Is fishing the wrong hobby for me?

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by ntaylor ntaylor 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #11177

    Adam Weeden
    Member

    I’m trying to figure out if fishing may be the wrong hobby for me. I love it, don’t get me wrong. It’s just frustrating because the last 3 out of 4 times I go out I get skunked. I’ve narrowed it down to two possible causes: timing or technique. The timing is an issue because I have a VERY narrow window to play with. I have narcolepsy, so my sleep habits aren’t as flexible as most people. I essentially (to be a functional human being) have to be in bed by 9:30 and can get up no later than 7 (and that’s pushing it). For example take this morning: I went out to Coffee Pot Bayou with my yak and went out from 8-10. Probably not the best time, but one of the few times I can go. No luck. Only even got one nibble. There was definitely fish out there, there was one jumping every other minute or so all around me. The other possibility that is the the cause of skunkiness is technique, which I’m unsure about. I know there’s things I can do better, but I try to balance patience with trying a variety of things (different baits, different jigs, different ways of reeling in, etc.), which I think would be the best way to sort out the technique issue. So fellow (and better) fishermen here’s my question is my rigid schedule to blame for my lack of luck (which I can’t change) or is it my possibly poor technique (which I can change)?

  • #11180

    Todd Krohn
    Member

    TheCleric wrote: So fellow (and better) fishermen here’s my question is my rigid schedule to blame for my lack of luck (which I can’t change) or is it my possibly poor technique (which I can change)?

    Hello Cleric,

    The short answer is No, your schedule is not to blame. First you could be in a slump or since you did not mention the type of tackle you are using thats a possibility.

    But from what you’ve said, I would not be in any hurry to quit the sport. I have caught fish at all times and in all conditions and have been skunked when everything looked perfect.

    Regarding Technique, One Rule – Keep it Simple ! Less is more, fish have great eyesite and when the waters clear you don’t need anything more than Leader & Hook/Lure in shallow water.

    Keep Making the Effort, Eventually a Lower I.Q. Keeper Will Make a Mistake !

    Cheers, GFC….

  • #11181

    fnichols
    Member

    Probably just lack of experience. Fishing is something that takes time on the water. The best fishing was the 2nd or 3rd year that I owned my boat. I was able to fish every other day and establish patterns and stay with the fish.

    Suggestions for better fishing:
    1. Use light leader
    2. Use hooks that fit bait
    3. Try live bait that is natural to area or surrounding
    4. Use a stealthy approach to fish and stay as far back as you can cast
    5. Make cast in front of the fish
    6. Cast around schools of mullet
    7. Fish current, drain, creek mouths, structure, and points.
    8. Take note how others are fishing in the area and try them later
    9. Spend time exploring the area
    10. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to hire a guide or join a fishing club.

  • #11186

    Just try and enjoy your time on the water and pay close attention to what is happening around you and you will catch more fish.

  • #11187

    The fish you are seeing jump are mullet. They will not(ok, once in a blue moon, but always never) eat your bait. they are vegetarians that eat algae and detritus. They jump. BUT, lots of other gamefish hang out with them because they stir up crabs and shrimp and little baitfish. Use light line and no weight. 20lb mono and 2oz’s of lead will not catch fish(sometimes, but you do better with a light line and leader freelined). Dont fish over empty shallow mud bottom. In special circumstances this is good. Right now with the warm water, it is not. There are LOADS of fish around the area you are fishing. Give us more info such as what rigs, line wight, hook sizes and baits you are using.

  • #11192

    Adam Weeden
    Member

    wadekid wrote: Give us more info such as what rigs, line wight, hook sizes and baits you are using.

    I’m using 12 lb. test with a 12 lb. leader (though I was using a 20 lb Cajun leader for a little while). I have the leader attached to the line with a swivel about 12-24″ above the hook. When using live bait (or Gulp Shrimp) I’m using a 1 or 1/0 hook (tried circle hooks too). I typically put a 1/4 oz. split shot above the swivel. I have also tried using a 1/4 oz. DOA shrimp with and without weight. I have also tried putting both of these under a popping cork. I was also trying to use a Mirrolure like the top one on this page. I’ve tried both a steady retrieve and a slow retrieve (1 reel turn per second roughly). I’ve also tried doing both of those while kicking in a twitch every few seconds.

