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Skill vs. Experience and how it applies to bluegill fishing.

Are they one and the same? I used to think so, but  these days I tend to divide the two. I do believe that with experience, skill SHOULD increase, but it's not guaranteed. If I travel to a BOW some states away in order to catch bluegills, one that I have never fished before, I might let experience tell me where to begin my efforts. And I'm reasonably confident that I will find a few. But, that's not necessarily skill is it? On the other hand, if I can zero in on the biggest size class of bluegills in that new BOW and  begin bringing them up fairly quickly and regularly, then perhaps that might entail some skill.

And what about our "home" waters? An estuary in the Carolinas, a deep reservoir in California, cold water Michigan or backyard ponds in Indiana? Waters we know very well. Skill?? Or experience? I submit that whenever I fish my home water, I am relying far more on experience than skill. To me, skill entails the ability to travel to waters never before fished, and successfully target the largest size class of bluegills located therein, without spending weeks searching, or enlisting the services of a local guide. I've mentioned before the need to fish where big bluegills live in order to catch big bluegills. Big bluegills don't live everywhere. Knowing where the bruisers inhabit takes experience in home waters, and skill in unfamiliar waters. Or at least that's how I see it.

Could we travel to each other's home waters, and successfully target the largest specimens in the absence of outside help?? Skill, or experience? Can you have one and not so much the other? How confident are you in your skill set being able to target those larger fish in unfamiliar waters?

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Slip I agree. Here in Indiana, there is no limit on bluegills in all but a couple lakes. Once again, the issue of implementing a daily limit was raised a few months ago. It was defeated, but it's only a matter of time before we get it. One of the reasons given by the DNR for suggesting it, was the increased use of electronics on the water, and the correspondingly higher catch rates. It would be easier and quicker to impact a bluegill population negatively by using today's electronics, when compared to skill and experience that only a select number have obtained like in years' past.

Tony - Great question and discussion. 

Experience is what we obtain when doing or observing an activity. Experience can also be good or bad. 10 years experience doing something wrong is still wrong. Skill  is the ability to do something well, usually gained through training or experience. What bridges the gap is our ability to adapt. Experience allows us the ability to understanding the situation but skill allows us to use all the different tools to adapt and improve the experience. 

Just a thought 

JDA

I agree Joe. And that was the impetus behind posting this discussion. Does experience on the water automatically translate into improved skill, or are there times when experience merely allows us an advantage on our home waters, and we refer to it as enhanced skill? I still maintain that while experience gained on home waters is quite helpful on unfamiliar waters, skill plays a larger role when targeting a specific segment of the population...such as the biggest gills present.

Skills are important but I feel  the ability to adapt based on the skill set is equally important . The more tools available, the better the potential outcome. I think where electronics works as the great equalizer is in locating and isolating schools by location and depth. This would increase the chance of a hook up on any BOW but skill is what is going to get the fish on the boat i.e. line, terminal tackle ,bait type and  presentation.  An angler with great electronics but little skill would be limited to use of one or two techniques but still would be effective and deadly once they obtained any level of  increased skill. 

Well said, Joe. That's what I was trying to say but couldn't quite type on this stinkin' tablet!

Once again I agree. I do think we shouldn't downplay the role of electronics, as in acknowledging their ability to help us locate fish. Sure, it still takes skill to catch those bluegills once located, but just finding them is HUGE...

Being 100% shorebased and fishing fixed line without the benefit of  GPS or associated electronics I could not agree more . Finding them is 70% or better of the work. 

probably spent close to 25% of my total fishing activity from shore last season. when they're out of reach they're out of reach

this is an excellent topic Tony !! loving every minute of it !!   would any body today here on bbg; like to try to find some blue gills-- WITHOUT  electronics ???  go to a completely different lake; river; pond;; never been to before;; and try it out !!!

Carl I don't fish much outside water, but when I do I never use electronics unless I'm ice fishing. And those strip pits in the summer with no electronics and no boat make you work for em'. It's tough without the electronic eye!!

hahhahahaha;;;  as for me Tony;; biggest reason I got my depth finders;; is because of the lake Im fishing !  its so dangerous;;  island running down the very middle of the lake;; making it impossible to go from one side to the other;; sand bars every where;; stumps ; every where;; shallow areas  that you could walk across ; and never get your ankles wet !  to do any kind of motor boating in this body of water;; with out electronics;;; is asking for deep trouble !    but;; on to your discussion;;  when in the 50;s; 60;s  depth finders were not invented;; we had to  use judgement;; ( skill ??) or experience?   we use to know;; fishing by fallen trees; was a payoff most of the time;; then finding ledges also payed off.  how many times;; have we looked for bag worms;; hanging  in trees over water; fished around it ; and caught a lot !  not to mention;; different areas;; required different type of baits !  sunny bright days; versus; cloudy over cast days;; might also require different type of baits.  as for myself;; i have yet to find; any single bait; fly; jig; or what every;; that would consistantly catch ; on any body of water; no matter the type of weather;   every  single day !!  if some body finds that- magic bait;; let me know !!

Pink Gulp Waxies....lol

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