Southern California is very unique in terms of how we fish. The recreational sports-fishing fleet is the largest in the world. You may read or hear often that 20% of the anglers catch 80% of the fish. Fishing as I do so often on open party boats, I get to see this adage play itself out live, as anywhere from 10–50 anglers fish head to head on any given trip. I know for a fact that anyone can get lucky and catch one big fish. The anglers that consistently go home with a full sack stack their odds by doing many small things better.
Based on this article, it’s clear that attention to detail matters whether you’re fishing on a party boat in Southern California or through the ice in Canada.
I’d been out ice fishing for lake trout and got onto a scorching bite using X-Zone Swammer and Bass Magnet Shift’R Shad swimbaits, as well as a pearl-flash coloured Angler’s Choice tube jig pinned to one of CL Fishin’s Fluffy Shiner jigs. The latter jigs, by the way, were designed by southern Ontario’s Carl Linker to imitate the smelts in Lake St. Clair, and feature an outrageous holographic Mylar skirt that you need to see in the water to believe.
And from the way the lakers were smacking the lures—I landed 11 trout over a three-hour span, and that doesn’t include “drive bys”—the fish were obviously seeing and believing my baits.
But the day didn’t start out that way.
Photos: Gateway North Outfitters (top), Outdoor Canada (above)