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kylejenkins21

Path to becoming a better fisherman

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My question is how do i become a better fisherman? I am looking for advice but not tips and tricks to catch more fish. I am looking for the path people took to become good at being on fish. How do you practice to become better? What were some of your favorite books or study tools. Did you go out and practice with a specefic goal for the day? 

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You have to establish a good foundation (IMHO) of the basics of fish location, habits and behaviors. All the "magic bait" and tackle stuff comes secondary. Read and study, then try and put some of it into practice out on the water. I'd personally recommend the following (any/all):

 

- Buck Perry's "Spoon-plugging

- In-Fisherman's F+L+P=S formula, including their water body classification and seasonal calendar periods

- Rick Clunn's seasonal patterns for bass

 

These will give you the foundation upon which to build everything else. You can also search this website to get some threads where others have suggested "must have" reading material. As Dick Bengraff once said, "An ounce of biology is worth a pound of tackle." B)

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Put your time on the water and try your best to learn from every single fishing trip. Understand that expensive gear is not truly needed, there are plenty of land based fishermen who caught several double digit bass from land and people with top of the line bass gear and boats who haven't caught a single bass over 8 pounds.Try to find someone who is very skilled in bass fishing and fish with them as long as you can.Understand that bass fishing is a sport where you will learn for a lifetime. Above all make having fun your number 1 priority while fishing.

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My advice is to learn how to put a lure where you want to put it.  All the knowledge and gear in the world isn't going to catch you a bass if you can't get the lure where it needs to go.  By all means learn as much as you can at the same time, but off the water casting practice will allow you to put that knowledge to use a lot faster and save you some money.  

 

Take a 5g paint bucket lid or something like that and put it like 20' out and cast at it until you can hit it every time, or at least until you can understand why you didn't hit it on a specific cast.  Then move it back 10' and do it again.  Keep moving it back until you are missing more than hitting, then move it back closer in until are hitting almost all the time again.  It is a lot easier to find 30 min to cast in the yard then a few hours to hit the water.  

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30 minutes ago, slonezp said:

First, you need to buy a $70,000 bass boat. The bass boat will need to be rigged with $10,000 worth of electronics. Second buy a jersey covered with patches because you must look the part while riding around in your new bass boat. Third, you will need 15 combos consisting of $400 rods and $300 reels ( I realize you can only use one at a time, but having the other 14 rods laying on the deck will allow you to switch setups quickly when you are not catching fish on the one you are currently using). Now, what good are all those rods and reels if you haven't spooled them up with 100lb braid. The 100lb braid prevents you from losing fish under all conditions. You will land 100% of the fish you hook. Speaking of hooks, you will need to replace the hooks on all your $20 crankbaits because, for some reason, $20 crankbait hooks don't hook the fish the right way. They must be replaced. You must also buy lots of scent. I think garlic and coffee work the best because they can be found naturally occurring in most underwater ecosystems. A pair of $300 polarized Costas or Oakleys will allow you to see deep into the dark depths of the fishes soul and shame it into biting your hook. 

Based on the above advice, all I can say is buy a bunch of Powerball tickets this week. With $650M you should be able to become a better fisherman.      

This is the path I took, and I turned out ok. :ok-wink:  On my days off I included a little bit of Buck Perry too.B)

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56 minutes ago, slonezp said:

First, you need to buy a $70,000 bass boat. The bass boat will need to be rigged with $10,000 worth of electronics. Second buy a jersey covered with patches because you must look the part while riding around in your new bass boat. Third, you will need 15 combos consisting of $400 rods and $300 reels ( I realize you can only use one at a time, but having the other 14 rods laying on the deck will allow you to switch setups quickly when you are not catching fish on the one you are currently using). Now, what good are all those rods and reels if you haven't spooled them up with 100lb braid. The 100lb braid prevents you from losing fish under all conditions. You will land 100% of the fish you hook. Speaking of hooks, you will need to replace the hooks on all your $20 crankbaits because, for some reason, $20 crankbait hooks don't hook the fish the right way. They must be replaced. You must also buy lots of scent. I think garlic and coffee work the best because they can be found naturally occurring in most underwater ecosystems. A pair of $300 polarized Costas or Oakleys will allow you to see deep into the dark depths of the fishes soul and shame it into biting your hook. 

