Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Positive Attitude

I started thinking about this at 5:00am this morning. What was I doing awake at 5:00am on Saturday morning? I have no clue. Just old, I guess. Since then (it's now 7:30am), I've been musing about this subject. I guess John over at Musings of Murphyfish, is rubbing off on me.

What brought this about is a comment that Mark Dahlquist made on my last post. " Mark I take it the water is pretty clear then if the fluorocarbon is needed?" and "Sounds like these trout are on the more educated side". The answer to this is yes and no.

Some years ago while I was in college, I was talking to one of the students I was taking a class with, about fishing. What came out of that conversation was to direct my life as a fisherman. I said that when you go fishing, you can't go with the attitude that "I want to catch fish". You have to go with the attitude that "The fish are there, come on and get on my hook".

Recently, I've been on a soapbox preaching the advantages of using fluorocarbon line as a leader and how the fish can not see it. From my experience over the last several years, I don't think it has anything to do with clear water (like Lake Camanche, Caples Lake, or Bear River Reservoir) or dirty or discolored water (like Lake Amador or Red Lake) because it works every where. I also don't think it has anything to do with the fish being educated.

So what is the secret? I think it has to do with a lot of things. You have to hit the lake, stream, or river, with the attitude that the fish are there, they are going to bite and you just have to find out what they want. A fluorocarbon leader doesn't hurt, but it isn't always the key. I've caught fish with lures tied straight to my line. Example: the 7 lb Cuttbow on February 3rd that was caught with a grub jig tied straight to my line. One I lost that would have gone more than 5 lbs, with a Kastmaster tied straight to my line. No fluorocarbon there, but the attitude that the fish are there, so hit the lure. I can't tell you how often I've come to where I'm calling it a day and say to myself "OK, I'm leaving in 30 or 60 minutes and I need one or two more to make a limit" and sure enough by the time I pack up, I've landed those other one or two I wanted.

On the other hand, I had one straighten my line at Caples Lake and snap it, using a fluorocarbon leader tied to my line with a double surgeon knot and a nightcrawler on a bait hook. It didn't snap the leader, or the knot, it was the line that snapped. Was it the fact that all the fish could see was the crawler? Would he have hit the crawler without the flurorcarbon leader? Was it my attitude that the fish are there, I was just waiting for the hit? I have to think, in this case, it was a combination of everything.

Is attitude enough? Probably not, but the combination of attitude, and having the right tools should be the key factors that put fish on the end of your line.

Where do we go from here? Personally, I'm going up upstairs and have breakfast. I'll shut up now.

Till next time.



  1. Hi Mark, great post for a Saturday morning "thinkabout". Boy, I sure agree that having a positive attitude makes a world of difference in how aggressively you fish for the day. Confidence is a great asset. Your senses are sharper and sometimes it seems that you are in sync with the fish. I am using more fluorocarbon leader these days in my fishing and I think it makes a difference.

  2. Mark, you've given me something to think about today. Thanks!

  3. Attitude is what it's about. Something tells me Michael Jordan never asked himself, "will I hit this jump shot", it was probably like "when I hit this jump shot." Different sport, but same concept. If fluorocarbon is your "Dumbo's feather" it works for me.

  4. Your "go to" lure is usually the one that regularly catches fish, mostly because you fish it with confidence. If you believe fluorocarbon line gives you an edge, wouldn't that translate into more fish?

  5. I'm totally a believer in "P.M.A."... And having the right tools helps a little bit too!
    Nice post...

  6. Good post Mark!

    How iv been fishing lately is purely on confidence, its why im only using one technique. I dont feel confident in drift fishing the river or using bobbers in the river. Now some day ill learn other things and become confident in them but until then im just throwing spoons and spinners for steelhead :D