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For the past few years I have found myself struggling more than normal. Getting skunked is a norm and good days are few. I feel like everything goes great when planning a fishing trip. But when I get there take my first cast, second and third with no luck. I feel my confidence begin to ebb away. I try to evaluate the situation. I try to use the knowledge I have received from books and even these forums. But I don't get results. I then lose all confidence and end up junk fishing. Which always ends with me resorting to a senko and catching dinks. I don't have a boat and I end up fishing pretty pressured areas. Has anyone ever been here before? And if so, how did you get out of it? I could be overthinking this. But its been two years sense I have had any confidence in my ability to fish.

 

Thanks

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On ‎6‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 4:09 PM, Tyson Holman said:

For the past few years I have found myself struggling more than normal. Getting skunked is a norm and good days are few. I feel like everything goes great when planning a fishing trip. But when I get there take my first cast, second and third with no luck. I feel my confidence begin to ebb away. I try to evaluate the situation. I try to use the knowledge I have received from books and even these forums. But I don't get results. I then lose all confidence and end up junk fishing. Which always ends with me resorting to a senko and catching dinks. I don't have a boat and I end up fishing pretty pressured areas. Has anyone ever been here before? And if so, how did you get out of it? I could be overthinking this. But its been two years sense I have had any confidence in my ability to fish.

 

Thanks

I will say that you're learning a very valuable lesson.

Bass Fishing Information can be found in books, Fishing Forums and even Fishing Videos.

But Bass Fishing Knowledge comes from Bass Fishing. 

Keep at it.  Your commitment & dedication will be rewarded - eventually.

It always is.

A-Jay

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Thanks I appreciate it! I need to take it slower. I think that I am so focused on the information that when the information does not produce results. I lose all confidence. And If there is anything that kills a day of fishing. It is confidence. How long on average does it take for you to learn and master a new technique? And how do you go about trying it?

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For me, the fastest way to an education, is to find a good teacher. Someone who will take you with them and show you what they do, how they do it, and where to do it. Joining a fishing club is a good start. Doesn't have to be a tournament club, just a multi-species group will do fine. There are always guys in those clubs looking for fishing partners. Doesn't matter if you are the newbie or not, guys in clubs are usually willing to teach the new guys. 

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Books and information on the Internet about bass fishing can help you,but it will never replace time spent on the water!

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37 minutes ago, Tyson Holman said:

Thanks I appreciate it! I need to take it slower. I think that I am so focused on the information that when the information does not produce results. I lose all confidence. And If there is anything that kills a day of fishing. It is confidence. How long on average does it take for you to learn and master a new technique? And how do you go about trying it?

"Learning a Technique" and "Mastering a Technique" to me can and usually are Worlds apart from each other.  An angler can learn quickly, the Mastering may take longer.  And I will openly admit that I am not a Master at any technique or presentation, probably never will be.  However, I am capable of putting a few things together that I've learned over YEARS On The WATER, that can often help me bring a few decent fish to the boat.   Attempting to determine an Average time frame for something like that may be tough.  If one has access to a very fertile & unpressured fishery where the bass are routinely a little more suicidal - might be a little quicker than say what most of us find fishing well used public water - tough sledding.

 As far as confidence is concerned, perhaps a change in perspective could help.  Few of us catch fish 24/7.  So by using catching fish as your only method of building & maintaining confidence, you not be setting yourself up for success.  Instead, once you pick a place, time, technique & presentation ~ just go fishing.  Don't look over your shoulder, don't look ahead - just fish that cast and be confident in what you're doing.  If you don't have any confidence in it, why are you doing it ?   But understand that it's the trips on the water, season after season that will help you build some confidence not two casts with your favorite lure.

  One of my favorite parts of this sport that I love so much is the fact that no matter how hard we try, no matter how many super duper electronic gadgets we have, no matter how fast our boats can go - there is just no way to speed up how, when, where or why a bass will strike.

A-Jay

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A club sounds great! Although it seems like most of the clubs around here are pretty competitive. Not sure how much knowledge they would be willing to share. Worth a shot though! Thanks for the help! I appreciate everyone's advice.

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You have to remember that many people on this board started bass fishing before there were all the resources that you have now. The reason they are good fishermen is that they have failed many times over. You learn from getting on the water and being observant. I will say that a positive attitude goes a long way. Hell there are many days I am happy to catch dinks. Enjoy life, nature and the beauty that you are afforded on the water and the catching is just a bonus.

Remember as well we have people from all over the world posting here. What works on their body of water might not work on yours. Keep your head up and smile and just enjoy the water.

