Are you launching from the same marina and fishing the same old spots?

That's what I used to do. See, I was interested only in my short-term success — never my long-term success.

I always fished the same handful of locations, and always got the same results: Sometimes I limited out, sometimes I had little to show.

When my honey hole didn't produce, I didn't have a Plan B — and it cost me. When I struck out, I struck out hard.

But once I knocked that practice off, I started catching more speckled trout and redfish.

Here are three ways I did it:

1. Don’t continually fish the same area.

Now, I launch from marinas I rarely go to or have never seen.

Instead of driving my boat to the same spot, I’m forced to find fish using the fundamentals of inshore fishing.

In the process, I learned what really makes a honey hole a true "honey hole.”

Now I feel confident I can go into any marsh and have a good day. It's a great feeling you should have, too.

2. Try new tackle.

It's age-old wisdom that anglers should use what they are confident with, and that’s great fishing advice that works.

But, in the same breath, I will tell you to try something new.

Not a new color or lure, but something fundamentally different — like fishing line or a reel-type you're currently uncomfortable with.

For example, I always disliked anything that wasn't 20-pound test PowerPro. Now that's changed — and today I use monofilament, fluorocarbon and braid, all on spinning and casting tackle.

Monofilament is cheap and neutral buoyant, fluorocarbon sinks with a jighead and 65-pound braid can yank any redfish out of a grass mat.

They're all valuable "tools in the toolbox", or in our case, tackle box.

3. Go on “learning trips.”

Some days I make the decision to "let go" of the fish. On these trips I tell myself long before launching the boat that today is not about catching a limit.

Then I leave the dock to explore the marsh, try new spots and discover safe routes.

If that isn't feasible, I will at least go exploring after I catch a good deal of fish.

Otherwise, I get stuck in the rut of needing to catch a limit — and never get to learn or see new things.

Interestingly enough, it’s days I let go of the fish that I really smash them. It seems counterintuitive, but it really does work.

Conclusion

When you do these three things, you will improve your fishing trips over the long-term.

Think of these practices as your homework. Fish have tails, and it's just a matter of time before they use them to swim somewhere else. And when they do, you’ll need what you learned from your homework to find them again.

Editor’s Note: Devin Denman is an avid inshore fisherman who writes the Louisiana Fishing Blog. To read more of his articles, visit lafishblog.com