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Why I am a better ________ angler than you are!

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Thought this topic could generate some interesting replies. The "I" is anyone posting a reply, the blank is any specific lure/presentation you feel is something you are good at.

Why I am a better casting jig angler than you are!

Casting jig is a skill set that I feel very confident in using because of the time spent doing this started in 1955 over 60 years now. 

My first jig was a Doll fly 3/8 oz black hair jig without a trailer and didn't have a clue how to fish it other than what was offered on the card it came with. Cast it out and hop it along the bottom. I soon learned a jig caught bass and snagged easily, Doll flies didn't have a weed gaurd.  Soft plastics were unknown to me at this time, the Cream worm hadn't made it's way out west until 1957. 

My source of bass fishing knowledge came from Jason Lucas outdoor fishing editor of Spirts Afield, Jay suggested using a pork rind bass strip for a trailer and a small denture rubber band hooked between the jig eye and hook barb, this worked great and would influence my casting jig fishing forever. 

Back in those days my reel was a Langley Lure Cast bait caster with Dacron braid, the a rod a 5 1/2' tubular fiber glass Conolin bait casting rod.

This outfit could cast a 3/8 oz oz jig 50 yards, all the line the reel held. Being a bank angler back then a long cast allowed more distance to retrieve the lure, not necessarily a good idea because you missed most strikes. With the old knuckle buster reel you had to keep your hand on the reel handle all the time when retrieving or hopping the jig along the bottom,this also required holding the rod by the fore grip, line running over the index finger and under the thumb to feel strikes and help prevent the handle from spinning backwards during a hook set. This out fit also had a lasting impact on how I would develop casting jig fishing skills, strike detection, hook setting and controlling bass during the fight, you had to play the bass or lose it!

Today I still hold the rod the same way, make long casts, feel the line to detect strikes and use both the reel and rod to get a good "reel" set with rod sweep technique developed over decades of jig fishing. I also rarely use a fiber or wire weed guard preferring a piece of soft plastic worm attached via a spring between the hook eye and hook point that replaced my original small rubber band. I also still prefer hair jigs with pork trailers.

Why do I use this old school jig presentation of making long casts and use out dated hair jigs with pork trailers?

The answer is in the number of bass caught over 10 lbs, hundreds. My 5 top jig bass caught between 1982-1994 are: 17.4, 17.4, 17.6, 18.6 and 19.3 lbs. 

Tom

 

 

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Hmmm.... While I generally agree with and appreciate most of your posts and respect the heck out of your fishing accomplishments (DD bass caught), I don't think this type of thread is going to fly. It will probably get to the point where people are taking shots at each other.

I am not going to claim I am better than anyone but my strengths are jigs, plastics, and drops shots. Weaknesses are crankbaits and deep cranking.

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23 minutes ago, kickerfish1 said:

Hmmm.... While I generally agree with and appreciate most of your posts and respect the heck out of your fishing accomplishments (DD bass caught), I don't think this type of thread is going to fly. It will probably get to the point where people are taking shots at each other.

I am not going to claim I am better than anyone but my strengths are jigs, plastics, and drops shots. Weaknesses are crankbaits and deep cranking.

I disagree. If people get into as much detail as WRB, some of us might actually learn something  

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 I feel my strongest bass fishing skill is hopping sinking lures off the bottom so... 

...Why I am better at detecting strikes than you .

 

When I was a kid back in the 60's and 70's , I fished for bass , crappie , whites ,,,, on the Mississippi river and backwaters . Id ride my bike there and   had a super cheap solid fiberglass pole and a zebco 202 reel that would never cast . Walking the banks with    a crappie size yellow or white Doll fly I would jig it around the rocks brush , eddys , current breaks,,, I learned where the good spot were .Holding the  rod in front of the reel with the line between my index finger and thumb I was able to detect light bites . I would spend hours down there, then ride back home to clean my catch .My dad worked at the Lock and dam and I would go with him. He worked his shift day or night and I would spend 8 hours fishing below the dam. Most of the time was spent  tight lining for catfish  until they opened the locks , then Id have the doll fly out because the game fish would go on a feeding spree . I still hold the rod with the line between the finger and thumb  and am pretty  decent  at detecting strikes . There was no learning how to fish a Texas rig, jig n pig or  other bottom bouncing lures  , I could feel the slight taps  since the first time I fished them .

