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Jcost2131

How to grow confidence and find your best techniques

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Hey Yall,

 

As of this year, I really started getting into bass fishing but have been having some trouble. Every time I get out on the water I end up spending more time tying on different lures and fidgeting with my gear in order to catch fish. I think I need to find a plan or process so when I go fishing I am not wasting time to switch lures when I could be catching tanks :D. So my question is, how do you find that confidence bait you always catch fish on and how do you find a general process you follow when you get on the water?

 

Thanks for reading this post and tight lines! 

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The first step is finding where the fish are and what kind of mood they are in. Do you have a few spots that you feel confident will produce fish?

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Go fishing!

 

Can't catch if ya line aint wet ;)

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Start with a bait for the area you have selected.Maybe run a spinner bait infront of a weed line.try different depths and cadence. Don't put the lure down for at least 1 hour! Good luck

 

Tom

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Best bit of advice I can give you (and I rarely follow this myself because it's downright difficult) is to simply not bring a lot of tackle with you.  The fewer baits you have, the fewer you're going to be trying during the day.  Pick a technique you'd like to learn and just do that for a few outings.  If you don't do well, pick another bait or technique and try that a few times.  Eventually, you'll figure out what's right for you.

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34 minutes ago, Jcost2131 said:

Hey Yall,

 

As of this year, I really started getting into bass fishing but have been having some trouble. Every time I get out on the water I end up spending more time tying on different lures and fidgeting with my gear in order to catch fish. I think I need to find a plan or process so when I go fishing I am not wasting time to switch lures when I could be catching tanks :D. So my question is, how do you find that confidence bait you always catch fish on and how do you find a general process you follow when you get on the water?

 

Thanks for reading this post and tight lines! 

 

Where upstate are you? As a kid, we spent a lot of time in the Catskills (I can native brookie with the best of them) I'm trying to talk my brother on going pike fishing in the Adiorandacks. In the next couple of weeks, you'll have willing fish shallow at most lakes. A smallish spinnerbait, square bill, swim jig and some t-rigged plastics, and maybe a straight tail or fluke is really all you need. You should start to see clearings made by the males in the shallows, so that's a good hint too. Find the flats where they will spawn, and fish the transition to deeper water, and work your way shallower, they are in there somewhere. When you get a bite (or bump, follow or swirl) Make a mental note (or write it down and enter it into a spreadsheet) as to the conditions, soon you'll get an idea as to where the fish are and what they are doing. Nothing builds confidence like hooking a fish. Fish only really do a few different things, so once you have enough data points you'll be able to figure out what to do or not do. Of course every time out on the water (and not time spent on the InterWeb®) you'll have to add that information to the mix, so short answer is go fishing with a few lures, and listen to what the fish want. The only short cut I have found is to go fishing with someone who can and is willing to show you the ropes.

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1 hour ago, ThePolkFolk said:

The first step is finding where the fish are and what kind of mood they are in. Do you have a few spots that you feel confident will produce fish?

 

 

Yeah, I have a few spots but yet to get any luck. The fishing in my area is kind of poor right now so hopefully it will pick up soon!

1 hour ago, reason said:

 

Where upstate are you? As a kid, we spent a lot of time in the Catskills (I can native brookie with the best of them) I'm trying to talk my brother on going pike fishing in the Adiorandacks. In the next couple of weeks, you'll have willing fish shallow at most lakes. A smallish spinnerbait, square bill, swim jig and some t-rigged plastics, and maybe a straight tail or fluke is really all you need. You should start to see clearings made by the males in the shallows, so that's a good hint too. Find the flats where they will spawn, and fish the transition to deeper water, and work your way shallower, they are in there somewhere. When you get a bite (or bump, follow or swirl) Make a mental note (or write it down and enter it into a spreadsheet) as to the conditions, soon you'll get an idea as to where the fish are and what they are doing. Nothing builds confidence like hooking a fish. Fish only really do a few different things, so once you have enough data points you'll be able to figure out what to do or not do. Of course every time out on the water (and not time spent on the InterWeb®) you'll have to add that information to the mix, so short answer is go fishing with a few lures, and listen to what the fish want. The only short cut I have found is to go fishing with someone who can and is willing to show you the ropes.

 

 

I currently am going to school up near Albany. 

