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How Do You Become Good At A New Technique

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And let me be a little more broad in the question: How do you become good at a new technique when you already have a technique that is extremely effective? 

 

Im very good at fishing a very specific slider head rig. Im 9 fish from getting my first milestone in a year of 100 bass and i have only fished 3 months and  almost every bass have come from that rig. I used to fish the shakey head with awfully wrong line for my clear lake. I caught 2 fish a day with that rig and I believe that it was great coming from shore fishing and using braid. Ive made a huge change in my fishing style and I certainly dont want to become a one trick pony. the problem is, every time I start fishing something new the desire to catch fish overwhelms me and I go back to the slider heads. 

 

This technique was taught to me by other angler. Unfortunately I dont have anyone else that can teach me anything new. So I have to learn it by myself. 

 

 

I already know what the good spots are in the lake. I want to become good at new rigs or techniques. I know Im decent with spinnerbaits but since I found out about how ineffective they are most of the day Ive stop throwing them. Should I just leave those at home and grind it out with anything else I have(a lot of lures btw)?

 

I want to get good at shakey heads, drop shot and crankbaits specifically squarebills. Two of those techniques involve fishing slow. arrrgg its painful just thinking about it but I guess Ill have to endure some skunks in order to get better. 

 

How do you guys do it?

 

 

 

 

 

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Spinnerbaits can out fish  crankbaits for entire days at a time. Dont doubt a spinnerbait just because people say it may be off in your area. The bite may change to a crank bait bite but that doesnt mean that a spinnerbait bite cant turn on. Honestly fishing is about versatility and the ability to change on the fly.  My best advice leave every other bait at home besides crankbaits. Put your spinning rods away. DO NOT TOUCH THEM. Then once you learn crankbaits put your bait casters away and only take out spinning gear and shakey head lures / worms.  Best way to learn is to actually fish the bait 

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I take that bait or rig that I am trying to master out and leave everything else at home. I will watch videos on youtube, listen to pros and ask questions here. I will fish it until I get the confidence I need. I am by no means a master or have mastered anything except heckling a ref at a bball game ;), but you get the point.

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We have many options for our arsnel. In fact, we have way too many options which cause us to purchase baits that we will use once or never or shy away from techniques that we are unfamiliar with.

 

Our armed forces has a lot of weapons in their arsnel. And they practice with each one to become proficient when the time comes to select the most effective device to serve their purpose. We bass fishermen have to do the same with our baits, tackle and techniques.

 

You will not be fishing your current pond your entire life. You will venture out and fish other ponds, lakes, rivers, reserviors and creeks along the bank and in a bass boat. You will encounter other challenges when fishing and you need to be familiar with other baits and techniques to use. You may leave the island and come to the mainland and work and you will have to be able to adapt to that part of the US you will be living.

 

So how do you do this? You read books and magazine articles plus purchase DVDs regarding baits and techniques. You start a library and file the written articles for future reference. You watch and rewatch the DVDs during the winter down time or before you head to the pond to practice that technique  even if you do not really have a winter in your area.

 

You mentioned spinnerbaits and that they don't work at specific times of the day. On that day at that time they did not work. On another day and time they can be extremely productive. But you you have to have the knowledge regarding their size, colors, blades, water clarity, structure and other variables to make them work better. Check out Hank Parker's spinnerbait DVD plus others about fishing the spinnerbait and master the spinnerbait technique for future use.

 

As tbone mentioned, leave all other baits home and rig up for one specific technique and practice, practice, practice. It does not matter if you catch anything. You want to learn the presentation so when the time arrives that you want to change baits and techniques you will be familiar with the one you will be using. You want to learn how the bait feels without a fish on it so when it feels "different" you will set the hook.

 

And by doing this you will have to learn about fish habitat and their habits. You have to know when to throw a shaky head, a wacky Senko, a drop shot, a Texas rig, a Carolina rig, the many different sizes and styles of crankbaits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and buzzbaits plus other topwaters.  You can drive yourself nuts with all of the options we now have at our disposal.

