Outdoors column: Open water 2014: New resolutions to become a better angler

Most anglers have the idea the more time they spend on the water, the better fisherperson they will become.

This is true to A point, but the reality is that the best anglers are the most diverse anglers in terms of fishing a variety of lakes, mixing up their fishing techniques and always trying to acquire new and different fishing styles.

Here are some ideas for the aspiring angler to make 2014 a new beginning and dedicate this new year to becoming a better angler.

Make 2014 the year you make some resolutions to become a better angler.
Make 2014 the year you make some resolutions to become a better angler.Submitted Photo

Get out of the rut

I spend a lot of my time on the water teaching anglers how to become better and more proficient and the common denominator with frustrated anglers is that they keep fishing the same water with the same style of fishing and won’t think outside of the box.

All of us tend to like the comfortable water we fish because it’s easy and we are familiar with the patterns. To become a better angler I instruct every angler I work with to try new lakes and prepare to expect mediocre results the first few times out. It takes many times on a new body of water to get familiar with the fishing patterns and to learn the lay of the land. This takes effort and means some work is involved such as trailer your boat and finding where the accesses on a particular lake are located.

Every year I strive to drop my boat into as many new lakes as possible and by doing this I find some dynamite new water and often find some lakes not worth returning to. It’s all worth it because I always learn new things every time I drop into a new lake or river.

Learn new fishing 


Many anglers tend to do the same thing every time out because it has worked in the past. Many are spinner and night crawler people while others are live bait riggers and some are bobber fisher people.

There are times when these techniques are great but other times when it takes other subtle presentations to make the fish bite. Make 2014 the year you learn how to troll planer boards. Or better yet, learn from the ground up the patterns to be successful throwing swimbaits.

All these new techniques have a learning curve that takes time to master. Don’t expect to be knocking them dead right off the bat.

Learning new techniques means you can expect to be frustrated and you have to put in your time to learn new systems.

Many anglers can learn new styles in a matter of hours while others need weeks to feel comfortable.

Fishing clubs

One of the greatest recommendations I can give is to recommend to every angler to join some sort of fishing fraternity or club. These organizations offer help and assistance and can help you become a better angler in a short amount of time. These groups tend to share information and good lakes and these groups provide a shortcut to gaining knowledge which is a large part of being a successful angler.

The internet can only do so much, it’s the real human contact and compassion of these fishing groups that make average anglers become proficient anglers.

Steve Carney is a contributing writer to the Outdoors page.