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Todd2

Jack of all trades..master of none!

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This question applies to everyone that Bass fishes, but specifically for those of us fishing for fun, getting out maybe once a week or less. So there is no pre-fishing....just 4 to 8 hours of trying to get the line stretched. At what point does being versatile (many lures) take away from getting dialed in and being a master of a few. If you factor in time spent graphing, that fishing window closes quick. So is it better to spread that out over many or just a few. 

 

I ask because sometimes I think I don't try enough things in a day. I'll have a game plan to..but end up with that worm and jig rod too long. Kind of a tough question to really answer but what's your thoughts?

 

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   If you fish long enough, you'll find out that you really like certain techniques or lures. Go with them. You'll do a heck of a lot better with something that you like, versus mentally floundering around, trying to figure out what to use next. For me, it's spoons, spinnerbaits and #5 Aglias. But everybody's different.

   If you don't enjoy it, why fish?     jj

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You need to find fish before you can catch them. Finding fish could mean graphing them. It could mean fishing cover and structure. It could mean researching fishing reports and topo maps.

If I am fishing familiar water for fun, I fish history. If I am fishing unfamiliar water for fun, I fish based on reports and maps AND history. History on unfamiliar water you say? Yup. Fishing cover can be done every body of water, even if you are not familiar with it. I know that cover should hold fish no matter what lake I am fishing.

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It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't. With more time on the water I've learned that you can't rely on one lure because it caught either you PB or sometime your last fish.  But you also can't be switching every three casts either. 

 

With time you figure out which lures to eliminate right away for higher success, just like I've learned to eliminate certain sections of a body of water knowing the success percentage will be low. 

 

When you think about it you can narrow it down to shallow, medium, and deep water.  Work it fast, medium, or slow. That's nine choices but you can usually eliminate a few of those right away. That comes with experience.......the other side of the coin is bass don't always follow the rules. 

 

Yesterday I kayak fished a tournament of 7 hours.  I caught three bass within the first 60 minutes along the same 100 yard stretch of weeds in 2 feet of water.  For five hours I scoured the lake, points, drop offs, lily pads, humps, nothing. Working my way back to the ramp I caught three more in the same stretch of weeds........I should have just stayed there the entire day it would have saved me A LOT of paddling.  LOL

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39 minutes ago, Todd2 said:

but end up with that worm and jig rod too long

What’s too long?  If your goal is to catch fish and you’re catching then it’s what you should be doing, right?  But I am the exact opposite of @jimmyjoe. What I enjoy the most is the challenge and working toward becoming the master of all techniques. If I catch five bass I will literally stop doing what I’m doing and do something else. It’s a rule I have. Once I’ve hit five then I change to a technique that needs improvement.  If it’s a slow day I may drop my limit from 5 to 2 just so I can practice something I’m not good at. I would rather catch one good bass using a technique (or in a circumstance) that I’ve never has success with than 10 bass on a lipless crank. I’ve caught a lot of fish on a lipless already. I’m 50 years old. I intend to be a better fisherman than KVD by the time I’m 65. I don’t mind if you laugh at that, but that is my mentality and my work ethic and it’s what makes it enjoyable to me. Do what makes it most enjoyable for you in the long run. 

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I have an idea on where I want to  fish and know what lures exploit  that type of cover or structure well . If that doesnt work then I try other things . Lure selection is the easiest part .

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Jack of all trades..master of none!

 

We need only master three or a least get really good at em!

 

Topwater, mid-depth, & bottom

 

Myself personally I have two in each category, one for working shallow, & one for working deep.

 

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50 minutes ago, BigAngus752 said:

What’s too long?  If your goal is to catch fish and you’re catching then 

Well..that was the problem last night...I wasn't catching. Got out about two hours before sunset..caught a few on some laydowns early..then it got quiet after dark..as in the skunk crawled in the boat at sunset.