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I fish alone a good majority of the time so comparison opportunities are scarce.

But since we're pumping ourselves up ~ I go with it.

Fishing from a small craft limits my mobility so this has forced me to learn something I call Fishing Small.  It means since I'm not going to be running & gunning all over the lake, to get the most out each trip I have to choose when & where I fish wisely.  Sometimes that's as simple as when to fish & at what section of a lake.  Other times it refers to what time of day or night, to be on certain spots.   

 Learning to break a spot down.  Looking at every possible environmental variable - it's challenging.  There's the obvious ones of past, current and forecasted atmospheric conditions like air temperature, wind speed & direction, cloud cover, precipitation,and barometric pressure.  Then there's the possible effects of any lunar activity, if you believe that there's any bearing there.  Clearly the water itself, Depth, the turbidity, any current, temperature of course, is it rising or falling, what about the what level itself what's the story there? How about the presence of bait or what about food for the bait or other predators that even eat the bass ?  Is all of this the same all over the lake ?  Usually not.  The presence of Cover, wood, weed, man made deals like docks & rafts.  How about boating traffic & fishing pressure ?

I want to take as much of this into account as I can IN ADVANCE of my arrival, because if something is "out of tune" - With 3.5 mph as a top speed (if you can call it that) there's no Moving to another area of the lake. At least not very far or very fast ~ timing is everything.  

Then there's the "what bait, technique or presentation" I do not use a "Search" lure - ever.  By not beating the water to a froth with something simply to cover water looking for "a Bite", I've learned that by getting to the area, looking for the spot, finding the spot on the spot, and making a high percentage presentation to it, one can often fool the fish you're actually looking for before she realizes you're there.  Big advantage.  A little harder to do at night - darkness helps but so does practice.

A Ton of trial and error comes into play and there have been more misses than hits, but sometimes it comes together and I get a few decent ones.  Even still, the environment routinely lets me know that I still have a lot to learn. And that my friends is what keeps me going back.

A-Jay

 

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I would love to play but I haven't fished for bass long enough to say I'm better than anyone (yet). I grew up fishing for trout and salmon and only got into bass fishing around 9-10 years ago.

I might be as good as some at spending every waking moment thinking about fishing. I suppose because I fish in MN and fish as many as 20-30 different lakes per summer, I am pretty good at breaking down a lake and the conditions but I don't have the years of experience and I only fish from May until October.

My first trout reel was a Zebco 33 with a Zebco rod. It was pretty top of the line back then.

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Why I am a better backlash-getter-outer than you are!

I got a lot of them this year! Dang bushes around my pond always catch my lures in the act of casting.....

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I thank God for giving me the determination and persistence needed to fish well any body of water I decide to fish.

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Let me tell you why you are better flipping, pitching and skipping jigs than I am!

While I have a lot of time on the fishing casting jigs my skills fishing jigs in heavy cover or skipping jigs under docks are limited. Where I bass the lakes are deep structure with lots of rocks,  little cover and no docks to target. Occasionally I travel to lakes or the delta where the bass relate to heavy cover and under docks and short casts are needed to hit small targets. I have developed a casting technique similar to Hank Parkers loop cast using my standard casting rod to make accurate casts close the the waters surface so the jig lands softly and accurately 30 to 50 foot casts. I don't own a flipping or pitching rod and sometimes a partner loans one to me. I can catch bass flipping or pitching, it's a struggle and not my strong suit.

My casting jig skills have taught me to watch and feel the line for any changes in sink rate, tension or movement. What I watch for is where the line enters the water cutting a V, if the V stops or moves that indicates a strike or the jig stopped. If I know the jig hasn't hit bottom yet or the line tension increased or decreased, set the hook!

