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Alan Reed

Biggest Different Levels Of Anglers

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 The weekend angler to the local/regional tournament to the Elite Level angler each increasing in skill which translates into more/bigger fish. So if someone asked how to move from being sucessfull at one level to the next what is the key?

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on the water time

the more you fish the more you learn

and vary the places that you fish

 

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Time on the water is very important ,but it is not what truly separates a highly successful fisherman from a average fishermen. The attributes that help the most is being a highly persistent and determined fisherman that never stops to improve their ability to catch bass.

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The most important area of improvement, IMO, is in finding fish/ eliminating unproductive water.  Skill level, when it comes to presenting lures, or even determining which style lure to use in what conditions/under what circumstances is something that can be achieved with practice and time on the water.  I've fished with guys, and if I'm honest I'm one of them, that had what I consider have average skills yet consistently placed high in tournament standings.  What separates them from the others is how quickly they can find fish and determine their activity level.

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What does "level" got to do with bigger fish ? :dontknow:

I don't remember Fish Chris to be an "elite" tournament angler and when it comes to numbers in big fish that man humbles pretty much everybody.

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12 hours ago, Raul said:

What does "level" got to do with bigger fish ? :dontknow:

I don't remember Fish Chris to be an "elite" tournament angler and when it comes to numbers in big fish that man humbles pretty much everybody.

"Level" was the description that I chose to describe the difference between anglers of different skills.

Obviously those "elites" have show the abilty to consistantly catch fish but ther isn't any money in 5 pound bags so the size and quantity of the fish caught matter.

So maybe you could contribute what you think made Fish Chris successful at catching large fish at a higher rate than average?

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Fish size has nothing to do with tournaments. The elites and FLW might catch five double digit bass combined in a season with hundreds of guys fishing multiple days. 

 

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Knowledge. Knowing where to fish at different parts of the year, at different depths. Which lures and how to present those lures like fast or slow, hopping vs dragging. Also being able to maximize time on the water, eliminating unproductive water and only fishing where you know they are.

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In my mind it comes down to just a couple of things, the ability to locate fish, making the fish you locate bite.

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Most everything has been said but I think the guys on that higher level of bass fishing might as well be considered freshwater marine biologist. They understand how a lakes ecosystem works at anytime of the year and not only know where the bass are but why they are there. 

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The elite tourney guys are the best in the world at catching small bass. They become great at catching small bass because they are

#1 intelligent, #2 have the resources and #3 have the skills that come with experience. #4 desire

Resources are the time and money to fish and once you get to a higher level include sponsorship and local fisherman giving valuable intel to the top pros. I am sure there are many good fisherman who could be great if they had the resources to be great. Also not every good or great fisherman wants to compete in tourny's especially at a national level. You would have to be ok with that life style. I know I would have no desire to be on the road all the time and fishing when I don't feel like it because I have to. So desire plays a huge part in it.

There are also some extremely good bass fisherman who have no desire to compete in tourny's but would rather hunt the largest bass in their area. They may be as good or better then the best pros.

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Failing to understand what structure is, how to truly identify it, interpret it, and then fish it effectively.

Failing to understand what the predominate prey species in your lake and how that species relates to structure with each season...morning, noon, and night.

Failing to understand that next after location is timing; just because you don't get bite does not mean the bass aren't there or you tied on the wrong lure.

Failing to understand that to consistently catch bass is a process of elimination and duplication. Eliminate patterns and waters that are non-productive and duplicate patterns and waters that are productive.

Failing to understand the #1 key to consistently catching bass is between your ears not between the folds of your wallet.

Failing to understand it takes a rare breed of fisherman using simple techniques to perfection to consistently catch bass

Failing to understand if you eliminate your history you've eliminated your experience

Failing to understand anglers often respond to failure and frustration by over-complicating theory and technique. As much as it helps our egos to regard a difficult task as complex, this type of thinking is often the biggest obstacle between you and your fishing success.

Failing to understand that if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got!

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1 hour ago, Catt said:

Failing to understand that if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got!

I like this tip the most. As Albert Einstein once described insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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Confidence that one can catch fish anywhere any time .

 

I dont pay much  attention to todays pro anglers but use to read and watch all I could about the early tournament pros . Without exception , those  guys were good fishermen period .They all started fishing at an early age ,  they fished for multiple species , they fished often and long hours .They shared all that knowledge in magazines like Bassmaster.  To reach the next level , I think , you have to be confident that you can succeed no matter where you are , time of year .,,

 A good friend of mine is a river rat . He grew up  literally on  the banks of the Mississippi river  . He fished it and its backwaters  .for channel cats , sauger , white bass..  .I took him bass fishing .  He had never bass  fished from a boat or used a Texas rig before . I got him started and   he took too that rig like he has been fishing it for years ..  He fished it better than almost every "bass" angler that I have been with . The guy knew how to bounce a curly tail jig  in the current for walleye so a plastic worm was no challenge   .He just flat out knows how to  fish .  