Based on the above advice, all I can say is buy a bunch of Powerball tickets this week. With $650M you should be able to become a better fisherman.      

This made me LOL for real. I love watching fishing videos and they got all there sponsors on the shirts and they start throwing "random" companies .. oh and you must use this and this.  Oh no that pole won't work you have to buy this or you won't catch the fish .. and everyone has 65 pound braid.. I don't understand you gonna do with 65 pound braid? Didn't know we had freshwater whales ? Prob lost

them not using that 65 pound braid

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1 hour ago, slonezp said:

 A pair of $300 polarized Costas or Oakleys will allow you to see deep into the dark depths of the fishes soul and shame it into biting your hook. 

 

I will say that a reasonable pair of polarized glasses is a game changer when fishing from the bank.  I was amazed how many fish I started catching once I had a chance to see them before they saw me.  

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You are in the right place!! I have learned so much from reading the posts in these forums and watching the videos!! 

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Time on the water. Eliminate unproductive water. And learn how to fish offshore structure. Simplify bait selection use a proven bait like a tx rig worm And just fish.

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Lots of really good advice above - the only thing I would add is that when on the water take the first few minutes to just observe and listen for a while - kind of acclimate your senses to the place - you will notice subtle things that will help you be a better angler.

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11 hours ago, Team9nine said:

You have to establish a good foundation (IMHO) of the basics of fish location, habits and behaviors. All the "magic bait" and tackle stuff comes secondary. Read and study, then try and put some of it into practice out on the water. I'd personally recommend the following (any/all):

 

- Buck Perry's "Spoon-plugging

- In-Fisherman's F+L+P=S formula, including their water body classification and seasonal calendar periods

- Rick Clunn's seasonal patterns for bass

 

These will give you the foundation upon which to build everything else. You can also search this website to get some threads where others have suggested "must have" reading material. As Dick Bengraff once said, "An ounce of biology is worth a pound of tackle." B)

 

C'est fini - It's Finished?

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I try to keep good notes and when I catch a fish I ask myself some questions,  what was I doing when that fish hit? and why was that fish here? 

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It's like real estate...Location, Location,Location 

It's like skeet shooting.....put the projectile on the target

 

Admitably I too need to work on location, and informed my partner that for the rest of this year his will be my focus for the rest of the year, which means we may get shutout from time to time.

 

Think I will be buying a few book too!

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There was no internet . I read magazines and put in lots of time on the water .  I spent a decade trying to learn deep water before it finally began to click .

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Honestly, nothing proved more beneficial for me than meeting Roger Betts, who introduced me to Buck's teachings and then getting the home study course. Roger was a devout follower, a Perry disciple, and for me a true mentor that I owe my successful quest of becoming a better angler. Roger put more fish in the boat than most people I know combined. I was one lucky guy!

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pic1.png.8322fa6bea8fcad1e893cfce771cadaf.png

 

I'm sure we can debate how big each circle should be...I'm sure the Gear/Equipment circle will spark some discussion ;)...But I made this to be easy to read so it's not 'to scale'.  Although I personally believe Gear/Equipment is actually a very important factor when applied appropriately.  (I literally made this in 2 minutes, don't put any thought into the physical size of each circle in this image :))

 

Now, for actual steps to take.  I would recommend reading the In-Fisherman books on Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass, they will seem a little dated compared to what you might see online these days but the information is as good as it gets.  I read both as a young angler and re-read them from time to time as refreshers.  I would also suggest joining a bass club and fishing some tournaments.  Even if the tournament side of bass fishing isn't as interesting to you, 1 season in a local club would be a literal crash course in bass fishing.  

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14 hours ago, Team9nine said:

You have to establish a good foundation (IMHO) of the basics of fish location, habits and behaviors. All the "magic bait" and tackle stuff comes secondary. Read and study, then try and put some of it into practice out on the water. I'd personally recommend the following (any/all):

 

- Buck Perry's "Spoon-plugging

- In-Fisherman's F+L+P=S formula, including their water body classification and seasonal calendar periods

- Rick Clunn's seasonal patterns for bass

 

These will give you the foundation upon which to build everything else. You can also search this website to get some threads where others have suggested "must have" reading material. As Dick Bengraff once said, "An ounce of biology is worth a pound of tackle." B)

do you have the water body classification and the seasonal calendar periods?

