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A Lot of Things Have to Go Right to Catch a Fish



It's hard to consistently catch fish but you can increase your catch rate by following these tips. Here are four things that have to go right and what you can do about them to increase your chances.


  1. They have to be there. You can do everything perfectly right and if there aren't any fish in the area, you'll catch nothing but a sunburn. We also start doubting ourselves when this happens because we think fish are there and it must be us and our inability as fishermen. Not good! What to do? First, the "where to go" section of the data request will point you to some locations based on wind, water temps, etc. that will certainly help. Then, scout the area when you arrive at the location and look for bait working or birds diving. If nothing, then go to the next location and do the same. When you do see positive signs, just stay there and set up and stop motoring around the bay all day.

  2. They have to want to eat. The fish might be there but it's not time to eat. They might have fed during the full moon in the middle of the night, or earlier in the same day. What can you do? Following the major and minor feeding times closely that we publish on the data requests. They matter. Try to get to your spots in advance of these time windows to increase your chances.

  3. They have to want to eat what you have. Okay, so they're there and they want to eat but just not going for what you have. What to do? Have 2-3 "go to" lures when you step out of the boat. Don't be too quick to swap - we've all fished with people who spend more time swapping lures than fishing. Don't be them! Bring lures you feel confident throwing that are best for the conditions you are in (water clarity, depth, etc.) I leave the boat with 2 soft plastics and a hard twitch bait. That's it. Others look like they're going on an expedition - don't be them.

  4. They have to want to eat what you have THE WAY you are presenting it. Everything is going well up to this point and you notice your buddy is catching fish on the same lure as you - but you're catching nothing. This happens to me when I go out with Capt. Larry Bell who rakes in fish while I don't. What to do? Pay special attention to how you are working your lure - speed, twitches, etc. and when you do catch one or get a good bite, make a special note of how you were working it. What working yesterday might not be working today. Mix it up. Then go right back to it. When I'm out with a guide like Larry, I watch their every move and try to mimic them. And guess what? I start catching.


That seems like a lot - am I right? That's because it is. But follow these 4 tips and watch your catch rate increase. Be safe out there, you can always buy fish.

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