The Minnow Bucket
I recently received a very insightful email from a frustrated fisherman that wanted to know how he could improve his catch rate. He told me that he was reading lots of articles, and getting lots of time on the water but he just couldn't catch many fish. I remember having that same experience, and I was starting to lose some of my interest in fishing because of it.
I’m grateful for the email because I think it examines something that we have all struggled with, but in pride are reluctant to admit. I recommended something that I did to help me get through that awkward period and maybe it will be helpful to many other anglers.
I thought it might be fun and helpful to play a game within the game. What I did was restrict myself to using just one type of lure the next time I went fishing. I needed a lot of work on my worm fishing, so I decided to use only plastic worms the whole day on my next outing. In hindsight, I should have first tried this with a lure that doesn’t require quite so much concentration, because I was completely mentally exhausted by the end of the day. I fished that worm shallow, deep, in the weeds, out of the weeds, on drop-offs, on flats, on rock piles, everywhere but in my live well.
I only caught two fish that day but I had fun because I learned so much about fishing a worm. I learned what everything felt like. Worm fishing is like using a cane to feel your way around the lake bottom. I had learned how to develop a mental image of what everything was like down there. Who cares that I only caught two fish that day? It was a successful day for me because I had learned so much. Thankfully it wasn't very long after that that my book learning and practical experiences came together to form a more comprehensive understanding of fishing that helped me to become more successful and enabled me to start having more fun.
Have you ever thought about fishing a spinner-bait in sixteen feet of water? If you haven’t, you need some work on your spinnerbait fishing. Go out and try fishing a spinnerbait all day. You’ll need to use heavier spinner-baits for deeper water. After you play this game with all the different types of lures, you will have learned so much that you will feel like you hardly knew anything about fishing beforehand. It will help you to gain that "comprehensive understanding" that you need to improve your fishing skills.
Later in my fishing career, tournament fishing became my game within the game, and after that, making television shows. Lastly, I learned how to design a website so that you can learn from my old TV shows.
For me, Learning turned out to be the fun part of fishing. What other things can you think of to make fishing more fun?