Northeast Bass Fishing Forums

General Fishing => The Hawg Forum => Topic started by: Mitz on May 14, 2019, 01:51:41 PM

Title: What makes a good fisherman GREAT?
Post by: Mitz on May 14, 2019, 01:51:41 PM
So I have been at this for a LONG time and to be honest I'm nowhere near as good as I should be. I continuously ask myself. WHY...
WHY are you not catching fish when everyone else is...WHY do I continue to beat myself up in these tournaments...WHY can't I find a fish on a spinner bait or a jig I know they should be on right now...WHY WHY WHY....
Well this weekend I had one of those days. In one of our SRIBA tournaments this weekend I had the WHY's and it cost me a good bag! I knew what to do from the start, I had the right baits tied on from the beginning and we were at the right place to make it happen. I spent more time picking rods, cutting and re-tying baits and dealing with a frustration level that just kept building than I did fishing. IT SUCKED!!!
THEN I had my moment... WTF are you doing! You caught fish they told you where they are WHY are you not listening. It was then I put down everything and tied on one single bait and began to fish. For the first time in the tournament since the first cast I was fishing again. Unfortunately it was the last hour of the tournament...
Like usual I finished with a few fish and in the middle of the pack. The difference this week is I think I actually walked away with something. I love fishing way to much to not enjoy every cast! If I'm a middle of the pack fisherman in tournaments I'm gonna be the best dam middle of the pack fisherman I can be...  :facepalm: (giggle) :nod:
Tight lines to all and remember... Enjoy it because it is only fishing!!!
Title: Re: What makes a good fisherman GREAT?
Post by: Brazzy on May 14, 2019, 03:00:12 PM
What an awesome question and an awesome post. What makes it great is that I feel like we have all said this to ourselves at one time or another AND have heard pros say something like this at some point in time or another. This is a humbling hobby we got ourselves into. Just did a quick search on KVD who is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time. has him with 314 total tournaments and 112 top 10 finishes. So basically 2/3 of the time he goes home frustrated and confused and all kinds of emotions. Meanwhile he is essentially the most successful of our time. Swindle is right when he says "this sport will feed you a slice of humble pie and make you wash it down with a glass of shut up juice". However, we all love it and find ourselves coming back for more. We have all been there.
Title: Re: What makes a good fisherman GREAT?
Post by: metz12 on May 14, 2019, 09:18:57 PM
I have been feeling the same all season Mitz. Me in that same tourney, I really had high high hopes after I was catching fish. I normally don't catch fish right off the bat in a tourney, and catching 3 fish in the first hour I was STOKED. Once I saw that sun starting to come out, my confidence went down, and the bite went with it. Me blindly casting around, messing with my typical boat issues, the 11 rods I took with me I just couldn't put it together. I have only caught fish on 4 baits this year. Senko, Chatterbait, Swim jig and one fish on a spinnerbait. I swear I should just go out in a tourney and throw my confidence baits. I dont want to get caught up on the same 6 lures, but man if it works that is what I will do. This time of the year kills me, seeing all these big fish being caught, big bags being brought into the ramp, and I come in with 4 fish for like 6 pounds. I am hoping and praying once the water warms up and the pre spawn and spawn ends, I can start pinpointing the fish better.

Title: Re: What makes a good fisherman GREAT?
Post by: senkosam on May 14, 2019, 11:00:46 PM
What makes a good fisherman GREAT? (,7582.msg40678.html#msg40678)

First off - know thy waters like the back of your hand! Next, know the timing of fish locations. Third, never give up on locations that didn't get strikes but that could produce later.

I learned all this the hard way fishing with anglers that violated those guidelines and from those that stuck by them. Fishing a strange water puts one at a big disadvantage which is why my club refused to fish upstate federation tournaments. Even if depth maps are available, they provide only general knowledge and rarely anything of use regarding structure.

Knowing what to cast and when is a part of timing. Cast the wrong lures with the wrong presentations and forget about a limit in the time allotted. example:
 I fished a tournament with a guy that wasted time fishing a row of pilings in a creek and only catching dinks. Two hours before the tournament ended I suggested we fish a mile long sandbar 15 minutes to the south in the main river. I immediately caught 4 bass on the falling tide using a buzzbait, he not catching anything. Being the bass boat's owner and me not owning one, at first he was too proud to accept my offer of a similar lure, but when he took one, he caught 2 bass to weigh in.
[size=78%]I came in second he came in 4th. [/size][size=78%]The moral of the story: I fished that sandbar before and knew the tide schedule - timing. A spinnerbait may have worked, but buzzbaits worked slower worked better. I learned the Hudson by fishing with experienced river anglers that knew the river like the back of their hand and knew where to fish and when. [/size][size=78%]The guy I fished with never learned the above and never finished above 15th place for the year. I was in the top six because I fished with superb anglers and used the lures they caught fish with. Later when I got my bass boat, I still did well on the same waters even though I only fished them 3 or 4 times a year. I never had more than 5 rods on deck.[/size]

(note weird notations such as which were never added)

