The Ways of Weensie
Fishing with an Open Mind:
We all have a favorite lure or tactic for catching bass; nostalgia is mostly to blame. Memories of that one time you caught a massive largie on that old rusty spoon down at the reservoir, a carbon copy of the lure your father tied on your line as a young’n, often cloud your perception rather than assisting in your quest for another trophy. While reminiscing of the great times we’ve had in the outdoors is undeniably one of the sport’s greatest appeals, fishing in the past, more often than not, yields dwindling results. “Why,” you ask?
These aren’t Gramps’ waters.
Simply put, the bodies of water we fish are constantly changing. The largest variable driving those changes tends to be human influence. Increasing the fishing pressure in a given water body causes the fish population to become more aware of the presence of an unnatural force (anglers). However, if you think the word getting out about your honey hole is the reason you’re not catching the big ones, you may be mistaken. Us Connecticut residents live in one of the most densely populated regions in the country, and the unbelievable rate of development may have made an impact on your home lakes. For instance, Grandpa’s favorite fishing hole may be lined with homes and barren banks where there were once overhanging tree limbs. Maybe the lack of shade once provided by those overhanging limbs has allowed weed beds to grow where light was never able to penetrate in past years. In instances such as this, anglers need to be willing to make the necessary changes in order to appeal to big bass. Targeting the newly grown aquatic vegetation utilizing a weedless presentation may prove that the population has not dwindled; rather, they moved in accordance with the changes happening within their underwater habitat.
You’ve been made!
Word to the wise; stow Gramps’s gear somewhere it can be appreciated and LEAVE IT THERE. If you’re throwing the same lures the fish have seen time and time again for the past 30 or so years, you’re fishing for a big old skunk. Fish get conditioned to artificial lures easily, especially those they continuously see. Sure, those oldie but goodies catch fish here and there; likely just enough fish to persuade your undying allegiance. Yet, 9 time out of 10, there’s a far better presentation out there for catching bass. Rid yourselves of ignorance and keep switching it up. I’m not saying you need to abandon your go-to bait, but don’t be afraid to add other ones to the arsenal. After all, you’ll never know if something works until you give it a shot.
Every day’s a new…. lake
Though it can be extremely difficult, try to approach each day on the water bodies you frequent as if youâ€™re fishing brand new water. I cannot tell you the countless number of times I’ve visited areas where I’ve experience recent success only to find the fish have fled. Next time you’re on the water, try fishing everything you can that looks good. Ignore, to the best of your ability, any preconceived notions you may have and just fish. You may locate a new “favorite spot” that makes your old one look more like a puppy kennel than a hog factory.
In order to achieve the versatility required in order to become a great angler, one must always keep an open mind. The fish are always changing, and if anglers don’t adjust accordingly, they will find themselves fishing for memories instead of big ol’ bass. Now, go out there this weekend and try something new on your favorite lake. Maybe bring Gramps along to show him how it’s done in 2014.