How to Fish Better: Work on New Techniques


If you haven’t guessed already, I am an avid fisherman. For the most part, I think I know what I am doing. However, sometimes the fish will disagree.  There are glaring holes in my fishing techniques, and like a New Year’s Resolution, I try to address these each season.

My Plan for How to Fish Better This Season

1. Open water crankbaits. It may be surprising but this common tackle box item is not one of my confidence lures away from shore. I have caught fish on crankbaits but there are other lures or areas that I usually try first.  
2. More drop-shotting. This is where the hook is above the weight, by about 18 inches or so.  I’ve played around with this technique, but haven’t felt like I’ve been on the right, rocky, deep water. However, I continue to read about this technique catching fish in a variety of shallow locations too. 

3. Revisit some old classics. There are several lures that have lost their position in my fishing tackle bags, yet at one time were heavily relied on, such as inline spinners, pork lures, and the “lazy ike.”

4. Get more organized. The fishing area of the garage, boat, and my tackle boxes in general always seems to spin out of control during heavy fishing times.  One way to combat this is to leave the boat hooked up and/or bring fishing tackle and rods to the kid’s baseball and softball practices so I can re-rig and sort, yet still watch the on-field progression.

5. And this season, I hope to help add a new species to my son’s fish species list: the bowfin. Although we usually see one or two in the spring in some lagoons while casting for bass and pike, we have yet to get one to hit. From watching some anglers I’m now confident that we now know where to go and what to do to catch one of these unusual fish. 

What fishing techniques would you like to know better? What new species would you like to catch? Be sure to check for additional techniques and our species explorer. 

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.