 

Just post fishing second guessing..but I usually can keep it interesting with a worm with a nice one every now and then.  It was slow for others too..just wondering if I should start changing it up like you. But,  if I'm catching, the thought of switching up never enters my mind.

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I spent 4 hrs this evening fishing a wacky jig head with a senko. I have zero desire to have to fish that way but that's what they wanted so I fished it the whole time. I agree that having confidence is a big key to what you're fishing.  Having said that, I've came to realize i have confidence in several baits i dont particularly enjoy fishing.  I'm always there to catch fish tho so i fish what i need to. If I had it my way I'd flip a jig 95 percent of the time. I just refuse to be so stubborn and to haul water and not catch em because I "have" to be throwing something I like to fish. I dont know that's there is any right and wrong advice on this matter. Everyone has their own way of doing things. I let my instincts and what little knowledge i have of patterns and lakes dictate a lot of the decisions i make while on the water. If you feel that your worm or jig are getting too much play and that's costing you fish you might have caught other ways, i say put em down and try other things. 

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20 minutes ago, Todd2 said:

Well..that was the problem last night...I wasn't catching. Got out about two hours before sunset..caught a few on some laydowns early..then it got quiet after dark..as in the skunk crawled in the boat at sunset.

 

Just post fishing second guessing..but I usually can keep it interesting with a worm with a nice one every now and then.  It was slow for others too..just wondering if I should start changing it up like you. But,  if I'm catching, the thought of switching up never enters my mind.

I know what you mean.  On slow days when I'm not catching it's hard not to stick with something tried and true.  

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2 hours ago, Todd2 said:

 .... specifically for those of us fishing for fun ....

   Everyone here has good ideas, but this line ^^^^^ was in your first sentence. It seems to me that you clearly defined what's most important to you. And I think that's good. Or great, even. You don't have the pressure a competition fisherman has.

   If you want to change up, don't wait until you're frustrated on the water. Pick 3 lures the night before. Maybe 3 like Catt said. Have them laying in front of you or on one side, and then pick one up to try it if you get the least little urge to do a change-up.

   I do this myself. That way, on a bad day I can go out and not catch fish with several different lures rather than not catch fish with just a few lures. 🤣 

   After all, some days they just ... ain't ... bitin'.    😢   jj

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I have been seriously bass fishing since 12 years when I earned enough money to buy my 1st rod and reel in 1955. I wasn't the master of anything and didn't know what a trade was. By the end of the summer of '55 I learned how to catch bass on the 1 lure I owned #3 Hawiian Wiggler weedless spoon. I would cast this lure while walking the shoreline nearly every morning on my way to Pleasure Point boat landing where my older brother worked to be his helper. I mastered the skill of casting a bait caster and catching bass on a weedless spoon, it's all I had.

After 60 years of bass fishing anyone should be able to master a few lures and techniques if add 1 lure/presentation a year. For me learning new lures and presentations is a big part of bass fishing keeping it interesting and the bass are always welling to play.

Enjoy our sport it offers endless opportunities to learn.

Tom

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Dang Tom you have me by 3 years..First rod/reel. I earned/saved up 5.00 from mowing lawns. Went to Thrifty Drug store, and bought a spinning combo, and a red devil lure, the reel came with line. Next day, I took a bus from where we lived to Legg Lake. I had no idea on how to cast, ect. A very patient and kind man showed me what to do, I spent hours bank fishing that lake, because it was the closest body of water to me. Life was good back then..

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Follow @Team9nine and you'll see he uses pretty much one thing and catches more bass than most of us. This summer my pockets have been my tackle box a good deal of the time.

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Like Tom said I've generally (and usually from circumstance) followed the "learn 1 bait per year" process. I don't know if it's a proven thing, but it seems like each year my fish want something different than the year before. They're not pressured lakes per-se, but they seem to condition to some lures. This year has been the year of the tried and true inline spinner. I've caught all my yearly bests on it and many in between. Most days it's a situation of why I bothered to bring a tackle bag at all. 