Tom

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Why I am a better bass angler than you are!

List of anglers I have beaten either by winning the tournament or finishing ahead of them more than once on Toledo Bend & Sam Rayburn.

Harold Allen, Rick Clunn, Ken Cook, Jerry Dean, John Dean, Villis P "Bo" Dowden Sr, Todd Faircloth, Shaw Grigsby, John Hall, Tommy Martin, Darren "Mad Man" Mooneyham, Larry Nixon, Terry Oldham, Ron/Rick Pierce, Zell Roland, Bob Sealy, Lonnie Stanley, & John Torain.

You will only underestimate me one time!

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I am a better sand flea angler than you, because I highly doubt any of you are sand flea anglers.

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I WAS a better Spook fisherman than you. 

A spook was the first topwater lure I ever used and use it I did. As a bank fisherman, errant casts with treble hooked lures was a recipe for snags and lost lures, but I quickly found out that the fish liked to hang around and in those snags.  After reading an article in 'Field and Stream' I decided to learn how to walk a Spook around objects. It took all of that summer, but I was able to master doing just that.  The following season, I started throwing a Spook just after ice-out and did so on a regular basis until the end of the season.  I experimented with a dozen different modifications, from bigger hooks, split rings, adding weight to the tail, feathered trebles and even moving the line tie location, not to mention different retrieves and rod angles.

That was back in the 70's.  An accident and two operations later, I have very limited range of motion with my wrist.  I've learned to compensate, but still deal with pain.  As a result, my skills have deteriorated, but my love for that lure still has me reaching for my 'Spook Box' with regularity.

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14 hours ago, A-Jay said:

I fish alone a good majority of the time so comparison opportunities are scarce.

But since we're pumping ourselves up ~ I go with it.

Fishing from a small craft limits my mobility so this has forced me to learn something I call Fishing Small.  It means since I'm not going to be running & gunning all over the lake, to get the most out each trip I have to choose when & where I fish wisely.  Sometimes that's as simple as when to fish & at what section of a lake.  Other times it refers to what time of day or night, to be on certain spots.   

 Learning to break a spot down.  Looking at every possible environmental variable - it's challenging.  There's the obvious ones of past, current and forecasted atmospheric conditions like air temperature, wind speed & direction, cloud cover, precipitation,and barometric pressure.  Then there's the possible effects of any lunar activity, if you believe that there's any bearing there.  Clearly the water itself, Depth, the turbidity, any current, temperature of course, is it rising or falling, what about the what level itself what's the story there? How about the presence of bait or what about food for the bait or other predators that even eat the bass ?  Is all of this the same all over the lake ?  Usually not.  The presence of Cover, wood, weed, man made deals like docks & rafts.  How about boating traffic & fishing pressure ?

I want to take as much of this into account as I can IN ADVANCE of my arrival, because if something is "out of tune" - With 3.5 mph as a top speed (if you can call it that) there's no Moving to another area of the lake. At least not very far or very fast ~ timing is everything.  

Then there's the "what bait, technique or presentation" I do not use a "Search" lure - ever.  By not beating the water to a froth with something simply to cover water looking for "a Bite", I've learned that by getting to the area, looking for the spot, finding the spot on the spot, and making a high percentage presentation to it, one can often fool the fish you're actually looking for before she realizes you're there.  Big advantage.  A little harder to do at night - darkness helps but so does practice.

A Ton of trial and error comes into play and there have been more misses than hits, but sometimes it comes together and I get a few decent ones.  Even still, the environment routinely lets me know that I still have a lot to learn. And that my friends is what keeps me going back.

A-Jay

 

What you say is correct, but I'd take it a step further.  At 3.5 mph, you are not going to miss those small patches on your sounder that would be missed in a boat doing thirty or more mph.  The faster the boat, the more info you miss.  Yes, the argument can be made that it will cover more bottom than you can in a slow boat. 

