Target species. Yeah, let’s talk about target species for a minute. This has been a subject for me which has taken much patience and diligence.
Growing up as an avid bass angler it was always hard for me to target other species without reverting back to the top water or other bass lure that would provide me the fix I needed with the tug at the end of my line. There are many great tips and great bass fishers out there who can talk for hours about technique, baits, lines, and other things which will get you on the fish. The idea behind this write up is to not revert back to what you know and are comfortable with if you are targeting another species.
Many times I have gone out with intention of targeting pan fish, or catfish, or gar, or a large salt water species and just reverted back to what I know and what I was comfortable with. These are the things I have learned in the years which have been very helpful getting me into new species and different adventures.
First, do research! Ask questions, ask a lot of questions. Listen to responses and gather a data base which you can work with. Many fishermen and women unfortunately take a bit too much pride in what we think we know and fail to ask questions to those who do. Whether it is because of pride, embarrassment, or any other reason, we cannot let those things get in the way of gathering intelligent knowledge in the search for a new species. Internet is a great tool, but be sure to ask locals and connect with those who target a specific species of fish. Don’t ask for honey holes, but educational details which will help you in the pursuit of a new species.
After research and consultation is done, make sure you have the right gear. This part can add up, especially if switching from fresh water to salt, or panfish to muskie. The right line, reel, and rod, balanced well to work with each other will make a night and day difference in your experience.
In my personal experiences, these are the most important two things in regards to chasing down a new species, patience, and preparation for failure. Targeting a species takes patience, many of times an angler can spend hours and hours on the water or on the shoreline just waiting. The waiting game usually begets the reversion back to the fishing that angler knows well and is experienced with which goes back to a previous point in the beginning of the article. It is incredibly difficult at times to remain sitting in a boat, kayak, paddle board, or even on the shoreline in wait of that target species fish to give you a bit of attention. This brings me to another important point. Be prepared to fail! In the search of any fish, especially a new one to you, hours and hours can and will be spent without success. Don’t give up. As you learn, and upon every failure, the time in will improve your chances of success! Many have spent a lot of money, many hours, researched plenty, and had professionals give expert advice followed to the tee. After all of the hours and listening, folks have still been “skunked” in the pursuit of a specific species. To me, this adds to the adventure of it all. Put in the time, be patient, and definitely expect to fail on your pursuit, until it comes to fruition.
There are many things I don’t know about fishing, especially multiple species I only get the opportunity to hunt down at random times throughout the year. I love this! No matter which way I look, and how much I think I know, there is always something to learn and experience. This may be my favorite thing about fishing. Between all the different styles and techniques, all the different lures and gear, and the outstanding amount of diversity in the waters, there has been, is, and will be always something to learn and experience.
In conclusion, get out, live it up, be patient, ask questions, commit yourself to patience, and commit yourself to the fact that in this sport, failure can actually be your best step to success!