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20 minutes ago, OddChase said:

I like this tip the most. As Albert Einstein once described insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got!

That can be both positive or negative! ;)

If it's working why change it?

If it aint working ya may wanna consider changing!

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I think the biggest difference in levels of fishermen are this:

Beginner: "I just wanna catch a fish"

Intermediate: "I just wanna catch a limit(5 fish)"

Advanced: "I just wanna catch a big limit"

Trophy Hunter: "I don't care about a limit, I wanna catch the biggest fish in here!"

It is all in the mindset!

Jeff

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The key to moving from one level to the next is the ability to catch more fish! Hope this helps!

 

Haha....Of course that statement is true but what seperates each level is simply knowledge and the ability to adapt to whats in front of you on the fly. It's that simple.

 

I had to edit this to add a couple thoughts. Time on the water does nothing for you if you're not a willing learner. I have a local guy in his mid 60s that lives north of me a few miles. The guy has fished relatively hard as long as I've known him which is a good 30 years. He's got a couple boats all the gear talks fishing around town all day every day. He had heard about all the big fish I was catching and asked if I'd like to join him so I did. Fish here have been pretty lethargic and slow finesse fishing was really the only way to get bit at that time. We got out on the water at 3 I had a texas rig 10in ribbon tail worm, a swim bait, and a creature bait all rigged up. We began fishing. He's throwing a buzz bait and burning it across the water like he's racing. I was dragging my worm on the bottom really slow. 20 minutes in to our day I'd caught 4 good bass and he hadn't got bit yet. We got out over a deep point  and I threw my swimbait and was just slow rolling it deep and caught a couple more. After a solid hour of throwing buzz bait over and over again he decided to throw his chatter bait. I'm back to slow rolling my worm BEHIND him and I'm catching several fish. I offered him a worm of the same color from my box, watermelon red flake. He passed said he wasn't a fan of fishing plastics? What? Really? He fished his buzz bait and chatter bait the entire evening. He managed one hook up and lost it 10ft from the boat. I drug in 15 or so really nice healthy 2-4lb bass. Just out of curiousity I asked him what else he liked to fish. His reply was spinnerbaits. I asked so you only fish 3 lures? Yep! My point is if your aren't willing to learn new things and adjust and go outside your comfort zone you'll never take that step from one level to the next. This guy has been fishing several times a week for 40 years! I've been with him a couple more times since then and he's managed to catch a couple fish but I've always been at least 5 to his 1 and I'm just an average fisherman. I'm seriously lacking in deep water skills. You have to be a willing learner.

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16 hours ago, riverbasser said:

Most everything has been said but I think the guys on that higher level of bass fishing might as well be considered freshwater marine biologist. They understand how a lakes ecosystem works at anytime of the year and not only know where the bass are but why they are there. 

This sounds about right to me... At a functional level, the more consistent anglers are just better at putting themselves in a position for success.  That's a combination of 'smarts' and experience.  They think things through methodically, start with a good plan, and make adjustments based on what they're seeing.

There's also the mentally tough side of things in the competitive world... Being able to stay in the game without going 'on tilt' is huge.

 

I don't watch a lot of of tournament fishing... But, what I have seen on the webitubes seems to confirm this. Plus, when you look at most tournaments, there's always a local angler who does much better in the tournament than his rank/status would imply.  The consistency with which that happens would seem to imply that knowing how to find fish is just huge - and far more important than presentation skills overall.

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Of course the elites are talented anglers, but so are some of the regional or state, or even club level guys. The difference is what are you willing to do,. How far are you willing to take your fun sport of fishing... take it easy at the state level and have fun, move up to regionals and be on the road some, making fishing more of a part time job, or do you have the availablity/family and funding that allows you to travel the country most of the year turning it into your full-time position.

 Yes, the elites are a bit above, they are on the water more, have the resources available, like sponsorships, like hiring guides to "inform" them of unknown lakes,  they will literally jump on a plane or helicopter and fly the new to them lake, looking for the best areas to check out once they actually hit the prefish period by boat. Some of them have researched angling so much they probably could pass as a Marine biologist.

 Its all In how far you are willing to take it, and whats your availability.and situation,.. Im sure there are anglers here that would outfish many of the "pro's" if they had the chance, opportunity, resources, and availability. Not peeing down the pro's backs at all, just an observation. Dedication is what it is, and some here are just as dedicated to this sport, just not in the same situation as a pro, so they fish as they can.