 

I appreciate the advice and will absolutely follow it. I just bought a Booyah Pond Magic spinner which is on the smaller side so I will definitely give that a go!

 

I am starting to keep a journal of bites and catches and the data will definitely be useful once I begin to catch more fish. 

 

Once again thank you for the detailed response and tight lines!

 

1 hour ago, d**n Yankee said:

Start with a bait for the area you have selected.Maybe run a spinner bait infront of a weed line.try different depths and cadence. Don't put the lure down for at least 1 hour! Good luck

 

Tom

 

 

Thanks for the quick response, I think I need to tell myself I can't pick another lure until I used the first one for at least an hour! 

1 hour ago, d**n Yankee said:

Start with a bait for the area you have selected.Maybe run a spinner bait infront of a weed line.try different depths and cadence. Don't put the lure down for at least 1 hour! Good luck

 

Tom

 

 

Thanks for the quick response, I think I need to tell myself I can't pick another lure until I used the first one for at least an hour! 

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Catt and Reason are spot on. Gotta start by getting the line wet, especially if you already have some spots in mind. From there I have a little note tracker on my phone that I can track conditions, locations, and presentations.

Hopefully it warms up there soon!

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All these answers are good answers. A confidence bait is less about how confident you are in throwing it and more about your confidence in it catching fish. You can be the best jig fisherman in the world but if you're jigging dead water, what's the point. Its about getting out and wetting a line. Then, find the fish. Dabble in bass patterns and behaviors. @reason has a really good post. Its early spring in your area (as it is mine too). The water is still cold but warming daily. Find the deeper water, find the flats, and fish the transition area. Start on one end of the transition and fan cast to the other. Moving your lure up and down the water column while trying different retrieves (burn it, slow roll it, twitch it, etc..). Don't put that lure away until you've made it through the whole area at every depth level with various retrieves.

 

 

A lot of people's first confidence bait was a spinnerbait because it covers lots of water and can be used essentially All season (plus its easy to fish). Again, a confidence bait; to me anyways, is one that I know will get bit. For me, it's a bladed jig.

 

 

Good luck! And most importantly, have fun and enjoy learning. 

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I don't know of anyway to grow confidence without catching fish.

 

Roger

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20 minutes ago, RoLo said:

 

I don't know of anyway to grow confidence without catching fish.

 

Roger

 

Ya can practice casting in the backyard!

 

The fishing is easy...it's the catching that's hard ;)

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One thing to help with the time spent re-tying is to start using a quick snap like  Norman Speed Clip/Decoy V-Snap/Gamakatsu G-Finesse Tournament Snaps.  For reaction baits a quick snap will save you tons of time, but I wouldn't use a quick snap when changing finesse presentations.

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Tying new lures on is the first mistake

 

Time tying is time you arent fishing and wasting casts on a lure you didnt have confidence to start with!

 

If you are changing lures....know why you are changing!  Switching colors to get swiping bass to commit?  Switching to a lure that wont snag as much?  Those are reasons to switch

"I think they would eat a banjo minnow like on tv"  is not.

 

That said, I have no confidence lure.  I like them all and Ive learned that from sticking with them until bass tell me otherwise.

 

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I would not even consider trying to find your "best technique" yet.  No offence at all, but, there are so many different techniques out there that one simply cannot find their best in a few months.  You will likely find that your "best" changes with time... both seasonally, and in the long haul.

 

The best advice I can give about finding confidence is just catching fish.  Learning what to use to get that started is where you are now.  The advice above on some specifics for your area is a GREAT starting place!  K.I.S.S. and stick with a lure long enough to let the fish tell you they don't want it, not the other way around - especially when you are first learning.  Regardless of all else, smaller lures generally catch more fish.  So, when in doubt, downsizing is usually an OK decision.  Right now you are not hunting Moby Dick, you're trying to catch "something".  Don't be afraid to toss smaller stuff to learn how they work.  A smaller crankbait may entice more, but often smaller, fish.  Same with any lure. 

 

2-3" grubs, for example, are a very plane and boring selection to many... but... they flat out catch fish all year round.  And, you just about can't fish them wrong.  Slip em on a jig (debates rage about tail up or tail down -- pick a side and fight, lol), and cast it out.  Pretty much any retrieve "can" work... the fun is figuring out what the bass want.  

