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JohnP

When should old dogs learn new tricks?

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As much as the fish interest me, the psyche of the fishermen sometimes interests me more.

 

I know two anglers. They are both very accomplished and very seasoned fishermen. Both great guys. For the sake of protecting their identity, lets call them Tom and Jerry. They have their regular spots - about a mile or two from each other.

 

To over simplify to make a point, Tom likes rocks, Jerry seems to prefer sand bars. Both places put out fish and both places put out fish over 40 lbs last year at one point or another - on artificials - both anglers prefer to fish artificials. Tom wont fish the sand bar, Jerry wont fish the rocks. More to the point, its more like Tom would feel out of place on the sand and Jerry would have a time of it on the rocks. They both would like to KNOW more about how the other lives (and fishes) but they are almost creatures of habit 98% of the time these days, and they stay put.

 

Good or bad?

 

One might say this is a case of knowing your spot and knowing it well. A closer look might reveal another perspective that one of them has told me in confidence - of an angler sticking with a single spot and related technique so much, and so used to it, that he feels uneasy - going elsewhere and doing other things.

 

Do you ever find yourself getting too tied in to a particular spot? Did you ever think to change your M.O. a little, if for no other reason than to test and broaden your skills?

 

(This year I'm wondering how I want to mix in some more new exploration trips vs. known quantity spots)

 

Your take?

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Great Question. I fish one place predominantly and to tell you the truth my comfort level (how I feel about catching fish) limits my willingness to explore other areas well within reach. Why? Probably because I have limited time to fish and I KNOW where I've caught in the past.

 

What I don't fully understand is that I have friends that know the area and who've offered to show me the ropes and I'm such a hard head that I've stuck to my lonesome self and fished the places I know best. Foolish perhaps but it's what I'm comfortable with.

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I'm with FW. You develop a comfort level over the years and keep going back. I prefer the rocks myself. Never made much of a study of winds tides and whatever else the experts look for. My criteria is what I can find in the dark without light, a lack of people fishing a particular area, rocks that make good platforms even though the area might not hold as many fish. I do miss out on good fishing occaisionally. I also had some very good days being away from the crowds. I'll avoid the night time picket lines even if they are producing nice fish.

 

Gear wise I still fish mono and have only switched full time to graphite in the last two years. I'm stubborn. As far as fishing an area I don't know and embarrassing myself, never really a factor. I don't care what other people think. I have a good time. It's only a damn fish.

 

Steve

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ya don't leave fish to find fish...

 

there's a lot of places I'd like to know, but don't feel comfortable climbing up and down sheer cliff faces yet.

 

i'll go just about anywhere else though at least to try it once. usually end up where ever i feel the most comfortable and know best at the end of the day, though.

 

if i gotta be here in CA much longer, i'll get a yak. then i'll be checking out all kinds of new places.

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TL nailed it! If you know where they are, why go somewhere else? If I go 2-3 days without fish in my spots I'll move to less familiar water, but 90% is done in a very concentrated area rolleyes.gif

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ya don't leave fish to find fish...

 

if wish it was that simple.The fact is there is no (at least to me) good reason to fish when you are catching small blues.They shred your tackle to pieces ,never mind your plastics or hairs on your bucktails.They bleed profusely and they absolutely refuse to settle down when trying to unhook.

No offense but I will keep walking away ............

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TL nailed it! If you know where they are, why go somewhere else? If I go 2-3 days without fish in my spots I'll move to less familiar water, but 90% is done in a very concentrated area rolleyes.gif

 

There are a lot more angles to this sport besides just hooking up.Finding the fish on your own is a challenge as is exploring new locations.I get excited like a child when I am about to embark on a trip to location never fished before.

Of course , its always nice to return to "my" spots knowing fish are there waiting.

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To answer the original question...

I think its part confidence in your spot and part respect for the spot of the other fellow.Me and a good buddy fish the same inlet but on opposite sides.He fishes one pile or rocks while I do the other one across the inlet.I don't go to his sides and he doesn't come to mine.Now we both know that my side might hold more weaks were on his side the bass are generally much , much larger.Does it bother me that he is getting a bass into 20's each night while I cant crack 10 pounds.Not really.Mostly I am happy for him.The approach is the slightly different as is tackle.He goes with 3 ounce bucktails while I prefer 3/4 ounce and a 7 foot stick.What I am trying to say is that yes the comfort and confidence in your spot might bring you back to certain places but respect for other guys spot should keep you away from his.If you are dying to learn about "his" spot I would suggest you ask him to show you around.Most guys are trilled when asked to share what they have learn.

 

PS

Respect is a funny thing but I feel there in definitely lack of it these days with guys mobbing each other after reading the reports on the net.Let me give you an example.I have few spots that were shown to me by a good friend.He don't fish there as much but if he ever decides to go and he is bringing some guys with him I will just go somewhere else because these spots cant hold more that 2 -3 guys.I always felt there are "his" spots to give even although I fish them 5 days a week in last few years while he did once a month.Ten years later I still would be hesitant to bring anyone over without "his " permission.Weird , huh ?

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The confidence factor is a major player. They know the areas they fish and don't want or need to change.

We all have the spots we hit in certain conditions. We also all have spots we just go to. It's where we fish, comfort, knowledge it's our place. I like to watch people and how they fish certain items and areas. SOme you can pick things up from that help you in certain spots. Then again, walking up to spots you don't or have never fished before you look for areas that are like the ones you've done well at in the past.