  • #11195

    Your gear seems about right. Maybe try some live bait to “pop your cherry” and then start weaning yourself off. Hook up with one of the guys on these pages or hire a guide to show you some techniques. Maybe your just not holding your mouth right When you start to catch fish on every trip, let me know how you did it. I go fishing 4 to 5 times a week. I have thousands of dollars invested in gear. My fishing habit cost more than the drug addiction I kicked years ago. I get skunked 75% of the time, yet I go whenever possible. Time on the water is good for keeping your sanity. Just remember, it’s only a dang fish.

  • #11197

    russ gatti
    Member

    Definitely gotta hold your mouth right as he said! I would say learn a line to line knot and lose the swivel. Other than that, watch and talk and fish with the guys around. Most don’t talk a bunch but some people like to brag so let them talk. Fnichols gave you some good tips. Moving water ,structure and a silent approach! Never give up as long as you enjoy it because around here you should find plenty fish .

  • #11201

    hey man i know just how you feel, going out and not getting anything. it just takes experience, it comes fast and it comes slow. I just got into kayak fishing last month and every time i go out i get a larger size and amount of fish. once your on the fish you can adapt to what they do such as, how they hit, what they hit, and what time of day do they hit more and less ect.

    good luck and keep fishing

  • #11207

    D Evanoff
    Member

    All the tips coming in are good what depth of water are you fishing in? Try different depths and if possible moving water. At the time you fish in the morning try some top water lures to get your casts further away. Good luck and stick to it someday you will be rewarded with a lifetime memory.

  • #11211

    JoseC
    Member

    TheCleric wrote: I’m trying to figure out if fishing may be the wrong hobby for me. I love it, don’t get me wrong. It’s just frustrating because the last 3 out of 4 times I go out I get skunked. I’ve narrowed it down to two possible causes: timing or technique. The timing is an issue because I have a VERY narrow window to play with. I have narcolepsy, so my sleep habits aren’t as flexible as most people. I essentially (to be a functional human being) have to be in bed by 9:30 and can get up no later than 7 (and that’s pushing it). For example take this morning: I went out to Coffee Pot Bayou with my yak and went out from 8-10. Probably not the best time, but one of the few times I can go. No luck. Only even got one nibble. There was definitely fish out there, there was one jumping every other minute or so all around me. The other possibility that is the the cause of skunkiness is technique, which I’m unsure about. I know there’s things I can do better, but I try to balance patience with trying a variety of things (different baits, different jigs, different ways of reeling in, etc.), which I think would be the best way to sort out the technique issue. So fellow (and better) fishermen here’s my question is my rigid schedule to blame for my lack of luck (which I can’t change) or is it my possibly poor technique (which I can change)?

    Technique is a major factor to catching fish, especially on artificial lures. You have to match your presentations to the situation and make sure you are fishing the area correctly depending on the tide and current. Ultimately when you do locate the fish, presentation and stealth will be paramount in your success. Make sure you are working the lure with the current and not against it. I have seen many lures get shunned by fish because the lure was presented incorrectly and when done right results in an immediate strike. Also, take your time. Figure out where you think the fish would be and try to think what they are doing, what are they eating and how. With this info you will see more productivity. Dont just cast all the time, take time to look around and pay attention to the water, if you read the water you should be able to locate the fish and take less casts. There is also some good literature worth checking out, it will definitely help.

  • #11213

    Wow! Someone else in the same boat as me.

    Don’t feel too bad. I am going through the same thing. But, I never realized just how little experience I had. I have been really busy at work lately so I haven’t been fishing much. So, in the last 4 months I have spent maybe 3 hours fishing. (I know, something needs to change) I suck at math but I know my odds are next to nothing at getting everything right.

    My official fish count is something like 20 catfish (even one on the fly rod) 2 lady fish a couple of little snappers and a crab. I caught a nice Jack a while ago by accident. That doesn’t count.

    Just to show I’m not kidding, here’s a picture of one of the snappers. (They were a blast to try and catch though)

  • #11216

    Bill
    Member

    There are no worth while fish inside Coffee Pot except in the winter. You have to paddle out to the flat in front of the beach. In fact the farther out you go the better it gets. I usually park in the Park and cart my boat down to the beach front and go from there. Nothing but mulet and manatees inside the bayou.

