Learning is the Key to Your Success

By Jackie Vogen - October 1, 2007

As a child growing up, I never went fishing; now at age 50, I'm trying to make up for lost time. I've only been fishing for 2 ½ years and I'm trying to learn all game species. It has been an "intense learning phase" for me because I have a strong desire to learn; however, I'm enjoying every moment. The courage of working for something that you believe in, day in and day out, can be difficult, but holds the greatest rewards. My approach is to learn everything that I possibly can about fishing and then take what I've learned out on the lake and apply it.

The best advice and learning tool that I've ever received was from a guide, while out on the lake fishing. To this day I've never forgot his advice: "Listen to what people say". Listening is magnetic and when we listen to people talk we are drawn to their knowledge and knowledge breeds success. When I over hear a conversation about fishing, I can't help but zero in on the lesson that is presenting itself. Most fishermen love to talk and when they know you have a genuine interest in their subject, they'll share their knowledge; their stories inspire me and the conversation process never ends. If you enjoy being with other fishermen, join a fishing club. When you go on fishing trips, talk to the locals in the bait shops, they'll give you information on hot spots and what's working and what's not. Also, another tool is to build a reliable fishing network. Again, by listening, we learn, and this helps us see the big picture and improves our fishing skills.

Another learning tool is "keeping an open mind". If you keep a positive attitude and you are flexible, you can adapt to any situation that presents itself. Adapting to changing weather conditions and changes in the water can affect the type of lure or color of lure that will be needed to get the job done. With an open mind you will be ready to meet challenges that present themselves and adapt to each situation. Also, pay attention to details, and most importantly, pay attention to what the fish are trying to teach us. Surprising ideas and opportunities will follow when you don't have barriers and restrictions in place. We can always build on the basics and expand our horizons when we use creative thinking. I also like to combine old ideas along with new ideas and techniques; I've discovered new avenues to explore. I look at each fishing trip as an experiment; trial and errors help us discover new opportunities. My point is there really aren't any limitations in what you can do, as long as you keep an open mind.

When I first bought my boat two years ago, first and most importantly, I knew I needed to learn everything that I possibly could learn about my boat; fishing would come later. I took an 8 week course through the Coast Guard Auxiliary on Boating Skills & Seamanship. Also, I took a 4 week course through the U.S. Power Squadron on Boat Smart. I needed to educate myself on how to operate a boat safely and comply with federal and state requirements. One of the key factors to success is being prepared; this is what keeps us out on the lake.

I've learned the best place to fish is where the fish are; wetting a line in any body of water doesn't work if the fish aren't present. An important tool to learn is our electronics: Depth finders and GPS. My best advice here is to leave the rods at home and practice, practice, practice. Once you have mastered the electronics, you will become comfortable in your surroundings and improve your fishing opportunities.

Engaged learning is the key and the interaction can be challenging, but rewarding. Explore new avenues that you were once hesitant to explore, making sure you proceed with caution and safety measures in mind. When we take bits and pieces of information that we've learned, eventually the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place.

Learning is the key to your success, and on going education is a must. I'm not only learning from my successes, but also my downfalls; sometimes the down falls leave you with the most impact.

Author Jackie Vogen
Jackie Vogen
My name is Jackie Vogen "aka Redrose4u2" and I'm 50 years old. I live in New Lenox, Illinois. I've been married to my husband and best friend, Ken, for 31 years. We've raised two beautiful daughters, who are now grown up, and have left home. We've recently entered into a new stage in our life; we've become "empty nesters". This new independence has allowed me to discover my passion in life; I LOVE TO FISH! I'm what you would call a "Beginner Fisherwoman" or a "Novice". Besides fishing, I enjoy computers, gardening and photography. Through fishing and photography, I've been able to capture my thoughts, while surrounded in the beauty of the sport. I'm looking forward to sharing my passion with you!