How to Get Better at Fishing

How to Get Better at Fishing

One of my favorite quotes comes from the great Jordan Peterson:

Don’t compare yourself with other people; compare yourself with who you were yesterday.

Jordan Peterson

I like this. It applies to everything.

A common mistake is to cherry-pick someone that it already doing well, and to compare yourself to them.

Let’s say you want to get into shape, so you look up Instagramers posting gym selfies. Dang, they look awesome. It’s so inspiring. Absolutely ripped. Veins popping. Tan. Just incredible. You say to yourself “yeah man, I want that!

Gym Couple Workout
Dang. Suns out guns out.

But shortly after you follow them, you start to get discouraged. It seems like they are constantly posting gym selfies – complete with perfect posing, perfect hair, perfect lighting – and these images start to discourage you. You start to feel like you’re never going to get there… so you quit.

TIME OUT.

You don’t know what it took that person to get there. You don’t know what sacrifices they made. How long they’ve been working at it. 1 year? 3 years? 10 years? 6 lifts a week with one-on-one help from a professional nutritionist?

Here’s a better path: develop your own nutrition plan and workout routine. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be consistent. Log calories. Add lean protein. Work out 3 or 4 times a week. Then, take a picture on Monday, every week, for 8 weeks.

Tracking calories, creating workout routines, implementing them – these are all skills that you will start to develop.

Focus on you, and look at the changes you can make in your own life.

Fishing is a skill

Like all skills, it’s more enjoyable when you’re good at it. But in order to become a master, you must be willing to be a fool. You have to embrace starting small, and instead of picking up the latest issue of Bassmaster to gawk at pro anglers with $95,000 bass boats, or picking out a YouTuber with 500,000 subscribers and a billion views – take a snapshot of where you are at right now.

The easiest way to do this is with a journal. It can be pen & paper, or a computer document, or even a blog – like this one.

Another method you might consider is starting a video journal. I use YouTube for this purpose. I tape, edit and post videos so that I can go back and look at where I was at and where I’m going. Stars & Bars Fishing is specifically set up to be a running log of my escapades in-the-field.

Stars & Bars Fishing Subscribe Banner
Click the banner to jump to Stars & Bars Fishing on YouTube.

I am no master, but I was willing to be a fool.

Still am.

For example, this year I decided it was time to learn to use a jerkbait. Never done that before. I knew I was going to look like an idiot – and I knew if I taped it, people would see me looking like an idiot.

But I went for it. Made dumb mistakes. Fished it “wrong”. Just kept pushing ahead… and you know what happened?

Illinois Jerkbait Largemouth Bass AJ Hauser Lucky Craft SK 80 Jerk
Jerkbait largemouth bass on a Lucky Craft SK 80 Jerk

Success.

If you want to get better at fishing, you just need to invest the time and energy required to develop your skills. Just like the gym example above, your fishing plan doesn’t need to be complicated, it just needs to be consistent.

Pop 'n Drop Creator AJ Hauser with a Beautiful Smallmouth Bass
Another beauty caught using a new method I’m developing: The Pop ‘n Drop

So start something new. Today. Right now. Make the decision, and as you move ahead, compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

Keep learning. Keep pushing. Keep fishing.

From one fool to another…

Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.

Cold Weather Largemouth Email

“When will those bass come back shallow?!”
It’s an age old question for us bank fishermen. When did they move out… and when will they come back? Soon I hope…

* Stars & Bars Fishing is dedicated to in-the-field videos, putting the techniques we write about to work. Episodes>

Subscribe:

Subscribe to The Minimalist Fisherman.
Weekly articles & videos to help us become better anglers – and better men.