I started fishing a small local pond, about a mile and a half long, and a half mile across in my canoe.  In the course of traversing the pond, I found small patches of rocky bottom, weedy bottom, and transitional bottom that I would have buzzed right by in my bass boat.

I did as well or better on this pond with my canoe than most of the guys with bass boats.  But, when I got a bass boat, I caught a lot more fish from this pond than I would have in my canoe.

But it was two years of fishing from my canoe that taught me a lot about what was lurking beneath the surface of the water.  It never ceased to amuse me to watch guys launch at the north end of the pond then zoom to the south end, while others were launching at the south end, zooming to the north.

I still cannot understand that "logic".

Then again, I have taken guests with me, and they stated that just the ride would have made their day even if we hadn't caught fish.

 

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I am a better "one trick pony" angler than you are.

What I mean by that is I find something that works and fish the holy hell out of it. I've been on a jig and/or swimjig kick for about 8 or 9 years. Not that I don't throw anything else, but 85% of the time that is my presentation of choice. I'll go one step further to tell you I throw 1 color swimjig, just changing trailer color. I've used Northstar jigs for years. Since they changed hands this year, I changed brands to Seibert Jigs who is making a custom order for me as we speak. Thanks Mike B) I use one brand of swimjig trailer. I throw 1 color jig most of the time with 1 brand and 1 color trailer but have been known to throw a second color jig and trailer on occasion. Using limited presentations makes for easy shopping because I buy everything in bulk. 

My theory behind this: I believe a well placed bait is more important than the color. Doesn't matter what color bait you're throwing if there are no fish to see it. My ongoing kick with jigs and swimjigs is the average size of the fish tend to be larger.

I've got plenty of other colors and types of baits/lures for those times I have to adapt or are fishing water I'm not familiar with, but they are collecting dust in the 3700 boxes.

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16 hours ago, A-Jay said:

I fish alone a good majority of the time so comparison opportunities are scarce.

But since we're pumping ourselves up ~ I go with it.

Fishing from a small craft limits my mobility so this has forced me to learn something I call Fishing Small.  It means since I'm not going to be running & gunning all over the lake, to get the most out each trip I have to choose when & where I fish wisely.  Sometimes that's as simple as when to fish & at what section of a lake.  Other times it refers to what time of day or night, to be on certain spots.   

 Learning to break a spot down.  Looking at every possible environmental variable - it's challenging.  There's the obvious ones of past, current and forecasted atmospheric conditions like air temperature, wind speed & direction, cloud cover, precipitation,and barometric pressure.  Then there's the possible effects of any lunar activity, if you believe that there's any bearing there.  Clearly the water itself, Depth, the turbidity, any current, temperature of course, is it rising or falling, what about the what level itself what's the story there? How about the presence of bait or what about food for the bait or other predators that even eat the bass ?  Is all of this the same all over the lake ?  Usually not.  The presence of Cover, wood, weed, man made deals like docks & rafts.  How about boating traffic & fishing pressure ?

I want to take as much of this into account as I can IN ADVANCE of my arrival, because if something is "out of tune" - With 3.5 mph as a top speed (if you can call it that) there's no Moving to another area of the lake. At least not very far or very fast ~ timing is everything.  

Then there's the "what bait, technique or presentation" I do not use a "Search" lure - ever.  By not beating the water to a froth with something simply to cover water looking for "a Bite", I've learned that by getting to the area, looking for the spot, finding the spot on the spot, and making a high percentage presentation to it, one can often fool the fish you're actually looking for before she realizes you're there.  Big advantage.  A little harder to do at night - darkness helps but so does practice.

A Ton of trial and error comes into play and there have been more misses than hits, but sometimes it comes together and I get a few decent ones.  Even still, the environment routinely lets me know that I still have a lot to learn. And that my friends is what keeps me going back.

A-Jay

 

You captured this in words better than I could have!  Nice work!

There really is no pattern fishing when you move at 4.2 MPH.  If you find a promising point, you better work the heck out of it since there is no option to fire up the 200 and hit 20 more nearly identical points!

