There are a few questions that I get asked when out fishing with my clients that I think could help you, the angler become a better fisherman. There are three basic tips that I am going to talk about, the first is pay attention to the details, the second, watch your speed, and third, be patient and have fun.
First thing that can make you a better angler, would be to pay attention to the details. If I catch a fish, or get a bite, the first thing I do is look at the depth. Then, after reeling in the fish or missing, which I seem to do alot, I then look at the water temperature, wind direction, what the bottom was like: steep or flat, hard or soft and lastly, what exactly I was using for bait. These are some of the most important things for an angler to pay attention too. This way, when I get back to fishing, I know exactly what I am looking for to catch another fish. It also works great because you can look at a map and find other spots on the lake where you can replicate this action.
Second, watch your speed. This can be, and is one of the most important things for an angler in my mind, whether you are fishing for bass, walleyes or crappies. If the fish dont like the speed your at, they aren't going to bite. My best tip would be to slow down, people can never move slow enough. I often times get asked, " Have we moved for the last 15 minutes?" My answer is usually no! If the fish are down there and I'm marking them, we're not moving. If the school starts to move, we will try and follow them up or down the break. On the other hand, when those fish are aggressive, you need to get up and go. I have caught walleyes going close to 3.5 MPH. Sometimes, if the fish aren't aggressive and you bring your bait by them moving fast it can trigger a bite because they have less time to think and just react on the bait.
The third thing that I feel can make you a better angler is be patient but have fun. So many anglers these days get on the water and want to burn gas through the motor, but sometimes its the guys that stay put and wait for those fish that have the better luck. Dont get me wrong there is a time to run and gun but overall if you are patient and relaxed, I feel you will catch more fish. If your trying to learn a new body of water, just be patient, it might not be the first, second or even third time, but you will learn to try new things and the on forth time you may lay into a toad of a bass.
If you pay attention to these three things: attention to details, watch your speed and be patient, it will help you to become a better angler. Good luck in this next season. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email or call at any time.