Tunnel Vision With Baits v.s. Making Changes to Adjust

Let’s just say, confidence in what we are doing will catch more fish than any bait, presentation or toy that technology can afford us. It is the centerpiece or core of what drives us to pursue these sometimes elusive fish and overcome great discomforts to get the job done. If there is anything I’ve learned over the years of watching, teaching and training anglers in the sport is to recognize that intangible quality in us which makes us a successful angler. Since it is not an off-the-shelf item everyone can purchase so it falls into a “unique” category. One angler can succeed with his methods while another will work with methods 180 degrees out-of-phase with the other yet both finish with equal results.

My first exposure to an angler who had tunnel vision was my friend Pete who showed me the ropes out on Lake St. Clair. He was a power fisherman all day long yet he could make the adjustment to slow down with plastics. Even though Pete had two gears, he had one way of approaching the bite: He would throw his confidence baits out there all day until he found the fish that matched his style of fishing. He covered a lot of water and you could describe his approach as run and gun. At the club level he had established a good deal of success with his methods and his confidence never wavered.

My style is one of adjustments. I’ll measure up the bite while on the water and make changes to improve my bait selections and presentations to match what it appears the bass are looking for. On the whole, I will tend to cover less water to make time to have the bass shop my samples as I offer one after another until they tell me what they want. Like Pete, I too can switch gears and go running and gunning but it isn’t my first choice.

That’s probably the best part about fishing with a partner because both can fish their game, cover more water and enjoy the fruits of the results. I’ve learned a lot over the years fishing with friends and associates and although I might not have had confidence in their presentation at first, I had confidence that they could catch fish their way. That can be enough to get me over the top and pick up a new skill.

The early season coming up is definitely the time to explore the new things we have been learning over the winter and what better way than with a friend who wants to share the process of becoming a better angler too.

(c) Wayne Carpenter

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