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I was just reading the excellent thread in this section started by Darren, about 'Kelp', and as i read it, it made me think about tha changes that i have had to make to 'up' my catch rates, and the degree to which i have had to 'unlearn' certain things, and move outside of my comfort zone.

When i first started Bass fishing nearly 2 years ago, i had never Sea-Fished before, so i had to learn 'everything' from scratch. I soaked-up info from everywhere (books, magazines, tv, etc. . . ). After about 6 blanks on the trot, i finally landed my first ever Bass . . . only a small one, but a Bass, and a moment of complete elation & uncontrolable joy !!! I then barely blanked for weeks & weeks. Only problem was that i wasnt catching any Bass over about 2lb. I 'seemed' to be doing everything right (from what i knew), but just couldnt crack it !!

To cut a very long story short, last year i think that i managed to finally 'unlearn' some of the things that i'd worked hard to 'learn' the year before, and it was only then, that i started to catch decent sized Bass, and on a regular basis.

For example, i always thought when i started-off that some of the beaches i fish, fished best 3 up, 3 down. But, all of my best catches last year on that beach, occurred around LW (apart from one).

I also used to like to find a nice spot on the rocks, and make camp for the day (because it was nice & comfortable & easy). It was only when i learnt the virtue of moving around, and made the effort to seek out new locations, that it really dawned on me that sometimes you have to go & find the fish if Plan 'A' doesnt work.

Initially, when starting off, i was mortified when i lost gear to snags, thinking of what the gear cost, and how much time i'd spent building those rigs. Now, if i havent lost gear, i don't think that i'm trying hard enough, and i am almost certainly in the wrong place !! I certainly wouldnt have dreamed of casting 'into' kelp, knowing that my chances of getting the gear back are slim if a fish doesnt pick it up first !!

I also thought that fishing the ebb was a fruitless excerise . . but again, i've caught some stunning fish on the ebb this year, and some venue's i 'only' fish on the ebb !!

I could go on, as there are so many things that i have had to 'unlearn' !!

Does this sound familiar to anyone . . . . or am i alone ???? :rollineyes:
 

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Simon,
I know how you feel, Around my area most of the marks I like to fish are LW marks, but everyone else seems to only fish over high water. I put some time in over HW and on "some" marks they might be right. Everytime I think I have found something solid/sorted, along comes someone or something that makes me question what I think I know. I guess it is the only way to keep learning, is to constantly question what you "think" you know.
I just live in hope that it is slowly making me a better plugger!!
 

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Is it unlearning or just learning new things, Si? Apart from staying in one place and fishing ebbs I would say you will probably still use some of the stuff you've unlearned at various marks which you may think doesn't work?

The man who never makes mistakes always takes orders from one who does.

It's just one massive learning curve that never stops, isn't it? I honestly get a bit daunted when i read and see the knowledge, know how and gear some guys have on here. I guess I'm a poor mans instinct bumbler!

I'm usless at retaining information too. I often re read Googan threads and Dave's "finding bass" thread. I try, I really try to remember it but I rarely do.

Sod it, I just like being next to the sea/nature trying to catch fish in my own little way. Anyone else hear violins?

Sorry for going off topic.
 

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Sometimes success flies in the face of tradition. Other times it rides on it's back.

I've picked up really valuable stuff from coarse fishing (inc predator stuff globally), Bass (freshwater), Game ((especially sea trout stuff) Hugh Falkus)
but rarely UK Sea Fishing books, magazines etc. In fact, I look at techniques from as many area's as I can find and manipulate
them to suit my fishing.

Sometimes it works, sometimes not but both teach you a lesson.

As a neophyte it is best to focus on finding fish, any fish (I presume Bass here).
Then, play with it. Try to catch more Bass, then..try to catch the bigger ones.
Return at night, try to catch on different tides, new methods, but get in touch
with WHY or you'll never learn.

Do a search on here for "pattern". This is where my fishing is and so should your's be.
It is the KEY to your fishing day/night, week, month and year.

Write it all down, follow it for a few seasons and then, when you know its right..try
to undo the pattern to really reinforce it.

But, most of all, never presume to know it all because we never will.
And, to be quite truthful, I never want too.
 