 There is something to be said about experience as a tourney angler though, it is a bit different than just fun fishing.,..but once you learn the in's and outs of tournies. the rest is just fishing, and being able to realize that its just fishing is big. So many anglers get so hyped and excited to finally be there,.in a tournament scene. They take themselves out of the game before morning take off.

  Overthinking, dock talk, expectations, all can play into a great bass angler skunking out at the big game. JUST FISH! Fish your strengths, be calm, do your thing. If your well rounded, it will show, and shine. If you do so from the club level and work your way right on up the ladder, do so in the bassmasters classic. If what got you there, got you there, why change now? Its easy to take yourself out by the three aforementioned entities. I saw it alot when I fished tournies, and im sure it still happens today.

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Catt did a lot more tournament bass fishing than I have so he can address what it takes to catch bass under tournament conditions consistantly.

I consider myself as skilled at catching giant bass or bass in general consistently as anyone.

So why didn't I become a Elite tournament bass angler?

I had the desire and skills to catch bass and have all over the country. The reason is simple; I put my career and family ahead of tournament bass fishing and very happy I made those choices.

The thought process that weekend or recreational bass anglers are less skilled than Elite bass tournament anglers isn't true. What separates the successful pro level tournament angler is a combination of factors; the ability to catch enough bass to win or place in the money consistantly is only one factor. Tournament anglers don't choose when, where or under what weather or health conditions they compete in. The pressure of cashing a check under all those circumstances affects most anglers performance.  A few anglers learn to set everything aside and those anglers become successful if they are skilled at self promotion to attain sponsors. It's like a club golf pro who is a scratch golfer until a paycheck is on the line to make a 5 foot putt and blows it, that is why is where he is.

Tom

 

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I was fishing from shore 7 days a week from dark till dawn. Around 3 to 3 1/2 months I got burned out. (Thats everyday) I used every bait and presentation I learned here and on tv. I was here at the beginning of this site. I owe a lot to Glenn here. Some stuff was trial and error too. One main thing is to use polarized glasses. Never go fishing without them. Watch behind your lure for short strikes. This will tell us to slow it down on the next cast. Or change colors or add a scent.  I fished so heavy and spent so much time fishing in my heart I'm as serious as a pro. You just need to block everything out in your mind. Stay focused, remain motivated. Don't let the strikes and miss upset you stay fishing. Your looking for a pattern. Once the fish tell you what they want hang in there to see if it's productive or not. If not change colors. The right color could load the boat. Presentations,, I like slow presentations first to see what mood the bass are in. Vary your presentation till you get action. Don't limit yourself on what you can throw. I use ten lures that I know work. If no action the two 9606 tackle boxes open up and I enter my own zone. Don't get hung up on lure colors. Stay flexible. Firetiger can be your friend. I believe we can have different water conditions in the water column. Like a layer cake. Don't rush to fish take your time. Don't rush your presentations. Remember crankbaits, topwater baits, inline spinners, spinnerbaits, plastics, c rigs, senkos, worms, creature baits, jigs/pig all this stuff works. We just need to figure out what time of day to use it.

Shore fishing. Early am like 4am in the dark the bass can be two feet from shore. They don't move to deeper water haunts yet. The place comes to life as the sky starts to light up its twilite. Remember to fish stealthy no noise like your not there very very quiet. Your tackle box needs everything in its place so you can find it in the dark.

Fishing Rocky points. I fish them from different directions. I skip fan cast them. I never put two casts near each other. I make a longer cast then bring it slowly to the point. Fish across the point from different angles. Fish up and down the point. Remember stealth.

In nine feet of water along side weed edges I throw my baits that run ten feet. I let the bait bounce off the bottom.(cranks) with spinnerbaits I yo-yo them. A split shot worm or a c-rig with plastics works well.

I repeat this sometimes because on a tough day we hit brain fade too. Its time to change tactics (baits). It's skill that catches fish not luck, luck is for the casino.  

I'm not a pro nor claim to be I'm just serious about fishing. Bigbill

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Someone already mentioned it on this thread, but knowledge is a key attribute.  You can't buy it on the shelf either, you acquire it from years of experience and practice and patience.

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On 8/28/2016 at 5:59 PM, Alan Reed said:

 So if someone asked how to move from being sucessfull at one level to the next what is the key?

#1: Understand what structure is, how to truly identify it, interpret it, and then fish it effectively.

#2: Understand what the predominate prey species in your lake is and how that species relates to structure with each passing season...morning, noon, and night.

Y'all can spend all the time on the water you can but until you understand those 2 you're just fishing!

Spending time on the water at the wrong places doing the wrong things only teaches you how to cast.

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