Last week I started a blog series about 3 tips I feel is very important when targeting certain fish species. The first blog was an overview of the 3 tips mentioned. I talk mainly about targeting salmon and steelhead but I can’t see why these tips would not work for every other fish. The tips were:
1. Watch others and pay attention
2. Know your rigging/technique/style
3. Have confidence in the way you fish
You can read the blog post on this section of "Fields and Streams" if you missed it.
The first tip was about watching others and paying attention. In the first blog, I mentioned how it took me 5 years to catch my first steelhead. For the first 3 of those years, I was completely on my own. I was fishing rigs that didn’t make sense at all. I went down to the river and threw my line in not really paying attention to any presentation. I figured the more time I was on the water I would eventually get one. What I didn’t understand was
After my buddy hooking a lot more then me I noticed he had a lot more weight on his rig. So I adjusted my rig and started catching more steelhead.
that presentation was key. I was also fishing one of the toughest fisheries in our state, in my opinion where presentation is everything. Then the final years of getting skunked I had a friend tell me I needed to put down my fishing rod and watch others. I really didn’t understand what he meant by that. I finally caught a couple steelhead on a weekend when I was fishing on other friends boats. I thought it was game on for me. What I didn’t know is I still was not keyed in on proper presentation. I still had no clue what I was doing because I went another year before I caught another steelhead.
Over time, I have learned to be successful you may have to pay attention to others. You may have to get rid of your ego whether it’s your first fishing trip or you’re a pro and look around you. Catching fish is continually changing due to pressure, weather, evasive species and others. A certain style of fishing may be better then what you prefer for whatever reason. If you don’t look around, you may miss out.
After struggling to catch fish on this lake for a week a fellow fisherman advised me to use little bluegill to catch fish on this lake. Our results were impressive
It’s pretty simple, put down your fishing rod and watch the people who are catching fish. Look at the type of water they are fishing and where they are casting. If your steelhead fishing the top of a run and not catching anything, but the guy below you is killing them, you know your fishing the wrong type of water. If your trolling for walleye and the boat next to you always has a few on and your not catching anything, you probably are doing something wrong. The saying is true "90% of the fish hold in 10% of the water" and "10% of the fisherman are catching %90 of the fish." If you are not fishing in the right area it will be hard to catch a fish when they are not there. Look at the way they are holding their fishing rod. Study their rig if possible. If they are friendly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whatever you do, don’t start fishing their area unless your fishing a popular fishing hole, and everyone is crammed into one spot. Moving in on another person spot will be a quick way to piss off another fisherman. Who knows, maybe they will ask you to fish with them if your asking for help. Most seasoned fishermen usually are happy to help new people out
You can also acquire knowledge when you are not on the river if you have buddies who fish. If you know someone who loves to fish for your targeted species, ask them for tips the next time you hit the water. Maybe they will invite you fishing which might create a life long friendship.
Read and Listen
If I had done this when I was younger, I probably would have started catching fish immediately. Instead, I looked at pictures and dreamed about my next trip. Then I would post online looking for a river full of fish, go to that river and catch no fish, then come home disappointed. I was doing it all wrong. What I didn’t know was a proper presentation catches fish. You can start learning about the type of fish you are pursuing if you read about them. Look up rigs on how to catch your fish of choice. Read in between the lines to figure things out. There is so much information available via magazine, the web and literature. Research people who know what they are doing and buy their book and magazines that they write for. Listen to what they have to say and learn from them.
Something else I just started doing was listening to podcast. If you know the fundamentals and proper wording a good podcast can help you become a better fisherman. If you don’t know anything about fishing I suggest you read about it before because they may use words that you don’t know the meaning of. This won’t help you at all. If you have been reading and fishing for a little bit a podcast can help you catch more fish by talking about specifics, rigs and techniques.
Another way to become a better fisherman is to attend fishing shows and club meetings in your area. Fishing shows usually have seminars from pro fisherman. They will teach you the basics of what fish you are interested in and what they specialize in. Another idea is to sign up for local fishing clubs. Most clubs I know of also have seminars from guys who have been fishing a long time. Another pro about signing up for local clubs is that the money goes to good causes surrounding that fish species or protecting them from what ever threat.
Pay attention to the little details that you hear about. Every little bit of information will help you out if you listen. Don’t be bummed out if what you hear does not work for you. Sometimes what works for others won’t work for you and visa versa. Eventually, something you read about or hear from a friend or podcast will eventually get you into more fish. Once you catch the first it gets a lot easier.
After fishing with my buddy Sam for the weekend I quickly learned how to catch more Lake Trout from listening and learning
There is a lot more to getting started then just talking to others and researching. My
point of this blog was to guide someone in the right directions on and off the water. It does not replace quality time spent on the water learning and pursuing the fish your after. However, this tip will steer you in the right direction. I will have blog #3 next week, which will talk briefly about the different fishing there is.
Thank you for reading this blog. I really hope some of it helps you catch more fish. If you have a moment, please rate this blog at the top. If you have any tips or stories for others concerning “learning from others” please comment.