How do you feel about “changes”?

Not, not the sex operation and if that is what you had in mind you might be on the wrong blog….I am thinking about changes to the way you fish.

I think many would be surprised to find out that certain things I did few years ago I rarely do now. And certain things I never wrote about in my books have my full and undivided attention

I don’t know about you but I go through these changes just about every year. I was on a bucktail kick for a long time…one year I threw more darters then I’ve done before and since combined. My metal lip kick was obvious if you read The Art of Surfcasting with Lures.

Today is rigged eels and tomorrow..who knows?

Funny thing is that people think that you supposed to remain the same over the years. Same plugs, same gear, same approach…how boring.

Unless I am challenged by new places or new strategies, techniques, I lose interest quickly. Do I get overly excited about certain things? Hell yes, I am human.

You might look into my bag today and find out that the lures I carry today are different from what I carried when I wrote my first book. Some are new to the market, some have too much mojo to leave them in the truck.

I am often baffled when people tell me “aren’t you a metal lip guy” or “ you use eel skins all the time”…..yes, I like those things and many more but I find myself yearning to try new things and often, if they work, I get obsessive with them.

Do any of you go through these changes or do you stick with tried and proven methods and keep tossing same thing over and over until you hook up?

My wife (on the days she wants to take my head off) is fond of saying “c’mon, all these fish look the same, one you caught yesterday, one you are trying to catch today and one you will look for tomorrow. Same stripes, same teeth and sometimes same size. You probably are catching same damn fish every day”

There is some truth to that.

24 comments on “Changes…

  1. Don Brown

    lol lol.Thats funny. My wife likes to say to me. You go fishing every day dont you ever get tired or board with it. All i ever say is no as im walking out the door on my way to

  2. Mark M

    My Wife is the same way. She has been away this week on business and I have been playing Mr. Mom most of the week. My first shot fishing since Monday is today (I try to avoid fishing Sat & Sun)and I was all like “I’m outa here at 4 to fish sunrise”. Her answer was “What, are going to leave Sat AM, there is so much to do today, you went fishing Monday”? Not in an angry tone, just suprised.
    About changes in technique? Absolutely! Every day is different and so are the fishing patterns. How about the fact there are no A-17’s to be found on LI lately because there are all being tossed at Bass from the beach these days. I have a thing for Super Strike Needles. I cannot seem to get enough of them. My latest must have has been Ronnie Hoff’s Striper Candy for all my tins and Needles. They really work, I hit my largest Bass from the surf on one last week, the hit is jarring.

  3. petef

    I think we all have it to some extent. I go thru phases of using things and have a few things in my bag that I never use and they slowly get rotated out.
    We are all looking for the magic lure, but I fear if I were to find it I would catch fish every cast and go home and put my stuff away. The puzzle would be solved.

  4. Janet Messineo

    Well, I “AM” the wife that fishes. My husband, although he does not fish, is usually very supportive of my being gone long hours in the night and many times with strange men! I am a lucky woman! Especially if he has a game to watch and I leave him dinner, he’s glad I’m gone. Yes, I think about how my lure choices have changed over the years. Like you, my “go to” plugs change from time to time. I also realized that the same beach I have fished for over 30 years I fish totally different today compared to 10 years ago. I was on that beach last week and walked past a spot that I fished religously for years and now pass it by.
    I always think I will NOT buy another plug and if I can’t catch fish with what I have, something must be wrong with me. BUT THEN, something new comes on the market and SUCKER!

  5. pistol pete

    Half of the fun of fishing is all of the searching, tinkering, and modifying that you do in between fishing… your plug bag, making a new eel bucket/bag, finding a better way to carry leaders… Part of the excitement is not just to get out and catch another identical bass, but to get out and try your new belt arrangement, or your new eel transport system, or your plugs…

  6. Nick

    I agree Z, every year it changes for me, excitement about something I fished 5 years ago does’nt even have a slot in the bag/s. Kinda dumb but I would never, ever use any diamond jig type tin a17 a27 007 EVER for some reason I felt it was unrefined and brainless fishing, now I have about 30 of them. To be honest in the last month or os I have given around 10 away to people on the beach who I was watching and were’nt doing well….

  7. Anthony Rich

    “Why do you get up at 3AM to go fishing knowing that you’re not going to bring home the fish you catch.” AND when I did bring home a nice fish for the table, “You only caught ONE fish, I thought you had a great day.”

    NEW STUFF: I’m on needles right now not the a17 or a27s everyone else is using. I saw a few other guys with the same idea. Bought a few new 3oz SS from Causeway last week. They go a mile but when the fish are 20 feet from shore they stay in the bag.

    Hopkins with yellow tube worked well too.

  8. njplugger

    My wife has commented on my fishing “expenditures” saying, “After-all, the best you can expect to do is to just catch a fish!”.