 

Please read about rods, reels and line. As a part of your weapon platform you have to make sure you have the correct rods, reels and line as you mentioned in your post regarding line selection for each presentation. Read the reviews at Tackle Warehouse and also what rod lenghts and power ratings the pros use for various techniques.

 

So how do we do it? We read. Watch TV fishing shows. Watch DVDs. We monitor this Forum and read the suggestions from fellow bass fishermen. We go to the pros web sites and read their tips. We read the tips at the top of this Forum's page. We join a bass club to learn from guys who have years of experience. We go fishing with a guide from time to time to learn a specific body of water. We fish with each other and learn from that experience. We talk to other bass fishermen. And we go out and practice new techniques or update old techniques.

 

Consider suscribing to various bass magazines. Join B.A.S.S. or FLW and receive their publications. Visit the pros' web sites, especially Hank Parker and Woo Daves and read their articles.

 

And start to think like the military and have a good arsnel of baits and techniques at your fingertips so you can be the top bass fisherman on the island.

 

Good luck and remember to read, read and read some more as you practice, practice and practice!

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I have some lakes and ponds that are loaded with dinks that will eat anything that I go to when I want to learn a new technique. Catching fish on a new bait or rig gives me confidence in it to fish it somewhere else where the bites will be a bit fewer and further between. 

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Reading, watching. studying, LEARNING and DOING are the keys to becoming a good bass fisherman. With all the information available you can learn just about any technique without ever getting in the boat with someone who can show you how. Having someone show you how is still the best way to learn in my opinion, and if you can join a club or find others in your local bassing community to help you, you can shorten the learning curve. I completely agree with Sam: 

 

...So how do we do it? We read. Watch TV fishing shows. Watch DVDs. We monitor this Forum and read the suggestions from fellow bass fishermen. We go to the pros web sites and read their tips. We read the tips at the top of this Forum's page. We join a bass club to learn from guys who have years of experience. We go fishing with a guide from time to time to learn a specific body of water. We fish with each other and learn from that experience. We talk to other bass fishermen. And we go out and practice new techniques or update old techniques.

 

Consider suscribing to various bass magazines. Join B.A.S.S. or FLW and receive their publications. Visit the pros' web sites, especially Hank Parker and Woo Daves and read their articles.

 

And start to think like the military and have a good arsnel of baits and techniques at your fingertips so you can be the top bass fisherman on the island.

 

Good luck and remember to read, read and read some more as you practice, practice and practice!

 

I like the military analogy. I would suggest that no soldier is ever going into harms way with only one weapon available given any other choice. Limiting yourself to only one bait or technique until you know that is what will work on any given day can be frustrating and counter-productive IMO. Using the same metaphor, a handgun is a very limited weapon in most situations, but there are times when it is exactly the right one for the job. Like the spinnerbait, having the right tool available and knowing how to use it properly is something that takes time and effort. There is no substitute for that. Good luck.

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I have a 3-step approach for learning new techniques.

Step 1: RESEARCH. I read threads, watch youtube videos, ask questions, and generally anything I can do to learn more about the lure or technique.

Step 2: Go fishing and use that technique, and only that technique.

Step 3: Catch enough fish to the point where you have figured out how they want it.

One of the most important things is to stick with it, even if you get skunked. The fish will be on a pattern that allows you to catch fish with that lure or technique eventually.

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Not all techniques are appropriate everywhere. Just bc you want to fish a certain lure type or technique doesn't mean it's appropriate. Great advice above.

 

Slider's and other finesse stuff are great fish catchers in a variety of circumstances. Great place to start. Don't be in a rush to invite the bait monkey in! Base more on need than want. The monkey will catch up to you soon enough :) .

 

I'd suggest, since your new to this, starting to add to your arsenal from the ground up. Instead of focusing on lures/techniques, look at rod/reel outfits. Sounds like you are using light to med spinning tackle. Add a MH spinning or casting rig next. The need for such a rig will become apparent as the season wears on, or you fish different waters. You then might likely find that an even heavier rig will be needed in some places.

 

As to lures/techniques, they can be roughly grouped by water type (cover present, water clarity), and lure hook size, lure weight:

 

Your lt/med spinning rig will handle finesse jigs, jerkbaits, small crankbaits, and small-med topwaters, and in-line spinners.

