We are all crea­tures of habit, some will be good habits and some are bad. Just think­ing about it, the bad habits are those we find dif­fi­cult to drop, be­cause it just comes so easy. So, over the years we can keep on fish­ing the wrong pat­terns and when we g

SA Bass - - Contents - >> Ben­nie Wiese*

“Ev­ery­day Fish­ing Mis­takes” We are all crea­tures of habit, some will be good habits and some are bad. Just think­ing about it, the bad habits are those we find dif­fi­cult to drop, be­cause it just comes so easy. – Ben­nie Wiese

We all make mis­takes if we go out to fish, as long as you take note of the mis­take you can rec­tify it. Hav­ing those bad habits is all good, as long as you don’t go out and blame the weather or your equip­ment.

To be to­tally honest we are the op­er­a­tor and we are to­tally in con­trol of al­most ev­ery­thing. For­tu­nately, most bad habits are eas­ily cor­rectable as long as you are will­ing to keep an open mind.

Ev­ery­day mis­takes: You have a lure fix­a­tion

Your con­fi­dent lure is for in­stance a crank bait and as its not pro­duc­ing any re­sults you may change the colour, but you keep on fish­ing it. Or maybe you are one of those an­glers that be­lieve in one brand of lures be­cause you be­lieve in a spe­cific brand. Try to get your­self a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent shapes and cranks that run dif­fer­ent depths. The goal must be to cover any type of wa­ter, from the top to the bot­tom.

If you work a lure at the right depth with the proper speed and ac­tion, some fish will strike re­gard­less of the colour.


Let’s say you have your favoured spot that you nor­mally fish, a big patch of reeds with a big lay-down on the drop off, you will nor­mally get a good keeper around the v of the lay-down close to the drop off. This is the sweet spot of the lay-down. If you fish a tour­na­ment you will hit the hot spot with you best lure, you can­not sit there on the spot hop­ing to get fish. Time is a pre­cious com­mod­ity when fish­ing a tour­na­ment, and if you’re not get­ting bites on a piece of cover, for­get about it and move on.

Too far, or too close to the tar­get

When you are too close to the tar­get and this tends to hap­pen when there is wind, an­glers don’t want to cast into the wind. So you go for the easy op­tions, cast with the wind and be­fore the lure can get to the strike zone the boat or float tub has drifted over the struc­ture. The first cast that you make has the best op­por­tu­nity to get a strike that’s if you can hit the spot the first time. Get­ting stuck or miss­ing the mark will alert the bass around the struc­ture. Get close enough and cast within your abil­i­ties, but avoid get­ting so close that you spook the fish.

Learn to fish new wa­ter

You al­ways go to the same grass line… Why not? You

al­ways have good fish­ing on this stretch of wa­ter. What hap­pens if you go the spot the next time and there is a big tour­na­ment on the venue and twenty boats are sit­ting on the spot? Try and break the habit by forc­ing your­self to go and fish a dif­fer­ent part of the wa­ter if the bite is on. This can help you to get more con­fi­dence on dif­fer­ent parts of the wa­ter. Even if you just do this for a few hours ev­ery time you go out.


Just re­mem­ber, this is the part in the game where you will lose or put the big tro­phy on the boat. If the hook is blunt it’s your fault. Trust me, all hooks are not as sharp as they pro­claim to be and in­spect ev­ery hook’s point when you re­move it out of the packet. You can test ev­ery hook by lightly touch­ing the point to the back of your thumb­nail. If the point bites, you’re in busi­ness. If the hook slides across your nail, you must fix it.

Not re­plac­ing line

Ev­ery­one does not have the money to re-spool new line be­fore ev­ery tour­na­ment. Try to re-spool ev­ery reel at the be­gin­ning of the new sea­son at least. Old line will cost you big time and you don’t want that in a tour­na­ment. Just re­mem­ber, when you are fish­ing your reels are lay­ing on the boats deck in the sun and UV rays will dam­ages the line over time. Then one day while you are fish­ing the line will snap and you will think that it’s a big fish or you will blame the brand of line, but next time you will think twice. If you are fish­ing a lot try at least to re­place the line once a month. Just re­place the first 50 me­tres of line. When cast­ing, fre­quently run the last few feet of line be­tween your thumb and fore­fin­ger. If you feel any nicks or abra­sions, im­me­di­ately cut off the dam­aged line and retie the knot.

Los­ing Fo­cus

For me the goal is to go out and en­joy the fish­ing and see how many fish I can catch for the day. The fish­ing part is the re­lax­ing side of the sport, to achieve the sec­ond part you need your mind to be sharp and ev­ery­thing you are go­ing to do must have a rea­son and pur­pose and this isn’t the most re­lax­ing part of it. When the bass are ac­tive its fine but when it’s hard fish­ing this is where your brain has to be sharp. You have to know where and what your lure is do­ing in the wa­ter. Ev­ery cast that you make, you have to think this is the last cast that you can make, con­cen­trate, feel ev­ery rock and brush all the way back to the boat or shore­line. If you can do this on ev­ery cast you suc­cess rate will double. It hap­pens to all, if you spend many hours on the wa­ter ev­ery once in a while you tend to lose fo­cus.

There’s sim­ply no point in fish­ing an area that doesn’t have fish, or us­ing a lure all day long that isn’t pro­duc­ing. Be smart and al­ways re­sort to what you know. *Ben­nie Wiese is the ed­i­tor of SA Bass mag­a­zine and an ex­pe­ri­enced pro­vin­cial bass an­gler.

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