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The Maestro

How long to become a good angler?

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so far 45 years............................................

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3 minutes ago, crypt said:

so far 45 years............................................

X2 and I am up there with you.

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You have to like fishing . I love fishing and dont give up . I can fish all day and not catch much . If I eventually get on some fish , then  I had a good day .  Most sane people  tire of it rather quickly . Like golf . I played once   and hated it . I kept looking at the pond wondering how big the bass were in it .

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14 hours ago, The Maestro said:

How long until you started to think of yourself as a decent angler?  What was it that made you start thinking of yourself as a good angler?  

 

When I first started fishing Toledo Bend there was 2 guys who had a camp next to ours & every time they went out they caught 25-30 bass. Every time I went out I only caught 5-6 & I was thinking what do these guys know that I don't.

 

After a couple months of the same results I was messing around in my boat when these 2 came in from a morning trip, so I decided to walk over & meet em at the wharf. I asked how y'all do, they replied 30 nice bass. One of em opened the livewell & there were 30 bass that were tighteyes (8-10").

 

I had been out that morning catching 7 all over 2.5 lbs, I didn't even count the bass the size they were catching!

 

Walked away felling a whole lot more confident 😉

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As stated previously by others, to attempt to determine if one is a good bass angler is a subjective task.  And while we all want to be good enough to obtain maximum satisfaction from fishing, the desire to always be better than the next angler can evolve into an egotistical undertaking which is something I choose to avoid.  I am not saying that competing is a bad thing, but I am saying that if your only reason for improvement is to beat the next angler, at some point you will tire of bass fishing.  

 

I have improved over what I was before.  Every time I think I possibly have arrived, something happens on the water to show me I can be better.  All I can do is strive to become better and the fact that the process never ends is what I love about bass fishing.

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What I consider a good angler isn't about numbers or size. But it's about rationalization of the conditions/location. I fish with a couple of the best fish catchers in my county. They have caught giants and continue to catch over average bass on a consistent basis every year. But I don't consider them good anglers. They aren't very versatile and don't have a rhyme or reason why they are fishing where they are or why they are using that bait. But they Have fun and have confidence which is about 65 percent of fishing. Angler is a mindset in my opinion and when you start rationalizing the condtions and locations and applying your knowledge to catch fish. I will never consider myself good enough because that's when you become complacent.

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2 hours ago, Catt said:

 

When I first started fishing Toledo Bend there was 2 guys who had a camp next to ours & every time they went out they caught 25-30 bass. Every time I went out I only caught 5-6 & I was thinking what do these guys know that I don't.

 

After a couple months of the same results I was messing around in my boat when these 2 came in from a morning trip, so I decided to walk over & meet em at the wharf. I asked how y'all do, they replied 30 nice bass. One of em opened the livewell & there were 30 bass that were tighteyes (8-10").

 

I had been out that morning catching 7 all over 2.5 lbs, I didn't even count the bass the size they were catching!

 

Walked away felling a whole lot more confident 😉

This brings up another question. Is the term "good" defining size or numbers?

Does targeting and catching (5) 3lb+ bass over an 8 hour day make one a better angler than targeting and catching 50 dinks over an 8 hour day? Frankly, if I'm not in a tourney, I would rather have the numbers than the size. This is dictated by where and how I fish.

No argument, a big jig will catch less fish than a 5" senko or a crankbait. When I fish buddy tourneys on my home water, I will throw a jig in one form or another all day, or until my son, who is experimenting with baits, figures out a pattern. If he can establish a pattern, then we stick with it. On a new lake, I'll switch between a jig and a jerkbait fishing structure again, while my son experiments with different baits trying to establish a pattern. 

If I'm fun fishing or meat fishing alone, or with my dad, the thought process is different. I do the experimenting to find fish, then stick to my guns, until I've fished out the school.

I didn't get skunked this year. I got some big pike and walleye, but didn't break the 4lb mark for a bass.  Does that make me good? Does it really matter? ;)

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15 hours ago, A-Jay said:

I was mostly referring to this ~  . . . 

