How to Fish Strange Waters.
One of the questions that I am most often asked when traveling around the country on the tournament trail, is "How do you guys go to a strange lake and find fish?" That is a fair question to ask since a lot of folks have a problem just finding the fish on their home waters. It is also one of the most difficult answers to come up with.
Guido Hibdon is held in high regard by his peers as being one of the best at reading the water and conditions well enough to come up with a winning pattern in many tournaments. What I'm saying isn't that he wins every event by any means, only that he is always consistent in finding fish and patterns that will make the fish bite. One missed bite can mean the difference between taking first place and ending up just in the top 20 places. With that kind of competition no one angler is going to win every time. Fishermen like Guido Hibdon, Rick Clunn, Roland Martin and Larry Nixon will tell you that their secret is looking at the season, determining the local conditions, finding an area with fish, and then trying to find a pattern that will work for the given set of conditions.
One of the biggest keys in being consistent is to take an area of the lake and then try to learn everything you can about that area once you have decided that it has several good fish. Don't spend the better part of the day running around the lake looking for that secret spot. You will probably end up running over far more fish than you will ever catch. Pattern fishing was used a lot by Roland Martin, the man credited with conceiving the theory. With the high numbers of fishermen competing now it is not as effective as it used to be. Now it is more common to find an area with fish in good numbers and stay with it all day. This is because the old "gun and run" practice is hard to accomplish when every where you move to already has another competitor setting on the spot.
When you get to the point in your fishing education that you enjoy fishing for the sake of fishing instead of just catching, then you will derive far more pleasure from your outings and just possibly your catch ratio will rise with your enjoyment
To all a good bite
Walt Reynolds, Touring Pro
Clewiston, FL. 33440