Throughout the years and seasons, I have found my fishing style changes, and has changed substantially. From sitting still and methodically picking apart the terrain, to moving at fast speeds and covering water, I have discovered one common thread: it is not how many casts you make, it’s how many good casts are made. And the execution and presentation of those selected better casts are equally important.
Now, a large majority of what I’ve learned came from trial and error. Basically, just a relentless need to figure out as many techniques and when they work and when they don’t. The days when I’ve cracked the code are equally as important as the days that I just couldn’t figure them out. Because on those days of struggle, I figured out what not to do, saving time and increasing efficiency.
Recently, I’ve been incorporating some old-school methods and fishing with a higher level of discipline. I’ve been accessing files from the years I’ve been able to confidently catch the fish in a given area with patience. A less mature version of myself would hastily scramble about and leave too soon in search of something greater.
These lakes in the Mother Lode have distinct areas that will hold fish and some of the more quality sized ones, too. And over time, I’ve narrowed down my favorites, with a solid history and understanding of how and why the fish are there. With this mindset, we can simply take our time, cycle through lures and colors, and find out what is working best. And this method has led us to a first- and second-place finish in the past couple months.
There is a time and place for this style of fishing, and it is based on the season and the overall level of activity of the fish. When the fish are slow and conditions cold, we must match the feeling and fish accordingly. As things heat up, so should we.
As the spring comes in, the fish will be on the move. And as the water temperature rises, the activity level of the fish will increase. During these months, we will switch gears and implement a faster-paced style of fishing.
So as winter really just arrived and we are having fun and finding great success, we will lock into the frame of mind that slow and steady wins the race.
John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at (209) 743-9932.