by Andrew Martin
When I was a kid, my dad made me learn how to play golf with only a 7-iron and a putter. By focusing on one club and learning to hit it well, I was able to pick up the other clubs with no problem. The same principle can be applied to bass fishing.
In this sport, nothing travels faster than the latest and greatest lure or technique. Every year tackle companies spend millions on marketing and advertising geared toward catching the angler, rather than catching more fish. Trying to keep up on the latest crazes can be maddening, not to mention expensive. If you watch enough fishing shows or click on a few YouTube videos, you’ll see sponsored pros trying to convince you that new lure “X” MUST be in your tackle box or you’re missing out. Let’s be honest with ourselves…it works. We all rush out, buy up a whole bunch of them, then post up on every message board on the planet looking for the perfect “technique specific” rod to pair it up with! Maybe, just maybe (and I know this sounds crazy), but maybe we should stick to the basics. Simplify things. It might just help you put more fish in the boat.
Here are three ways that you can ease some stress, simplify and catch more bass:
Become an EXPERT at an Old Technique -
In the last ten years, there have been dozens of new techniques that have come done the line. Drop shots, shaky heads, A-Rigs, punchin’, swimbaits, just to name a few. However, just because new ideas have come out, that doesn’t make the old ones any less effective. Even though it’s difficult to avoid being transfixed by the new and flashy, the proven tactics that have put tons of fish in the boat over the years, have lasted this long for a reason. Try throwing a Carolina Rig for a while or go back to the tried and true Texas Rig. When was the last time you threw just a plain, old, 6-inch curly tail worm? Many times anglers find themselves jumping around to new techniques so much that they never get really good at any of them. Being versatile is important, but try working on mastering a technique first and then moving on.
End the Tackle CHAOS -
If you’ve ever fished a tournament as a co-angler, you should already be ahead of the game at simplifying what you bring on the water. Nobody who fishes at the front end of the boat, wants to see his co-angler walking down the ramp dragging a tackle store with him. Go through your tackle and organize it, leaving stuff out that doesn’t need to be there. If you’re fishing a tournament in mid-January on a deep reservoir, leave your buzzbaits at home. You’re not going to need them, so why have them cluttering up your bag? You probably are not going to need four thousand bags of plastics, either. Try limiting yourself to a couple of colors and sizes. Fill up a handful of Plano tackle boxes with the essentials and focus on fishing. The lighter you can travel, the less you have to worry about while you’re on the boat. If you’re just out for practice, leave everything at home but one type of lure. Watch how much better you get at fishing football jigs or deep crankbaits, when you don’t have any other options.
Avoid OVERTHINKING on the Water -
When the dock talk starts flowing and you’ve poured through the plethora of fishing reports online, sometimes you can come out on the other side more confused than when you started. In fact, half the time nowadays a bunch of the stuff you hear is misinformation thrown out by competitors to intentionally lead you in the wrong direction. Remember that bass are fairly predictable creatures. Master the basics of bass biology and learn the facets of how they migrate seasonally and in various conditions. It’s amazing how much water you can eliminate by a simple cursory knowledge of bass behavior. Take a little time studying barometric pressure, water temperature, water clarity and lake maps, so that when you get to the lake you already have a pretty good idea where the fish are going to be. Pick three or four main areas that you want to focus your time. Maximize your fishing time by concentrating your efforts in high percentage areas. If you don’t get a bite right away, don’t bail out, trust yourself and stick to your plan. A little confidence can go a long way.
Bass are simple creatures that live by instinct and instinct alone. Even though it may feel like you’re up against the Einstein’s of the fishing world, remember they have brain’s that are literally the size of a pea. Simplify your approach and put these three tips into practice the next time you get on the water!
About Andrew Martin
Be sure to check out Andrews informative and entertaining blog at http://andrewmartinbass.blogspot.com/ .
Andrew has been bass fishing for over 20 years. He has competed at the club level on the west coast and in the midwest and has had quite a few tournament wins and accolades. In 2013, Andrew began making the jump to the next level, fishing the FLW Everstart and the WON Bass Pro/Am’s as a co-angler. Andrews sponsors include Dobyns Rods, PowerTeam Lures, Solar Bat, Skinny Bear Jigs, Whiskey River Bait Company and Tackle Grab. Andrew writes contributing articles for multiple websites including Rahfish.com, Bass Angler Headquarters and Bass Utopia. You can follow Andrew on Facebook.