Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Secret Bait – by Jason Houchins


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The Secret Bait
The weigh in was complete and I had been handed a tale whooping at my home lake once again. For anyone who fishes tournaments know that the lows are low and highs are high. It’s also a given that you can’t win every event and for me it’s real hard to swallow. Nobody likes to loose especially when you can almost see your house from the weigh in sight. So now I want to learn what I did wrong and how could I have changed the outcome? I just can’t wait to ask what they were using to catch their fish, I wonder what it was?
I always ask the wrong question as most of us do. If there is one thing that is hard to do, it’s to catch another man’s fish the way he did it. It’s not my game and most of the time it’s actually harder to do than just finding something on your own, yet we still want to know. Then we think it must have been some type of secret bait they were using. Well for the record I have a room full of secret baits that have never left the package and now they are no longer a secret because everybody has one. The true reality is there is no secret bait; it’s all just something we make up in our own mind. Now there can be something new that maybe hasn’t been seen by fish and it seems to work really good for a while until it finds its use in a more downgraded fashion. There are also a bait like an A rig that really does seem to be about the lure, but overall that is a major exception to the rule. I can tell you on one hand how many times a secret lure has helped me in an actual tournament situation. That is definitely another story for another day.
The real question we should ask is what the pattern was, or what type of cover the fish were on, or what was the water temperature. These would most likely help us way more than what the lure was. I guess it’s just human nature to want to know. I have tried to really pay attention to what I catch fish on vs my father. He is in the boat with me more than anyone, yet we rarely catch fish on the same thing. I probably catch 75% of my fish on the same handful of baits throughout the year depending on the season, so does my dad. The only thing is they are totally different lures fished in totally different ways, yet we both catch fish. This pretty much proves my point about catching the fish. Catching them can be done in many different ways but finding them is the key.
As a rule you really need to do your own thing, I know I say that a lot but it’s true. There are no short cuts to being a good tournament angler, no secret bait will let you become this great angler in a short amount of time. I kind of look at it this way, if I were to have the best golf clubs ever made, I’m pretty sure Tiger Woods could take a 1960 Sam Snead 9 iron and putter and beat me by 100 strokes. What I’m saying is don’t bank a lot on dock talk, secret baits, or someone else’s honey hole. Use what you have confidence in or use what you like. In the long run you will be better off and you will grow on your decision, not someone else’s.

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