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
“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.
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.