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Put most of your effort into understanding the fish so you can locate them and understand their 'mood'.

 

Take one lure to the pond.  "Today, I'm going to just fish a jig-and-pig."

 

Fish it slow.

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I generally will have a plan for how I want to fish before I go.  Then I'll get at least 2 or 3 poles rigged up with different presentations.  Once I get out on the water I'll try each of the poles I have to see what's working.  Usually one of those will work and I just stick with that.  If none of them work then I start to try something different or just a different color.

 

Key is to be ready to fish right away and cover a lot of water.  If that doesn't work then you can start messing with changing lures.  You don't want to mess with changing lures right when you start.

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5 hours ago, Jcost2131 said:

Hey Yall,

 

As of this year, I really started getting into bass fishing but have been having some trouble. Every time I get out on the water I end up spending more time tying on different lures and fidgeting with my gear in order to catch fish. I think I need to find a plan or process so when I go fishing I am not wasting time to switch lures when I could be catching tanks :D. So my question is, how do you find that confidence bait you always catch fish on and how do you find a general process you follow when you get on the water?

 

Thanks for reading this post and tight lines! 

Are you fishing from a boat or a shore fisherman?

Tom

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6 hours ago, SemperBass said:

All these answers are good answers. A confidence bait is less about how confident you are in throwing it and more about your confidence in it catching fish. You can be the best jig fisherman in the world but if you're jigging dead water, what's the point. Its about getting out and wetting a line. Then, find the fish. Dabble in bass patterns and behaviors. @reason has a really good post. Its early spring in your area (as it is mine too). The water is still cold but warming daily. Find the deeper water, find the flats, and fish the transition area. Start on one end of the transition and fan cast to the other. Moving your lure up and down the water column while trying different retrieves (burn it, slow roll it, twitch it, etc..). Don't put that lure away until you've made it through the whole area at every depth level with various retrieves.

 

 

A lot of people's first confidence bait was a spinnerbait because it covers lots of water and can be used essentially All season (plus its easy to fish). Again, a confidence bait; to me anyways, is one that I know will get bit. For me, it's a bladed jig.

 

 

Good luck! And most importantly, have fun and enjoy learning. 

 

 

Thank you for the response!

 

I will definitely give those tips and shot and hopefully I will get a few fish!  

5 hours ago, Montanaro said:

Tying new lures on is the first mistake

 

Time tying is time you arent fishing and wasting casts on a lure you didnt have confidence to start with!

 

If you are changing lures....know why you are changing!  Switching colors to get swiping bass to commit?  Switching to a lure that wont snag as much?  Those are reasons to switch

"I think they would eat a banjo minnow like on tv"  is not.

 

That said, I have no confidence lure.  I like them all and Ive learned that from sticking with them until bass tell me otherwise.

 

 

 

I like your theory on not having a confidence lure, I think as I learn more about bass behavior I will begin to understand what to use where and when. 

4 hours ago, Bassun said:

I would not even consider trying to find your "best technique" yet.  No offence at all, but, there are so many different techniques out there that one simply cannot find their best in a few months.  You will likely find that your "best" changes with time... both seasonally, and in the long haul.

 

The best advice I can give about finding confidence is just catching fish.  Learning what to use to get that started is where you are now.  The advice above on some specifics for your area is a GREAT starting place!  K.I.S.S. and stick with a lure long enough to let the fish tell you they don't want it, not the other way around - especially when you are first learning.  Regardless of all else, smaller lures generally catch more fish.  So, when in doubt, downsizing is usually an OK decision.  Right now you are not hunting Moby Dick, you're trying to catch "something".  Don't be afraid to toss smaller stuff to learn how they work.  A smaller crankbait may entice more, but often smaller, fish.  Same with any lure. 

 

2-3" grubs, for example, are a very plane and boring selection to many... but... they flat out catch fish all year round.  And, you just about can't fish them wrong.  Slip em on a jig (debates rage about tail up or tail down -- pick a side and fight, lol), and cast it out.  Pretty much any retrieve "can" work... the fun is figuring out what the bass want.  

 

 

Thank you for the detailed response! 