 

Your MH spinning/casting rig will handle heavier jigs, T-Rigged plastics, crankbaits, topwater. (IME spinnerbaits, at least retrieved rapidly(as in buzzing,bulging) require a casting reel.)

 

Your H rig will handle heavy cover jigging, plastics, deep cranks, A-Rig, and swimbaits.

 

But to realize all this with the success you are used to, you need the right waters and conditions.

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The best time to learn any new presentation or technique is when there bite is good.

The slower presentations like the slider jig work because you are targeting less active bass and bass are only active about 10-20% of any given 24 period, it's during the active period when faster moving lures work best.

The logic to put away a technique or lure presentation that works in hope to find active bass that will respond to a faster lure may work for some, however fishing all day and catching nothing isn't any fun and can be very frustrating.

Most bottom lures are slow moving and boring to fish, unless you are catching bass!

Here are a few other boring bass catching presentations;

Slip shot or finesse C-rig.

Nail worm.

Drop shot.

Waky rigged Senko.

Teaxs rig worm

Spider jig (plain football jig w/Hula grub)

Swimbait.

A few reaction lures that work when bass are more active;

Buzz bait

Spook or Sammy

Wake bait

Finesse A-rig ( smaller version of standard size A-rig with 3" to 4" swimmers)

Crank baits.

Splash-It's or Pop-R

Lipless crankbaits..

If you are shore fishing pick 1 or 2 that can be fished with the tackle you are carrying, boat you are unlimited.

Good luck.

Tom

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For me I suppose it's not even about catching fish with a certain type or lure or technique but actually spending time getting use to the feel. Some times I reach a point where I will fish a lure not because it is the most productive but what I feel like fishing.

I can reach a point where I have just caught so many fish I don't even care and will just fish what ever I want because I enjoy using itregardless of catching less fish or maybe none at all. I have almost reached that point this year already where I just wander fish and fish what I am feeling not what the fish are.

My advice is if anything start your day with the slider and get a few fish under your belt and then switch to what you need to learn. That way your not getting skunked. You have only fished for 3 months so I understand your need to catch fish and as many as you can as fast as you can. I think we are all that way initially after ice out just like I was and thanks why I threw jerk baits all day long.

I think after time you reach a point where you know your fishing it right even if the fish don't tell you so. You know your technique is good and have a feel for the bait even if that is not the hot ticket at the time. Just stick with it and do what you think you should be doing. You are probably right even if the fish don't tell you that.

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So much good information here that Im reading this a couple more times. Fortunately The 3 months I mention Ive been fishing, its with a boat. Here in PR theres no winter so I can fish any time i want. I have a MH baitcaster that I use mostly for spinnerbaits and a 4 M spinning setups. THE BAITMONKEY HAS ME. Ive bought a ton of baits that I HONESTLY dont know how to fish properly. Im here to learn!!!

 

Sam I do want to be the best. I dream of moving to the states(Texas or Alabama) start working on anything while I pursue my dream of being a tournament pro. Im 30 so im hitting the lake hard trying to catch up. 

I fished my first local tournament a couple weeks ago and finished 4th using the slider heads and small plastics. Im moving more towards becoming a finesse fisherman and learning more techniques is my aim for now. 

 

so the first techniques I want to learn properly is Shakey head, Drop shot and crankbaits. 

 

Dont get me wrong, I fish because I love the challenge, its fun and its a great way to get relaxing time in my life.

 

I appreciate the time you guys took to help me!!!

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We have many options for our arsnel. In fact, we have way too many options which cause us to purchase baits that we will use once or never or shy away from techniques that we are unfamiliar with.

 

 

 

The real fact is you don't need but a few techniques and different types of lures to catch any kind of fish any place.  Practice at what you want to accomplish and you will be successful.  Learn the nuances of the fish you are targeting. 

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Use it. A lot. Then when you feel "confident" in the technique, you are now "good" at it. You dont have to do it by the book either. When I go Flipping and pitching, I very rarely make a textbook "pitch" to my targets unless it is extremely close. It just frustrates me so I roll cast like a mad man and I am like a friggin surgeon with a roll cast. 

