Have the plan, work the plan, and then adjust when said plan fails miserably.
Being a great angler with the ability to catch fish anywhere you like boils down to adjusting your tactics throughout the day.
Adjusting Your Tactics
Consider this. You’ve been fishing hard all day for largemouth. They didn’t pick up your jig, so you switch to a top water. Nothing. So, you switch to a Texas rigged worm. Still nothing. Finally, you hook one on a shallow crankbait.
You sit back and look at your prize, and think to yourself, “Wow, I’m glad I adjusted my plan and didn’t sit around throwing a jig all day.” Yes, you adjusted and finally caught a bass. However, the boat that launched at the same time as you recognized that crappies were trolling shorelines and they’ve already limited out. So, who really is the more flexible angler?
Sure, if you’re fishing a tournament that only allows one species then this isn’t the article for you. This is for everyone else who just wants to go out and catch a damn fish. After all, the fun part about fishing is the catching part.
The reason so many anglers find themselves with tunnel vision for certain species is because this is how so many tournaments are fished. The best fishermen have the ability to read the water and will recognize that the fish they’re targeting is a tough bite. So, they’ll change tactics and will try for something new that has a better chance of biting. There is no reason that a great bass angler cannot also catch trout, catfish, and crappie.
Expand Your Knowledge, & Recognize Patterns
If you’ve been steadily working points, structure and shoreline for bass with little to no luck then you’re more than welcome to continue banging your head against the wall, and you might eventually be rewarded for it. Instead pull out your electronics, drop your trolling motor and see if you can locate some brush piles to pull crappie from. Instead of getting skunked, take a minute to refocus and attempt to catch something new or different.
Recognizing when certain fish are active during the year will help you significantly when it comes to catching fish. Each of them goes through different peaks and valleys. Bass are going to be white hot when the water temperature starts to hit that 65-70-degree mark, where panfish light up around the 55-60-degree range. Likewise, trout enjoy cooler water, so during the colder months you can focus on rainbow, brown, and brook trout in your local, lakes, and rivers.
If you have tunnel vision for a certain species take some time to learn something new. If you’re a diehard walleye guy, take a minute to learn about perch or Northern Pike. Expanding your knowledge of certain species can only benefit you. You’ll have a greater understanding of the fish in the body of water which means you can be more creative with your lure selections and retrieves. Which will give you an advantage over other fisherman.