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In-Fisherman website has a lot of info available online, as well as letting you purchase any of their teaching material (books, dvds, etc.). Their "Largemouth Bass: handbook of strategies" and Critical Concepts series are usually pretty easy to track down, much more so than their original magazine Study Series reports and annuals. Should be able to find both the calendar and water body stuff in all of these.

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1 minute ago, Logan S said:

Now, for actual steps to take.  I would recommend reading the In-Fisherman books on Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass, they will seem a little dated compared to what you might see online these days but the information is as good as it gets.  I read both as a young angler and re-read them from time to time as refreshers.  I would also suggest joining a bass club and fishing some tournaments.  Even if the tournament side of bass fishing isn't as interesting to you, 1 season in a local club would be a literal crash course in bass fishing.  

 

Agree with Logan! Although aside from specific gear and tackle recommendations, the basic info in these books isn't dated much, if at all. WHen they were first published, these books compiled most of the core information that had been published in-fisherman at the time, so they include the F+L+P stuff, body of water classification, and seasonal calendar info.

 

The best part is used copies of these books can be found on amazon for just a couple bucks each. 

 

There is also the more recent 3-volume Critical Concepts series (vol 1: fundamentals, vol 2: Location, vole 3: presentation). VOls 1 and 2 cover a lot of the same ground as the older largemouth book (but updated a little), but the 3rd is mostly new stuff about modern lures and techniques.

 

T9, when you mention the rick clunn seasonal patterns above, are you talking about the Paul Prorok articles from in the 80s?

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15 hours ago, Team9nine said:

You have to establish a good foundation (IMHO) of the basics of fish location, habits and behaviors. All the "magic bait" and tackle stuff comes secondary. Read and study, then try and put some of it into practice out on the water. I'd personally recommend the following (any/all):

 

- Buck Perry's "Spoon-plugging

- In-Fisherman's F+L+P=S formula, including their water body classification and seasonal calendar periods

- Rick Clunn's seasonal patterns for bass

 

These will give you the foundation upon which to build everything else. You can also search this website to get some threads where others have suggested "must have" reading material. As Dick Bengraff once said, "An ounce of biology is worth a pound of tackle." B)

Where can rick clunn's seasonal patterns be found?  I looked online for it, but couldn't find them.

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1 hour ago, IndianaFinesse said:

Where can rick clunn's seasonal patterns be found?  I looked online for it, but couldn't find them.

 

Those are a little harder to find. In-Fisherman and Paul Prorok did the best article which would need to be tracked down via eBay as a back issue. Bassmaster also did a 3 part series on his seasonal breakdown, which you'd have to grab the same way. I'll see if I can find the specific issues of each and list them for those looking.

 

EDIT: The 3-part Bassmaster series appeared in several 1988 issues (Sep/Oct, Nov, Dec). The In-Fisherman articles were in Book #72 (Apr/May 1987) and Book #84 (Mar 1989).

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I've gotten better just by trying to follow a little bit of Gerald Swindle's advice:

Work at maintaining positive mental attitude...and its corollary; Fish the cast...every cast...

 

I used to waste probably 3/4 of my casts....nowadays, I'd like to think I'm closer to 25%

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1 hour ago, MIbassyaker said:

 

Agree with Logan! Although aside from specific gear and tackle recommendations, the basic info in these books isn't dated much, if at all. WHen they were first published, these books compiled most of the core information that had been published in-fisherman at the time, so they include the F+L+P stuff, body of water classification, and seasonal calendar info.

 

The best part is used copies of these books can be found on amazon for just a couple bucks each.

 

T9, when you mention the rick clunn seasonal patterns above, are you talking about the Paul Prorok articles from in the 80s?

 

Yes, the Prorok articles were the best ones in my opinion, but the 3 part series in Bassmaster is also a good alternative. I listed the specific issues in my post above. THe I-F stuff you listed is good. About everything you bought and read from them in the early days had parts of "The System" included in each story.

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