Become A Better Angler

An old timer told me when I was just getting serious with my fishing that, "You can either be the guy that makes the reports, or the guy that reads them." He was of course referring to the anglers that blaze their own trial and do what it takes to catch them or those that attempt to take the easy route.

Last week I had a refresher course on this topic. I asked a couple fishing buddies if they were going out ice fishing on Lake Erie. They quickly spouted that they weren't going till the reports got better.

First off, we are lucky to even have ice; it has been ten years since we last had ice that we could safely travel around on for more than a few weeks. Second, fisherman don't always tell the whole story and you are likely going to miss the best part of the bite if you wait for a great fishing report from the bait shop or an internet board.

Oddly enough I feel that fishing under tough conditions makes you a better angler, even if you don't catch as much. With ice fishing the fish have more time to "inspect" our lures and we need to have several different ways of working the lures in our arsenal.

What works one day or even hour, seems to not work the next time. In baseball a good pitcher has a couple pitches he has mastered, but a great one has few more. I believe it's the same thing with fishing.

This week out of desperation I tried a few rather unconventional ways of working my jig. So far this unusual jigging cadence continues to get them to commit under tough conditions. I guess even an old dog can learn new tricks, if he wants to.

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Until next week…

Capt. Ross Robertson

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