 

Cheers.

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Use it. A lot. Then when you feel "confident" in the technique, you are now "good" at it. You dont have to do it by the book either. When I go Flipping and pitching, I very rarely make a textbook "pitch" to my targets unless it is extremely close. It just frustrates me so I roll cast like a mad man and I am like a friggin surgeon with a roll cast. 

 

Cheers.

I also do tons of roll casts when i could be pitching too. Its just natural for me and I can fire them off one after another realy quickly.

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I would recommend just adding one or two new techniques per year, and pound the heck out of them. This year, it'll be hairjigs for me. It was swimjigs last year.

 

The best time to learn a technique is when the fishing is hot. When you know they're biting on just about anything, toss the lures you have very little confidence in. That's what I did to develop confidence in carolina rigs, dropshots, and shakeyheads. I'd fish spinnerbaits and jigs until I found active pockets of fish, then I started tossing c-rigs, drops, and shakeyheads. It didn't take long before I had a half-dozen nice fish on each lure. My confidence was restored, and I have since gained a lot of respect for these baits that I once disliked.

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IMO if one is intent on learning a new technique or how to work a specific lure the time to do it is on a slow bite, if you are productive then you you may have learned something.  Catching fish on a hot bite is fun but counter productive as far as developing a skill.  The negative to a slow bite is getting discouraged, failure often times is the best teacher.

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my opinion to getting better with other techniques is to practice, practice, practice. one thing to keep in mind, is that some particular techniques are not always fish catchers all the time. use it when things are in favor of catching fish using the technique you are trying to get better at.

bo

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There are some good suggestions. But if you want to get in the fast lane you need to surround yourself with people that are good. Find guides that are known for the techniques you want to learn. Fish Pro-Am's and make fishin friends that will help you step your game up. Fishing with people above your skill set will force rapid growth.

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Not all techniques are appropriate everywhere. Just bc you want to fish a certain lure type or technique doesn't mean it's appropriate.

x2.  if you live on a "slider jig lake", it is what it is.  crankbaits might never work that well.  catch and release isn't very popular in PR.  that means the fish are extremely suspicious and harder to catch on larger artificial lures. it is harder to 'learn' (ie force feed) a new technique on heavily pressured/dinner plate bass. its easy for a guy from texas to say "only take out an 8" Huddleston and keep casting till you catch something!".   he doesn't know there might not be any regulation in ur area...and guys come in all day with stringers of 7" bass for fish fries.  

you said you know where to locate fish.   if you can produce ur standard slider bite, put the rod down and test new lures in that location. you probably get 2 spawns per year.  are you able to land significantly larger fish on a consistent basis?  that would be a good time to try power techniques.  also dusk/dawn, and full moon night fishing. 

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I was catching bass in the 12 inch size all day long with a couple being a little bit bigger than that. Two weeks ago a lot of spawned out females were biting my lures. thats the only indication that the spawn is over. I believe that my home lake is a finesse lake. Spinnerbaits are very effective at dusk and dawn for a specific time frame. In the last tournament the winner, who is very good using spinnerbait finds them so inneficcient that he only uses them in those two time frames. He told me the Spinnerbait bite lasted 15 minutes that sunday morning. Ive been able to catch a couple scattered bass with spinnerbait but it wasnt as effective or consistent as the sliders are. Same as the shakey head but both those techniques I was fishing them with braid. In this lake I was told that braid is a big no-no since its a very clear lake. 

 

So no consistent big bass. Lakes are full of 12 inchers. The fish are very selective. Also they switch moods very fast from not biting to biting or the other way around. Biggest bass ive heard being caught here is 7 pounder. 264 acres reservoir with NO weeds and steep shores. A lot of rocky areas and red clay. 

 

Hopefully Ill  fish tomorrow and if I do ill fish a shakey heads and crankbaits on those areas that are consistently giving me bites. 

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Sounds like your observations are consistent with your location, and the water type you describe.

 

Fish size:

What weights do you need to win? What are other people catching?

 

In tropical waters, outside of bass normal geographic range, they can grow quickly but die young. If water temps are too high they can be very thin, indicating poor growth. The fish in your avatar looks this way.

