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Why do I struggle to find and catch fish?


KameronG

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7 hours ago, Catt said:

 

10,000 hours = 1.142 calendar year.

 

Dude said he's been fishing 3 years.


If you believe in that tenet, it’s 10,000 hours of dedicated practice doing a thing correctly.  If you fish an 8 hour trip, that’s 1250 trips. It would take fishing an 8 hour day every day for 3.5 years to do it.  In 10 years, that’s an 8 hour fishing day every third day.  If you’re a dedicated weekend angler fishing 40, 8-hour days a year (which is a solid year considering the thread here on “how much do you fish”), you’d have to do that for 30 years to still not quite hit 10,000 hours. All of that is a long way of saying, “dedicated, intelligent time on the water”

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18 minutes ago, casts_by_fly said:

If you believe in that tenet, it’s 10,000 hours of dedicated practice doing a thing correctly.  

 

That tenet has been debunked 10,000 different ways.

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Here are some things that greatly minimized the time it took for me to gain a significant amount of experience:

1.  I picked my primary lake based on what the lake had to offer.  I chose a lake that actually fishes like three different bodies of water due to it's shape, terrain, and the way it's divided by causeways, etc.  It also has rock, wood, vegetation, docks, extreme shallow, and depths over 25ft.  This gave me the opportunity for many different types of bass fishing every time I went to this one lake.

2.  I dedicated my time to this sport.  That means I took time off work JUST to fish.  I regularly fished on Wednesdays and Thursdays when I had the lakes almost to myself and the fish hadn't been heavily pressured since Sunday.  That was HUGE in figuring out the fish. 

3.  I finally gave in and bought an Ultrex.  I now realize that I can buy an Ugly Stick and all my lures at Walmart and catch fish.  I don't have to spend $200 on a rod.  I don't need $7000 in electronics.  I can catch fish with or without electronics.  But the Ultrex was a life-changer. 

 

I struggled to learn this sport and felt like I wasn't getting anywhere.  I changed these three things and in only a few years I can now compete with the best bass fishermen on my regular lakes.  My next step will be starting to travel to experience a wider variety of bass environments. 

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Most new anglers have a decent idea where bass like to hang at . They also have a good idea on what lures to throw in those places . Whats  left is execution . Getting the lure in there accurately without spooking the bass , manipulation and strike detection . 

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The collective response to the OP has been generous and chock full of wisdom. Pity he never availed himself of it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/23/2023 at 10:52 AM, king fisher said:

Don't be to hard on yourself.  Catching quality bass is difficult.  I checked the results of the last BASS Elite series tournament at famous big bass lake Okeechobee.   The bottom 9 Elite series pros caught 20 lbs. or less.  These are professional fisherman, with years of experience fish hundreds of days a year, have the best equipment made, and they still couldn't catch limits of big bass, while other anglers crushed them.  Anglers always want to compare their success to the winners of a tournament.  They never consider how they did compared to those at the bottom of the leaderboard.  After three years of bass fishing, if you finish in the middle you are doing excellent. 

      I have bass fished for many years, and consider myself an average bass angler.  I have never fished in a tournament, but if I did, would be very happy to place somewhere in the middle of the field, but would not be surprised if I ended up dead last.  I have a friend who out fishes me almost every time we go, and it has been that way for over 40 years.  He is simply a better natural fisherman than I am.  Both of us love to fish, and have fun every time we have a line in the water.  I try to learn something every time we go, he claims to already know everything, but in reality without even trying he learns from mistakes, I don't even notice.  I wont tell him that, because he is fine with me claiming he is plain lucky. 

     Go fishing as often as you can, have fun, celebrate your successes, and laugh at your mistakes.  Try to learn something from every trip, and before long people will be asking you what you do to catch all of those big bass.

 

 Well said. Winning in a bass tournament is cashing a check...   Even KVD lost a lot more tournaments than he won. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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A lot of fisherman just think that bass will always want what you do the same way.  Many are happy to chuck and burn all day, and will keep changing baits, but always chucking and burning.  I enjoy throwing to targets and cranking back, but many days this does not produce.  Some Days that a great technique, but many times bass want a slow, subtle presentation,.  Slow to a painfully slow level, especially on bright sunny days, and especially when the sun is high in the sky.

 

I catch many bass over 20" to 26" with the bait sitting still after a two inch or three inch jerks of the rod tip.  How long it sits still is up to the day, and the conditions.  If that doesn't work, then just a very slow pull with an occasional stops.  If your not feeling the bottom slow down even more.  When you feel a clump of grass, or a big rock, just shake the bait without moving it,  and let it die there for a while, then repeat.   Bass will often be close to the grass clump or next to a big rock on the bottom. 

