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How do you learn?
Going through a bit of a reflective period now the season is getting towards the end, at least for the bass anyway.

A few things people have said to me or I have overheard made me think. How many time have you heard 'I am doing it exactly the same as him but not catching?' What are you looking at? what do you see?

One of the key points in learning about fishing is observation. I spend hours watching other anglers. I am looking for minute details, talking to them, picking their brains, just chatting. Sometimes you have to delve deep as they don't actually think about what they are doing, they just do it subconsciously.

I stood there one day chatting to Dave Irving, he had caught a couple of bass. I had caught nothing. I watched and watched and watched, chatting quietly as I did so. I went back and worked on what I was doing differently. It didn't work for me. Why? What was wrong? After a few pointers and more watching I worked out what was wrong and with a few changes to what I was using and doing it worked fine.

The same day, in conversation, somebody remarked they were doing exactly the same but they weren't catching either. I was quite surprised as watching them they were way off the mark. Different lure, sloppy technique, not 'seeing' what was different.

The devil is in the detail.

Everybody does things a different way, some learn by trial and error, some by studying. It all works.

Not sure what I am trying to say other than being thought provoking.

Maybe I am bumbling in words rather than action!!!!
 

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Mike,
Your spot on, funny thing is sometimes the angler that you are watching isn't always aware of what it is that they are doing that is "right". So many varibles, speed, action, depth, angle to flow or wind. Where they are casting, tight line or slack line, or combination of the two. etc etc.....

The other thing is sometimes you can try and get someone to do the same thing that you are, and it doesn't work. But given time they often come up with a slightly different technique that is just as successful as yours- even if it doesn't work for anyone else.
 

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Careful how you do it though.

Out in the boat last year I was watched by another boat that came in from about a mile away just to see what I was up to (or ping the mark I was on more likely) and watch us through binoculars from 50 yds away for about 30 mins. Not quite cricket I thought? Or words to that effect....

So I kept on top of the head with my motor just to wait for him to get bored and bugger off and let the brief run of fish get by before I moved. That should have put the fish down, but despite that and changing to what I call "marina lures" (the ones you put on to leave harbour and come back in but rarely use otherwise) we still fluked a very nice pollack and a couple of bass. I don't think he saw one of those fish come aboard or go back, despite climbing up onto his foredeck with those bino's.

Anyhow, the point is he learned very little, but if he had come and asked me I probably would have told him what he wanted to know (well 50% anyway, LOL). It's about how you watch (and how you ask).

And as Mike and Dave have alluded, a lot of the factors that make a big difference are often very subtle.
 

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i think i have always watched other anlglers and if i have seen something different to me i have always asked? The great thing in this sport in people are usualy more than willing to share information and tactics with others.

In the same way i have had people ask me how i do certain things and i would take the time to go through and show them in detail as much as possable, what goes around comes around i guess.

Tight lines
 

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I've found the same thing, anglers are so open to chat about how they catch.
Staying a little distance away and watching with bins is just plain weird.

I agree that it's how you do it more than anything. More a technique of inviting the information than appearing to put any pressure on the angler to give away all their secrets. And sometimes, even the most sociable of us don't want company.
 
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