 

Or... you are fishing too shallow and catching males guarding beds and fry, or just catching juveniles. Might need to get further off the shorelines.

 

And/or... the population of small bass is very high and the Slider's are just right for them. Big bass do appreciate a mouthful, so up-sizing some can help both attract larger bass and discourage smalls. But you will have to suffer the lowered catch rate. Numbers or size is not always the same game.

 

Your lake: As you describe,  "...its a very clear lake ... NO weeds and steep shores. A lot of rocky areas and red clay" sounds like finesse water to me. This doesn't mean larger things won't work, but in clear cover free water, finesse tends to make catching bass easier.

 

Spinnerbaits being effective only under low light is very common, esp in clear water. You could fish them faster, using light translucent skirt/trailers, which doesn't let the fish see them as well. Other tactics for clear open water could be crankbaits, lipless cranks, drop-shot, skirted jigs/trailer (swim jigs, football jigs, brush jigs).

 

Yes, it looks like you might want to start diversifying your capabilities. But first, answer my first questions above. Is your lake mostly full of little bass to begin with? If you have to spend all day to eek out 12-15lbs of bass, you might need to find a different lake, or just realize this lake's limitations and be happy with your success there.

 

Hope this gives you some further direction.

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Sounds like your observations are consistent with your location, and the water type you describe.

 

Fish size:

What weights do you need to win? What are other people catching?

 

In tropical waters, outside of bass normal geographic range, they can grow quickly but die young. If water temps are too high they can be very thin, indicating poor growth. The fish in your avatar looks this way.

 

Or... you are fishing too shallow and catching males guarding beds and fry, or just catching juveniles. Might need to get further off the shorelines.

 

And/or... the population of small bass is very high and the Slider's are just right for them. Big bass do appreciate a mouthful, so up-sizing some can help both attract larger bass and discourage smalls. But you will have to suffer the lowered catch rate. Numbers or size is not always the same game.

 

Your lake: As you describe,  "...its a very clear lake ... NO weeds and steep shores. A lot of rocky areas and red clay" sounds like finesse water to me. This doesn't mean larger things won't work, but in clear cover free water, finesse tends to make catching bass easier.

 

Spinnerbaits being effective only under low light is very common, esp in clear water. You could fish them faster, using light translucent skirt/trailers, which doesn't let the fish see them as well. Other tactics for clear open water could be crankbaits, lipless cranks, drop-shot, skirted jigs/trailer (swim jigs, football jigs, brush jigs).

 

Yes, it looks like you might want to start diversifying your capabilities. But first, answer my first questions above. Is your lake mostly full of little bass to begin with? If you have to spend all day to eek out 12-15lbs of bass, you might need to find a different lake, or just realize this lake's limitations and be happy with your success there.

 

Hope this gives you some further direction.

Your analisis helps me a lot. To answer your questions:

 

In the last tournament and my first the winner got 249 oz. I got 199 and i was 4th. 3rd  was 216oz. On another tournament a guy caught a 7 pounder and another caught a 5 pounder. two weeks after the tournament I started to catch 2 pounders regularly instead of one a day like it was before. MY biggest is between 2-3 pounds caught with a spinnerbait.

 

I believe Im catching juveniles. Im beating the bank. I dont know how to catch bass in the deep. Everybody fishes shallow here. This lake could have some serious bass that live exclusively on the deep and it is a deep(150ft deepest part) reservoir. I tried one day the Carolina rig with a 3/4 oz weight. I got 3 bites and I caught a 2 pounder with it. but it was a long day of searching for bites and trying it. If i should have stick with it i could have learn something.

 

My best day has been 14 bass and it took me like 5 hours. There was 2 2 pounders there and a bunch of pound and a half fish. Im off to work ill post the picture of my best fish. not every fish is thin. I actually caught one today that looked full of eggs and she was a 12 incher. Huge belly for that size.

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Fishing away from shorelines efficiently requires sonar. You can attempt to read the lay of the shoreline topography and probe with a C-rig, football jig, heavy single-spin SB, or CB, but it is slower going.

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