Lakecaster Online

By Joe Joslin



Hello, Anglers. What do you do when your fishing pattern no longer is producing? Do you have problems catching fish throughout the year and do you get confused about what to use during weather changes and seasonal migration of fish? All anglers do to some extent but there are anglers who seem to come up with the right combination of fishing techniques a majority of the time. We could do well to check out what approach they use and what accounts for their success. One major factor is time spent on the water as there is no substitute for experience. Practice does improve performance in all sports and fishing is certainly no different.

One basic mistake made by many weekend anglers is to fish the same way, same depth, same baits, same rod/reel/line, same retrieve (presentation) and same locations whether it is November, March or July. Let's say you go to the lake this week and your favorite bait is a Stanley white spinnerbait and you start down a bank and catch 3-4 fish in 2-4 feet of water the first hour and then nothing for the next 1/2 hour. What's done next is an important decision. Do you stay there and keep casting, do you move to another area and fish the same shallow-water spinnerbait or do you put away the spinnerbait and go to a deeper water pattern and fish with a slower presentation.

In fishing, there are no absolutes and many variables enter the equation. The correct answer could be to go to another bank that might have shade/wind/wave action and keep fishing the spinnerbait. Another might be to stay where you started and move the boat out a ways in deeper water (6-12') and put on a crankbait. Another still might be to put on a TX rig or Carolina rig and look for deep points in 18-25' or to move even deeper to 25-35' and fish with a jigging spoon or drop shot rig. Changing to a lighter line, many times, can make a difference in the number of bites, especially in clear water conditions. So the angler is faced with endless choices and what decisions are made will determine how successful the fishing day will be. Most of us who are passionate about fishing enjoy even the challenge of these many decisions. If it were simple. it would not be such a great, lifetime sport.

The more time spent on the water the easier it will become to 'connect the dots'. As Kenny Rogers sings....."You got to know when to hold 'me, know when to fold'em, know when to walk away, know when to run." 'On the water' adjustments as conditions change during a day's fishing is mandatory if the angler is to catch fish consistently. However, as any pro will tell you whether it is Roland Martin., Larry Nixon or Wild Mike Ike...sometimes the fish wins. Even on those almost fishless days the alert angler learns from that experience.

However, when fish stop hitting, beginning anglers are encouraged to change patterns, presentations, location or depth to try to figure out what the fish have done. The reward will be huge when the angler can make changes to what he/she is doing and that change puts fish in the boat. When this begins to happen, the angler's confidence factor begins to soar and fishing starts to become.........shhhhhhh...don't tell the spouse........ADDICTIVE!!

CHRISTMAS GIFT CERTIFICATES: For spouses/family members looking for a gift idea, we have JJ Outdoors gift certificates available for Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries. The certificates are good for one year so the recipient has plenty of time to find a date to get away for a day of fishing on Toledo or Sam Rayburn. The trip includes 8-9 hours of fishing, gas/oil, tackle furnished if needed at no extra cost, and the experience to fish out of one of the finest boats on the market....a 2006 Skeeter ZX250 (21') powered by a 300 horsepower Yamaha HPDI outboard. I have 30 years experience fishing Toledo and nearly 20 years on Rayburn. The lucky recipient can also invite one guest to fish with him/her at no additional cost. I hear Santa loves to fish!

AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. His sponsors include Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboard Engines, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Fenwick, Jay's Carpet One, G. T. Industry, ReAction Lures, TTI and Stanley Jigs, Inc. Contact him at (337) 463-3848/409-565-1288 or

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