23113763_1529457437134114_462363019_n.png?oh=a03de0e899a97278c796d9c339982a74&oe=5A5B7151

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

YOU NEED A CO PILOT! I'M IN!!:happy-127:

I don't compete , but I take every ANGLE  I can get to catch a bass :grin:

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Ever watch MLF?

Every contestant is a top professional bass angler, not just your average pro bass angle and few often struggle to catch a single bass while about half the field figures it out and catches enough bass to qualify for the next round.

The MLF anglers are beyond good, the are the best in the country competing in tournaments. My point is some days you will not figure out what the bass are biting that day and that doesn't make you a bad bass angler, it's called fishing for a reason.

I started seriously bass at age 10 and read every Sports Afield magazine articles by Jason Lucas and Out life by Robert Linclon writing both letters with questions that they answered. My mentor was the boat landing manager who was a good bass angler, Red thought me how to cast, what lures to use and where to look for bass. 2 years fishing nearly every morning and evening during open season I was consistantly catching bass. I believe anyone can become a good bass angler in 2 years if that is your goal.

Tom

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I don't tournament fish so I can't (and don't want to) compare myself with other fishermen.  On some days when things are going well and the fish are cooperating, it's tempting to call myself pretty good.  On rough days, however, when I can't buy a strike...not so much.  I have only my past self to compare who I am today.  And even THAT viewpoint is biased as I now have a boat and can (somewhat) afford to fish lakes which have respectable populations of fish-whereas in the past I had to just settle for what I could get from the bank or on pressured public lakes (or both).  I DO remember a time when it was not at all uncommon for me to muster up just one or two bass.  And a skunking was not at all unheard of.  Nowadays, this is more rare-though it still happens.

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I'm not even close to good. But...

I do believe I have the ability to be put on any body of water any time of the year and find the bass.

It would be very disappointing if I blanked on a day, but I will have gained knowledge from it to get me one more step closer to being "good".

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If you are a student of the game it can happen pretty quick after a few years of trial & error. Confirmation of your becoming a good angler is when others are always looking for your advice. I personally think this site is heavily populated with lots of good anglers from the posts & pictures submitted. There is a wealth of information to be gleaned from Bass Resource. 

The next question to ask is how long does it take to be a great angler?

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I've been fishing most of my 64 years and have considered myself pretty proficient since I was a young adult. However, as I've gotten older I realize how much I don't know.  Input from these forums has enhanced my skills considerably in just the past year or so. That said, what I do know is that my skill set involves a very small slice of this sport.  I bank fish so knowledge involving boats, finding bass in large waters, and electronics is totally lacking. The wonderful thing about bass fishing is that it can be enjoyed in different ways.  I love a warm afternoon of wading for smallmouth. A person in Fla. can't say that because it's not available to him locally. I'd like to think that I'm always learning and improving within the scope of what I do.

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I thing being a “good angler” is different in everyone’s mind. Personally I would say your into the “good” category when you can find and catch fish on any body of water, and lately for me, it’s been a personal quest to try as many new lakes as I can. I really enjoy running around a new lake, checking out the shoreline and offshore stuff, then trying to dissect the lake to figure out where the best number and size of bass are given the season. Anyone can hit their home lake and usually find fish, but not everyone can launch on a new lake and figure it out easily. 

When you find the mother load, that’s when it gets really satisfying. 

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It's when you just know. It's a feeling that tells you what to throw. It's when your not fishing anymore. And when your catching constantly. It's not trying to catch them anymore it's trying to catch a state record

 

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Confirmation of your becoming a good angler is when others are always looking for your advice.

The next question to ask is how long does it take to be a great angler?

I like this definition.  As for defining a great angler. I would say the ability to even somewhat consistently catch big fish would be part of it.  Locally, I know of only a handful of guys I would put in that category.

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Reading the replies in this thread it appears about half don't believe they are a good bass angler. If you don't have self confidence in your bass fishing skills, the ability to catch bass, means you will never believe your are a good bass angler. 

Why do you bass fish if you don't believe you are a good bass angler or don't believe you will master skills to become a good bass angler soon?

If you can cast and hit a target consistantly you are a good caster.

If you know where to cast to catch bass you are a knowledgible angler.

If you catch bass where you cast and think bass are located you are a good bass angler.

Before you develop confidence in lures and presentations you need to have confidence in yourself.

