Pig-Sticker-Jig-Fish-2When it comes to catching bass all across the country you must be a versatile angler if you wish to compete at a high level. It is great to have a couple of baits that you feel very comfortable using, but you also have to branch out your fishing enough in order to sometimes put that extra fish in the boat. One of the biggest problems that a lot of anglers have, especially the college crowd, is that they are not versatile. If they don’t get to fish like they do on their home lake with their old standbys they seem completely lost or out of it. The bass are constantly changing throughout the course of the day and a lot of times you will need to apply a variety of techniques in order to keep up with them. It’s hard to become an expert on a technique over night but I do have some advice on what you can do to branch out more and start catching more fish

One of the first steps to becoming versatile is taking the time to become a student of bass fishing. You’ve got to constantly keep up with new techniques that are coming out and do your homework. A lot of times success can be achieved by watching other anglers fish techniques and then going out and applying it to your lakes. The internet is also full of how to articles that if someone is willing to take the time to read they can gain a lot of knowledge and information in a short period of time. A lot of fisherman don’t know about half of what’s out there and they are missing out. Most anglers know the basics of fishing different techniques and are able to catch a couple fish here and there but if you really want to separate yourself from other anglers you have got to know a technique in and out. All the information online that is at your fingertips is cannot be utilized enough.

One of the hardest places to try and learn how to fish a new techniques is in a tournament. You don’t have a lot of time and you have your money and your reputation on the line. It is hard to try and mess with new baits and have the confidence you need at first. Outside of competition is where you should do your experimenting. You know that you can catch fish one way but have you ever gone out fun fishing just to play around. When I’m out fun fishing a lot of times I don’t care if I catch any fish. I like to try new baits and tackle and fish new water. You will be amazed sometimes at what kind of fish you were missing out on. Make sure that you keep polished on fishing techniques that you don’t get to use as much. You never know when you might be able to catch a fish on a frog or a top water and you want to make sure you will wait to set the hook. Also be sure to hit up your local ponds that have a bunch of bass. A lot of times gaining confidence in a new bait or a techniques just takes a couple of fish. These ponds are great for training. I am constantly surprised at where and when some baits will work.

Versatility is also about being able to fish not only lakes but also rivers. Take a good look at the different types of water around you and try to learn as much as you can about fishing those places. Don’t just fish the lake up the street where you can flip and pitch all the time. Try and figure out those bass on that deep clear lake that has given you a hard time in the past. If you take the time to try and figure out the bass at these different locals you will make yourself into a much more consistent fisherman. If you ever decide to fish a tournament circuit that does a bit of traveling you will be glad that you are comfortable and knowledgeable of fishing a variety of different conditions and systems. Keep this all in mind and the next time your out try to find what holes you have in your game. Thanks for reading and until next time keep it reel!

Bass East Editor,
Spencer Clark