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Thresher1

The Path to Confidence: Stubbornness?

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One this site and in other reading, one theme comes through loud and clear-the importance of being confident and having faith in the plug you are using at any given time.

 

Other than the obvious answer of time spent on the water fishing, would you say that stubbornness is the next major key to gaining confidence?

 

This season will only be my third fishing the surf. For the first year and a half I stuck to dawn and dusk fishing primarily the surface with spooks, pencils, and poppers with enough success that I would say I am reasonably confident with those options.

 

Last fall I decided to try fishing primarily at night and other than eels, I had no experience/confidence with any of the traditional nighttime lures. My first couple trips consisted of constantly switching from needlefish, swimmers and darters. I'd take 10 or so casts with one, start doubting myself, and switch. I think I spent more time switching plugs than I did fishing.

 

Then I decided to focus on needlefish. I targeted areas that had structure recommended for needles and that was all I brought in my bag, which forced me to stick with them. On the whole, I didn't do too badly I guess averaging fish one out of every 3-4 trips. It was very trying at times, but the upshot was that by the end of the season I had at the very least become more comfortable (certainly not yet confident) fishing needles.

 

That said, I have a couple of questions:

 

In this case is being stubborn a good thing?

 

If your goal is to expand your "arsenal" and become confident with all the various types of plugs available is this a good strategy?

 

Is it worth sacrificing some results in the short term for the long-term benefit of having more options that you are confident in?

 

Should I do the same thing with darters, swimmers, etc.? Fish one almost exclusively until I gain the necessary confidence and then move on to the next?

 

Thanks,

 

 

Ben

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I have my strong spots and weak spots. I have confidence in the lures I bring (darters, metal lips, needles ect) But there is Plugs I can touch up on. I have little confidence In bombers, redfins plastics ect, but I rather be talented with a select group of plugs than so-so with a ton of them. Thats just me...

Nick

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wow, brilliant question.

Lots of answers.

 

Let me try to give my 'overview' without trying to sound self obsessed.

 

Confidence ?

 

How to gain it ?

 

I must admit right now, i am a very self confident person. It has always been this way and that must help as i apply that to sport etc.

 

But..

 

With fishing, the variables are vast.

You are, in my opinion, making the 'classic' approach to success by ringing as many changes as possible, trying as many methods as possible etc.

 

Let me give you a non fishing example.

it was once said by a famous cycling coach that to improve, you MUST focus on blocks of your training.

If you want to improve at speed, ride at speed. Hill climbing ?, ride hills, but.., don't keep switching, you MIGHT improve, but you might undo the hard work of one, with the hard work of another.

 

Believe me, been there, tried it, got the tee shirt. It works.

In fishing it works too.

 

You MUST read and absorb knowledge. Knowledge is power.

However, you must NOT let that knowledge confuse you.

 

Pick 2 or 3 good locations and 2 or 3 plugs only.

 

Learn to fish them (in the right conditions), on the right tides, at the best possible time.

NO, do not sacrifice short term results.., you need them to gain confidence.

 

When you buy plugs, buy 2 or 3 of the same plug. Do NOT be scared to use them, abuse them, loose them. If you do, your confidence is misplaced.

You cannot be scared to throw plugs into the mix. treat plugs as bait. (disposable). Why ?, because they are.

 

I personally wouldn't recommend needlefish 'unless' you are in a locale that with practice at least guarantee's some results short term.

 

Confidence is a snow ball. But to build a snow ball you need snow.

To this end, you need fish. Without fish, you are wasting your time.

 

I would honestly choose 3 types of plug that are known scorers.

get some bombers, a larger profiled bait like a decent ML swimmer and perhaps something else that is locally known to be very effective.

Maybe perhaps even the needle as you have already gained some experience in it. however, it is a plug surrounded by myth and magic which doesn't help.

 

Go out and fish them. Learn to use them, but don't swap around too much.

