Try remembering the first time you caught a fish using a new lure, or that time you found them in a spot you never fished before.
Didn't you feel sudden surprise and joy? Kinda like a big ‘aha moment.’
That is what I pursue on my fishing trips — and it took me years to discover that.
See, at first I thought it was all about showing off my limits of fish at Breton Sound Marina's cleaning tables, while soaking up the admiration of other anglers.
Later I discovered that, for me, the best fishing trips were the ones I was successful trying something new — whether it was using a different lure or trying a new technique.
Well, that's exactly what happened to me recently — let me tell you about it.
There is a small and shallow pond across the street from my house. The weather was no longer freezing and I figured I could slow-roll a spinnerbait for a good bite. After all, it'd be great to get my rod bent while I had my morning cup of coffee.
So with my favorite rod in hand and a few lures in my pocket, I walked out the front door. I cast around a lot and got nothing. You'd have thought the pond was a ghost town.
But then I noticed the water was up from recent rainfall, and had flooded all the brush on the shoreline — that's probably where the bass were, I figured.
So I tied on a jig and got to work, pitching into the thick cover. I used this technique despite not having much success with it in the past.
It makes sense when you think about it: Pitching into thick cover is almost never used by inshore anglers, since it's not needed. And seeing as I am an inshore angler — not a basser — I was definitely lacking confidence.
But it only took a few pitches before I had a gnarly blowup. When that happened, my confidence soared.
I cast a spinnerbait all over the edges of that cover and never got anything, but that jig was the ticket.
The bass really were hiding in the grass, and this technique was the way to get ‘em. Another pitch yielded a solid bite, and a minute later I had the fish in my hands.
It would've been easy to bask in my success, but at the end of the day it was just one dingleberry bass in a poorly-managed pond.
Instead I admired what the dink taught me: The only wrong way to catch fish is to refuse to try new things. And when anglers stop trying new things, a small part of their passion dies.
Being successful with new lures and tactics is not the only thing I seek on my fishing trips, but it sure does make a difference.
Catching that dink bass is one of the best fishing trips I've had in a while, and I say this in spite of having a 60-mph boat sitting in the garage, ready to roll through the marsh.
I look forward to try flipping and pitching cover more often in Delacroix, and anywhere else thick cover grows. I really enjoyed that ‘aha' moment — and I hope you enjoy them, too.
If so, I have a whole bunch I'd like to offer you. I have organized them into a neat format, complete with tons of video, inside LAFB University. It's is designed specifically for Louisiana's inshore anglers, complete with instructor support and a lifetime subscription.
Tight lines, y'all!
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.