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AceHigh

Growth and evolution

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Although I haven't been on this forum very long, I have been fishing a long time and I wanted to point out that I see a lot of young guys who appear to be adopting one or two syles of fishing and then defining themselves by that style.

My personal opinion is that you need to keep growing and evolving and trying to be able to do any style of fishing at anytime in any type of water and with any equipment.

Sooner or later many of you will try tournament fishing and if you do it enough and over a wide enough geographical area, unless you are close to being an expert with just about everything, you're going to find yourself missing a lot of cuts and looking at a lot of goose eggs.  

Nothing drives me crazier in a tournament than to draw a no boater who can't or won't fish this or that style or this or that kind of bait because he's not skilled in doing so.

Be it spinnerbaits, crankbaits, worms, jigs, topwaters, pitching, flipping, deep cranking or whatever, if you can't do it well then get working on your weakness.  And when your partner says during his time he going to fish a way you are not comfortable with, take it as an excellent time to learn more about that technique.

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That is some excellent advice.

I've been fishing since late April with the intention of learning as many techniques and presentations as possible in order to be the most versatile angler

that I can be.

My plan is to fish the BFL Okie division as a co-angler next year. And I foresee that I will need to be as versatile as I can in order to catch fish behind some very good anglers.

Also being versed in many methods allows one to put something in front of the fish that maybe they haven't seen yet.

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Nothing drives me crazier in a tournament than to draw a no boater who can't or won't fish this or that style or this or that kind of bait because he's not skilled in doing so.

I dont think its that important on what other peoples skills in fishing are ranked in your standard. Instead of pointing out how bad they are doing, go a try to teach them the right way to do it.

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IMO, there are no masters of all techniques.  Every successful touring pro I have followed is able to fish many ways, but they are always a master at one or two techniques/styles and they look for patterns that allow them to fish their strengths every time they are out.  

On most lakes, on most days, there are several patterns, any of which could win if the right fish are there.  If your strength is one of the patterns that is on, then thats how you need to fish and you fish to win.  If not, fish the best you can and move to the next event.

Dee Thomas, one of the best flipper's if not the best flipper ever, was a master at flipping and was great at crankbaits.  If either pattern was on, he could win and he won a lot.  In fact, he was so good at flipping you can thank him for your current rod length limits on the tour.  Dee just had a great article in the Inside Line magazine that partly addressed this very subject.

So, for the non-boaters out there, you need to be prepared to fish in a way that works at the speed or in the area your boater has you in.  Be prepared to learn.  If you're like me, you learn to fish many ways, find your strengths, perfect them (which you will always work on BTW).......then buy your own boat so you can fish your way!

Boaters, be prepared to share and teach.  That's one reason why that non decided to fish with you in the first place, to learn.

Brad

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I can see being a "master" at two or three different techniques! I'd say my two biggest strengths are spinnerbaits and flippin/pitchin tubes. But, in my opinion, you should be diversified enough to be able to work other techniques as well. A goal I set for myself is to become more familiar with one or two new techniques a year (this year is crankbaits). Doing that, again in my opinion, doesn't over whelm you or having you second guess yourself on picking up other rods and abandoning the new technique for one of your strengths. So in a few years, if I stay with my goals, I'll have more confidence in fishing with other baits other than my go to baits. Could be the difference in having a good day and having a great day on the water!

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What I have found in the t/x I have fished, is that it is better not to have a favorite lure or technique. You will always have a certain form that is more comfortable for you to use, but it may not be the one that needs to be used at that particular moment. If you allow yourself to always fall back on a lure or technique that you are most comfortable with, then you are going to fish it at the wrong time, and just as bad fish with it for too long.

It is very wise and very benificial to be well rounded in all aspects of your tackel. Of course that goes without saying. One thing that I feel that is just as important as the skill needed to use a lure, is haveing the knowledge of why is this the right lure for the current fishing situation. You can be the master of every lure ever produced, but if you are using it at the wrong place and time, it will be to no avail.

So I guess you can say it is best to be an expert with every lure that you plan to use. It is also safe to say that there will be few styles that will suit your personallity better. Those styles will be the ones that you master.

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