How many times have we heard, “anglers have to be confident while fishing”? I guess there is something to this when you think about the reasons confidence baits and other choices can make or break your day of bass fishing.
How often has a fishing partner started just wearing bass out on a particular bait? Most fishermen will go to school in this situation and tie on the identical bait and begin a quest for a share of the bass. Cast after cast after cast and nada. No bites or hook ups at all, while the partner continues to put fish in the boat. Just what the heck is going wrong with this picture? Does he have a different set of skills required to produce success? Naw, can’t be, I am just as good a fisherman as he is so that can’t possibly be the reason.
Let me depart from this line of thought for a moment and admit that I too have more confidence in some baits over others. Heck, I even have confidence in some brands of the same style of bait, though they all seem to be about the same. Or are they. I have a long time acquaintance that owns a lure company in North Carolina. I have used his spinner baits for years, and they always seem to do the job when the conditions are favorable for this style of bait. His advertising tag line is “Fish with Confidence”. This confidence advantage was really on display at Lake Norman during the last Ultimate Bass rally. I was fishing with Boots Beasley, and he loves to throw rattle baits in the fall. So we both started with rattle baits, and Boots caught a bunch while I only caught a few. It was a slow day, so I took a couple minutes and tied on my trusty True South spinnerbait and immediately started putting fish in the boat. For years, this has been my M.O. at this lake. I have confidence in this spinnerbait, and it just works well for me. My problem was I should have made the change much sooner than I did.
Confidence Baits and Other Choices or Location
Inside confidence, there is another topic. How many of us are just too slow to make bait or location changes? Why is it we will throw unproductive baits for hours before making a change? The same thing applies to fishing a honey hole and getting skunked for hours before realizing bass are not present.
This statement should be printed on the reverse side of all fishing licenses.
“You have the right to be bull headed. Any refusal to apply logic to your bait or location selections will be used against you at the weigh-in scales. If you cannot understand your transgressions your buddies at the ramp will have the right to believe that you don’t know what the heck you are doing.”
This statement may not matter to some, but many will remember this statement at the weigh-in while taking the lonely walk of shame. If you are not a tournament fisherman, this conversation will be with yourself as you are driving home. Probably good practice for when telling the wife catching did not go as well as planned.
In the privacy of a home retreat, anglers again think about the day and kick oneself for not acting sooner or for not selecting the right bait for the conditions. Addicted anglers will immediately start planning what to do on the next outing. At this point, anglers need to realize they must stop immediately. An angler cannot make an informed decision until the next trip when the conditions, the mood of the fish and the forage that they are chasing can be analyzed and used in the equation.
Guys, we know how to do this fishing thing. Why is it when we get to the lake, and pick up a fishing rod, all logic, and pre-planning goes down the drain? I think it might be some form of ADD with perhaps conditions involving cranial-rectal insertion. As I close this tale of woe, I am reminded of watching an old WWII movie and seeing a picture of an anti-aircraft gun with writing scrawled on a section of armor plate that clearly states the words ”Lead, Dammit, Lead.” Perhaps this applies to us not so smart anglers as we head out to do battle with those green fish that are the love of our obsession.
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