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Can Versatility Be A Downfall?

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I always hear that versatility can be a great asset when Bass fishing.

I first started Bass fishing and a Senko was all I would use.

The following season I killed em on Baby Brush Hogs.

Then after that I got hooked on Spinnerbaits.

Just this year I have been slaying em on a hard Jerkbait.

Through it all,I think a Dropshot has been my favorite.

Knowing I have confidence in this many baits leaves me overwhelmed with what I should throw.I feel I can catch fish on all of the above,but can't decide what to throw first.

Anyone have such issues? How do you handle it and plan your day? Do you just throw whatever to let the fish tell you what they want?

The issue I have is second guessing myself.As I'm throwing a Spinnerbait,I think to myself "I bet a Senko would be killer right now" because of this I think my presentation of the spinnerbait may suffer because I'm not focusing on that technique.I'm always one technique ahead in my mind.

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Versatility is not the problem…lack of self confidence is ;)

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Catt is right. Now that you know the techniques, it's time to formulate the plans on where and when.

Like you mentioned above, you may be throwing a spinnerbait but, thinking about the senko. Both may work and it really depends on how you're fishing. Do you want a search bait or do you want to pick a place apart. Back to formulating your plan and applying the techniques. Consider this, throw your spinerbait and have a senko as a follow up for missed strikes. :)

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Versatility leads to consistency in the end result. Consistency in the end result leads to confidence in your abilities. Confidence in your abilities leads to being versatile.

Don't limit any discussion on versatility to just lures and presentations. You can start with the various fishing seasons. You start the year with winter and then progress through pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn. Then there is the summer period, dog days of summer, which is followed by fall, and the fall turnover. This all leads back to winter to end the year. Then look at all of the places where fish live. Deep water or shallow, emergent weeds, submergent weeds, primary points, secondary points, drop offs, creek channels, sunken islands. Rock piles to brush piles, standing timber to lay downs, riprap to seawalls. Docks anyone? Whether made from wood to metal, some float and others are tied right to the bottom. If your head isn't spinning yet, then it's time to consider everything on the bass' diet. From frogs on top, to crawdads on the bottom, and every type of baitfish that swims in between them. Of course we can't forget the other variables.... Weather? Moon phases? How about tidal influences or current?

How in the world does anyone get through all of this to get to the point that he/she can simply catch some fish? My answer is to become more and more versatile.

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If one is not confident in ones abilities one will not be consistent ;)

Confidence comes from experience!

Confidence knows I’m throwing the right lure in the right location at the right time.

Once you start thinking will maybe I’m throwing the wrong lure in the wrong location at the wrong time you’re done.

It has been my experience that today’s anglers try too hard to be versatile which only leads to indecisiveness which kills confidence.

“Experience is best teacher”, not maybe or could be, IS!

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It has been my experience that today’s anglers try too hard to be versatile which only leads to indecisiveness which kills confidence.

I think this is a very good point. I think that sometimes junk fishing is confused with versatility. Versatility isn't just using a different lure and catching fish with it. It is learning the time and place to use a different lure and knowing why it works under those particular circumstances. This knowledge gives one confidence in the use of that lure. To develop this type of knowledge takes time and to repeat Catt - experience.

If an angler learns how to use a bunch of lures, but doesn't learn the best seasons and circumstances to use those lures, that angler is just junk fishing. There is no rhyme or reason for the use of his/her lures. The better anglers that I know have experience with a group of lures that will address all seasons and circumstances. These anglers may not use more than six or seven lures on a regular basis during the year, but those six or seven lures and the different presentations that are available with those lures, allow them to have a presentation that meets every circumstance. That is versatility.

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The broader your arsnel the better your arsnel.

Learn many techinques and baits to have a strong weapons platform.

Then go with your gut feeling. ;)

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I think it is a great question, and one anyone who has been fishing a while has had to deal with. Everyone of the techniques you mentioned are proven to catch fish. As Lund Explorer talked about it is understanding the variables that make the difference.

Having confidence in what you're doing is where the rubber meets the road. I am going fishing Thursday. I will start with a chatterbait or wacky rigged Senko knock-off. My fishing partner will throw something on top, a jig/creature pitched into the heaviest cover, or a shallow/medium diving crankbait of some sort. If those don't work we will move out to deeper water where I will throw a jig, Trig or Crig; he will throw a deep running crankbait. We may end up catching fish on wacky rigged senkos off a shallow point, or on shakyheads or dropshots in deep water off the dam, but I am confident we will catch fish. That confidence helps me to stay focused. We may not catch a thing, sometimes the fish don't act like they should, but I am confident in our abilities and plan. My confidence comes from knowing what our strengths are based on experience.

It always tickles me how confident Catt is. It is not arrogance though, just the confidence that comes from having been there and done that. Because of this site I've had the opportunity to learn from some of the best. That is very cool.

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The broader your arsnel the better your arsnel.

Learn many techinques and baits to have a strong weapons platform.

Then go with your gut feeling. ;)

True but one must have the experience to know which weapon to use when and where or that arsenal becomes useless.

One of the most versatile angles I’ve seen is Larry Nixon not because he could use every technique available but because he could use simple techniques to perfection in the proper locations at proper time.

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I have not learned near enough to say versatility is a downfall!

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I once read something similar to the following:

"It's good to keep an open mind, but don't keep it so open that your brains begin to fall out"

I relate it to fishing on a frequent basis. You can question every fisherman you know about what techniques to use and during what scenario, but you will walk away thinking that you need to understand a thousand various techniques and be able to implement them all. In reality, if you attempt this you will at best turn into a jack of all trades, but be a master of none.

Keep an open mind, learn a few techniques, then use them and learn them well. Learn them well enough that you can catch fish using them even when it's not the best conditions for those presentations. There is never a time when all the bass in a body of water will only strike one presentation with one lure, using a specific color, at a specific rate of fall. That's simply marketing working against you. Have a thorough understanding of 2-3 basic techniques for each water column and you should be set to have a decent day fishing where ever you go.

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Better have the "wrong" lure in the right place at the right time than the "right" lure in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have a big bunch of baits, I know a big bunch of fishing techniques, you can say that I can choose the right lure with a certain degree of certainty, however I know that there´s a right place and time and what consistently catches fish is what I must use because it consistently works, only when what consistently works doesn´t then it´s time to try another approach.

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i think it's all about learning on how to link any given condition (including all the variables) to a specific application without going through the process of elimination.

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A person can be versitile without having lure ADD. If you're switching baits often chances are you aren't catching anything. Be more confident. Confidence is bringing a few rods and reels all rigged with the same thing IMO

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Being versatile, and "trying" to be versatile are too different things.

Being versatile means you are already well versed in many techniques. Trying to be versatile means that you are not versatile. Big, big, difference.

Trying to be versatile will likely lower production in the short term. Becoming versatile will increase production in the long run.

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X2 what Catt said.

Confidence + Experience is what matters. Know how to fish something is good. Know when to use it and not giving up on it is key.

A member here went for a ride with a pro and one of the things he noticed was that the pro did not change baits that often or at all.

Fight the urge to change lures. Often I will go fishing with two rods rigged with lures I know should be working at that time. other than that I carry some extra replacement baits in my pocket in case I loose one.

This way I force myself to stick with what should be working and not second guess myself. I often have better success this way then if I take my tackle bag because I don't change lures that often.

Try it

Capt.O

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JDuncan- all the rods with the same bait? Confidence? Really? How about crazy? Boring? So you are gonna catch bass on that lure if they like it or not, eh? Good luck with that....

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