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How To Become A Better Angler, by Thad Rains #13099235 03/21/19 06:31 PM
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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 doesnt 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 PRE-FISHING 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, watching 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. This friends 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 Buccas 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. When you can, 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 CHANGE 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 many ways to think outside of the box. Normally, these ideas occur when the fish arent 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 usually many ways to change the NORMAL way of fishing. Thinking outside the box, unconventionally 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 doesnt 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 pre-fish 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 a 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 havent 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, pre-fishing 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 didnt 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 the same 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 style show you how CONFIDENCE helps. The past 4 seasons, I have run a Working Mans 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 caf 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 didnt 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
Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: How To Become A Better Angler, by Thad Rains [Re: Thad Rains] #13099255 03/21/19 07:03 PM
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Let me shorten that.

Fish as often as you can. Keep a lure in the water.

Re: How To Become A Better Angler, by Thad Rains [Re: Thad Rains] #13099335 03/21/19 08:19 PM
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always fish with someone that is a better fisherman than you..........

Re: How To Become A Better Angler, by Thad Rains [Re: jwcromer] #13099349 03/21/19 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jwcromer
always fish with someone that is a better fisherman than you..........
Well, thats leaves the list wide open for me! Thanks Thad! FYI: here is a photo I happened across with you and a potential Lewisville record bass:
[Linked Image]

Last edited by 361V; 03/21/19 08:41 PM.
Re: How To Become A Better Angler, by Thad Rains [Re: Thad Rains] #13099727 03/22/19 04:48 AM
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Good info, thanks for sharing.

Re: How To Become A Better Angler, by Thad Rains [Re: Thad Rains] #13099756 03/22/19 09:09 AM
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Thanks for sharing Thad.

Re: How To Become A Better Angler, by Thad Rains [Re: Thad Rains] #13101560 03/24/19 06:42 PM
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361V,

Thanks for posting that picture. It was on a long gibe computer.


Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

An 11,8 out of Lewisville in 1998.

Thad Rains


Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.

Thad Rains
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