Promises. Promises. Promises.

Don't say it if you are not going to deliver; or, as I've heard around the bait shops when it comes to bragging about unknown accomplishments, "Don't let your alligator mouth overload you hummingbird behind."

Such is so often the case with New Year's resolutions. They have no teeth. There is a lot of talk that most often ends in no action. Have you ever noticed how when people speak of resolutions, they begin by saying, "This year, I am going to try to ... ?" They say, "try" from the start, so you know they don't have much invested in accomplishing their goal.

So here is a different spin on annual promises/goals for the New Year — do something that will make you a better angler.

Yes, my challenge for you in the coming year is to make a fishy (literally) resolution for the ensuing 365 days. I want you to make yourself a promise that you will set aside some extra time to learn something new that will improve your bass fishing success.

You could choose to spotlight a specific technique, say drop shotting, jig fishing, Carolina rigging, or even becoming a better topwater angler, etc.

Alternatively, you might choose to learn more about how to fish select conditions in the New Year. You might better learn how to fish river currents, deep water, suspended fish or various kinds of reservoirs such as upland, midland or lowland lakes. Go out and attack the areas of bass fishing where you know you are the least experienced.

Know going in this is a long-term goal. Don't be discouraged. You don't have to spend the entire trip on trying something "new." You could simply spend a few hours per trip with these efforts or goals in mind.

This resolution is all about learning. That is the long-term goal — being a better angler by the end of 2011. Now that is a resolution that any bass angler will call a keeper!

Finally, my parting shot (or cast) in the direction of resolutions is simple, and it's a great goal for the New Year: Introduce someone new to the sport in 2011. This year, plan to take someone fishing that has never been before, someone that has never had the opportunity to experience all that is so great about bass fishing. Sure, you can choose the number of newcomers you want to take to the water. But even if it is only one, as the years add up, can you imagine the positive waves you will make in the lives of those you introduce and possibly even for the sport itself?

Now that's a resolution that can make a difference!

So good luck (which I really believe you create for yourself when it comes to fishing) on all the trips you take in 2011, and — as always — catch one for me!

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