LAKE OCONEE — All anglers are not destined to become the next Bill Dance or Kevin Van Dam but most anglers can become successful anglers. Nothing improves an angler’s ability more than actually being on the water and fishing but there other ways to improve your angling ability regardless of what specie of fish you are targeting.
Some good angling principles apply to all types of fishing or angling but for the most part there are distinct differences between angling say for largemouth bass and angling for crappie. The differences include equipment like rods, reels and lures or bait. The location of the fish and even the mental approach will also vary significantly.
To become a successful angler regardless of the specie of fish you are trying to catch, there is much that can be learned. Most anglers will admit that they had a mentor that got them started with the fishing basics and that encouraged his or her initial interest in fishing. My mentor was my daddy who began taking me fishing as a young boy.
My daddy taught me the basics of fishing but more importantly he instilled in me the joy of fishing and being in the outdoors and that has stuck with me throughout my life. I now try to do the same with my children and grandchildren. Some of my children and grandchildren enjoy fishing and some do not and I do not push fishing on any of them.
The angling equipment that my daddy had at his disposal to teach me was simple compared to today’s vast array of fishing paraphernalia. Through the years since those early fishing lessons from my daddy, I have changed many of my angling techniques, my approach to fishing and certainly the equipment I now use.
My first rod and reel combination was a four foot steel rod mounted on Pflueger reel spooled with the old black braided line. I caught my first largemouth bass on that outfit and I still have that rod and reel combination that my daddy gave me in the 50s.
One thing that has remained constant is the joy I get every time I go fishing. Even at my age, I still get that child like excitement every time I get in the boat for a day of fishing. If you are an angler, likely someone influenced you as my daddy did me and likely you adapted some of their angling techniques.
Beyond having a mentor and then being on the water as much as possible, what can you do to improve your angling abilities? I spent many years in a fishing club and that helped me tremendously by seeing what other anglers were doing and also the competition helped me to become a better angler.
I have always read everything about angling that I could get my hands on. There are so many books and magazines available and you can learn much about angling by reading articles that appear in their pages. There are also an untold number of videos that you can purchase and through the Internet you can read and watch an untold number of articles and videos.
If you have the money, you can hire a fishing guide for a few hundred dollars or if you know a good angler maybe just by asking, he/she might take you fishing and show you some of their angling techniques.
If you are already an experienced angler, I would encourage you to become a mentor to a child or some young person. Otherwise that child or young person might not ever have the opportunity to go fishing. Given the chance to fish that person could realize the thrill and joy that fishing can bring. Don’t miss an opportunity to mentor a child or young person about fishing. Believe me, you will be the one receiving a blessing.
So if becoming a better angler is your goal, there are many ways to do just that but remember nothing will make you a better angler than just being on the water and going fishing every chance you get. As you become a better angler remember to consider being a mentor to someone else. Happy New Year and see you next week.
Bobby Peoples can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.