In my opinion, i would search the water column with a surface bait, 2 -4 ft down, and if deeper, go deeper before moving OR waiting. Being 1 hour out tide wise can have a huge impact on whether certain plugs will score.

 

Current will often dictate how plugs behave and you must learn at what times certain plugs catch and certain plugs don't.

But, by choosing only 3 or 4, you are dramatically giving yourself a better chance of 'mentally remembering' retrieve rate, type of plug, weather/tide conditions etc. In fact everything that makes fishing, fishing.

 

Just like on the bike that relies of muscle memory to improve, so you must condition yourself to suceed and be successful with your plugs whenever you are faced with a given set of circumstances.

 

This is easier said than done.

An old proverb states (" A journey begins with but one step ").

Well, confidence begins with the first fish. But, to make sure its not an accident, take another step to reach your destination.

 

I could go on, but i hope you get the picture.

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Absolutely.

 

Stubbornness pays off.

 

When I wanted to learn to fish a casting reel I realized that to do it, I'd have to leave the spinner home.

 

That was in '83.

 

Once I made that revelation I learned it applied to situations and lures too.

 

The tricky bit is being stubborn on fish-less water.

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I guess it depends on how you define stubborn. In my opinion I think perseverance & paying very close attention to every detail will get you a lot further than being stubborn. The key to being successful is going to depend on your ability to find fish. It does'nt matter how good a fisherman you might be, if the fish are not there your not going to catch them. Time on the water, talking to other fishermen who constantly seem to be into fish, learning what areas produce best on certain tides/conditions, learning to read the water/understanding structure, figuring out what the primary baitfish is the stripers may be feeding on, keeping a journal & having a flexible but well thought out game plan for every trip are all essential elements to being successful & gaining confidence. Confidence is extremely important. You must be confident in your gear, your skills & that the water you are fishing is productive. On each & every cast you must be thinking like a striper. I always ask myself... if I were a striper in this area & I were looking for a meal, then where exactly in this stretch of water would I be. As far as lures/plugs go I can only speak for the area I fish. If I were going to pick 5 lures/plugs & stick with them it would be a 9" Sluggo, white bucktail, 7" wood top water swimmer, a medium sized slow sinking needlefish & a Bomber/Redfin or something similar. Another very good asset is a tight lipped fishing partner who is willing to fish as hard as you do. Two fisherman trying to locate fish will certainly produce more than one. I hope this info helps build your confidence & success..... Mike

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Well said.

 

I think stubborn would be an asset in learning new equipment, techniques and weather conditions.

 

Otherwise, "perseverance & paying very close attention to every detail" is the way to go.

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View PostI guess it depends on how you define stubborn. In my opinion I think perseverance & paying very close attention to every detail will get you a lot further than being stubborn. The key to being successful is going to depend on your ability to find fish. It does'nt matter how good a fisherman you might be, if the fish are not there your not going to catch them. Time on the water, talking to other fishermen who constantly seem to be into fish, learning what areas produce best on certain tides/conditions, learning to read the water/understanding structure, figuring out what the primary baitfish is the stripers may be feeding on, keeping a journal & having a flexible but well thought out game plan for every trip are all essential elements to being successful & gaining confidence. Confidence is extremely important. You must be confident in your gear, your skills & that the water you are fishing is productive. On each & every cast you must be thinking like a striper. I always ask myself... if I were a striper in this area & I were looking for a meal, then where exactly in this stretch of water would I be. As far as lures/plugs go I can only speak for the area I fish. If I were going to pick 5 lures/plugs & stick with them it would be a 9" Sluggo, white bucktail, 7" wood top water swimmer, a medium sized slow sinking needlefish & a Bomber/Redfin or something similar. Another very good asset is a tight lipped fishing partner who is willing to fish as hard as you do. Two fisherman trying to locate fish will certainly produce more than one. I hope this info helps build your confidence & success..... Mike

 

Definitely agree with you here. beers.gif Paying attention to the details as well as putting in your time will go a long way to making you successful with various plugs and techniques. smile.gif

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