 

I think it's valuable to have that scenario. It's taught me to really use and learn the different lures, their techniques, and applications more thoroughly. It's even gotten me out of the box on them. I used to hate crankbaits, but a couple years ago I was constantly killing it on shallow cranks. You bet I learned how to use em' then. I realized a couple years ago that I probably switch lures too much, and even more so how to slow the switch down once I found a good pattern. 

 

If it's for the sake of my time, which it sounds like you are too, I would probably stick with things I know how to use and have mostly mastered. Focus on finding the fish, then pull out something you're confident with. The fish will tell you soon enough if they want it that day. 

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Should I enhance a strength or remedy a weakness?  That is a question we often have to grapple with.  The idea mentioned by  @Catt of learning two or three lures for each segment of the water column is a good one that achieves a balance.  Learning a lure a year mentioned by @WRB is also good.  Put them together and they allow an angler to steadily remedy weaknesses while continously enchancing strengths with regard to mastering lures.

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32 minutes ago, senile1 said:

Should I enhance a strength or remedy a weakness?  That is a question we often have to grapple with.  The idea mentioned by  @Catt of learning two or three lures for each segment of the water column is a good one that achieves a balance.  Learning a lure a year mentioned by @WRB is also good.  Put them together and they allow an angler to steadily remedy weaknesses while continously enchancing strengths with regard to mastering lures.

 

Exactly! 😉

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On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 11:19 PM, WRB said:

learning new lures and presentations is a big part of bass fishing keeping it interesting and the bass are always welling to play.

Enjoy our sport it offers endless opportunities to learn.

Well said.

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I know I struggle with the question ask by the OP.  I've said many times that you're better off focusing a few techniques but we are all tempted to try every new bait or technique.  I think we truly improve when we realize a weakness and expand our skills to overcome it.   You realize that you could catch more fish off a dock if you could get your bait further under the dock,  then you find the right lure and technique to get you there.  That's how it's really done.   

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It really doesn’t matter how you approach it. Bring as much crap as you want (rods, reels, baits) or just an outfit or two and a handful of baits. There are guys that catch plenty with both approaches. From the bank, I go as simple and as light as possible. From a boat, I’ll bring more stuff for what I expect the conditions to be and live with it. Besides, my boat isn’t close to being big enough to hold all the tackle I own - barely all fits in the garage as it is 😂

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All I know is, no matter if you bring the entire garage plus the kitchen sink, if you aren't catching fish you will wish you had something else.

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Depending where you fish, what bass species can require different lures and presentations. Add multi species with each specie requiring a different lures and presentations it doesn't take many years to be overwhelmed with tackle choices and presentation techniques to use on any given day.

Bass, largemouth, Smallmouth and spotted make the majority bass species we try to catch, each can require specific lures and presentations. 

You can make it as complicated or as simple as you choose and still catch fish. It really comes down to the individual.

If you are a bass angler you can catch bass on a plastic worm anywhere. 1 outfit, bag of weights, hooks and plastic worms and go fishing, it's that simple or is it? Maybe you need 3 bags of different worms or different colors.......

Tom

 

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I went with the stubborn approach. Tie on one or two lures/techniques and fish them only until I connected the dots. Really frustrating but it forces you to learn and master the technique. Had the mindset to master everything even if meant skunks.

 

Try ysome things out of the comfort zone. Before you go back to a reliable lure fish the new techniques a little longer. 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, WRB said:

 

If you are a bass angler you can catch bass on a plastic worm anywhere. 1 outfit, bag of weights, hooks and plastic worms and go fishing, it's that simple or is it?

 

That's pretty much how I was taught back in the 80's. Of course over the years I've collected a decent amount of lures. Probably less than most. I can easily fit everything into my boat..actually on hard baits, everything fits in my very big Plano. Soft plastics are a different story. I have several quart bags filled with them. But honestly here...straight black works most of the time. 

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I always go back to what Gary Kline once told me.  “If I can find the fish, there are no less than 5 lures I can catch them on.”  It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian.😉

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