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Huff's Post: When it comes to bait selection, sometimes 'surrender' IS an option
Greg Huff, NAFC Social Media Editor
NAFC Staff Blogs
Or so I've been told -- I prefer
Suffice to say, I don't give in easily -- a trait that can either serve or sabotage an angler.
Turns out, my colleague Web Ed. Jim is cut from the same cloth.
I soon learned that after a recent weekend fishing trip began inauspiciously with a minor mechanical mishap -- my outboard motor caught fire. You can read
Jim's blog account
of the blaze
my account here
Spoiler alert: we put out the fire and didn't get off the water -- didn't give in; didn't say Uncle.
"No retreat. No surrender," Jim said, assuaging my concerns that dousing the flames had also dampened his enthusiasm for our endeavor.
"Failure is not an option," I replied, and we forged ahead, idling slowly, carefully upriver -- with the outboard hood off for constant monitoring.
I was pleased. A no-surrender spirit would be key, considering the weather and water conditions forecast for the next 48 hours -- cold, rain and wind gusting up to 40 mph. But when you get a 48-hour hall pass from the honey-do list at home, you don't throw in the towel in hour one, no matter what adversity comes your way.
"No retreat. No surrender."
"Failure is not an option."
Bold statements which, stripped of bravado, translate roughly the same --
"Let's keep fishing, because if I go home now I'll have to rake the yard and clean the garage."
So we kept fishing. And I'm glad we did, because we dialed into a smallie pattern pretty quickly.
Jim blogged about it yesterday
. And we filmed and produced this video to document the process and show off the river donkeys we found.
And that brings us to other edge of the two-sided "no-surrender" sword -- bait selection. The same "no-retreat" spirit that keeps a sportsman afield no matter what nature throws at him has a flip side -- doggedly sticking with a bait long past the point of diminishing returns; trying to force feed the fish what
think they want, rather than letting the fish tell you what they want.
I was reminded of this on my recent excursion with Jim. Because when it comes to late-fall, cold-water smallmouth in Minnesota, you can
for 'em with whatever bait you want to, but you're gonna
'em on tubes. Green-pumpkin tubes, 9 times out of 10. Rigged on a jighead, hook exposed.
I had re-learned this lesson just a week prior, on a day trip to mighty Mille Lacs, two hours north of my Minneapolis home base.
As my fishing buddy boated football after football on green-pumpkin tubes, I stubbornly resisted following suit, trying to get creative with drop-shot rigs, hair jigs and grubs. Once my buddy had me 5 to 1, I finally came around though and tied on a tube.
By then though, it was too late. A lull in the bite came around, and we did not have the time to ride it out until it turned on again -- 2 p.m. came and we had to get back on the road so my buddy could be home in time to pick up his kids from school (We had embarked from the Twin Cities at 5:30 a.m. and had the boat in the water by first light).
As I reviewed the footage I had shot, riding home in the truck for two hours, I learned a valuable lesson -- a lesson I should have already learned, considering home many times I'd read it bass articles and heard bass pros evangelize it in their videos: let the fish tell you what they want.
In reviewing my Mille Lacs footage, it was clear the fish were telling me that they wanted green-pumpkin tubes. Even my fishing buddy was telling me they wanted green-pumpkin tubes:
"If you don't tie on a tube now, I'm going to tackle you and force you to!" He told me after boating his fifth smallie.
By then, though, it was too late.
With that lesson fresh in my mind, I had nothing but
tied on when Jim and I hit the river.
Watch the video and you'll see that I learned my lesson well.
Jim on the other hand … Well, like I said. He's stubborn. Like me.
But sooner or later, we all come around.
-- Tight lines, Greg
Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:39 AM
I bet you won't forget this story.
Thursday, November 17, 2011 5:59 PM
any time fishing is great ,,yes from fire and wind to way over sizes waves,,,then you still fish as i did and will do ,,,,fishing is being close to nature and mother sometimes gets upset but as i do and see you do too Greg,,fish on and tight line to you ,,,,
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