 

Patience and concentration will catch you some bigger ones when the fishing turns tuff!  The best advice I can give most new fisherman is:  (Slow, slow way down, and concentrate).

 

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On 2/25/2023 at 10:19 AM, BigAngus752 said:

I regularly fished on Wednesdays and Thursdays when I had the lakes almost to myself and the fish hadn't been heavily pressured since Sunday.  That was HUGE in figuring out the fish. 

 

When I started doing this everything on Toledo Bend started clicking. 

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I'm in the same boat (no pun intended.) I got into tournaments about 3-4 years ago heavy but been fishing heavy all my life and I'm 51. I did real well until May 2010 we had a devastating flood here and it really, really changed things up on the ole home lake.

 

It seems most of my competitors have adjusted and adapted and for some reason I have not. Take 12 tourneys/year and I'll finish top 10 but out of the money twice and literally skunk 10 times. Sometimes the fishing is just bad and we all skunk, but I've had more than I'd like where I skunk and everyone else slays them.

 

My pre-fishing isn't really a gauge either. More times than not the better my pre-fish the worse the tournament and vice versa.

 

I think my biggest obstacle is I need to better educate myself. Like here recently we had Feb-Friday Mar 17th in the 60-80* temps. Water was 58-62*. Opening tournament on 3/18 & 3/19 air temp was 18* with a high of 29* JUST the two days of the tournament and water temp fell to 48*.

 

Where I'm uneducated is what do fish commonly do during pre-spawn when a snap cold front hits like that. I think that's what separates a wannabe like me who can catch'em good if I stumble on to where they are and a guy who knows where to look based on the conditions he's dealt.

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1 hour ago, dickenscpa said:

I'm in the same boat (no pun intended.) I got into tournaments about 3-4 years ago heavy but been fishing heavy all my life and I'm 51. I did real well until May 2010 we had a devastating flood here and it really, really changed things up on the ole home lake.

 

It seems most of my competitors have adjusted and adapted and for some reason I have not. Take 12 tourneys/year and I'll finish top 10 but out of the money twice and literally skunk 10 times. Sometimes the fishing is just bad and we all skunk, but I've had more than I'd like where I skunk and everyone else slays them.

 

My pre-fishing isn't really a gauge either. More times than not the better my pre-fish the worse the tournament and vice versa.

 

I think my biggest obstacle is I need to better educate myself. Like here recently we had Feb-Friday Mar 17th in the 60-80* temps. Water was 58-62*. Opening tournament on 3/18 & 3/19 air temp was 18* with a high of 29* JUST the two days of the tournament and water temp fell to 48*.

 

Where I'm uneducated is what do fish commonly do during pre-spawn when a snap cold front hits like that. I think that's what separates a wannabe like me who can catch'em good if I stumble on to where they are and a guy who knows where to look based on the conditions he's dealt.

I’m no tournament fisherman but I can tell you one thing: they don’t all just do this one thing that you will unlock . They are wild creatures, unpredictable in nature. They don’t have to do what people think/say they have to do 

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As a boater you control where and how you bass fish. You always hear time on the water and location, location, location.

Time needs to be productive time to determine location. Your boat is your fishing platform to take you to the right location. Where is that location?

The question we must answer.

My routine was launch the boat turn on the sonar unit and survey the marina to determine how deep are the bass and or baitfish. What is the water clarity and surface temp. Looking under the boat ramp docks for clues. Wind direction. 
What seasonal period are the bass in.

Now I have more current info then 10 minutes ago and can select lures based on how deep to start. Marinas have all kinds of structure and cover, usually a point to meter.

Now based on time on the water the location is easier to find and a starting area.

The water temp where the bass are located is rarely the surface temps, that is why the life zone depth is critical. LMB can’t survive a sudden 10 degree water temp change , they move to their comfort zone, the depth you metered them in!

Good luck,

Tom

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Livescope helps a great deal.  It allows me to see if there are bait schools in the area.  Knowing and fishing with a seasoned veteran of the craft really helps too.   Best of both worlds to be honest. 

 

Being new to bass fishing myself its sorting out the wrong advice from the myths to the truth and backwards thinking that poses the greatest challenge.  FFS allows for the fish to speak for themselves. 

 

Breaking down maps, topography and finding ledges is next critical step in the process.  One that needs time and dedication away from the water. 

 

 

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