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#12350989 - 07/21/17 01:53 AM Being a versatile fisherman
cephusjoe Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1219
Well I was born in dequeen ar(closest hospital) raised in broken bow ok. I have fished all of se ok including bb, pine creek, McGee creek and the local rivers. After high school I joined the af and was stationed in Abilene. When I first got to Abilene and seen the red muddy lakes and smaller lakes I thought to myself there is only catfish in these waters. Narrow minded I didn't ever throw a lure in the local lakes. As a few years went by I noticed and heard some big bass being caught. Oh ivie, Leon, and so on.

Long story short I grew up bass fishing at a young age being from broken bow. An outdoorsman dream area. After being in Abilene a few years I picked my rods up again and started fishing. Little did I know I was in some of the best bass fishing. I had to adapt my clear deep water tactics to red muddy and shallow water tactics. After fishing the big country and returning to se Oklahoma frequently to visit family I feel I am a better fisherman than ever before.

Now I have been in the money a few times in the big country area and know I can get in the money back home. It's amazing how different 300 miles can change fishing. I used to never throw a crank unless I was walleye fish back in broken bow. I have caught my personal best multiple times in texas on a square bill. One thing i don't see much in west Texas is a shakey head or fluke(which I grew up on)

If you get the chance, get out of state or at least travel to get better at bass fishing(I know Texas is big) east vs west. My adventures have made me better.

Hope this helps. Go to south east Oklahoma or south west Arkansas and fish. It will make you an all around better fisherman.


Edited by cephusjoe (07/21/17 09:02 AM)
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Mcurtain county okie

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#12350990 - 07/21/17 02:03 AM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
cephusjoe Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1219
By the way I've had butt handed to many times out here in Abilene. Hahahaha but I'll keep donating!
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Mcurtain county okie

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#12351149 - 07/21/17 07:55 AM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
SKEETER_MAN_225 Online   happy
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 10/25/07
Posts: 3110
Loc: TEXAS
That's the one thing I've learned the last few years,
you have to be willing to try new things out of your comfort zone when it comes to tournament fishing.
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Pete B. Hernandez
Matthew 4:19

www.tackledepot.com

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#12351252 - 07/21/17 08:44 AM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: SKEETER_MAN_225]
cephusjoe Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1219
Originally Posted By: SKEETER_MAN_225
That's the one thing I've learned the last few years,
you have to be willing to try new things out of your comfort zone when it comes to tournament fishing.


Oh yeah, not just tournaments but all around catching bigger fish too. I have gotten better at some of the techniques I used to stay away from, some have even turned into my go to's.


Edited by cephusjoe (07/21/17 08:46 AM)
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Mcurtain county okie

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#12351400 - 07/21/17 09:52 AM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
Ted Martin Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 1429
Loc: Dallas, TX
i started fishing tournaments years ago just to make myself a better fisherman. i got in a rut of fishing the same east texas lake all the time, which was fun, but i wasn't learning anything new. I figured if i started fishing some tournaments i would fish lakes i never would go to otherwise and get exposed to all sorts of different types of water and conditions.

What i didn't realize was how much i would learn from other anglers; over the years i have fished with a lot of great anglers, some who excelled at a particular technique, and i have learned something from just about everyone i have fished with. It's amazing what happens when the guy you are fishing with whips your arse from the back deck with a sissy-stick and a 4" worm - that's an eye opener that you can really learn from.

So yeah, anything you can do to depart from what you are 'comfortable' doing makes you a better angler.

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#12352948 - 07/22/17 08:44 AM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
phototex Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/13/14
Posts: 1335
Loc: Coppell, TX
You make an excellent point. I learned to bass fish in the crystal-clear waters of the spring-fed Comal River and Medina Lake. After I joined the Air Force, I had to adapt to "colored" water in Alabama and Arkansas, which helped me catch fish in "dirty" water up by Wichita Falls. I learned to fish for bass in weedy water while stationed in eastern Washington, which helped me immeasurably after being transferred back to Texas. Whether one travels long or short distances, something will be different when we fish different types of water, which makes us learn and adapt in order to consistently catch bass there. If we do so successfully, we always return home as better bass fishermen. It is SO easy to get into a rut!


Edited by phototex (07/22/17 08:47 AM)
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#12356627 - 07/24/17 09:12 PM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
Thad Rains Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/09/01
Posts: 2789
Loc: Lubbock, Texas.
Sounds like some of y'all have CONFIDENCE in yourselves, instead of baits or techniques. I wrote an article earlier this year abut this subject and putting it below, if anyone is interested in reading it.

