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July 2011 - Remember to Remember Lessons Learned
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By Brett Barta

Every time I head to the water in search of largemouth bass, I am taking with me a fair amount of fishing knowledge. This knowledge has been gained through countless trips to the lake. 


The problem I often face is not having the knowledge to get the job done. Instead, it is often a matter of not remembering the knowledge I have garnered from previous outings.


It was during an interview for a radio show that I was given a pretty good synopsis of the typical angler on a fishing excursion. This person stated that all too often, anglers will have the best of intentions to draw from all of their vast fishing experiences, but then leave their brains and reasoning power on the dock when they head onto the lake.


I have never forgotten this comment because I have been victim of this dilemma myself. It isn’t until I am driving home and analyzing my day that I think of something I should have tried or a location on the lake I forgot to visit.


All too often, I find myself doing what I have always done but not experimenting if the day is slower than expected. There certainly is nothing wrong with starting out with tried and true methods, but if they fail to produce, moving on to other strategies makes sense.


And the changes don’t have to be drastic. For example, one of my favorite bass presentations is the standard Texas rigged worm. By utilizing seven inch PowerBait, I have been able to boat an incredible number of bass.


However, I have had days when the standard worm rig doesn’t cut it. By switching to a different profile like a Power Hawg or Jungle Hog, I have been able to turn a slow day into fast and furious action while working the same location and the same fish.


This concept also holds true for the jig worm presentation. Normally, I fish a Lip-Stick jig with a six inch worm. However, there are days when switching over to a small, skirted Northland Jungle Bug with a grub trailer can make all the difference in the world.


Many times, I find the key to versatility happens before I ever leave home. I have learned that the best place to do my pre planning is while I am still in the garage.


I make sure I bring rods pre rigged to fit the fishing styles I want to use on that particular day. If I have a rod rigged and ready with a different presentation, I find it easy to set one rod down and pick up another without missing a beat.


However, I know that if I have to dig in the tackle box for hooks and different plastic and then start retying, I am less likely to experiment with a new presentation variation. Simplicity is essential for my versatility.


Remembering to remember the successes and failures from previous fishing trips is an essential part of my bass fishing. Being prepared to handle the curves fish may throw at us is a matter of a little pre planning and not leaving our brains on the dock. 

Barrels Up Pro Staff
Jerry Carlson 


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