That's also why it sucks to commit to make a time-consuming run only to find someone sitting on the spot you wanted to start on.  Hehe...

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34 minutes ago, Chris at Tech said:

You captured this in words better than I could have!  Nice work!

There really is no pattern fishing when you move at 4.2 MPH.  If you find a promising point, you better work the heck out of it since there is no option to fire up the 200 and hit 20 more nearly identical points!

That's also why it sucks to commit to make a time-consuming run only to find someone sitting on the spot you wanted to start on.  Hehe...

Thanks Chris

I hear ya about the long - BATTERY DRAINING runs.  The other aspect of this is it Always pays to fish INTO the Wind and Blow Home.

Which is all well & good until the forecast is wrong (which hardly ever happens :tongue77:) and the wind either changes direction or doesn't when its suppose to.  Adding that second battery (which is only used to get home) was a game changer.

A-Jay

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4 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Adding that second battery (which is only used to get home) was a game changer.

I'm WAY ahead of you here, buddy.  I've already added batteries 2 through 6!  Ha!

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Fun post. Thanks, Tom.

(I'm not entirely comfortable with the "better than you" phrase, but understand the point of the thread.)

I'm a pretty good crankbaiter around cover. It, and many other aspects of my fishing skills, come from my years as a jig fisherman. From my jig obsession I learned, among other things: concentration, visualization, where my lure is in the water column, and strike detection to a fine degree.

Quite a few years back now I showed a young tournament angler how to fish a crankbait (the Big O back then) like a jig. And on his very next tournament as a back-seater he frustrated the heck out his co crawling a Big O through cover. It became a GoTo technique and overall confidence builder for him.

Crankbaits beg to be fished chuck-n-wind -and that's great when the  fish are willing- but that asks a lot of the fish much of the time. Being able to put a prey-sized critter (don't care what you call it) into the heart of things and applying proper triggers -and be able to detect the takes- will catch a lot of bass and expand your confidence in many lure types.

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12 hours ago, Big C said:

I am a better sand flea angler than you, because I highly doubt any of you are sand flea anglers.

Take me to Virginia Beach and the Atlantic Ocean and I will take you on for some sand flea fishing.

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Why I'm a better LEARNER  than you are...

I read everything I can and listen to everyone who speaks about things I don't know that much about...drop shoting, jerkbaits, skipping, spy baiting, determining bottom composition, reading and understanding the various electronics, identifying the most productive secondary points etc. etc.

And most importantly, when, where and how to make the best decisions when a boater changes locations that will dictate a new pattern without notice and just starts to junk fish.

 

 

Mike

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Well, I guess I'm chime in. Hope I don't sound to young and naive, but here goes. I'm a better BANK angler than you! I've fished for 13 years, all from the bank of reservoirs small and large. Learned shallow water fishing at it's finest. I've learned the best bank casting angles, how to parallel the shoreline, look for small differences in cover and structure, with only a handy pair of polarized glasses - no electronics. Caught my personal best, nearly 7 lbs, on a shallow flat adjacent to deeper water and near a small creek with my eyes, no down or side imaging, no sonar, just a handy pair of glasses. Anyone can say they are a better deep water structure fisherman than me, but I'll give anyone a run for there money in fishing shallow structure and cover. 

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I really don't like to sound arrogant, and I know there's people better than me somewhere, but I'll give it a shot.

Why I'm a better dropshot angler than you are:

I've been fishing for my whole life (which definitely isn't as long as most of yours'), but not all always for bass. I started walleye fishing at 3 and became a hardcore bass fisherman a few years ago. Walleye fishing meant spinning rods and light line most of the time for me. Whether it was vertical jigging or using crawler harnesses, I always wanted to know what I was fishing in or around. I learned quickly what a soft bite felt like, and how to tempt a fish into buying in a vertical presentation. Ice fishing especially helped with this.