Title: Re: What makes a good fisherman GREAT?
Post by: toadhunter on May 15, 2019, 06:46:25 AM
@Mitz First of all, time on the water is the best but I assume you have plenty of that so trust your instincts. Don't get spun-out mentally if things slow down, fish have feeding windows. If you catch a fish or two in an area never assume you have fished it out. I was fishing this weekend with a buddy and we caught 9 fish from a spot no bigger than a little league infield and missed several others. Know what stage the fish are in and fish accordingly, there is no need to fish 20 fow when fish are spawning. Be versatile and proficient with several types of baits, and fish with different people that may have different styles than you. Pay attention to the weather, sun, wind, clouds and pressure play a big part of where fish will set up and the baits they will bite. That's my two cents, hope it helps. PM me if you want to fish this season, I am always up for learning other peoples styles.   
Title: Re: What makes a good fisherman GREAT?
Post by: Brazzy on May 15, 2019, 09:19:01 AM
The good thing is the difference between good and great is is not physical. You arent trying to beat keven durant 1 on 1 in a pick up basketball game or trying to knock out brock lesnar. Its not like there is a physical mountain you cant overcome. Its purely time and mental capacity. If you put in the time and build the confidence you can compete with anyone. Even at the pro level, these guys are super talented but there is nothing they can do that I look at and say that with enough time and practice that any one of us cant do. Granted, they have been doing it a long time so it would take a lot of time and commitment to get near that level but it is just time. I fished with Paul Mueller a few years ago and watched him skip a bait under a dock and was just in awe of what he did (he also banged a 4-5 smally on the first shot he did it). I immediately saw that and was like "I  want to be able to do that". Here I am years later and granted I cant do it to his level, but I have gotten a lot better at it. I practiced in my driveway on concrete a lot and when I got on the water you may often see me skipping baits for no reason in open water. I am now pretty decent at it and all it took was time. Im sure over time I will get better.

The other part is to understand what your goal is when fishing tournaments. I got out of traditional clubs because for the most part we dont have enough great fisheries to put a full trail together and each one be fun. Meanwhile, so many members of the club were people who were retired, not working, or had jobs that really let them be on the water a lot vs me who gets out 3-4 times a month. I am now part of a club where I am under no obligation to fish every event, but of course I am out for the running of AOY. That part I am completely fine with. So I really cherry pick events to attend and focus on places I like to fish, or would like to fish because of what I heard about it (if I haven't been there before). Even looking at the SRIBA schedule I fished a bunch of those, but a few I have not. Even the ones I have fished I would only really be excited about a couple. With that said, I wouldnt even look at AOY I would probably focus on 1 or 2 stops on the trail and learn those waters inside and out. Focus on getting top finishes there. Once I have nailed those bodies of water maybe the next year focus on 1 or 2 more. Who knows, maybe along the way snake out a win at one of those and let that confidence carry to the next event. Within a couple of years have a few stops on the trail that I have super high confidence in and then make a run at AOY.

Time and confidence
Title: Re: What makes a good fisherman GREAT?
Post by: Mitz on May 15, 2019, 09:42:04 AM
Its purely time and mental capacity.
You hit the nail on the head and the core reason for my post. Most of us know how to cast just as good as the guy in the boat next to us. However, other than casting, what else do you have in your tool-belt to set yourself apart. It isn't the 5+ lber that makes you a better fisherman it is everything leading up to that hook set! Well and landing the fish.  (giggle)
On and off for years I have talked about keeping a log for each tournament of what worked and what didn't. I just never seem to keep up on them and after a few weeks less and less gets entered. I have since changed that up a bit and now I'm simply keeping track of what "I wish I did." There is always room for improvement!!!


Title: Re: What makes a good fisherman GREAT?
Post by: metz12 on May 15, 2019, 11:58:12 AM
I have a ton of What if I did this, and what if I did thats too Mitz! I get caught up in what should be working, and what that dude on youtube said should work. We need to focus on what does, and previously works, and what we have confidence in. Thinking about it, I havent caught a lot of fish on a chatterbait at Indian, but I have had a ton of success on a chatterbait putting fish in the boat this season, and last season. Its not a big fish bait for me, but its a numbers bait. I knew that with the overcast skies in the morning, and just being the morning that the fish would be active. After I got my 4 keepers, and the sun came out and the wind was still blowing, I went dark. Nothing was happening for me, and I know what I should have done. I should have put all my rods away besides one with a flipping bait/beaver on it, a senko with a weight because of the wind, and the chatterbait I caught fish on earlier in the day and dubbed around offshore in the rocks. Those are 3 baits I have confidence in, and should have stuck with them instead of beating my old pattern to death, and throwing baits I dont have confidence in.  I haven't fished much there besides this year in the spring, so no grass fooled me. Actually that is what is fooling me mostly is there is no grass on most bodies of water.

Who knows, maybe we will do well from now on focusing on what we know! I am really trying to up my game this year, and trying new things. Maybe we should just quit being so hard on ourselves and beating our head on a wall, and just go out there and fish!