Practice and you can cast inaccuracies aside

Bill Dance

Many a word has been spouted (and often with a good degree of accuracy) with regard to practice and how important it is for improvement. And, as with most old sayings, they ring true.

Here are just a few of the famous ones:

  • “You don't know how much someone goes through to make it look so easy. It's all in the practice.”
  • “What a player does best, he should practice least. Practice is for problems.”
  • “Practice is everything. This is often misquoted as practice makes perfect.”
  • “The more I practice, the luckier I get.”
  • “I figure practice puts your brains in your muscles.”

Even without the quotations, I still think practice is very important in everything we do and want to excel in — even fishing. For example, take casting. It’s very important to be accurate.

I know that practice can make you a better caster. Every competent bass fisherman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and observing in a boat or on the bank has proved to be an extremely accurate caster. The majority of the time, the angler could place a lure exactly where he wanted it to land, time after time. They also exhibited superb familiarity with the tackle they use, whether it was baitcasting, spinning, fly-fishing or spincasting.

If you fish a little or a lot, you soon recognize that the ability to drop a lure on a precise spot will mean more fish and strikes on a consistent basis. Nothing destroys confidence faster than the frustrating tendency to hang a lure in a bush or let it fall short of the target.

Precision can make all the difference in the world, especially when fish are finicky or in hard-to-reach areas.

Casting is a learned routine, and anyone can perfect his accuracy by doing one thing — practice, practice, practice (or is that three things?). The best time to improve your accuracy is when you’re on dry land. If you wait until you’re fishing, you’ll end up with a feeling you’re wasting and/or not enjoying your time on the water. It is much better to simply set aside a few minutes each day and practice in your yard or at a nearby park or ball field.

When doing so, always select a target and try to put your lure on or close to the mark. Today’s reels are amazing when it comes to smoother casting. Remember that baitcasting is all wrist action.

Casting is a learned routine, and anyone can improve their control and accuracy with practice.

As a final cast, I’ll pitch you one last practice quotation to ponder. It’s by a fellow named Billy Corgan (I’m told he was the lead singer of a band called Smashing Pumpkins), who reportedly said, “If practice makes perfect, and no one’s perfect, then why practice?”

That might be an interesting point to ponder, but I’m only going to do so while chunking and winding somewhere. I’m still betting practice makes you a better angler.

Here’s to casts that make us all better at what we love to do — catch bass!

For more words of wit and wisdom from one of our sport's greatest legends, check out www.billdanceoutdoors.com.

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