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I know what you mean. there are things in fishing that sometimes seem 'reliable' but then for no apparent reason they fail. Regardless of whether they work continually or not, I am always trying something different. Many times just because I don't want my fishing to become repetitive or stagnate. I always learn something new when fishing with others, in fact many times I will spend a lot of time looking at what they do with that in mind. Lots of people I know are very good anglers and there is always something they will do differently to me. Sometimes I can't make what they do work for me so I look for variations, what is it that makes it work for them? No point in standing still......
 

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Good subject Si. I also get bogged down with tradition, and forget that sometimes it pays to try something completely different. Bob and I were struggling early season, well we struggled all season to be honest, so early summer we decided to go back to basics with some of our fishing. And it worked. I find you can get transfixed on marks or times etc to be somewhere, and when its not working there you go to your next favourite. Well after a few weeks of not getting the results I though sod this lets just go on "spidie senses" again. You know, that looks fishy, if I were a bass I would have a mooch there. Well it worked and re lit some old marks for us, ones that I had grown out of if you know what I mean. So dont get too transfixed, try random spots at random times.
 

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Thinks its something that we all go through,are you talking about bait fishing when you talk about losing "rigs" especially when casting into snaggy ,weedy marks and if a fish doesnt pick it up then theres a good chance you wont get it back? Guess it applies to any form of fishing really. Everyone told me ,and everything i read said that a good surf was the time to bait fish for bass but as i was just starting out and wanted to have a go regardless my first few sessions were on warm summer days with virtually no wind and i didnt have high hopes ,but 7 bass to 7.5 lb on my 2nd go taught me not to take everything you read or are told as gospell.Almost all my bait caught bass have come in calm conditions over a 4yr period. so i guess that was unlearning in a way.
cheers, Trev.
 

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I think the weirdest thing Si' is getting used to being totally mobile, when i first started, like you, i had a habit of staying in one place for far too long casting in all directions and distances, and swapping lures every ten casts,

and i really had to make a conscious decision to move, i think i've still got that "one more cast" mentality firmly embedded in my psyche, in future though, i hope i'm able to try a dozen casts or so and move on, but after years of static shore fishing, me thinks it's gonna be a hard one to conquer.. :eek: :shock: :eek:
 

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I have made some huge progress in the two seasons I have been lure fishing but I find my lessons are learned the hard way and it takes a long time for something to sink in as I do get set in my ways. I think I am mobile enough now, but I do think I need to learn how to vary my retrieve with various plugs as I am a bit two dimensional, so that is the big target for this year. I reckon I am reasonable now with various surface lures, it's the shallow diving plugs that I know I could get more from. If I can implement some of the advice available here it could be a good season. God knows the weather can't be as bad as the last two years - can it?
The biggest "unlearning" for me last year, was discovering that my most reliable mark actually fished better on the ebbing tide than the flooding tide which was a real surprise!
 

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When I first began lure fishing I used plugs to the exception of everything else and it worked. I now use softies in various shapes and sizes with smaller the better and weedless most of the time. I was told high tide was the only time on the beach I fish most but soon found low water neaps were best in the very early morning either flat calm or with a force 4 to five when the fish would be close in in the surf. Once the sun was up the fish would be gone. However from September bass could be taken any time of day especially in late October when a flat calm day preferably cloudy coincided with a high tide. Every year is different though as structures change and other conditions we may not even consider vary.

Last year was a terrible year for me as we had to leave the UK for six months and fishing was almost nil. Apparently south coast mackerel and bass were almost non existent so perhaps I didn't miss much. This year everything's out of the window and mackerel/whitebait/ sandeels have not reappeared in the Dorset area with some Weymouth tripper boats struggling to catch mackerel. I saw a holiday mackerel boat last weekend coming back with what seemed to be just four fish. Overfishing, water quality, barrel jellyfish I have no idea.
Nick
 

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Wow,
This thread is really relevant to me right now. Until now I've never really concentrated on Salt, and have mainly been a Freshwater lad in the past. Crazy,, considering where I live !!
I think the core of what I've learnt is universal regardless what species I target. Needless to say there's still lots to learn . As rightly said , we never stop learning.
Thanks Si for the Original post
and thanks Nick for bringing this one back to the surface
 
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