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Biggest influence

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Reading has always been the first ingredient in my own recipe for learning. I love to read! Some people like to just jump right in and actually do but I feel more comfortable if I can grasp a basic understanding of an activity before I jump in. As much as I've learned from reading over the years, I still can't help but feel like I'd be much more knowledgeable about fishing if I'd spent more time fishing with others. Don't get me wrong, I've fished with lots of different folks in my life but not as many as I could have. I've got this kind of "loner" type of personality that makes me want to just go off by myself a lot.

Do any of you folks ever feel like you could be a much better fisherman if you would have done things differently? What's been the biggest influence in making you the fisherman you are now?

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I consider myself a good fisherman.  I learned from my dad, uncles, friends, etc.... I read magazine articles, but other than that, it took time.  Time spent learning how to cast, learning how to tie hooks, learning how to use bait correctly.  All under the watchful eyes of my dad, until I started going with buddies or by myself, then I started going again with my dad, until he passed away.

It took me two days of solid fishing to catch my first salmon.  Two months to catch my first steelhead.  3 weeks to catch my first sturgeon.  2 short trips to catch my first bass, trout, crappie, etc...

However, I am still learning to become a great fisherman.... just like I am still learning to become a great hunter, brother, son, husband, citizen, etc....  I may never get there, but I keep trying, learning from my mistakes, taking in more information, no matter how I get it, and sift out the good from the bad, keeping my learning curve going up.

To be honest, I hope I never become great at anything.  That means I may stop trying.  Which to me would be the saddest day of my life.

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Do any of you folks ever feel like you could be a much better fisherman if you would have done things differently?

nope

What's been the biggest influence in making you the fisherman you are now?

I always hung out with the older adults and tournament guys they taught me a lot and I learned a lot by having the opportunity to fish a bunch. I felt that if I learned the old stuff then I would have a better understanding of the new techniques. I learned a lot by fishing in Florida and other places around the United States. Florida fishing was important because it helped me learn how to finesse fish, sight fish, read grass, trophy fish, and how to deal with pressured fish. Being able to fish other parts of the country taught me versatility. I have always been a free thinker and I always enjoyed challenge of problem solving when things didn't go right. I think it helped because I find that I think of different directions other than the norm.

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I voted time on the water- but thats both by myself and with others, particularly my great grandfather and his fishing buddy steve. Although I fished with my great grandfather only once that I can remember, its from that morning I gained my first real fishing knowledge. He took my father and I to the edges of  weed covered flats, and had us fish hair jigs tipped with perch eyes down the drop offs. He was the only one who caught fish that day but I learned alot by watching him. Years later as a pre-teen I went back to those drop offs and caught my first bass BY MYSELF. Steve, my grandfathers long time friend, took me out a few times since then, reinforcing the basics in me.

The majority of what Ive learned since then I stumbled on by myself or read on the internet, but its all thanks  to Grandpa Red and Steve.

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Do any of you folks ever feel like you could be a much better fisherman if you would have done things differently?

nope

What's been the biggest influence in making you the fisherman you are now?

I always hung out with the older adults and tournament guys they taught me a lot and I learned a lot by having the opportunity to fish a bunch. I felt that if I learned the old stuff then I would have a better understanding of the new techniques. I learned a lot by fishing in Florida and other places around the United States. Florida fishing was important because it helped me learn how to finesse fish, sight fish, read grass, trophy fish, and how to deal with pressured fish. Being able to fish other parts of the country taught me versatility. I have always been a free thinker and I always enjoyed challenge of problem solving when things didn't go right. I think it helped because I find that I think of different directions other than the norm.

I think what Chris experienced above is the best and quickest way to become a good bass fisherman, or any kind of fisherman for that matter.  Unfortunately, my Dad was mainly a crappie and catfish guy.  When I started bass fishing he was just a beginner as well and we didn't have people to refer to as resources that I remember.  So I learned most from books, magazines, and time on the water.  I'm still learning.  

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Guest the_muddy_man

For me I have read so mkuch info here. I also like what I learned from both Bill Dance and Al Linders varous shows etc.. But when all is said and done it is WATER TIME for me. I have to learn bgy doing. The best thing for me is adding my own twist to something(other than my line) and it proves to be sucessful

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I think time on the water by yourself is really the best way to develope your own style and find the little niche things that can make a difference between a pretty good day and a great day. My tourney partner and I are total opposites when it comes to style. this is a good thing sometimes, but a lot of the time when we practice together, we get absolutley nothing accomplished. This is because neither of our styles will be 100% invested in becasue he will be power fishing, and I will be trying to keep up, and then I will be finnessing a spot or disecting an area, and he'll be in the back of the boat goin' crazy that were not covering water. We both try not to step on one anothers toes, so we wont spend the necessary time concentrating on a technique or area like we should... out of politeness. The greatest strides forward I have made in my own abilities have been since I quit practicing with anyone else, and just concentrated on applying my own strengths and weakness to a situation.

