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What did you learn this year?

12/12/14 @ 6:32 AM
B Fish
User since 6/26/10
If you are like many of us we are always trying to learn more about this strange fish in an effort to catch more/bigger. So if you are like me you don't know it all, so I like to learn something new each year.

So the Question is: What did you learn this past year that you are willing to share?

For me I learned not to default to things, primarily color that worked the previous year. Mix it up A LOT, so often we say the fish are not biting but infact we are making a mistake (angler error as I call it) and not doing the correct thing. Because if one guy catches a fish and you didn't, he was doing something correct and you/I was not.

What else did anybody learn?

12/22/14 @ 8:28 AM
User since 5/21/03
What did I learn? Spend more time on the water.

More is learned on the water than by reading books or websites.

I had a great year. Hit my usual numbers but did so with about 1/3 less fishing time. Sure wish I would have made more time to get out and then seen what the numbers would have been.

12/17/14 @ 5:37 PM
B Fish
User since 6/26/10
brookie 1957


12/17/14 @ 6:55 AM
User since 5/25/07
Fishing should be fun and relaxing. I fished with different people this year and found out you need to choose people that one can go out with, in which you can relax and have fun. Fished with one guy this year that was hard to fish with. Went out fishing and was working down a weed line and a pan fisherman and his kids anchored in front of us 200 feet out. When we got close to them the guy I was fishing with started bombing his musky bait 10 feet from their boat as he was cussing them out for cutting in front of us. I wanted to crawl down to the bottom of the boat and hide. This same guy would cuss at the wind and if anything went wrong he would get upset. Hate to see what this guy would of done if he missed a musky or if you missed a fish with the net. I also fished with people that just loved to fish would laugh at themself if something went wrong. We also caught a lot more fish when relaxed and having fun. Relax have fun fishing and learn something new each time out and try fishing new water.

12/15/14 @ 8:42 PM
User since 10/3/12
I learned that it takes a long time, too long, to get past that 9,999th cast. Worried

12/13/14 @ 7:44 PM
User since 2/2/09
I learned ( the hard way) how to fish my home lake when the water never gets to normal summer temps.

12/12/14 @ 6:13 PM
Nick Schumacher
Nick Schumacher
User since 1/10/05
Excellent forum topic and question, B Fish.

Here are some things I learned more about this year, key word being MORE. I knew about these things from reading and listening to other people talk, but actually executing them out there on your own, multiple times, is another journey. We got to learn more this year due to more opportunities to fish and more experimentation. Fishing conditions were rough on our first two trips with cold, crappy weather. This gave me more of an incentive to try different things. I think this is due to the fact that since we know we can catch fish now on a consistent basis, we feel more comfortable taking risks, such as trying new water.

(1) Slow down the retrieve. A very simple piece of advice that we all know, but much more difficult to mentally execute on a consistent basis due to habitual behavior. Super effective slow retrieves work better with certain lures, and some guys won't use such lures. This is part of the problem, too.

(2) Use Bulldawgs and other rubber. We've heard this a million times. Rubber paid off BIG for me this year. I became very infatuated with certain lures the previous two years, but this year I learned to embrace rubber more. It initially began with deep water probing, but I continued to use it over shallower water less than 15 feet deep. I learned more about fine-tuning each cast to prevent hogtying the leader. I don't use pounders, but this might be the next step of experimentation.

(3) Search for old river and creek channels. Even a slight depth difference of 1-2 feet paid off for me.

(4) Experiment over large, featureless flats. Don't fish these areas fast, either. This goes counter to what lots of guys say about using search baits only.

(5) Years of observation reveal true patterns. We all have our spots that we revisit over and over due to their success. We also keep visiting spots that never pay off, too. Something I learned this year was that some spots truly are legitimate producers. Just because a spot looks bad doesn't mean it's actually bad. I personally needed to see this after multiple years of observation, not just a couple trips to the same area. Some guys pull the trigger early and label spots in certain ways. I think this is foolish as more observations are needed. The same can be said for so many things in musky fishing.

(6) Some rules are meant to be broken. A lot of money is made by people in the musky industry by pushing product and ideas. That's great, but I confirmed my belief that I can make great decisions that don't mesh with traditional advice.

I could keep going on and on since there are so many things I learn each year while musky fishing. Time on the water matters. There are a LOT of outstanding musky fishermen out there who simply don't have the time to put more fish in the boat, and ultimately bigger fish, since it's a numbers game. Maximize your time usage on the water and fish hard while you can!

12/12/14 @ 4:22 PM
User since 6/19/01
wskiph, I know what you are saying! Been there done that! $$$$

What I did learn this year is just don't go through the same old motions every year. I thought I knew my home water like the back of my hand, but learned that some years just don't fit the mold. We had the best year in the 15 years we have been fishing the lake and found the big mamas were sitting in the same area that they spawned in pretty much the whole season. The crazy weather and such had them and us all confused! Tounge Out

12/12/14 @ 1:15 PM
User since 9/3/11
it is getting to complicated and exspensive,,,25 dollar lures,,200 for a reel ,,and 300 for a rod,,I understand that there are less expensive alternatives,,however I think you may understand what I am sayin'

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