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An interesting question was posed by one of the many great BBG visitors-

How do you measure success in YOUR fishing?


How many fish? What type of day, outing? (( be realistic )) don't post outrageous numbers here no need.  We are not the braggey type and this isn't the point of this.

This post is all about reality, good and bad.  This is such a difficult question - think of your fishing outings last year and help us all out - answer realistically - I would love to see what success is group-wide - not interested in inflated numbers. To help you out - you can give two different types of success or even find success in adversity - tougher fishing...

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@ Joe A.

I hear what you're saying - markets and profit often drives innovation. You are dead right. Something is also hidden from you, as of yet - we have plenty of the right stuff, right now. Tony L. alluded to that earlier. We have a large group of creative and scholarly people already. They are currently doing two things....

a. Developing new methods using traditional and alternative materials. Leo Nguyen comes to mind here. That man is a genius.

b. Resurrecting old-fashioned ways that have proven themselves to work... ways which we have forgotten. Can anyone say, "Johnny Wilkins?"

This may be hidden from you; as a newcomer to fishing some things are not yet in your view .... but they will be. That is where BBG comes in - it is our job to teach you. Providence smiled when you began your journey here. I've seen a lot of fishing forums and I recommend you make BBG your first stop. The experts here ARE on the cutting edge you long for, believe me. Emulate what you see them doing and you will shorten your learning curve significantly. Tackle makers are interested in what sells... if it happens to work, well so much the better.

Let's take another look at your premise, i.e., We need the market to bring us innovation. My answer is, "Well, maybe - and maybe not."

See, I used to be seriously into metal detecting. For 20 years I did well at it and it was fun, fun, fun. At the same time it remained essentially a fringe activity in the eyes of most people.

Eventually, though, it was spotted by the mass market 'innovators.' Surely you've seen the TV commercials? Well, many thought that all the new blood would be good for the hobby.  Sadly, the opposite happened. Anti-detecting laws were soon enacted everywhere, lazy and slobbish people swarmed over and ruined all the hunting grounds and the entire past-time was spoiled. 

Something much like that happened when bass fishing went "mainstream," too. Swarms of anglers spilled onto the waters, boat ramps were clogged and trashed, while every cove and honey hole was soon teeming with bass men... and Bass Pro Shops flourished.

Having seen it several times now, I would not welcome it in the panfishing world.

Dave

I see your point and in many ways agree with your observations.  I certainly would not like to see pan fishing turned into a mainstream fad but would be very interested in seeing it develop into a viable sustainable  warm water alternative. Your right, I was very lucky to discover this site and by reading the posts and blogs learned to take and apply what I learned to my fishing.

Johnny, funny you should guess that Roland was selling something - he was! I had selectively blocked that out of my memory, but he was selling those freeze-dried crickets (nothing dumber in the entire world of fishing - why not just fish with lures? If you're going to take the time to use live bait methods, why not use it while it's actually alive?)

David, I hear you on not wanting bluegilling overrun by boorish anglers. But I do think a middle ground is possible, in which perhaps we don't become the number one species - fine by me - but get enough respect so that there's better tackle out there, and more good places to fish, and more serious articles written on our favorite fish, etc. I've gotten to where half the time when I turn on a fishing show and see that once again the species is something other than bluegill, I just turn it off out of annoyance.

I've never understood the fascination with bass fishing.  Bass fisherman and their community have a totally different approach in that they're very high on the catch and release theory. Where bluegill fisherman normally bring home a mess of fish for the table, bass fisherman typically don't keep anything. It's just an odd fishing concept from my perspective.

 

I have a friend from my high school days and he's in management at my local BPS in Clarksville In. He's a very talented bass fisherman and BPS puts him on the road to give seminars/classes showing proper technique's etc. Bass fishing is BIG business in America...Japan too. I've never graduated past bluegill/shellcrackers and hope I never do...

I think perhaps it is the bass themselves that make the business of bass fishing so lucrative. They are a prolific species and are lend themselves quite well to management. They are widely adaptable and have been introduced, well, almost everywhere. As you noted they are wildly popular in Japan, and even South Africa is showing a strong presence.They are pretty much the Everymans Sport Fish

The bass is not aloof, either, but an almost willing participant. Belligerent to a fault, he bites savagely and fights like the devil himself. Think of a doughty, heavyweight boxer and you get the image.

As for the image of bass fishing and the glamor it exudes, well, that is easy - money. Starting in the 50's, the fisherman in America had discretionary income for leisure. He could now buy equipment that was for more affluent men prior to WWII. Innovation was rampant and all sorts of new stuff - some good, some bad - came available. A golden Age had begun.

Seen in hindsight, the bass craze was almost inevitable. That entire industries have sprung up around a single fish is part of the niche marketing concept so often talked about. Find one thing that people like, find a way to make it widely available and keep putting it in their face - and people will pay to get it. Much the same is happening with crappie today, and even carp are starting to follow suit in this country.

Bass gets large on their own. Feed them, let them roam, you get a big pig to catch over an over again without the worry about gut hooking, and not afraid to use heavy gears to hunt for them. Gills are small, delicious, sweet little guys. Ultra light gears can get a bit of used to. They can't be manhandled like the bass, especially the striped bass in our neck of the water. Bass + ultra light gear = HOLY MOTHER OF FIGHTERS! I got to test out my 1-6lbs new Berkley ultra light rod (my lucky pole now) last weekend. Let's just say it was fun! However, I still aimed for my panfish.

I use to fish bass all the time even in a local club here in Toledo Ohio but I found since I've been fishing for crappies and gills I catch more bass than ever. I've come to the conclusion maybe I should have started my pan fishing sooner. I really don't even keep many gills or any fish just mostly love the fight and usually return the fish to fight another day. On the average I'll probably keep  a half dozen meals a year. Its a blast to catch a nice bass on ultra light what a nice bonus as I'm sure we all know but  the real bonus is hooking a northern pike on that ultra light that's the ultimate high. 

@ Dick... You've arrived, my friend! The msn who seeks pan fish, first, is a Pragmatist at heart. He sees the benefit before the challenge. For bass men, it is quite the opposite...

David I'm here to tell you it's all fun. I like you enjoy that tug on the line and a bigger tug is a bonus indeed. Good fishing my friend and enjoy the biggest of tugs.

@ Leo... This jibes with my thinking. The fish themselves define success, really.

BRAD PAISLEY SONG CALLED I CATCH ALL THE FISH, DRINK ALL THE BEER. Seriously though, it would have to do with being at the lake when the fishing is superb. To do so, you need to be knowing what them fishes are doin at all times, just like hunting/stalking, etc!

3 weeks until I am going to hit the water - I am going to be out in the cold open water earlier than ever and bringing you bluegill-fishing action. I am stoked.

Success for me? Getting prepped and fishing lighter than ever this year. I have a lot of gear from the World Championships that will only be good in 35 - 40 degree water. After that, the fish will be to strong to use it. Also I can't wait to do a couple of really neat bluegill events this year.

I am wondering if I should make my club a bluegill club? We fish multi species but really the big weights are made up of bluegills over the course of our season...

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