HOW TO BECOME A BETTER ANGLER
By, Thad Rains

Many anglers wonder how they can get better. Seems like ALL anglers want to get better, so they try a lot of different techniques and ways to improve their skills. CONFIDENCE is the key to becoming better. Most anglers have confidence in baits or techniques, but to TRULY GET BETTER, you need to develop CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF!!!!!!!!! It is not EASY to get this confidence, there is no magic pill to take to make it so. The ABILITY to figure out a situation, so you can put bass in the boat. HARD to come by, but once you get it, you are a MUCH better angler than you were before. There is only one way to get the CONFIDENCE that I am aware of. It is called TIME ON THE WATER (TOW), being successful. Time spent failing doesn’t help nearly as much. That is the determining factor on how much better you will get. The more TOW you have, the better you become, the more confidence you get. In this article we will discuss HOW to get better at fishing and becoming a better angler. These are not the only ways to become a better fisherman, but this is a start and will lay out a game plan to follow, if you wish.

One of the BEST ways to become better is to fish with better fishermen. That sounds obvious, but it is not easy. Sometimes, they are reluctant to share information, so you have to ask and OBSERVE what they are doing. The more fishermen you get to fish with, the better you will become. You will learn something from everyone you fish with, be it WHAT to do or WHAT NOT to do. But this is a learning curve that can be quite steep or quite flat, determining HOW to fish better. The better the fishermen you get to fish with, the better you can become by just observing. You do not even HAVE to fish, but learn to OBSERVE EVERYTHING they do.

One way of fishing with more fishermen is to fish in TEAM TOURNAMENTS, every chance you get. Not only the local, but area wide tournaments, as well. Try to choose a fisherman that is better and try to agree on fishing a team tournament or two with him/her. You DO NOT need to fish in the tournament to learn something from him or her, but PREFISHING is a GREAT way to learn some of their tricks and procedures. The more you fish with this person and OBSERVE, the better you will become. FUN fishing is a great way to learn, but when the money is not on the line, I have learned that some people do not pull out all of their little tricks, but that is up to you to determine. Some tricks are SPECIAL and need to be asked to learn, as observation may not be possible if their back is turned towards you. For instance, I was fishing an open team tournament with one of my good fishing buddies and he was spanking me. I had to ASK what he was doing, because it was VERY FRUSTRATING, him catching fish after fish to my ZEROS. He finally admitted that he had tuned his spinner bait a little differently. He had bent the bottom willow blade by about 1 /4”, towards the end of the blade. When I did this, I started catching fish as well. We did not win the tournament, but it was a GREAT LEARNING day for me.
Same situation as above, we were fishing out of my boat and he was spanking me from the back. I finally had to ask what he was doing differently, because we were basically throwing the same bait. He said he had tuned his bait just a little differently so it was running INTO the brush and not coming straight back to the boat. OH, and he had added addressed feather treble hook to the back hook and thus was waylaying the fish while I was batting ZERO. By the way, his name is Triton Mike Bucca and we started making and selling DOODADS, what he called them to enhance more anglers for being more successful. He is the one that owns/runs Triton Mike Bucca’s BULL SHAD NOW. Another way of thinking outside of the box. Fishing with a partner is not a MUST to become better. Many lessons can be learned by fishing alone.

HOW do you become more productive by yourself? Think outside the box. You do NOT have to fish with better fishermen to get better. Remember the TOW phrase above. A LOT of times, go fishing, even if it is for a few hours, GO FISHING!!!!!!! The MORE you fish and the more successful you become, the more your CONFIDENCE rises. HOW do you become more productive? Think outside the box, AGAIN. When fish are not biting, try to think about what you are using and how to CHANAGE the appearance, action or strategy of your fishing. You may assume that there are not a lot of variables to change, but you would be OH SO WRONG!!!!!!!!!! Some things to MODIFY your baits can include some of the following: CB fishing; change line size, change hook size, add suspend dots or strips, tie a different knot (loop knot), add a feathered trailer, tune it so it goes right back to the boat or off to one side or the other, use indelible ink pens to change the coloration of your bait, add/subtract split rings to the front of even the hooks. Etc. etc. etc. As you can see, there are TONS of ways to think outside of the box. Normally, these ideas occur when the fish aren’t biting, but what you learn from this is that the changes you make often make a difference when the fish are biting well, as well. FISHING ALONE ONLY GIVES YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME BETTER, ALL BY YOURSELF, unfortunately, it may solidify errors in thinking and muscle memory if you are doing things wrongly.