    Well there you go 🙂

    As far as sticking with a particular style of plug etc., since I typically fish the same water, depending on the conditions, I seem to first use my “go tos” & then do some experimenting.

    So it goes & loving it.

  9. Dave W.

    Change is good unless your Obama and can’t deliver it and make matters worse!
    I like new stuff and the fish don’t take the same plug or color year to year.
    New spots that produce are a welcome change, which I need to do more often.

  10. Woody

    Catching the same fish every year… LOL… There is truth in jest…
    I enjoy learning/trying new things… always good to experiment… also enjoy just being with my old comfortable ways… either way I feel pretty fortunate when I stand at the edge of the ocean…

  11. allen won

    I think we, in whatever we do, build fundamentals and then it’s an ever evolving journey. Whether we change up the rotation in our bags to just ‘tweaking’ a lure or technique it is all part of the mystery. Life has done it why not a bunch of nutz who leave the house to get cold and wet for a few hours while our ‘better halves’ just shake their heads and go to bed?

  12. Mike D

    We all have go to lures that work for us. I like bucktails and darters. My friend likes rubber shads. One plug I hate to fish are pencil poppers. Just find it annoying to work. They all catch fish. Personally my new thing is needles. I know they work. I just don’t have the confidence in them. So I’ll use them till I figure out how to fish them. I think learning new stuff and techniques is what makes fishing fun for me.

  13. Anthony Rich

    DON’T EVEN start with expenditures. If our wives knew what we spent on our gear I think we’d all be in trouble.
    Wife ever ask why you need so many reels and rods when you can only use one at a time? (why do you need ten purses when you can only carry one at a time)
    Best Tackle Story: 8 foot tube arrives by UPS. Wife asks what it is. I tell her, “New Lawn Mower.” I get the evil stink eye.

    Thanks Zeno

  14. woodwker99

    I always try to be the guy on the beach NOT throwing what everyone else is (unless they are catching and I’m not). I’m the guy casting eggs with small Slug-gos when everyone is throwing plugs. I’ll throw tins and get the 16 lb blue when everyone else are catching cocktails on plugs. ETC… so as you can see I love changing up what I do to make it interesting. Other wise our wives (girlfriends… what ever…) are right.

  15. CTMatt

    Ugh Dave W…

    There are plugs I will use year after year wether they catch a lot or a little year to year. Most of the new things I invest in are variation plugs, not necessarily colors but types of a certain lure to see which suits my area and style best. There are lots of pencils out there with different weighting/shape/etc but darters in general are mostly the same in my opinion unless you are talking wood vs plastic. There are plugs that will always catch fish, and the new stuff for me tends to come and go.

    A part of me likes trying new things. I see fishing te way a private investigator sees a case, a generals battle strategy or a chess players mind set. I like to try as many different retrieves as I can come up with just to keep things interesting.

    People have caught trophy bass for years…give me a squidder,honey fiberglass rod and some 20lb and I doubt my catches will go down.

    After my tough fall run in CT I am blaming myself less and chalking it up to lack of bait. Doesn’t matter what fancy plug you have.

  16. Adam

    I try all the 3 levels of the water table if I’m looking to find fish. Other times wind & seascape dictate the lure. You can often tell who is at what level of the game, by how much they carry. I have convinced a well know manufacturer to to remove his pockets & pouches from a very popular bag & just give me 5 tubes.

  17. surflawyer

    Sometimes injuries dictate a change in fishing techniques. For me, a bad shoulder and partial bicep tear forced a change from heavy-duty plugging to the more gentlemanly art of lobbing eels. Change is good!

  18. gil

    hahaha your wife is a riot!!! i wont tell my girlfriend that because she will prolly be saying the same line to me everytime i go fishing.

  19. PearlBomber

    I think many of us surfcast for this very reason. Its hard to give up the old “go to’s”, but even those plugs were discovered when we were changing from one thing to another. For me, next season is all about pencils, metal lips and local water, a huge step from my comfort zone of plastic swimmers in a ditch.

  20. Robert LIO

    I dont have favorites without a reason but I do have lures in my arsenal that I know will work at certain times.Basically I throw what I think the fish will hit at a particular tide and time window and what bait is prevalent., not just blind casting or trying to “force feed” the fish a certain lure I’m hung up on.

  21. JohnP

    This is an interesting question. On one hand it is logical that we be flexible. Soft structure changes and bait availability and migration patterns can vary year to year. We often see a sequence of years where a pattern develops but then it can shift. As an example, November success was often tied to sand eels in the late 80s and 90s, but by the mid 90s peanut bunker were the predominant forage at this time of year. But as of this writing, it looks like we are see a trend back to sand eels. So I just can’t expect that the bass will set up to feed under the same conditions as they did during the peanut bunker days.

    On the other hand, fishing for big fish often requires a monogomous devotion to big fish spots and big fish technques. I am often fascinated how some fisherman can fish for big fish night after night and not get bored to tears.


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