Change is constant

I just finished fishing a PAA event on Table Rock. During the event it occurred to me that the only constant in fishing is change. I say that because of what happened on Thursday morning. In practice, the topwater bite was hot. The sky was overcast and there was enough wind to break light penetration. I was catching lots of bass on topwater baits. My biggest was caught on a Zara Spook. But when the tournament started, the sky cleared and the water slicked over.

When I arrived at my offshore hotspot there was no topwater bite. It just wasn't there. I knew if I was going to do anything I'd have to make changes and make them fast. At the same time I knew the fish were there, and that I could catch them if I made the right adjustments. After switching to a drop shot rig, I started boating keeper bass.

The constant in my pattern was a change in strategy and baits. As I thought about this, I realized the same thing happened during practice. At one point I caught a giant bass. My Spook was walking along when one of the hook points snagged on a small piece of wood. I had to change my walking rhythm to get it off. That slight change triggered a huge splash and vicious strike from a bass that was obviously following my bait. After that, I started mixing things up. The difference was amazing. It really increased my catch.

We all need to keep change in mind when we're on the water. The same thing doesn't always work. We need to alter our approach if we expect to be successful bass anglers. The constant is change. I wish I could have changed the tournament result. I didn't do very well. Change would have been nice. But enough of that — let's talk about fun fishing.

I picked up my new boat on Sunday and am headed home to put my trolling motor on it. Once that's done, I'm heading to St. Clair to do a little fun fishing for smallies. I hear they're on fire. I was talking to an old friend and former BASS angler, Art Ferguson, at the PAA tournament. He said there was a tournament up there the other day with a sack that weighed 29.86 pounds. That's a lot of brown bass, guys. I want some of that action. A day or two after that I'll probably head to Erie for a little meat fishing.

Now's a great time to catch walleye up there. If there's a fish on the planet that tastes better than a walleye, I don't know what it is. Once they're in the freezer, it'll be time to head out West to fish the second annual Fish and Chips tournament. I'm taking Dan Welch with me again this year. More on that later.

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