How to Fish Better: Work on New Techniques

By Andy Whitcomb

May 02, 2016

Even avid anglers have techniques they need to work on, fishing tackle they need to try, and new fish species to target. 

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. 
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.