Are Your Fishing Habits Good Or Bad?
By Stan Fagerstrom
Habits, as anybody who has lived long enough to learn how to tie knots knows, can be either good or bad.
This is certainly true in the sport of fishing. Are you in the habit of continually checking the last few feet of your leader or line to detect any possible weak spots? Do you oil your reels regularly and back off the tension on the drag if they’re going to be stored for some time?
These are good habits and if you haven’t already made them a part of your approach to fishing you should start. There are, however, as many bad fishing habits as there are good. One of the easiest bad habits is to always throw and retrieve the same lure in exactly the same fashion.
Fishing spinnerbaits provides an excellent example of what I’m talking about. Are you one of the many who simply throws a spinnerbait to the nearest cover and then reels it back in without varying either the speed of the retrieve or the depth at which the lure travels?
If you are you have lots of company. Most of us are inclined to take that approach to spinnerbait fishing and oftentimes it’s not the best way to go. Never have I had that proven to me quite as clearly as on those rare occasions when I’ve been successful in talking my wife into joining me on a bass fishing adventure.
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My wife doesn't know beans about bass fishing but sometimes those dumb bass just go ahead and bite her spinnerbait anyhow---especially if she's fishing it slower than I usually do.
My wife is never going to be a full-blown bass fishing fanatic. I held onto that hope in the early years of our marriage, but it soon became obvious it wasn’t going to happen. Now I accept the fact that she will go now and then, but only if the air temperature is between 72 and 78º and the wind is out of the west and blowing less than five miles per hour. I also have to be sure the boat is clean and that there’s a soft pillow on the stern seat and I agree not to stay out more than three hours.
I don’t have to ask her what lure she wants to throw on those occasions she does come along. Her choice is a ½-ounce Pro Model Stan’s Spin spinnerbait with a white skirt. There’s no need to ask her if she wants to throw anything else. She’s convinced that if they’ll hit anything they’ll smack her white-skirted Stan’s Spin.
Now I had a hand in helping the good folks at Mack’s Lure bring the Stan’s Spin spinnerbait to market in the first place. I know it’s dandy bait. I’ve caught bass of more than 10-pounds on it.
Even so, it pains me a little to admit how many times my better half has proven that she’s capable of getting better results with it than I am. I say that because sometimes she sets back there in the rear of the boat and nails fish when I’m busy shooting blanks up front.
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I've taken bass of more than 10-pounds on a Stan's Spin spinnerbait so I know it catches fish. Even so, sometimes I get in the habit of fishing it the same way cast after cast instead of varying my retrieve to find out if the bass might respond better to a different style of retrieve.
There’s really no mystery as to why it happens. She’s not in that common rut many of us---including yours truly---often dig for ourselves where spinnerbait fishing is concerned. She usually makes one cast to my two or three. It would drive me bonkers to fish my Stan’s Spin as slowly as I’ve watched her do.
Sometimes, and again more often than I care to admit, those stupid bass don’t seem to realize they shouldn’t mess around with a spinnerbait fished as slowly as my wife is doing. They just go ahead and bite the dang thing anyhow. They don’t seem to care one bit that I’ve got a lifetime of bass fishing experience and my wife doesn’t know beans about it and won’t lose any sleep because she doesn’t.
The reason all this comes about, of course, is connected to what I said in the beginning. It’s so easy to develop bad fishing habits. Try to stay loose and open to new approaches in your spinnerbait fishing. The same thing applies to other lures you’re fond of using.
Always remembers there’s more than one way to do darn near anything. And sometimes taking a new and different approach with a lure you’ve always used in exactly the same way is the answer to putting bass in the boat.
We’ll take another look at this in my next column. Watch for it beginning May 1.
-To Be Continued-