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I went with fishing with others,

Reason,

Fishing with people better then you will make you a better fisherman.  Especially if they are good enough at teaching.  Thats how I learnded alot.

Second would be

Water time

third

internet (you guys)

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Compared to many on this forum, I'm realtively new to bassin. I've really only been fishing for bass for about 5 years but have been fishing my whole life for other species. I only started bassin after entering a tournament and becoming hooked ;).

IMHO, time on the water has been the most important learning tool. I too like to read and spend hours upon hours reading everyting I can relating to bass and bass fishing. I take the pricipals and techniques I read about and apply them to my fishing when I'm on the water. I was fortunate in that I found a club where members were receptive to teaching newbies so that really helped me as well. I've moved on from that club but will always have fond memories of the guys and time spent with them.

I will continue to read and learn in the same ways in order to continue the success that I've had, it's worked so far!

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I voted time on the water for two reasons

#1: Night fishing for 34 years; Removing your sense of sight heightens your sense of feel  

#2: Fishing deep water structure also strengthens your sense of feel

All the tackle and equiptment in the world will not help if you can't feel the bite   ;)

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All have an influence but the biggest for me has to be time on the water. You can read every magazine, internet article, and ask all the questions in the world but you need time on the water to put it all together.

As LBH puts it, "You can't catch 'em from the couch".

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My biggest influence was fishing with one of my dad's friends who used to fish competitively.  A half day on the boat with him and it really opened my eyes to a new world of fishing and drastically changed my approach to fishing to this day.  Funny thing is I probably learned more from just watching him than him actually him talking/telling me what he was doing.

I wouldn't say I actually learned the most from him, but it opened up my mind to realizing maybe there was something to this stuff I see on TV.  It just took me seeing it first hand to realize all that stuff you see in the stores work.  I used to go into a store like BPS or Cabela's and be overwhelmed by all the different types of baits and thought there was no way in hell a crankbait or a jig or a spinnerbait could catch a fish.  (Well I still feel that way about a spinnerbait ;))  Back in the day I don't even know why I had a tackle box.  ALL I used fish was was 7" curly tailed worms with a 1/4 oz bullet weight and the occasional jitterbug in the morning.  That was it.  If I was feeling real daring I might switch colors :D

Over the next few years I really tried to open up my mind and use different baits and guess what ............  they almost all caught fish.  That really got me going and I started reading everything  I could find in magazines about different baits and techniques.  Then three summers ago I really started to become a pretty versatile fisherman and really started gaining confidence in baits that I never though would have worked in the past.  Then I found this place and as of right now, BassResource.com is probably my second biggest influence followed only by time on the water.  It's nice when you read about "real" people experiencing the same things as you and really helps the learning/confidence curve.  My learning curve dramatically shot up when I found this place, especially the first year.

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I put down time on the water because that is a great teacher, but I do have an extensive library and do learn a lot by reading, but you have to be on the water to see if it will work.

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Just like anything else practice makes perfect!!thats why i put down time on the water. I myself like to read anything related to bass fishing but i feel being on the water is where you gain experience and confidence. You can spend 10 or 20 minutes reading an article on a certian techingue or certain bait but you need to spend a lot of time on the water in order to make it work.

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I voted fishing with others.First,my cousin introduced me to bassin' in my teens.We fished together for years and learned alot about bassin' together.Secondly,When I got married, my father-in-law was a truly accomplished bass fisherman.He fished many regional bassin' tournaments.I learned and am still learning a ton about how to catch bass under many different circumstances from him.

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Guest avid

You can read and watch tv, listen to friends and pros, but if you gotta pay your dues on the H2O to really learn

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I'd say most definetly all of the above. But this site definetly taught me everything I know about bass fishing. I found this site just after I went fresh water fishing for the first time that I could remember. I've made every purchase of tackle and fishing related things based on info from here. Then I took that knowledge and applied it while on the water. So its a combo of both of those that were the biggest factor in me learning everything I know about bass. But I have used all of the others.

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The most popular reply was "time on the water".

However, exactly what are we doing with our "time on the water"?

More than likely, trying stuff that we read about on the Internet and in magazines ;)

Roger

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