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How Do You Up Your Game?
12-27-2017, 09:25 PM
Post: #1
How Do You Up Your Game?
Before the advent of social media and YouTube I would watch all the fishing shows that would start up in January. In-Fisherman, Hank Parker, Bill Dance, Babe Winkleman, Joe Bucher, Midwest Outdoors and Fishing The Midwest to name just a few. My wife will attest to the fact that I used to even videotape as many of these shows as I could so that I could watch them at a more convenient time.

I enjoyed watching the action of the catch, the insights of new techniques and gaining information on lakes I would love to visit. Many if not most of the programs from down South placed their focus on bass fishing which I knew nothing about. The Up North programs where a little more multi-species though leaning towards walleyes which I had a limited knowledge of. Each program had its own style of teaching. Some through humor and example, others through in-depth technical explanations and graphics.

Many of those shows are still available, but more and more moving from "free-tv" to deeper into the cable abyss of specialty outdoor networks that cost an arm and a leg above the already too high cable charge. This saddens me for a couple of reasons. First of all, I'm cheap. I just can't see paying for an extra network just so I can maintain a connection to one or two of my favorite fishing shows. Secondly, a chance to introduce new people to the sport of fishing is lost.

Once I gave up cable tv I turned to various Facebook pages for connections to fishing in Minnesota. With some simple searches, it's amazing just how many sites you can find that are location or species specific. Whether your interest is walleye, musky, crappie or bass you can find a Facebook group formed to talk about them. There are groups for ice fishing and kayak fishing. Groups talking about fishing in Iowa, the Dakota's, Minnesota, Wisconsin or Canada. If you're planning a trip you can probably find a site geared to sail fishing off the Florida Keys. You will find like-minded individuals offering tips, looking for fishing partners or giving advise.

More recently I have found that I enjoy finding like-minded fishermen sharing their experiences, techniques, and locations on YouTube. These video clips range from just a minute or two to some guys who have live streamed a sturgeon outing for over 4 hours at night. (No I did not watch that one). Like Facebook, you can personalize your search parameters to fit your personal interests. I lean towards videos on fishing from kayaks, most specifically in Minnesota and surrounding states. I also have access to previously aired episodes from many of my old and new favorite fishing shows such as Fishing with Joe Bucher and the Lindner's Angling Edge. These days the small, waterproof video cameras have allowed anyone to become a video star. I've seen advice on fishing and fishing equipment from old fishing veterans and pre-teen kids.

Some of the videos are simply fun to watch. Whether with incredible skills and luck or some highly skilled editing you can watch guys pull in fish after fish. Some guys just share the journey. Other guys have tapped into their marketing gene and have managed to be named to the pro staff of a lure manufacturer and they try to plug the brand name of the said lure with every turn of the reel handle. Some of these fishermen share their own personal experiences and tricks that they have found effective.

All of the above have served to be educational and entertaining to get me through the hard water months. I prefer to fish from my kayak or my fishing boat so through the winter I try to pick up a new lure or technique that I can try in the next fishing season. It's through the media outlets that I learned about kayak fishing, using a wacky rig worm and fishing a ned rig for bass.

This next year I intend to focus on learning more about fishing thick cover. I'll turn to the videos to give me tips on what equipment setup is best, what lures I should use and how best to present them to increase my odds of success. I'm living proof that all the informational magazines, websites or videos will not guarantee success, but I will now have a starting point for all of my outings this year.

If you spot a yellow kayak with an orange bike flag waving overhead, give a shout out and say hey. That will probably be me sitting near a heavy weed bed trying to master a new skill for catching bass.

In the meantime, let me know how you up your game.

Fish On!
Lew
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