After awhile, some of us start to view fishing sort of like an old comfortable pair of shoes. We put them on in the same ritualistic way every day and like having the confidence that they will fit right (except for a few holes or worn soles). Then, we resist buying a new pair because we think they might be too stiff or too tight. It’s hard to give up anything that has proved so reliable, right?

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Well, many anglers act the same way when it comes to fishing. You may have started out bass fishing in the Midwest with your Dad when you were a kid, so now when you take a Florida vacation as an adult and have the opportunity to try saltwater offshore fishing, you do it, but resist asking questions or taking full advantage of the experience because it doesn’t fit as well as that old comfortable pair of bass fishing shoes. Plus, you might run the risk of giving someone a big old blank stare when they start talking about ballyhoo and bridle rigging.

My point? Take a risk and don’t get stuck in a fishing rut! One of the greatest things about this sport is that there is ALWAYS something new to learn. Targeting different species using a wide range of gear will make you a more versatile angler. And, guess what? You will never know everything there is to know about every species or every fishing spot in this crazy big world, so leave your ego at the door along with that old pair of shoes.

Here are five ways you can break yourself out of a mundane fishing routine:

  • Switch up your fishing gear – Maybe you’ve been using the same kind of spinning gear for the past 10 years. Why not ask at your local tackle shop or specialty outdoor retailer to see if they hold any fly-casting clinics? Or make a resolution to start using your baitcasting reel a bit more often
  • Target a new species – The next time you go on vacation or decide to visit Uncle Joe in Alabama, do some preliminary research to find out what’s biting locally and target a species you haven’t had much experience with.
  • Try testing some new baits – If you always use plastic worms or stick baits for bass, try testing out a jig or a plastic crawfish.
  • Research a new fishing spot – Ditch the habit of going to the same old fishing hole every weekend. By trying new fishing spots you’ll learn more about how to fish various types of structure and in different water conditions.
  • Fish with someone new – If you always fish with the same fishing buddy, maybe it’s time you get connected with a local fishing club and planned a trip with someone new. Every angler has unique fishing experiences that you can learn from… and they will probably learn something new from you too! It can never hurt to share and compare techniques.

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Have you ever made an effort to break yourself out of a fishing rut? If you’ve tried a new technique or challenged yourself by targeting a new species and feel it helped you grow as an angler, tell us about it! Friend me on Fishidy and tell me about it. I just might share your story in an upcoming blog post.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Debbbie- this great.. I’ve been thinking on ways to get out of my regular funk a couple years ago, when I re-discovered bass fishing while photographing a tournament.

    Now this year, I’m picking up a serious run at fly fishing.

    Thanks for these wonderful tips!

  2. Great topic.

    I like the ‘find a new fishing hole’ suggestion as I tend to gravitate to the same spots out of habit.

    I took a group out the other day on a charter and had to go to a different spot than usual because of the water conditions. We did ok on the catch, but I was just happy to find a new place to take people. Nice change of scenery.

  3. Great advice, I like to use certain freshwater baits for saltwater fishing and sometimes the other way around. lots of musky baits make great baits for schooling saltwater fish. Likewise, things like tuna poppers are great baits for musky, pike, big bass, wipers, etc…

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