 

I will definitely try downsizing my tackle and changing up my retrieve. Hopefully, the weather by me clears up this week so I can get out there and give your advice a go!

4 hours ago, HeavyDluxe said:

Put most of your effort into understanding the fish so you can locate them and understand their 'mood'.

 

Take one lure to the pond.  "Today, I'm going to just fish a jig-and-pig."

 

Fish it slow.

 

 

I agree and will definitely work on understanding the fish better!

 

Thanks for the response!

3 hours ago, Hawkeye21 said:

I generally will have a plan for how I want to fish before I go.  Then I'll get at least 2 or 3 poles rigged up with different presentations.  Once I get out on the water I'll try each of the poles I have to see what's working.  Usually one of those will work and I just stick with that.  If none of them work then I start to try something different or just a different color.

 

Key is to be ready to fish right away and cover a lot of water.  If that doesn't work then you can start messing with changing lures.  You don't want to mess with changing lures right when you start.

 

 

I will take you up on that advice and I totally agree! 

I have a few baits in mind to fish this weekend so I will tie them on before I go. 

 

Thanks for the tips and tight lines!

 

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3 hours ago, WRB said:

Are you fishing from a boat or a shore fisherman?

Tom

 

 

Since I am at college I am fishing from the shore, wish I could be out there on a bass boat though! 

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50 minutes ago, Jcost2131 said:

 

Since I am at college I am fishing from the shore, wish I could be out there on a bass boat though! 

OK you are limited to shoreline fishing with whatever tackle you may be able to carry.

Being located in upstate NY the bass are in winter to pre spawn transition, moving from deeper water towards shallower water, ideal uphill lure presentation time period.

Lets focus on 1 outfit you can fish soft plastics with uphill from shore. So tell us what Outfit you can cast effectively a good distance  and I will give you a few suggestions.

Tom

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1 hour ago, WRB said:

OK you are limited to shoreline fishing with whatever tackle you may be able to carry.

Being located in upstate NY the bass are in winter to pre spawn transition, moving from deeper water towards shallower water, ideal uphill lure presentation time period.

Lets focus on 1 outfit you can fish soft plastics with uphill from shore. So tell us what Outfit you can cast effectively a good distance  and I will give you a few suggestions.

Tom

 

 

I can cast both spinning and baitcasting but prefer baitcasting. 

 

Thanks for the help!

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Couple of more questions, what type of bass are in the lake you fish; Smallmouth or largemouth? 

Your bait casting outfit, MH fast action with what type of line and lb test? Spinning , same ?

Tom

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7 hours ago, HeavyDluxe said:

Put most of your effort into understanding the fish so you can locate them and understand their 'mood'.

 

Take one lure to the pond.  "Today, I'm going to just fish a jig-and-pig."

 

Fish it slow.

 

I really think this is the best way to learn and develop confidence in a technique. 

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How can you have a "confidence lure" if you don't fish ? :dontknow:  A couple of fish on a crankbait ain't exactly nuff to make that crankbait a confidence lure.

 

..... ahhhh, the good ole days when I was teaching myself how to fish for bass when, for months, the only thing I used to cast was an in-line spinner hour after hour ..... then, after many months later when I consistently caught fish with it was time to try something different, how about a jerkbait ? .......

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Weedless rubber worm on the bank, spinnerbait on open water. Those are what got me started. 

 

While a spinnerbait is a good start, it won't teach too much about fishing. The fish hits it and you real it in. There is a little finesse with it, but not too much. It will catch fish if you are on fish. Eventually you learn what to look for with a spinner. If the shiners are causing a ruckus then pulling a spinnerbait through them will produce a bite. Otherwise you're really just guessing unless you have a fishfinder. 

 

Worms are really the first step in going from being a recreational fisherman to a more serious one. They take more finesse, but not much. It will teach you how to feel what is a bite and what is a lily pad. 

 

I wouldn't try anything too advanced yet, like a dropshot or carolina rig. 

 

And there's nothing wrong with changing baits frequently. If something isn't working go ahead and switch up. You'll learn to tie faster and eventually you'll find one that produces hits. I'm not saying every other cast, but give a lure a decent chance and then switch up. When I started out I might have only given a lure two casts before I immediately knew it was wrong. Wouldn't dive deep enough, was too heavy or light, etc...

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