One of the keys to fishing success is to be constantly learning new techniques and new baits. The problem is that when I go fishing, I want to catch fish. It is real easy to use the baits or techniques that I have the most confidence with, instead of something new. The way I accomplish this is by leaving all of my tackle at home, except for the bait I want to focus on. This prevents me from falling back on my confidence baits.
When I film One More Cast, I focus on a single bait for each episode. This has forced me to use a specific bait for the whole day, I don’t have the option of changing to something else. Using a bait for an extended period of time, forces me to experiment more with the bait itself. I try it at different depths, different retrieves, different speeds, etc. I learn what the bait can do, what the fish like and what they don’t like. I learn how the bait works or doesn’t work in the different types of cover.
The best example that I can think of occurred several years ago at the Stick Marsh in Florida. I was filming a tube bait show with a Strike King Denny Brauer Flip-N-Tube, and pitching it just inside the edge of the grass. During the day, I noticed fish movement deep in the grass under the algae. I took the tube bait and rigged it with a real light 1/8th or 1/16th ounce tungsten weight and threw it on top of the mat just like I would have done with a frog. I immediately had bites with a high percentage of catches. I learned that a tube bait could be used much like a topwater bait. I still use this technique and I would never have tried it if I would have had access to a topwater frog that day.
If you want to become a better angler, don’t be afraid to force yourself to take only what’s needed to fish a new bait and leave the rest on the bank.