You can learn a lot from an experienced fisherman. TV fishermen, pro anglers and, yes, even newspaper writers, have many good things to share with those wanting to catch more fish. But don’t think for a moment that our way is the only way. Many times the best way to land a fish is the technique or method you decide to use, not just what some fishing celebrity or magazine writer says.
Just about every successful fishing idea that’s come around has originated with some plain ol’ Joe. The idea was then picked up by a fishing show, magazine writer or fishing educator and touted as a new breakthrough. Sometimes the founders never get credit for their own discovery.
Also, suggestions from fishing pros are often motivated by sponsoring lures manufacturers, rod and reel companies, boating products, etc. I personally don’t think any pro would outwardly lie, but they do owe it to their sponsors to promote their product whenever possible. Any old jig might work, but you won’t hear that from a guy sponsored by a certain jig company.
As you fish this year, be original. Don’t let suggestions from others dictate what you should do. Let me explain. In the early 70′s, I spent two years in California, near a couple of pretty good steelhead rivers. Two friends and I decided to try our luck one morning, so I went down to the local tackle store and bought some “Minnesota lures”- a couple Daredevle spoons and a floating Rapala.
When I met my friends at the river I was greeted with howls and belly laughs. Here they were decked out in fancy waders, fishing vests, expensive fly rods, and every high-buck trout fishing item available. I felt like shrinking into my muddy tennis shoes and blue jeans. So I just put on my best face-saving demeanor and said “Shut up and where are the fish?” To prove my point I even walked out into the water to prove you didn’t need $100 waders to catch a fish. I nearly froze to death.
Fishing was poor all the way around. An occasional salmon cruised by, but nothing showed an interest in our offerings. We had pretty much decided that neither fancy gear or “Jeff’s stuff” were going to work .
So I decided to stroll down to the river mouth, thinking where the salt water from the Pacific met the fresh water from the San Lorenzo River might hold fish. I hadn’t been there five minutes when two silvery steelhead came in from the ocean. Immediately I cast out a big red-and-white Daredevle and reeled it in front of them. I don’t know what that spoon looked like to an ocean run steelhead, but one of them grabbed it. Ten minutes later I beached the eight pound fish and became an instant hero.
Fish do not always go by the rules, and you shouldn’t either. Granted there are proven methods that one should stick with, but when things are slow, or the fish are really biting, try experimenting. Doing things your way and catching fish is the most rewarding kind of fishing there is.
Posted by Jeff Howard on January 18, 2011
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