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Sportfishing Stages (read my post for info.)

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Hey folks,

After reading the debate over "Hawg hunting" vs. "Regular bass fishing", I got to thinking. I am a certified hunter education instructor, and in the Texas hunter ed. curriculum there are five mindsets/phases of sport hunting (many of you may be familiar with them). They are:

1. Shooter stage (most often new hunters only concerned with getting more shots.)

2. Limiting out stage (self-explanatory; taking a limit is priority)

3. Trophy stage (again, self explanatory)

4. Method stage (concerned with "how" the harvest was made more than the harvest;i.e. bowhunting, muzzleloading, etc.)

5. Sportsman stage (concerned with just getting out and enjoying the hunt/nature, etc.)

I have often thought that these stages were very similar to the mindset of many fishermen as well. My curiosity set me into changing the names of these a bit, and asking which of you are currently in each stage. As in the hunter stages, a hunter doesn't necessarily have to go through all of the stages, but I was curious as to which stage you are currently in, and, if you care to, comment on any special thoughts of previous stages you've been through. A brief explanation of the re-vamped "fishing" stages follows:

1. Casting stage- concerned with getting casts, with little regard to patterns, lure choice, etc.; just getting the hook in the water; maybe new to the sport.

2. Limiting out/tourney stage- catching the limit (perhaps for the table) or for the tournament.

3. Trophy stage- self explanatory.

4. Method stage- perhaps fishing from a tube; spinning tackle, flyrods, light line, etc.; limiting yourself to one type of tackle, etc.

5. Sportsman stage- just happy to get out and catch some fish for the recreation.

I know it might be hard to nail down, but which stage are you in?

Thanks ahead of time for your input!

-Fisher

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Interesting question.

I'd say a combination of stages but if I had to pick one.....I'm still learning alot about bass fishing but theres certainly alot more method to my fishing than wetting a line so I'd say I'm in the limiting out stage. Overall, when I go out no the water I'm concerned with learning something and catching at least a few keepers with the occasional big bass though I don't specifically target them ( I mean at certain times I do but it's not the focus of every trip).

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I'd have to say I'm in the sportsman stage. Since the accident and all my surgeries, i'm glad i can still get out for a couple hours per day. (on most days)

I must admit though, I still would like to get over the seven pound mark on Smallies. I've been stuck on 6-15# for three years now.

Falcon

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I am definately a 5) Sportsman Stage. I enjoy just getting out and fishing. But it is exclusive to bass fishing. I have friends whom fish for crappie and catfish but I would much rather just pitch a shoreline than anything else. 90% of the time I get skunked but thats fine with me because at least I am out there rather than the alternative :)

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Well...let's see. It is kinda hard to pick one. I voted a number three because it is generally my mindset when I am out, but I can be all of them in any given situation. I'll explain it a bit.

I am a number one when I know the outting will be short. Like a short one hour outting or maybe 2 hours. I am just concerned with finding the fish and getting the hook in the water to see if they will bite it.

When I haven't been out fishing in a while or the conditions are really, really tough (frontal conditions, turnover, etc.) I have a more of a number two mindset. Not so much a limit out mindset as it is a "I hope I just catch something" mindset. If it is big, great. If not, that's cool too. At least I caught some fish on a rough day conditions wise.

I would say number three is my normal mindset on most trips. Most of the time when I go fishing I will go for an all day expedition...from dawn til dusk and sometimes into the night if location and conditions permit. When I am going to be spending time like that on the water, I know I can limit out catching fish of the 1 to 2 1/2 lb class and will get plenty of casts so I focus more on breaking the 5lb barrier that has stood in my way for so long.

I am a number four when the there are certain conditions coming into play such as fluctuations in temperature, barometric pressure, water level, etc. I will not limit myself to one type of tackle per se, but to one style of retrieve or presentation that the conditions warrant. I will only limit my baits once I have caught a fish with them and can set up a pattern. Once I have caught one fish, I stop and review the situation...water temp, depth of hook-up, water clarity, cover or structure, sun positioning, wind direction, speed of retrieve, what lure and size of lure, and what kind of presentation with said lure.

I am always a number five...I just like going out and fishing no matter what the circumstances. It is my way to relax and clear my head. I can just be outdoors surrounded by the beauty of nature, where I don't have to think about anything at all except me vs. fish.

This was a very though provoking poll. It made me kinda stop and think about how I fish, and why I fish that way in certain conditions. Good post.

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Although I pay attention to how different techniques work, and sometimes I'll simply bring 1 lure to see how I do with it, I am more often than not just happy to be out fishing.