When I started bass fishing, i still had my spinning rods, so immediately I began finesse fishing. I guess that's what we do up in northern Minnesota. It's been said we grow up with a hockey stick in one hand and a spinning rod in the other. I spent all of my free time learning techniques on YouTube when I couldn't fish. I've watched hours of videos on how to read Lowrance/ Humminbird units and now I know what almost everything looks like on one.

Through experience, I've learned how to feel the bottom with a dropshot, how different attractants change your presentation on a dropshot, and when to use different types of baits. I started out using just Zoom Finesse and Trick Worms, my favorite color being "Sprayed Grass." The flake shows up more than the fairly translucent body in deep water. I now use 4.5" and 6" Roboworms and Jackall Crosstail Shads. The 4.5" Robo is for most situations. If you need one bait to throw on a dropshot hook, this is it. I use natural colors like Aaron's Magic in clear water and bright pink/ purple colors in dirtier water, such as Morning Dawn and MMIII. The 6" Robo I use when I'm fishing for largemouth 90% of the time. The same color rules apply. The Jackall Crosstail, or any shad shaped bait for that matter (I use the Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm as well) is reserved for fish schooling on baitfish or if I feel like there aren't a large amount of crawfish in the area (think very weedy lakes).

95% of the time a bite on a dropshotted bait is just going to feel like dead weight, especially with bigger fish. This is because a lot of the time, they stare at the thing before they decide to eat it. It's not an aggressive reaction strike like a (insert any reaction lure). The only time I get a hard hit on a dropshot is when they hit it on the fall or right when it hits bottom. These bites are the ones you typically have to watch your line for. I think a lot of guys don't notice some of the bites they get on a dropshot rig. If you're a good jig fisherman, you can translate your skills over to dropshot fishing fairly easily, in my case it was the other way around. 

The main trick with a dropshot is to vibrate the bait with your wrist, but not to lift the weight off the bottom. The most I lift my bait off the bottom is maybe two inches to move it over a rock or check to see if a fish is on. Dragging the weight is the most efficient way to  cover water with a dropshot. The speed of your drag depends on where you're fishing and how active the fish are. I drop down on structure I see on my boater's unit a lot of the time with this rig. I actually stand in the middle of the boat when I'm dropshot fishing to see the unit(s) better than I would on the back deck.

EDIT: As for the gear I use on a dropshot, I've changed it around a lot to fit exactly what I need. I started out with a 7'2" ML/F Daiwa Lexa spinning rod and VMC #2 dropshot hooks. I found the rod to be a bit stiff for dropshots. It was hard to lift up on a fish without them feeling the weight of the rod, which led to more fish spitting the bait before I could set the hook. Now I use a Powell Inferno 6101 dropshot rod. It's a L/XF rod. The tip action is crazy, but when I reel set into a fish, the backbone really shows up. I use Gama #2 Split shot/ Drop shot hooks now. They are lighter gauge than the VMC's, which makes them easier to set into a fish's mouth, especially the hard mouth of a smallie. I still use the VMC's around wood and grass because they're harder to bend out. Basically in a spinning reel, what I look for the most is a smooth drag. For line, I use 15lb hi-vis braid to a 6-8lb fluorocarbon leader. This allows me to see the line better and have more sensitivity. Plus the lack of stretch helps make up for the light tip on my rod.

I feel like I wrote too much, but hopefully it helps some people out. A lot of people dislike finesse fishing and spinning rods, but it's something you absolutely need to know, especially if you fish competitively. I think I like this technique so much because there's so many options: ways to fish it, things you can change. You can complicate it or keep it simple and still catch tons of fish in it. You can catch active and non-active fish on it any time of the year.

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Why I'm a better __lazy__ angler than you. I'll tell you why........Actually no reasoning is needed.

 

 

 

 I think some good info could come out of this thread though. Already learned some dropshot stuff.

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On 1/2/2016 at 11:09 AM, WRB said:

the Cream worm hadn't made it's way out west until 1957. 

 

 

 

Creme *

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I suck

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