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All I Learned is All Wrong?

  1. What if your favorite and GO-to method, the one you are most confident in and catches you fish is in reality a very slow method of getting things done?
  2. What if the books you read are only o.k. tactics?
  3. What if everything you learned about fishing is information that will hurt your fishing?
  4. What if there ARE great fish in your lake, but they just swim by your hooks...?
I just wanted to provoke some thought. How confident of a fisherman are you? What would you like to catch? How many times are you disappointed or bored? Do you often think something is wrong?
Let me give you some examples of how I am thinking:

If you go to the golf range and just buy buckets of balls, but never learn anything, you will continue to hit the golf balls wherever you were going to hit them when you walked up to the counter to pay for your first bucket.

If you go bowling, and just throw the ball, but never change how you are throwing it or you always use the same bowling ball, you will hit about the same pins as you would have when you went to rent the shoes.


If you follow the examples above - fishing a lot (spending a lot of time on the water) but with bad habits, bad methods and never making changes, will only catch you so many fish.


I find it amazing that on an occasion when I am catching a decent number of fish - CONSISTENTLY people will say it is the spot - this must be the reason I am catching. People RARELY ask what I am doing or how? A lot of times I am in a public park on shore so they can walk right up to me. Even the parent with their children fishing and catching absolutely nothing. I might have caught 25 fish in front of them. They pack up and go. I can sometimes hear some phrase muttered to explain why this is happening - but they never ask.

My theory is that if a parent every taught them, kids remember being told how not do do this- why are you doing that? What's ,... here - give me that! Do it like this! Parents can't even describe a setup enough to pass it on - even though it might be a bad one.

The greatest wisdom passed down to those 90% of people was "you have to keep your line in the water if you are going to catch something" - if what is on the end of that line isn't attractive to the fish - then even this statement won't help you. Keeping your line in the water with something no fish wants will equal a lot of time spent wishing, napping or site-seeing - not catching.


Is an angler's education in the U.S. very poor from their first boat to filling their first tackle box? 

Do you remember when you were being taught - doing your own thing because nothing was working? Do you remember the other person you were fishing with giving you the ole - questioning look or saying - that won't work?


I also know people are content to keep hitting golf balls into the woods and into ponds. They are content to get whatever bowling league average they throw - some good, some bad.

And even more so - people are content to buy stuff off the shelves and just catch a few or catch sometimes. I think many are content just trying to find out on their own.


Do we stop and ask directions enough when lost? Are Golfers content just buying golf clothes and gear to make them look more like a golfer? I know at the fishing show I was at, there were people happy to put on patches to look like they were an expert - but I know for a fact they are not experts. I do know that no angler can be sponsored by Fenwick, Okuma, Shakespeare, G.Loomis and St. Croix all at the same time. But I saw a couple that said they were...

I saw them at a show. The magazine I picked up at that fishing show (a national publication) had the worst article I have ever read in my life.


Like the golfers that hack up the courses and leave holes everywhere - but who have nice shirts and hats - I think there are many anglers who like to dress like a fisherman. Anglers like to have a tackle box filled with a variety of lure colors, jig sizes and I think they are very happy to have such a nice collection. I think there are a number of people just content to look like fisherman. I also think people are happy to talk about fishing. Talk about tactics. This is fact. I think that some of the really great anglers in the world have never written an article and have never been on television. I know there are editors who "approve" articles who don't know what they are doing.

I read an article about tying a rock to your line and fishing with it. I am officially frustrated with this information. I am officially looking like the RCA dog at the rest of the fishing world. This is the point in time where I think people are crackers. Trust No One.

Catch You Later -


My radio showgram is starting back up this Saturday- Bring Some Bait if You Have Some - you can catch it hereFishing School Radio


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Comment by Johnny wilkins on February 15, 2012 at 7:43pm

10 years ago I met a person who showed me that everything that I had known in the fishing world was wrong and off. I write this as I tap into new ways of fishing and catching fish - 2012 will be big, but at some point, you need to really assess what you do, what you use and your success. The real success you have on the water and if you are completely happy with what you catch -then nothing is to be done.

If, you review your day and you only catch fish when the fish are most active- would you like to catch fish when they are less active? Instead of having "windows" during the day, wouldn't you like to be fishing "doors" or blocks of time? What if you could have caught all day long? What if you could catch fish on the slowest and coldest of days - when no one could? Do you enjoy taking fish off the hook? I do.

Comment by Johnny wilkins on February 14, 2012 at 12:30pm

My blog this week was not intended to erode your confidence. I know everyone has gathered all their information and has built their gear from experience.

BUT- what if the foundation of your fishing was flawed? Like a house, if you build on a poor foundation the top will have cracks the roof will leak and things won't be ideal.

Same with fishing. If you do one thing because you thought this- but that was wrong, then the whole technique can be really off.

Comment by Johnny wilkins on February 12, 2012 at 12:56pm

Remember the title for this blog - what if EVERYTHING You Knew Was Wrong?

