"How do I become a better bass fisherman?"
Just how many times have I been asked that? Well, rest assured I have been asked that a boat load of times. And even so, my answer has remained the same.
To become a better bass angler you need seven essential elements for success. These include:
1) Approach. Your initial approach to an area where you plan to catch fish is crucial — especially for shallow water bass. You have to get within casting range before a bass knows you are there.
2) Depth. You have to establish a depth pattern. You have to fish very near or in a fish's depth level if it is ever to see your bait.
3) Presentation. Never underestimate the rhythm of your retrieve — how your bait moves. It is very important and if you find a specific presentation that works, stick with it until it's no longer effective. Then try something else.
4) Experiment. If you are not willing to experiment and find "what works," then you are bound for many bass-less days.
5) Concentration. Successful anglers are always thinking and putting mental pieces together in order to key-in on what will earn them more strikes.
6) Learning. Top notch anglers are always learning. Remember: To learn to fish, you must fish to learn. (And trust me; there is an endless lesson supply out there on the water. No matter what you think you know; some days a lesson in humility is still all you take back to the ramp.)
7) Confidence. As I have said many, many times, "Confidence is the greatest lure in your tacklebox." It can't be bought or taught. It can only be earned through on-the-water experience. Having confidence makes you stick with it. And we'll all agree the more time you spend in the boat, the better angler you will become.
For more words of wit and wisdom from one of our sport's greatest legends, check out www.billdanceoutdoors.com.