Learning to fish

Now is the time of year when we all start thinking about next year and all the fish we intend to catch. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with positive thinking, and there’s also nothing wrong with doing something to make it happen.

It’s often said that luck is a part of it. Maybe, but it seems to me that the more I learn, the harder I work and the more I prepare the luckier I get. That’s not a unique observation on my part. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping in mind.

Fishing is a skill sport. More knowledge — tackle, equipment, fish movement and behavior — will put more fish in the boat. There are a number of ways to get that knowledge. The hardest way is to learn by yourself. You can do it, but you’ll spend many days on the water frustrated.

A much easier way, and one that’ll make for quicker results, is to fish with anglers who know more than you do about bass fishing. That’s the philosophy behind The Bass University. Pete and I started it with the idea of transferring hard earned, professional bass fishing knowledge to recreational anglers who don’t have the time or the opportunity to learn any other way.

Our new schedule is out. If you are interested in hands-on educational opportunities with some of the top bass anglers in the country, I suggest you check it out. The classes start the second week of January and go through the first part of March.

We have classes in Raleigh, N.C., Edison, N.J., Niagara Falls, N.Y., Worcester, Mass., and Tulsa, Okla. They’re reasonably priced and all of them include one-on-one training in small groups with plenty of opportunity to ask about conditions or problems you encounter on your home waters.

Out instructors include Bassmaster Classic champions, Elite Series anglers with multiple wins under their belts, Open winners and Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title holders. I can’t name them all right here because of space limitations but you can see them all on www.thebassuniversity.comas well as see which guys will be teaching in the city nearest you.

We also have a feature called On-Water Training. This is a fully customizable program between you and one of our top professional bass angler instructors. (There’s a complete list of available instructors on the site.)

The way it works is that you contact us, schedule a date and then you work directly with the instructor to develop a training program that meets your needs.

This is honestly one of the coolest things I’ve ever been associated with in my career. I’d have given anything to work one-on-one with someone like we have available in a boat, on the water, actually fishing for bass. Imagine the learning potential of a day like that!

No matter whether you use The Bass University or not, I strongly recommend that you devote a lot of time to your fishing education this winter and next year. Fishing might be luck. Catching isn’t. 

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website, MikeIaconelli.com.

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