Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Friday, February 3rd, 2023

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Presentation is the new black – Part 2

By Al Lindner

Angling Buzz


Armed with basic knowledge and skills, what is the best path these days to becoming good at consistently catching fish?


The answer, as we began describing last time, lies in presentation.


You might know the feeling: You’re over fish but are catching only one every so often. Not far away there’s another boat, and they’re fighting fish constantly. Working the same pod of fish, you get four bites and they get 30.


What are they doing differently than you are? It could be a lot. This area of fishing is where opportunity for innovation and improvement is greatest.


My whole life I’ve fished – a lot – and I can be as guilty as anybody of getting stuck in a rut with presentation. But in recent years it’s really hit home that presentation details make all the difference.


That’s why, in my mind, the old advice that time on the water is the key to success only applies if you’re trying new things. Believe in the reality that fish in pressured situations can and do adapt (often quickly) to popular presentations. They become conditioned to avoid them and it becomes more difficult to catch fish on them.


Be one of the first on your favorite body of water to try new baits, new ideas that you read about or hear about. It’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the masses. Stay curious. Keep an open mind.


In fact, if I had to give one recommendation on how to become a better angler, it would be this: go to a lake you’ve never fished before and bring a family of lures you’ve never used. See if that approach works on that body of water. Next time, try yet another family of lures you’ve never fished with.


Doing this will skyrocket your skill levels.


I can’t stress enough how valuable mindset is to your fishing success. Many walleye fishermen, for example, proclaim that they fish live bait and they live and die with it. That slow, methodical approach with a Lindy Rig and nightcrawler doesn’t work as well as it used to.


Feeding windows are getting shorter, meaning that fish are commonly not actively feeding as long as they used to. In this day and age, you often have to trigger more of a reaction bite by going through those fish with something moving faster, like a Jigging Rap or hair jig or jig and plastic.


Another important factor: Pressured fish shut down quicker and move quicker than they used to. After you catch some fish on a spot and have showed them a few different presentation options, move to another spot. The days of sitting on a group of fish for three hours are over, at least on most days.


I hope this helps you on the water. This is how fishing is changing, in my experience.


Next time, we finish this series by talking about what “less-obvious” bites feel like on various types of baits. That’s crucial, because getting the hook into more fish means you’re having more fun out there – and that’s what fishing is really all about.

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