  • #11217

    fnichols wrote: Probably just lack of experience. Fishing is something that takes time on the water. The best fishing was the 2nd or 3rd year that I owned my boat. I was able to fish every other day and establish patterns and stay with the fish.

    Suggestions for better fishing:
    1. Use light leader
    2. Use hooks that fit bait
    3. Try live bait that is natural to area or surrounding
    4. Use a stealthy approach to fish and stay as far back as you can cast
    5. Make cast in front of the fish
    6. Cast around schools of mullet
    7. Fish current, drain, creek mouths, structure, and points.
    8. Take note how others are fishing in the area and try them later
    9. Spend time exploring the area
    10. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to hire a guide or join a fishing club.

    great advice!!!!!!!!

  • #11218

    grouper
    Member

    fish that channel that leads in and out of there with some live shrimp and you will score at least some trout also fish old sail boats that have been sitting there for a long time use the same rig that you are using now fish the sail boats by the bridge on the way in there
    good luck ive only fished there once but thats where i found fish.

  • #11222

    MrSpectaculous wrote:

    There are no worth while fish inside Coffee Pot except in the winter. You have to paddle out to the flat in front of the beach. In fact the farther out you go the better it gets. I usually park in the Park and cart my boat down to the beach front and go from there. Nothing but mulet and manatees inside the bayou.

    I agree 100% unless you are hitting dock lights at night. Start off Fishing that beach near the pier and work your way north towards Weedon Island. There are tons of trout, we caught over 100 one morning just working the bait pods using white buck tails…

  • #11225

    Tyler H.
    Member

    No worth to fishing coffee pot? ha.

    I think fishing is in fact the wrong hobby for ya! Try taking up Disc Golf. Get a couple disc’s, some pot and a cooler of beer. You will still get skunked, but with a Smile.

  • #11259

    You got to use the formula. L+P+C=F

  • #11261

    JACOB
    Member

    Fishing is not a wrong hobby for anyone. I have been fishing all my life and I will have my bad days. Sometimes too often.

  • #11266

    One thing that i have been doing this year is keeping a fishing Log. Keep track of things like. Date, where, How, Tide, Water temp, Air temp, Bait. It will pay off.

  • #11273

    Jeff
    Member

    Everything eats a shrimp. Cover the water column as best you can. Top,middle,bottom.

  • #11290

    Adam Weeden
    Member

    andy wrote:

    You got to use the formula. L+P+C=F

    Line? + P? + C? = Fish?

  • #11308

    TheCleric wrote: [QUOTE=andy]

    You got to use the formula. L+P+C=F

    Line? + P? + C? = Fish?
    [/QUOTE] Adam, the formula is what everyone is telling you,made simple. Here you go. Location+Presentation+confidence=Fish.

  • #11321

    Carl
    Member

    Well, for starters I suspect that there is more of a ‘lot of little things’ conspiring against you, as opposed to ‘one major thing’.

    A few thoughts:

    1. Depending on your clerical alignment, you may have greater or lesser powers over certain types of the undead, healing powers and spell casting success rates…

    2. Being a former D&D buff, i had always found lawful-neutral to be the most centric – ergo highest probabability of success rates – for these situations…

    3. How exactly does this correlate to your current fishing ‘success’ level?

    Well, lets take a few observations into consideration:

    1. the best time to fish is ALWAYS, without fail, without exception: whenever you can.

    2. There are always fishable conditions available in some respect. examples include “good tides”, “good activity”, “good bait availability”, “good water quality”, “good…” well you get the point. Every now and then, when the planets are aligned just right and the live chicken sacrifice was well received by the gods, there is a convergence of 2 or more of these conditions… although a rarity, there have been a handful of documented accounts over the millenia.

    3. i think all will agree that the one single SHARED element of success that all ‘successful more often than not” anglers share is this: water time. It is that experience, begat by time spent, on a certain oyster bar, or a certain mangrove point, under different conditions, at different times of the day, at different stages of a tide, that really serve as practice as the details sink into memory.

    4. There is simply no substitute for time on the water for consitent success. yeah, anyone can go out, lob a dead shrimp into a grassline and luck into a 40 inch snook. it does happen. but does that make the person ‘consistently successful’, as they return to the same sopt, over and over, doing the same thing, the same way at the same time with no results? um, no. you do the math; we ( and by “We” i mean the veterans) already have.

