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Fishing the Stickmarsh questions.

Dear Jim,

I'm a weekend fishing warrior. I'm 19 yrs old and just bought my 1st boat; a 16' Lowe aluminum dbl. Hull.

My life long fishing buddy (my dad) and I make our way from Melbourne down to stick marsh about every weekend to every other weekend. I have your page as my homepage; I read your update on the stickmarsh whenever it is published. We never had any luck on the marsh. People say we are doing something wrong. We cruise the lake fishing and fishing and fishing some more, we may only pull a small 1lb bass out the whole day! What am I doing wrong? We troll and troll, flip, pitch and cast, and still nothing. Although I found my self a pro at casting but as a fish catcher I am slim from a pro. I bought a book called Bass Wisdom still no help. But did help me understand everything there is to bass fishing.

When we arrive to the stickmarsh, we launch and head toward the north levy until it gets a lil lighter out. We troll the north levy of the marsh for a bit………….nothing. Then we head for the NorthWest corner and fish there ………….nothing. As we are switching between fishing spots I try every color worm I have; junebug w/ blue tail, red shad, watermelon, pumpkin seed, and tequila sunrise…….and still no fish. Then we get tired of testing lures and whip out the micro-lights and beetle spins to catch the pan fish, so the day isn't a total waste.

What am I doing wrong??




Fishing has two major requirements: 'where' and a 'lure that is suited' to that 'where'.

There are fish nearly everywhere in a body of water, but most are around some form of cover, OR-OR-OR (big 'or' here) a feature they can relate to. Possibly, the feature is one they can use for a reference point. Sorta like you and I use 'home' as a reference as always come back to that location.

There are bass EVERYWHERE in the Marsh. I can think of only a few isolated places that there are no fish. So, that said, it might appear you are not applying a lure that fits the location(s). Example: a deep crank plug is not good in a weed bed; a Carolina rig is not good in weeds or mud. The lure is like a tool - it must fit the job to operate properly and draw strikes. Screwdrivers do not drive nails as well as a hammer. Select the right tool.

Bass, and most fish, are dumb as a brick. They react to their surroundings. They feed WHENEVER THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF. They don't have a McDonald's, so they eat if it happens by, not knowing when the next meal may be.

I suspect a number of things: you are young and not too experienced. Really, it takes a LOT of experience to figure out fishing. Fishing books will not teach you much (except that you spent money for something that probably did not help you catch fish very well). You can read all of my articles and stuff and they will tell you EXACTLY what and how and all real truth. BUT --- until you get on the water and prove certain things for yourself and make them work FOR YOU, my stuff means nothing either.

"The only real way to learn to fish is to FISH." That is exactly what I tell people about learning to fish the worm. You just have to do it -- until, one day, you suddenly say, "Oh, THAT'S what that was! Now, I know what a strike is really like."

Recommendations: Fish a lot; go exactly where my reports say I am successful; use exactly the same lure lures; pay attention to detail; DO NOT change lures (fish don't care, so long as it moves and operates properly in the cover/area you are fishing.) Your worst case - hire a good guide for 1/2 day and tell him exactly what you want him to show you how to do. It doesn't have to be me, at all. I can give you 3 names I know and trust who can make you catch fish in the Marsh. Sometimes, that is what it takes.

But, it is NOT hard. Don't make it that way. It's all in KNOWING where and with what.

Jim P.

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