Talk to most hard-core anglers, successful tournament pros or fishing guides and they'll tell you that fishing memories is a common mistake. Here's how it happens and tips on how to avoid mind tricks when targeting your favorite fish.
Fishing memories occurs when anglers reminisce about a time when they experienced mind-blowing fishing action using a certain technique or at a specific location and repeat this pattern by default. This way of thinking is a slippery slope and can lead to countless hours wasted. Fishing memories can also stunt learning. The time with uncle Bob when the largemouth crushed football jigs is a distant memory, and today is different. It's time to fish the present, analyze the facts, and make systematic decisions. Here's why.
Water systems are dynamic. Weed beds change, forage levels go through ups and downs, fish move, temperatures and currents fluctuate from year to year, and so on. It's critical to forget about last time's success and focus on today. Here are a few things to consider when putting a pattern together on your next outing:
- Spend time exploring with your electronics before wetting a line. Observe water temperature and fish location on structure and their preferred depth range. Also use electronic charts, like Navionics, to get a big-picture view of the underwater landscape and the structures likely to hold fish. Apply this data to start forming a fishing strategy and picking areas to start your search.
- Begin fishing at a fast pace that you're comfortable with. Many times covering water quickly with large lures will catch more and bigger fish. When this doesn't work it's a hint that fish are likely inactive and it's time to change tactics. Also try different speeds and styles of baits in both horizontal and vertical presentations.
- Cover a range of water depths when sleuthing for fish. Same goes for exploring a variety of habitat areas. Certain days fish hold on very specific areas. The trick is dialing in on their whereabouts.
- Remember too that not all fish in the lake all do the same thing at the same time. Someone always takes home the win in a tournament by finding biting fish. Stay agile but be thorough when exploring areas and you'll eventually be rewarded.