The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

3 Tips for More Open-Water Success

Different anglers have different ideas of what fishing success is. To some, fishing success is catching a bunch of fish: Size doesn’t matter, they just want to catch something. To other anglers, fishing success means you caught a big one. Size is more important than numbers.

Some anglers consider it a successful day on the water if they catch the species of fish that they’re after. Others target a particular species, but if that species isn’t cooperating, they adapt and try to catch another type of fish. They consider it a successful day on the water if they have a few fish of any species pull back. Youngsters are particularly happy with just having something pull back. They’re as happy with bullheads as they are bass. They don’t have to be big ones; they just have to provide some excitement. I like that.

And then there are those who just enjoy being outside with a fishing pole in their hand and sharing a boat with a friend or family member and savoring the entire experience. I enjoy those folks, but I also really like to catch fish. I usually don’t care what kind, and I like to catch big ones, but most of all, I just like to get bit. Following are some ideas for getting bit more in this open water fishing season.

First, don’t fish memories. By that I mean, don’t assume that because we had good success on the last trip with a Yellow Perch Lucky Shad or a Mr. Crappie Shadpole in Osage Orange Glow or whatever doesn’t mean that that bait will be good on this trip. It might be, and if you want to start with the previously productive bait go ahead, but if the fish don’t eat it, and if you really think you’re around fish, give something else a shot. Try a different color, or maybe tie on a slip-bobber rig. If they’re not eating what you think they should be eating, give them another choice. Increasingly, many successful anglers are putting plastic trailers on their jigs. The Rage Swimmer has become a favorite plastic of many walleye anglers. Just remember, if they’re not eating what’s on the end of your line, tie something else onto the end of your line.

In that same vein, just because you caught’em good in a certain spot on your last trip or last year doesn’t mean they’ll be there on this trip. Good spring spots aren’t necessarily good summer or fall spots. So many things factor in to where a fish will be. We need to be aware of what fish need at a particular time of year and then we need to be fishing at that location. It sounds so simple, but it’s such an important concept of fishing: Fish where the fish are.

Go fishing on lakes, rivers, and ponds that you haven’t tried before. So many of us get comfortable on a certain body of water and that’s where we always go, and if that’s what you enjoy, keep going there. Fishing is supposed to be fun, and you should do what is fun for you. But many anglers discover that they enjoy exploring new places. You never know what you might find in that little lake that you always drive by on the way to your favorite fishing lake. Do some research and find out what lives there and give it a shot. You never know.

There are lots of things we can do that we might not think of that will help us catch more fish. We only know what we know, but if you keep these ideas in mind, your chances of catching more fish and having more fun when you go fishing will be increased.

– Bob Jensen of

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