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Most o the time I am trying to catch a limit. Some days I want to just catch one. But every time I go I am there to enjoy the day- nature's beauty, the chess match against the tiny-brained creature, and the adrenaline that comes with the realization that the other end of my line feels funny. And it has turned me into a hard-core shopaholic. ::) I guess I would be a 5-2 type, but I have yet to turn down the 3's. Of course, I plan on going with drop shot tackle for a few trips, at least until I learn it, so those trips will be 4 trips I guess. The only one that does't apply to me is the number 1 answer.

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I'm a true "5" with "3" tendencies,lol :)

LBH, you have had those "tendencies" for a long time, glad you finally admitted to them...  

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It is interesting to see that the majority of those who voted have been in the "sportsman" stage than the "tourney" stage. I, for some reason, expected the "tourney" vote to be higher. The more of each of your posts I read, I find myself realizing that I cannot really pin myself down to one stage (all the time) either. I occasionally go back to #1 on my first outings of the year, while drifting into #3 around the spawn, generally staying with #5 most of the rest of the year. Although, with the right "loudmouthed friend" in the boat, I might have an outing in the #2 stage(not that I'm proud of that, but sometimes the competition side of me comes out). Like someone said in a previous post, with most friends, however, the report after the outing includes the word "we" more than "I". Perhaps I should have allowed 2 votes. If you find yourself not able to pin down one, go back and vote for the other. I'd still be interested in the % totals after you voted for two.

Valascus, I didn't realize it, but this post is helping me kind of re-evaluate my fishing as well. As I thumbed through the new BPS 2007 fishing catalog last night, I found myself looking at different lures and debating different techniques to try in the spring. Overall, I think I will still stay in the "sportsman" stage most of the year, but will try to fine-tune my skills a little more in certain areas.

Everyone, thanks so much for your input!!

Fisher

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I'm a 5.  The way I look at, I can narrow it down to one even though I have tendencies that match number 3 and, on occasion, number 4.  If I absolutely knew I wouldn't get a trophy, couldn't catch a limit, or I couldn't choose the type of equipment I wanted to fish with, I'd still be out on the water enjoying fishing.  That makes me a 5 through and through.  

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I like to catch a lot of fish, tourney stage for me please. :)

And after reading Senile's post, I will have to agree that I have a little 5 in me too...good call.

The fact that I might not catch anything doesnt stop me from fishing. But I dont know a whole bunch of people that would say they go fishing to NOT catch fish.

Wayne

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Well I'm not opposed to a little competition but I don't consider myself a tournament angler even though I'll fish two or three a year. Most tournaments I fish are just a bunch of us local guys throwing 10 or 20 dollars in a hat for either big bass or total weight.

Catching a trophy is always on my mind any time I hit the water but it doesn't bother me if my partner catches it or I do as long as some one in the party catches one.

I'm totally a methods angler, with my experience I know what baits to throw under any conditions.

I'm absolutely a different person when on the water   ;)

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I'm probably a 4 and a 5.I really get into learning new ways to catch bass..Three years ago you would not have caught me dropshotting,C-rigging,flippin'/pitchin',etc,but now those are the types of fishing I love best.Of course,I want to catch bass,but I've gone days where I just pitched and didn't have much success.I had a ball just trying to get better at my technique.As for sportsman stage,I keep no fish,and I won't get big bass mounted.I catch 'em,weigh 'em,and take a picture(if I remember to bring a digital camera and/or a scale).I really don't care if people think my accounts of catching big fish or big limits are a load of bull.Just me knowing is good enough .

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I'll fish anytime, anywhere. But recently I have turned my attention to catching bigger fish. I'm catching less, but I am catching larger fish and I am enjoying that.

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#5

I just like going fishing, catching is just a plus.   8-)

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I'm a combination of 3,4, and 5 with 5 being my strongest tendency and 3 my least.

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This last three days I was a 5. ;D

Sun up to sun down.... today yesterday and the day before that..... one 10" greenie.

But I saw 6 deer, pair of Canadien geese, flock of snows, a martin, turkeys,an owl and a bald eagle.

Nature is beautiful!

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Guest avid

I am a solid 5

Now that doesn't mean I don't like catching #'s of bass or bigguns.  I especially think beating ones PB is a great thrill. (still in the hunt for an 8lber)

I also like fishig some techniques better than others.  This can change from day to day.

But when all is said and done, if it's a nice day, and I'm enjoying myself out on the water then it's a good day.

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I'm a 5 who constantly falls into the number 3 trap everytime I'm out.   ;D

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