Tom

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As you can tell by everyone’s reply Maestro, we all tend to have different thoughts in how to answer your question. Just like the various challenges fishing brings on a daily basis, we individually have experiences, skill sets, and tackle which in my opinion doesn’t make it an easy question to answer. You just want to get better every time out.

 

I practice catch and release when bass fishing. And on those tough days, especially this time of year, at the end of the day I’d like to think I caught enough for dinner. It seemed to work for a guy named George Perry...

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I know that "good" is a subjective/relative term, but do you guys consider yourselves to be good anglers?  How long until you started to think of yourself as a decent angler?  What was it that made you start thinking of yourself as a good angler?  I know for a lot of guys it's when they start competing and beating others whom they consider to be good.  What about for those of us who don't compete, so we have no direct way of comparing?

 

I started to think of myself as a decent (not great, just ok) angler just this past year.  It's been almost 10 years since I got more serious about fishing, and I can honestly say that I would have told you that I straight up sucked at it until just recently.  I know the learning never stops but I finally feel like my bank of knowledge and experience is to the point where I can usually catch them or at least scratch out a few on a really tough day.  How about you guys?

Can't say, since I've not achieved that plateau yet.  At 71 and just trying to figure out this thing called "bass fishing", there may not be enough time left.  I doubt that I'll ever get enough hours on the water to figure it out well enough to be able to say that I'm a good fisherman, but I'm okay with that.  I put in what time I can, and I get the results that I get.  As long as I'm enjoying myself and catching a few fish, that's all I really ask. B)

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I get better each season. I look back at some of the ways I used to approach fishing and laugh at how naive I was. In ten years I'm sure I will look back and do the same.

 

Just keep practicing, keep learning and keep fishing.

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I'm still working on it.  I learn something new just about every time I go out on the water.

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I had always considered myself a good angler but I know that I can always be a better angler.  The great thing about fishing is that it can be one of the easiest things to do but impossible to master.  You can always get better at fishing but it can also be as simple as you want it to be.

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On 1/13/2018 at 6:33 PM, WRB said:

Why do you bass fish if you don't believe you are a good bass angler or don't believe you will master skills to become a good bass angler soon?

I've gone bowling a whole lot more in my lifetime than fishing at the moment, but fished a whole lot more this past year than I bowled.  I'm generally good enough to beat most of the people I'm bowling with and probably average around 130 or so.  Got close to 200 once or twice, but generally stay pretty consistent with the occasional high and low game.  Doesn't make me a good bowler, except by those that aren't as consistent. 

 

As soon as I start out-fishing my daughter, she wants to put on whatever lure I'm throwing.  I'm good in her eyes, although I'll never understand how she used to catch so many fish by herself, without my ***.  And when she did, she just wouldn't stop fishing.  I won't ever throw a ball that's going to keep me above 200, usually have that one stupid pin on most frames that keeps my score too low from too much headpin.  But like fishing, it can be fun.

 

@CattI've read a lot of your posts - what the heck is a tighteye?

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@Vinjints that's what we call dinks... their eyes are tight together...the tighter together the smaller the bass!

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I consider getting out on the pond is "good" enough. Good angler depends on the day. I was a "good" angler in 2016. 2017 I felt like a noob again. If the pattern continues, I should be "good" angler this year.

6 hours ago, Vinjints said:

I've gone bowling a whole lot more in my lifetime than fishing at the moment, but fished a whole lot more this past year than I bowled.  I'm generally good enough to beat most of the people I'm bowling with and probably average around 130 or so.  Got close to 200 once or twice, but generally stay pretty consistent with the occasional high and low game.  Doesn't make me a good bowler, except by those that aren't as consistent. 

 

As soon as I start out-fishing my daughter, she wants to put on whatever lure I'm throwing.  I'm good in her eyes, although I'll never understand how she used to catch so many fish by herself, without my ***.  And when she did, she just wouldn't stop fishing.  I won't ever throw a ball that's going to keep me above 200, usually have that one stupid pin on most frames that keeps my score too low from too much headpin.  But like fishing, it can be fun.

 

@CattI've read a lot of your posts - what the heck is a tighteye?

If the girl thinks you're good man...you're good.

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