BlogMarch 2015



By Andy Whitcomb

Mar 30, 2015

When I take a beginner fishing, I think of myself as a fishing guide.

When I take a beginner fishing, I think of myself as a fishing guide. My goal is to put them on fish — soon and often. I set them up with my best educated guess of a lure, instruction of where to cast, and how to retrieve.

Then I do something completely different.

Even when fishing with more experienced anglers, I rarely throw the same lure, or retrieve it in the same manner. Through the process of elimination, the objective is to learn where the fish are and what they want, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

For example, if my son starts working a black rubber worm slowly along the bottom close to shore, I’ll cast a mid-column lures such as a crankbait, in deeper water. Or, maybe I’ll cast shallow too, but with a topwater lure. Even if we are confident the rubber worm is going to be the ticket to tugsville, I make sure to test a different color, depth, or speed of retrieve until we arrive at a solid pattern.

But what pattern worked yesterday, or even an hour ago, may not work now. By “covering your bases” and constantly presenting multiple techniques, you can “cover your basses” and discover what the fish want, where they want it, and maybe even what direction the bite may be moving, such as shallow to deep.

Discovery is part of fishing’s mystique, challenge, and fun. Every angler wants to be the one to solve the fishing riddle. And just because one lure or technique is working doesn’t mean that another might not work even better.

So, “what lure are you going to start with?” Because, I’m going to start with something else.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.