This is the year to get amnesia and start fresh.

Trust this to be true - your favorite method is flawed. Now- if your method gets you to happy and you enjoy 20 fish and that is that - you won't think past the box. You are happy in that box and that is it. But -

This still holds true- your favorite method is flawed.

Start 2012 questioning as much or ALL of your fishing methods, tackle and gear and by the end of 2012 you will enjoy your best season ever.

If this can't hook you and you can't make the leap - enjoy fishing the same way you have. Don't change a thing.

Comment by DAVID L EITUTIS on February 10, 2012 at 10:02am

 Well I might as well throw my two cents in.
 #1  I guess to me the world is a distraction today away from our common goals of life.  I fish alot now to forget about what is going on around us , because there are some things we cannot change no matter how hard we think about them or worry about them. When I am able to forget about these things It was a successful day of fishing!
  #2  It is a successful day of fishing if I learn one new thing that actually works and able to relay that to another fisherman. It comes down to helping some else reach their goals, not mine.

  #3  Probably spending time with the friends I have and family on the water. The world is a busier place than it was when I was a kid.
  #4 HELPING SOME ONE ELSE catch fish . It's easy to focus on ones own success but hard to walk a mile in someone elses shoes who isn't catching any.
  #5 Probably should have been #1 but this is it for me basically: To know people who have trouble catching anything, give em a little advise , show em were to go and what works that day and send em on their way. At the end of the day when I see em again and they have that big smile on their face and they simply say thanks, THAT'S MORE THAN WORDS CAN DESCRIBE. THAT is success to me.

  Oh and a few fish for the pan is nice too!


Comment by Nick Holt on February 10, 2012 at 7:57am

My thoughts on this are simplistic.  How many of us have a honey hole we keep going to time after time because the fish will be there?  I do, and I am not ashamed to admit it.  How many of us have read enough magazine articles or watched the "experts" on TV when they talk about reading the water and the shore line?   I have.  How many of us have a "go to" bait that we know will catch what we are fishing for on any body of water?  I do.  I don't have a boat, I don't have electronics, but I can walk a bank and be observant, use my sense of smell when bedding season is in full swing, and I talk with other fidhermen who are in the know.  Sometimes I'm on, sometimes not.  To me, being successful is being there when we can and giving it our all.  Nick

Comment by Joe Angelucci on February 9, 2012 at 9:23pm


Success varies, I'm personally happy if I manage 4-5 fish an hour or if I catch nothing. I just started in August and at first  caught nothing. I did not have the benefit of a fishing background. I grew up in New York City without benefit of any wide open spaces or fishing mentors. Heck, I started fishing at 50 yo  with a 4.5 ft ugly stik I bought at K- Mart. I did manage to research and try different methods to determine what worked and what did not work. Still a work in progress.  Size does not matter to me just the pull on the line. I personally think it does not matter what we use to catch . What worked for me was a simple hot dog. Not the tubes, jigs and lures I tried. A simple one inch, cut four ways hot dog. At the end of the day , a fish eats what a fish eats. My goal is to develop my skills at fixed line fishing. I like the fact that something so simple can get results. I find  that so amazing and powerful. I also would like to Tenkara fish since it's fly type fishing without a reel .


Can't wait till the spring

Comment by Tony Livingston on February 9, 2012 at 8:38pm

Alright, I'll throw it out there. My idea of a successful BG angler is someone who can consistently locate and catch whatever number he or she is allowed, or comfortable with, of the largest size class of BG's in whatever body of water they happen to be fishing. Ideally, they should be able to do this 12 months out of the year, whenever they hit the water. We all catch some smaller fish while angling, but it would be preferable to keep smaller specimens, as well as non-targeted species, to a minimum. After all, we're showcasing an angler's talents, and being able to choose baits(lures), tackle, and techniques that increase the odds of taking those larger fish all while concentrating primarily on one species, (incidental non-targeted catches understood, it happens occasionally,) speaks of experience and skill.

Those are my goals, someday I hope to get there.

Comment by Johnny wilkins on February 9, 2012 at 8:22pm

true that! Bait must cross in front of fish - fish must be able to eat it. 

Most of my points of physics are answered in ice fishing videos where the fish can't take the bait - electronics teach us but do we learn?

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on February 9, 2012 at 8:15pm

I think its about Finding Fish. There are many ways to do this, from scuba diving to electronics. Sometimes bringing them to you works - sometimes not.

But in the end you can catch nothing unless you can make your paths cross.

Comment by Johnny wilkins on February 9, 2012 at 8:11pm

I would say I am not a cliche - I don't know that my fishing would ever make great T.V. but some of my bags of fish WOULD - I take that back, I think my fishing might make for great T.V. because I am going to condense my fishing over 4 hours into 3 minutes that will be better than any television fishing you have ever seen. Boy am I angry over the Fishing Facts article about tying a rock to your line!!! I am inspired.

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