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Open up a whole new world... get on the lake somehow. Get a kayak or find someone with a boat. A club is a great idea. Even if they are competitive you don't have to be. I believe co anglers fish against each other in club tournaments. You will learn so much from the fisherman in front of you. 

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1 hour ago, Tyson Holman said:

A club sounds great! Although it seems like most of the clubs around here are pretty competitive. Not sure how much knowledge they would be willing to share. Worth a shot though! Thanks for the help! I appreciate everyone's advice.

Not every club is a tournament club. I had been in a few clubs before I even knew tournament clubs even existed. No competition in a club breeds an entirely different environment. Everybody shares information without being concerned about having that info take money from their pockets. The purpose behind non-tournament clubs is strictly for the comradery and friendship. The bonus is that some good fishermen will help a novice have some fun and become a better angler. Look for a multi-species club. I don't know where you live but it could be most of the guys bass fish anyway.

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Lots of good advice given here.I learned the vast majority of my fishing knowledge way before I even knew what a Internet forum was.This is why I and others that have fished so long put so much emphasis on putting your time on the water. If you want to join a club try to join a non- competitive club if it's available in your area. Even then ,your experience on the water is far more valuable than anything else.

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i feel ur pain.  this is my 5th year of seriously bass fishing lakes and I still eat plenty of humble pie.  the only difference between today and a few years ago is i'm far better equipped to deal with it.  I still don't think i'm a smart angler.  i'm just less stupid.  

the number one thing i do during a skunk session: i stop fishing.  i sit back and enjoy nature.  that's what got me out there in the first place.   i go all zen and listen/watch nature...fish, insects, birds, animals, tree shade..which makes me think about shade below water, current, aquatic plants, direction of wind etc.  after about 20-30 mins my creativity is back in full swing and i use the clues i saw to formulate a new plan, with enthusiasm.  I might get skunked for another 2 hours and set the rods down again to formulate another plan.  the cycle just keeps repeating but eventually i'm on fish. and believe me i don't think it's b/c my zen skills paid off.  it's simply bc those darn fish gotta eat breakfast, lunch and dinner sometime so the bite turned back on:eyebrows:

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Great replies! I went with a friend to a pond on his jon boat yesterday. We fished for 3 hours and got rained out. He caught one dink and I got skunked but it was great just being out there. Sometimes wetting a line for me is just as good as "pullage" use to be for me. Life is good. They will come. Have fun. 

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"If you worry about what might be...and wounded what might have been...you will ignore what is."

While I have not been skunked in years that does not mean I tore em up every trip out!

There were many trips that produced 1, 2, or 3 bass but each trip built the angler I am today. Thinking back on some of the places I fished, I realize the were no bass in em but I fished them with the same intensity.

I spent many days where all I accomplished was how to fish a spinnerbait, crankbait, or some other lure.

What you are failing to understand is every day is a building block, ya just gotta keep building!

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Lots of good advice here, but your post starts off with "For the past few years I have found myself struggling more than normal"  This implies that you used to do much better.  Maybe you should 'forget' what you have read and go back to what you learned on your own.  In any endeavor in our lives, when we struggle it's usually a good idea to get back to the basics.   Try using the tactics you did 'back in the day' and see if you can't restore some confidence

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I remember the time i was in your shoes,..heres what i did.

 when you are still at home, and evaluating the conditions, and figure what lure you plan on using. take just that lure, no tacklebox, just the essentials; pliers, sunglasses, hat, etc. and THAT one lure. If you choose a worm bring a few, or if you choose a spinnerbait?, just 1,.... Go to your pond and fish that one lure almost blindly, as if your not really fishing at all, no concentration about whats going on with the conditions,  where the fish are, or what else will work.  JUST FISH IT!

Eventually you will start to catch fish , be it that first day's outing, or the twenty first days outing. you will sooner or later hookup. and over a few successful outings your confidence will come back. then you can start bringing the tacklebox again and fish with confidence

 Often times our thought process will get ahead of itself, and it takes some "training" to get back to normal. Forcing the situation is often what it takes. When we bring our small "tackleshop" of lures we get anxious, accustomed to all those opportunities available to us, and misplace what brought us there to begin with, replacing it with technicalities and the seemingly endless disertion of choice

 Basiclly,... go back to when you started bass fishing and had only a few lures, it was a easy choice figuring what to tie on. and if all failed we went home, or to the tackleshop getting more options to choose from. But it was easy. And what drew you to continue with the sport

You need to get back to whats easy and eliminate the technicalities, the choices...,........ and just fish

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9 hours ago, ClackerBuzz said:

 i sit back and enjoy nature.  that's what got me out there in the first place.   i go all zen and listen/watch nature...fish, insects, birds, animals, shade above/below water, current, aquatic plants, direction of wind etc.  after about 20-30 mins my creativity is back in full swing and i use the clues i saw to formulate a new plan, with enthusiasm.  I might get skunked for another 2 hours and set the rods down again to formulate another plan.  the cycle just keeps repeating but eventually i'm on fish. 

