When you walk through the doors at one of Bass Pro Shops amazing stores, it can all be somewhat overwhelming to take in for the average person. Every department is fully stocked with the latest and greatest products on the market. If you are an angler coming to Bass Pro Shops for the first time to see the amazing fishing department, you will notice it is jam packed with rods, reels, baits, and tackle everywhere you look. The honest truth is that every fishing lure in the store has the potential to help you catch fish.
I have a great system that I utilize as a professional bass fisherman that helps me to expand my options and ability on the water. It's all about expanding your arsenal, and in doing that you will also increase your success rate on those tough days when the fish just won't bite your old standby, or what we call a confidence bait. Having confidence in a certain lure or technique is great, but every fisherman will run into days where for some reason it just flat out won't work.
For all different levels of fisherman it is very important that you don't limit yourself to one bait or technique. Every bait that is on the shelves is there for a reason, and that is because it catches fish if you stick with it and also understand how, when, and where to use it.
The way I grow as an angler is I choose a bait that I know has potential but I've just never taken the time to experiment with, and I go use it all day long. Now this sounds simple, but it's not as easy as it sounds. I've found that if I have my confidence bait sitting right behind me I will continually loose faith in the lure I'm out there to learn about, and pick up my old stand by after going through a period of not getting many bites. So for me I have to not temp myself and leave my favorite lure behind for the day. If I do that, I've found, sooner or later I will catch fish on the new bait and better myself as an angler.
The first bait I ever did this with was a Stanley Jigs Original Casting Jig. A jig is a bait that is notorious for catching big fish, but I had never given it the time that was needed to gain confidence in it so I could feel good about throwing it. After experimenting with the jig on my home lake, I got on a pattern catching fish off docks and the rest is history. The jig is now one of my favorite weapons while fishing all over the country. I have done this with many different baits such as the Bass Pro Shops Deadly 5 Shad Rig which is a fish catching machine in the spring and winter, but you have to stick with it to ignite a school and make it work.
Being a successful fisherman is all about increasing your options and expanding your arsenal, and you have to have confidence in the technique to make it work. So this year give it a try: Every two months go pick out a new bait or style of fishing that you are not comfortable with. Leave your favorite baits behind for the day, and you will be amazed at the results. Whether you are a weekend angler or a touring professional this system will help any one who wants to grow as an angler. That's what it is all about learning and bettering yourself as you get older in all aspects of life.
I'll see you on the water!