day because they are well known. Try to go out on the water and go your own way which can bring in the best fishing of the day.
Here are a few examples of what I mean by fishing my way on the water that has paid off huge for me over the years of tournament fishing.
Fishing an event years ago we decided to stick with smallmouth fishing. the majority of the field were all fishing shallow largemouth and it was a very good pattern but we found something different. We found a deep water smallmouth pattern dragging tubes that was just our style and strengths at the time. We had the whole area to ourselves and we did great that weekend with a second place finish. We stuck with our strength at the time and went against the field and id well.
When you are out on the water it doesn’t matter if everyone is catching fish a certain way. If you are catching fish in a different way under the same conditions it’s a good way. I believe fish get conditioned in seeing certain baits over the season or at least strike different presentations more often.
One event that was being called a spinnerbait and senko style bait pattern for largies or the drop shot pattern for smallmouth I fished is a great example. We went against the grain in that event and brought out the flipping sticks all day. We fished thick mats and punched our way through using small creature style baits on Fin-Tech Title Shot Jigs and Texas Rigged presentations to win the event.
It was an amazing day with over 60 bass caught yes 60 bass. Why we caught so many was down to no one else was fishing this way and we had all these fish to ourselves. I still remember coming into the weigh in area with our boat covered in grass and weeds all over the boat. When we got asked asked where we were fishing to get that dirty we joked and said smallmouth fishing.
One event which was the first ever FLW/TBF/CBAF event was another great example of fishing my way. It was a two day with some of the best anglers in Ontario fishing to make the CBAF Team Ontario. The lake I was fishing is well known for big smallmouth on shoals and ok largemouth in the shallows.
After doing a prefish I found a special pattern totally against the norm that everyone else was fishing. I almost thought the night before the event to change my entire strategy because this pattern never really won on this body of water. I kept thinking that I should be fishing smallies or the largemouth up the river in the trees because that is what is the norm. I stuck out a deep water largemouth pattern to win the event wire to wire. I even second guessed myself for a minute on the second day in the morning when a competitor told me that I was on a special pattern and a winning pattern so forget about the smallies.
I ended up winning this event and was honored with the role of Team Captain. I really enjoy fishing for largemouth on deep water weedlines and went against the entire field on this event.
When you are out on the lake fish your way. Learn a different technique or try to do well trying something different then everyone else is doing on the water. Go out on the water and go fishing your own way against the grain. When you find the right pattern that no one else is fishing it’s usually going to lead to great success on the water and it’s a good way to do well in an event.
About Blake Rankie
Blake is an avid pro tournament angler based in Ontario, Canada, with an impressive tournament record, Blake serves as a professional seminar speaker at many events including sportsman shows, retailers and various clubs. With over 35 years of fishing experience, Blake is sponsored by Spro, VRX Fishing Products, Dobyns Rods, Rod Glove, Lews Reels, X Zone Lures, Numa Optics, Ultra Tungsten, Bio Edge, Ego Nets, Optima Batteries, NPS, Flip Clip, Cablz and Reel Grips.
This story originally was published in National Pro Staff.