Keep it Simple for More Fish

August 11, 2014 by  

by Bob Jensen

Fishing is different things to different people.  Some folks like to consider every aspect of why a fish was caught on a certain bait, was in a particular location at that time, and why that fish decided to bite just then.  That’s great.  Curious anglers catch lots of fish and often are the leaders in fishing education.


Sometimes a simple presentation will be the most productive. This guy fell for a plastic worm on a weedless hook.

Other anglers just want to go fishing.  They don’t want to analyze why they caught a fish, they just want to catch ’em.  That’s great too.  If these folks were a little more interested in why they’re catching fish the way they’re catching them, they would probably catch more fish, but again, fishing is different things to different people.

Sometimes a simple approach to fishing is the most productive.  I’ve been reminded of that fact several times this summer.  Just recently, in the heat of the summer, a simple presentation was responsible for an outstanding walleye catch.

We were on a large Midwest lake known for walleyes.  It could have been one of hundreds of bodies of water.  The walleyes were on rock humps in depths from nine to thirteen feet.  We chose to employ a very simple rig.  After anchoring just upwind and to the side of the hump, we tied a hook to our line and crimped a medium sized splitshot onto the line above the hook about eighteen inches.  We added a leech to the hook, cast to the hump, and reeled back in slowly, giving the rig lots of stops along the way.  Every five or ten minutes we’d catch a nice walleye.  Pretty simple stuff.  We did add one twist to the rig.  The hook had to be a Northland Super-Glo Attractor Hook in either orange or chartreuse.  That’s as fancy as we got, and we caught lots of fish.

We noticed other boats working similar humps close to us.  They were backtrolling and front trolling with crankbaits and spinners and all sorts of other rigs.  They weren’t catching much though.  That’s probably because their baits were in and out of the fish zone all the time.  Our baits, due to our anchored position, were always in the fish zone, and that makes it much more likely that you’re going to get bit.

Simple doesn’t mean primitive.  We relied on the sonar in our boat to find the best spots.  Without sonar, we wouldn’t have been nearly as successful.  In fact, we probably wouldn’t have found the spots that we fished.  Still, you don’t need sonar with all the gadgets to find the fish.  There are lots of times when all the new technology built into modern sonar units will help you catch more fish, but it’s up to the individual angler how far they want to go with technology.

And, there are times when, if you want to catch more and bigger fish, you will need more than a hook and a splitshot.  That’s the fun part of fishing:  You can make it whatever you want it to be.  Sometimes I like simple, sometimes I like the more high-tech stuff.  As long as you’re enjoying your time on the water, you’re fishing the right way.

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