No information is the best information

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Hank Cherry with a full boat.
Bassmaster Marshal

Last time I touched a little bit on fishing your own way. Part of that is not listening to any talk you hear at the gas station, the local tackle shop or a restaurant somewhere. That’s why I’m a big fan of the no information rule.

To begin with most of what you hear isn’t going to help you anyway. We all fish differently so where and how one guy catches them doesn’t mean you can catch them where and how he caught them. Most of the time if you try to catch them his way you fail, and failure isn’t what any of us are about.

The whole no information thing is a big deal with me. I don’t want to know much of anything before I start official practice. I have my own way of doing things, and when I stick to that I’m fairly successful. I’ve won two professional level tournaments in my career. I can honestly say that I won both of them fishing without information from anyone else.

Another thing is the fairness of it all. In its purest form fishing is a man against a prehistoric beast that he barely understands. It’s hardly a test of skill to have someone send you a bunch of GPS coordinates that you can put into a super high-tech electronic unit and then go to those spots and catch fish. 

Anyone with a boat, rod and reel and a couple of lures can do that. We’re not anyone. If we were, we wouldn’t be called professionals. That doesn’t mean we know it all. I recognize that there are tons and tons of really good anglers who aren’t fishing professionally. Frankly, some of them might be better than some us. It’s just that for a variety of reasons they make the decision not to fish professionally. 

But that’s not the point of what I’m saying. What is the point is that we should do it on our own. 

Another benefit of no information is that it brings us closer together as professional anglers. It makes what we tell each other all the more valuable and creates a bond between us that transcends the competitiveness of this sport. You find out who your real friends are the week before a tournament pretty quick. 

Here’s the real truth about what I just said: An angler is not likely to give anyone a copy of all the waypoints someone else sent him, or the ones he developed himself. That’s just not going to happen. 

However, that same angler will share information about water temperature, water clarity, weed growth, bottom composition and any number of other things with his best friend and his roommates — usually the same guys. At times that information can be worth its weight in gold. 

When it’s all said and done we should be able to find our own fish, and catch them. If we can’t do that, we don’t deserve to win or place high enough to cash a check. This sport isn’t about anything other than a man’s individual performance. You either catch them or you don’t. 

No information is the best information. It keeps the sport pure.   

Don’t blend.