If you want some SB modifications, here are a few. Add a feathered trailer hook, twist the R bend into a loop (better to buy a looped bait to begin with), add split shot to the weight, add a sinker ahead of the bait on your line, the aforementioned bend the blades one way or another or in opposite directions, if 2, change the blade configuration (top bottom, have more blades with you), tie a different knot, add a trailer (see worm/fluke/swim bait, etc), add another skirt, thin the skirt that is on there, etc, change line size or lines completely, etc, etc. Another thing to change can be as simple as changing your retrieval speed. Stop go, reel fast, reel slow, reel moderately with pauses, etc.
As you can see, there are normally ALWAYS ways to change the NORMAL way of fishing. Thinking outside the box just gives you more options for getting fish to bite. Thinking outside the box has made me a MUCH better fisherman, than I would have been w/o thinking of the new presentations. Just something to think about the next time you go fishing. Other ways to increase your learning curve, fish some pro-ams as a co-angler, or go WATCH the pros fish as a Marshall. Keep a fishing log and add every fish you catch to it, including weather conditions, water conditions, bait and type of cover or structure you were successful on. These, in turn, will be able to help you pattern a body of water or even fishing seasons. Again, these are not the ONLY ways of becoming a better fisherman, but it can be a start to helping you attain your goal.

There is something to be said for GUT INSTINCT or INSTINCTS or whatever you want to call them. These normally work when you pay attention to them. Even the pros have these “gut instincts” and say, “It just doesn’t feel right” or something like that. When you listen to them, you normally are becoming a better fisherman and if you listen to them enough, you will catch more fish. What am I talking about??? Here are a few instances where GUT INSTINCT helped me catch more fish. And YES, they involve crank bait fishing, go ahead and laugh, I do. The first was helping a friend prefish for an upcoming tournament. He wanted me to show him around a little bit and give him some ideas of how the lake fished. This is a small lake, Amon Carter, and it was TOUGH fishing that day. Only one bite in the morning. High bluebird sky day and a light ripple on the water. The wind picked up a little bit after noon and I was scratching my head trying to figure something out. I had worked on crank bait for a while and decided to finish it off, making a T with the bill so the cross section of the T faced the line tie. Got it balanced, put it on and then promptly caught 2 fish, a 3-6 and a 1-10; off the same tank dam we were fishing for the past 2 hours. OH, I also added a dressed treble hooked called the Thad Special, made out of flashabou/mylar in iridescent color. Did they just turn on at that time, or did me switching to something they haven’t seen before help? We will never know that, but the small club tournament weighed in and 6.18 was winning it, so I would have had 2nd place if we and been a member of that club.

Second instance, prefishing with the same friend on my home lake. I was showing him some spots that normally held fish, but they were lacking that day. So, at lunch, I sat down and developed a crank bait that did not exist until that moment. I removed the split ring up front on the line tie, added a Thad Special to the tail and changed the front hook out to a bigger one. Only modest modifications, but, oh, did it pay off. I told my friend “In the next 100 yards is normally where we catch the bigger fish.”. About 80 yards into the drift (the wind was HOWLING that day), he sat down to retie his jig and I threw In front of him. The line felt heavy so I set the hook and all chaos broke loose. A BIG fish was on the end of the line and it ended up being my4th biggest fish of my career, SO FAR (CONFIDENCE THING HERE). It put on a heck of a fight, going under the boat and jumping on the back side from where I was fishing. Pulling drag all the way and shaking her head like mad. BUT, because I had UPSIZED the front hook, she didn’t get away. She was stuck pretty solid with that bigger hook firmly planted in her jaw. The back Thad Special was also impaled in her jaw as well. She weighed 9-3 on scales we had in the boat. Not a GREAT fish, but, very GOOD FISH OUT OF LAKE LEWISVILLE. We continued fishing and it struck again with a 4-10, so my gut instinct was right on for that day. The Bass Century club was fishing a tournament that day and 12 some odd pounds won it. Fishing our same pattern, we had over 20 pounds in the boat, so a good stringer throughout the day. So, THIS was not a timing issue, but a WHERE, WHAT and HOW issue.

Last but not least, I will relay a story of my fishing to show you how CONFIDENCE helps. The past 4 seasons, I have run a Working Man’s Tournament on Lake Alan Henry. I do not have an operational boat, so I ask to fish with anglers that do not have partners. Sometimes, there are no vacant back seats, so I fish from shore. I know, MOST FISHERMEN would go set at the café and not waste their money. NOT ME, I have a TON OF CONFIDENCE. This last year, 2016, I won 3 tournaments from shore and placed second, twice. SURE, I know the lake very well, but I had a TON of CONFIDENCE that I could compete. I more than broke even by fishing from shore. Most anglers I talked to said they would not fish at all if they didn’t have a boat, but I guess that goes to show you how I THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX WITH A TON OF CONFIDENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! . Tthese are just illustrations of what it means to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX and TOW These are just a few instances of when things turned out right for me/us and it is not a comprehensive list. There are many more that were successful, but not as successful as these mentioned. Getting better is the GOAL OF EVERY FISHERMAN and FISHERWOMAN. I hope this article helps.
I hope this goes to show some ways you can improve your fishing ability. Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Respectfully,

Thad Rains
_________________________
Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains

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#12356650 - 07/24/17 09:23 PM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
crankn101 Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 04/12/07
Posts: 4265
Loc: Longmont co.
I think being versatile is overrated and something people on the sidelines worry more about than actual pro anglers.