I agree with you 100% on this.Too many times fishermen are way too focused on catching fish and don't appreciate their surroundings.I always take breaks in my fishing trips to enjoy nature,and it truly enriches my fishing trips more than just catching some fish. As the saying goes, "don't miss the forest for the trees".

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I get that "block" quite often.  Changes in season, temp, wind, water level, clouds, all can bring on the "block".  We're currently experiencing the Post Spawn block.

I've only had a boat, been retired and fishing regularly now for about a year.  For 50 years prior to that, fishing time and opportunity were quite sporadic.  Now, just about when we figure out what/where/how to handle the current conditions, something changes.  What was working doesn't work any more, thus the block.  So we try to figure out what changed and what is the new what/where/how.  Sometimes we get lucky... sometimes it takes a while... sometimes I think we never figure it out before it changes again.

It is only when we get lucky that we can begin refining our offerings and techniques.  Other times we're trying new spots and different baits, looking for something that works.  But we always enjoy our time on the water.  Hopefully over the years we'll accumulate some understanding of the changes and remember how to address them.  But either way, we're certainly enjoying the journey.  I think that's the key.  If you're not enjoying the journey, perhaps fishing is not for you.

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I believe you identified the problem early on- you're forced to bank fish pressured spots!  I would recommend getting the cheapest kayak or light  canoe you can fit your gear in.  Until you can get out on the water and get yourself into some more hidden backwoods ponds and lakes, you're pretty much stuck fishing everyone else's leftovers, looking at their litter and wondering what you're doing wrong.  It's not you, man!  

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agree with the boat idea. my first boat was a small johnny with a trolling motor, battery and an old school hundred dollar Eagle depth finder. once i discovered structure, all i needed was a bag of purple worms and some good hooks. you can do this!

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One of the things that jumped out to me was the part where you mention getting discouraged after not getting anything on first 3 casts. 99% of my outings I am not getting bit with that kind of frequency. Here is an example. Last weekend a buddy and I went to a lake that is know to have some quality fish in and a good amount of numbers as well. We got there about 6:35 am and fished until about 8:15. We tossed frogs, weightless plastics, texas rigs, swim jigs, and regular jigs due to entire lake being heavily weed choked. I had 1 bite and my buddy had 1 fish come off half way to the boat. We probably made over 100 casts a piece for 1 bite each. Went to another lake that is more of a dink lake. We fished for a 1.5 hours and he caught 3 and I caught 4 with a few more lost fish and bites as well. Fishing the same kinds of baits we were able to find more willing fish at lake 2 plus better water clarity. The point is that sometimes it takes dozens of casts before you get bit. It could be something as basic as color, location, retrieve type and speed or just one lake fishing better than another. I would consider trying other lakes, other locations that are shoreline accessible on the lake, and varying up a few things. The key piece is location. If you are not where the fish are, it won't matter what you throw. FWIW are lakes here are small and highly pressured. I would put the difficulty and fishing pressure up there with any in the country on per acre basis.

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16 minutes ago, kickerfish1 said:

One of the things that jumped out to me was the part where you mention getting discouraged after not getting anything on first 3 casts. 99% of my outings I am not getting bit with that kind of frequency. Here is an example. Last weekend a buddy and I went to a lake that is know to have some quality fish in and a good amount of numbers as well. We got there about 6:35 am and fished until about 8:15. We tossed frogs, weightless plastics, texas rigs, swim jigs, and regular jigs due to entire lake being heavily weed choked. I had 1 bite and my buddy had 1 fish come off half way to the boat. We probably made over 100 casts a piece for 1 bite each. Went to another lake that is more of a dink lake. We fished for a 1.5 hours and he caught 3 and I caught 4 with a few more lost fish and bites as well. Fishing the same kinds of baits we were able to find more willing fish at lake 2 plus better water clarity. The point is that sometimes it takes dozens of casts before you get bit. It could be something as basic as color, location, retrieve type and speed or just one lake fishing better than another. I would consider trying other lakes, other locations that are shoreline accessible on the lake, and varying up a few things. The key piece is location. If you are not where the fish are, it won't matter what you throw. FWIW are lakes here are small and highly pressured. I would put the difficulty and fishing pressure up there with any in the country on per acre basis.

Thanks, I appreciate your advice I see your from Nebraska! what part? I grew up in Alliance.

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Probably already said but remember not to forget to enjoy just being out on the water. Catching fish helps a lot but take in the little things life ha given you. 

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