    5. take notes, keep a journal if you want too. painstakingly annotate each trip; the water clarity, the weather that morning, the activity, are there mullet jumping? did you see and birds diving? did you yak out to the spot and check water depth where they were diving? wind speed / direction, bait around? was there a lot of crap floating on the water? does the air smell stale and old (perhaps the water has not moved much here in a couple of days and the rain has made it too brackish and full of algae). i think you get the idea here.

    6. I kept a journal for the first 6 months of my ‘saltwater fishing life’ back in 1996. literally from my first trip out (by the suggestion of the old salt who was gracious enough to take me out….) and at about 3 months (looking back at the pages now it was 11 solo ventures) i really started to understand my own observations and notes. things really fell into place for me.

    6a. So i’ve been at it about 12 years now. and i can honestly (well, at least as honestly as a fisherman can be) say that i do enjoy a high level of success. to me, success is taking home meat. i have fished high tide, low tide, slow tide, dead calm, windy, hot, cold, summer, winter, crappy water, clear water, live bait, artificial, you name it. and i’ll tell you without hesitation that i bring home fillets 8 times out of 10 trips on average.

    6b. do i get to fish the “best conditions”, or the “prime times and tides”? hell no. i fish whenever i can. The point is, i have put in the water time to absolutely maximize my chances by simply knowing the what’s, where’s, why’s and how’s of the spots that i go to.

    6c. Ask around, ask in any manner you’d like, but ask by all means. generally speaking, this is what you’ll get from most ‘vets’. that i can say with confidence.

    7. bottom line: given your individual circumstances and all, with your personal situation considered, you may or may not be inclined to keep a journal. But, i believe the with the number of things that presumably do not play in your favor of a “successful” trip (and by successful i mean bringing home some meat… to me at least) you may want to consider it as a a way to at mimimun become an expert on the operational conditions of the playing field on which you find yourself.

    8. look at it this way; if you are going to battle against an opponent that already holds the advantages of home field, environment, instict, habitat, and sheer numerical superiority – about the only thing you can do is prepare yourself the best possible way. that preparation is a lot of knowledge and application of wisdom gained through time on the water.

    9. oh, and offering to treat a fellow seasoned angler to a cup of coffee and a donut for a pre trip breakfast always helps, too….

    9a. be patient with yourself – i know it’s hard…been there done it…but be persistant and concentrate on the task at hand, it will come.

    ask around: i suspect most of the old salts that will read this are already nodding in agreement and smiling (cuz i’ve bought a handful of coffees and donuts in the last 12 years myself….)

  • #11324

    BayouBandit
    Participant

    If you go out every time thinking you are going to do well…. then you’re going to be disappointed.
    I go fishing to relax and have some pease and quiet. If I catch fish.. then it’s just that much better.
    As long as you’re doing what you like, then keep up the good work
    It will come to you grasshopper.

  • #11330

    Adam Weeden
    Member

    Thanks all. A wealth of information to be had here and I am greatly encouraged by your advice. I think I’ll keep at it for a while longer and importantly I’m going to start logging/journaling my time on the water so that hopefully it will lead to some method to my madness. Thanks to your tips, I have already spotted a weak technique or two in my arsenal that I should be able to remedy. I think another thing I will need to start doing is not going solo so much, so hopefully I’ll be able to hook up with some of you guys in real life so that I can steal some of your moves in person. Again, thanks so much for the positive response.

  • #11387

    Thanks for starting the thread I’ve thought about a hundred times! I can’t wait to get out there asap. Now, please start a thread about how to make hurricanes go away.

  • #418057
    ntaylor
    ntaylor
    Keymaster

    There are good tips here.

    As a guide I am creating a hobby for a lot of the people I take.    Cutting that corner, action is the best thing to maintain interest.    I take people fishing and they have a good outing.  I’ll tell them “Your challenge going on your own is finding the fish.”  With me, I have shown them how to catch them.   When they go on their own:   Are they in the right spot?   A lot of times the answer is no.

    Every day out on the water.    Other people fishing.     Set up in postitions I would never make a cast.     To have success you want to be in fishy spots 100% of the time.    Spend more time in the wrong spots obviously your results are going to fade.

    You learn your areas.   You put yourself in higher odds situations, your results should be very good.

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