Some of the best fisherman are very one dimensional.

How many times have you heard "If I have XY or Z rod and lures on the deck im struggling"?
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#12357371 - 07/25/17 11:17 AM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: crankn101]
B.Hollingshead Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1876
Loc: ft.worth
Originally Posted By: crankn101
I think being versatile is overrated and something people on the sidelines worry more about than actual pro anglers.

Some of the best fisherman are very one dimensional.

How many times have you heard "If I have XY or Z rod and lures on the deck im struggling"?
beat the bank 365 days a year and tell me versatile is over rated cause you better learn it all if you want to compete at a higher level. Fish shallow all year and you will be sitting on the side lines half the year.
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Branden Hollingshead

30-DD's and counting

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#12357415 - 07/25/17 11:47 AM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
Cheesehead Wes Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/18/10
Posts: 566
Loc: Lubbock Tx
Hahahaha.

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#12357497 - 07/25/17 12:33 PM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: B.Hollingshead]
crankn101 Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 04/12/07
Posts: 4265
Loc: Longmont co.
Originally Posted By: B.Hollingshead
Originally Posted By: crankn101
I think being versatile is overrated and something people on the sidelines worry more about than actual pro anglers.

Some of the best fisherman are very one dimensional.

How many times have you heard "If I have XY or Z rod and lures on the deck im struggling"?
beat the bank 365 days a year and tell me versatile is over rated cause you better learn it all if you want to compete at a higher level. Fish shallow all year and you will be sitting on the side lines half the year.


What big tourneys have you won? Central opens?

Most anglers cant master one technique let alone all of them. Its easy to talk the talk but much harder to walk the walk.

Like I said, some of the best in the world are known to be very specific in their abilities and keep it simple while every fed nation wannabe will tell everyone to be versatile.
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#12357504 - 07/25/17 12:40 PM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
Sinkey Online   content
Tidy Scoop

Registered: 08/04/06
Posts: 4577
Loc: Lewisville, TX. and Lake Fork...
Actually, he's won a few tournaments! Some pretty big ones too. But he is right. If you want to compete at a higher level, or just catch way more fish, you must be a versatile fisherman.
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www.grandebass.com
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#12357530 - 07/25/17 12:53 PM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
fivebites Offline
Angler

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 444
Loc: carrollton
I agree that being versatile is paramount. I put off learning the Carolina rig forever. Man, what a mistake. My question is when to leave an area when you KNOW there are fish in that area but not biting. I get discouraged when I've hit what "should be" several solid areas, whether or not they've produced for me in the past or not, i.e. point near a creek channel swing or a good hump with bait fish on or nearby, and not a sniff of a bite. If they don't bite after trying several different methods...what now? My history says I'll keep repeating the same type of areas and not catch what I should. I rarely get skunked, but also have never won anything except a small local tournament. Deep fishing is my weak spot, but I've made myself the promise to become better this year at reading my graph and fishing deeper. (Lake Travis doesn't give you a lot of options for fishing shallow most of the day or most of the year for bigger fish.)Dropshotting is another technique I'm trying to focus on this year. So what say you Thad...Barrett. What do you do when they don't bite and you're pretty sure you're in the right area?

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#12357543 - 07/25/17 01:01 PM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: crankn101]
Jordan_Lane Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 622
Loc: Justin
Originally Posted By: crankn101
Originally Posted By: B.Hollingshead
Originally Posted By: crankn101
I think being versatile is overrated and something people on the sidelines worry more about than actual pro anglers.

Some of the best fisherman are very one dimensional.

How many times have you heard "If I have XY or Z rod and lures on the deck im struggling"?
beat the bank 365 days a year and tell me versatile is over rated cause you better learn it all if you want to compete at a higher level. Fish shallow all year and you will be sitting on the side lines half the year.


What big tourneys have you won? Central opens?

Most anglers cant master one technique let alone all of them. Its easy to talk the talk but much harder to walk the walk.

Like I said, some of the best in the world are known to be very specific in their abilities and keep it simple while every fed nation wannabe will tell everyone to be versatile.


dang man! I will say, Brandon has won a few big tournaments and he's a pretty good fisherman too! I will also agree, versatility is everything in competitive bass fishing. I think if you were to go out on any of these lakes with one specific technique that feel you're pretty good at, you'll catch some fish... But you need to be able to adjust when things change on the water,and versatility takes over when you need to make the right adjustment.

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#12357552 - 07/25/17 01:04 PM Re: Being a versatile fisherman [Re: cephusjoe]
crankn101 Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 04/12/07
Posts: 4265
Loc: Longmont co.
Texas Fest, middle of May. A number of the top finishers were pitching shallow including wheeler for 3rd place. Il go check some other top finishers.
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