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Sometimes, when I go, there will be someone else where I normally fish. So, I go somewhere else where no one is. I've been pleasantly surprized many times when I went to a place other than my "normal" spot.

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Part of how and where I fish has to do with advancing age and some physical limitations. Some spots I know hold fish and if I get out mid week they may not be crowded. However the fish seem to hold in the rip which requires some long casting. My shoulders won't stand the abuse of leaning into every cast.

 

When I was younger I enjoyed the challenge of getting the crap knocked out of me and rolling around in the water. The balance is going and I need glasses to read and in low light. I really don't get much pleasure in getting knocked around anymore. I'm more likely to fish a spot that's comfortable as opposed to holding fish.

 

Unlike most of the guys I fish the beach with I enjoyed fishing from my boat. Had some definite preferences as to where and how I fished. Moving from spot to spot was easier. I could fish all night because It didn't require any casting. Less wear and tear on the knees, hips and back.

 

As i get older I'm more concerned with breaking things. Some rocky areas are relatively easy to fish and others are a nightmare, especially in the dark. They're an accident waiting to happen. One day I'll get my town permit and start doing the sand on a cosistent basis. Less wear and tear on the body and less wear and tear on the gear.

 

steve

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I'd hafta say both..But I'm certainly more comfortable in areas I know and have fished a million times.Wether it be rocks or sand.I prefer sand,but will fish rocks no problem smile.gif

Anywhere theres a rip,or some current..

I don't chase reports,that I refuse to do.If I read another area of the state is "on",I say good for them,enjoy the crowd,fish my spots and wait for my area to be "on".If a buddy calls and says a spot I already know is on,of course I'll check it out..

I can't honestly say I don't think about going there,but when the time to fish arises,I go back to the spots I've gotten to know well.Esp in the dark..

 

Anyone can go anywhere and get lucky with bustin fish,but how much time does it take to pick a new spot apart and really figure out what makes it work? Like the spots you already know inside out?

One "regular" place I fish quite often in a paticular town has a lot of differnt areas and conditions,as soon as I get out of the car,see the tide and wind,I know exactly where I wanna be..the tide could ba at any stage,the wind blowing in just about any direction,I can still find an area I want to be in..Thats comfort smile.gif

 

But now I have about bunch of areas now in 3 different states that I know pretty well..Rocks,rivers,sand,bays and canals smile.gif

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I couldn't fish a single place over and over again like that if my life depended on it. So far in this short season I've fished:

 

boston harbor for cod

neponset river

back river

parker river

annisquam river

merrimack (several locations)

osterville

falmouth

and last but not least, sandwich

 

I fish rocks I fish steep beaches I fish shallow sand flats I fish deep channels I do it all and it's a big part of the joy of fishing for me - constant exploration and learning. And at the risk of sounding smug I guarantee my approach has made me a far better fisherman than I would've been had I fished nothing but a couple spots all the time.

 

edit - on second thought I guess I do fish a lot of the same locations over and over - just that my list of locations is quite long and always growing wink.gif

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ya don't leave fish to find fish...

 

if wish it was that simple.The fact is there is no (at least to me) good reason to fish when you are catching small blues.They shred your tackle to pieces ,never mind your plastics or hairs on your bucktails.They bleed profusely and they absolutely refuse to settle down when trying to unhook.

No offense but I will keep walking away ............

 

yea but who ever claims a spot as "their spot" where all you catch are little fish??? biggrin.gif

 

call me spoiled. growing up in FL... "my spot" was the one where I knew the big guys made their daily migration through.

 

up in the delta, my spot is the spot that usually produces the most big fish every year.

 

i don't have a spot that is "mine" here on the beaches yet, haven't been fishing it long enough. i'll find someplace though eventually.

 

my spot on the the rivers here are the ones where i know the big trout lay up. or where there's a good spot for shad to lay up in.

 

and no offense, but i love booooooooofish. eek.gifcwm27.gif

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I would always have a feeling that a guy who showed me a spot is forever "his" spot. Look, I wouldnt be there if it wasnt for him if thats the honest truth. I can rationalize and accept it a little better if I fish it a different way - maybe the opposite tide, or a different time of year - and maybe add something to "his" knowledge base about that spot.

 

I also agree with the dont leave fish to find fish. But there's an interesting psychology at work there. I was lucky enough to be in on a fantastic bite at one spot alomst a decade ago. It was about as sure a things as it got - basically tide related. Never seen anything like it since. But then it got more crowded. You could still catch a good number of fish, but it was getting out of hand. I walked away from the fish, or better yet, I just decided to fish elsewhere on so many nights.

 

Another interesting story. I had this one spot that I was knocking my brains out on. It had been so good to me in the past, but just wasnt happening last year. So one night I said, ok I'll fish it 45 minutes max, then I'm gonna fish a spot I really dont fish all that much. I just need to change. Sure enough, not a thing. So I got in the truck and drove. I got there just in time for the tide. I threw the usual for zippo. Then I decided to fish it a little different - a techique I never thought of there - it just dawned on me, same type of water, as elsewhere why not. 2 casts later I had a 32. I learned a great deal about myself that night. I was so caught up in my ways doing X. 20/20 hindsight, it was so obvious.

 

It makes me realize the benefits of forcing myself to learn new tricks.

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