Fishing skills

Brown: Good anglers need ‘special skills’ beyond technology, and need to pass them on | Sports

People who fish know the fun and pleasure associated with it, but perhaps those who have never had a day on the water or are afraid to try it can watch those who do it with a little confusion and hesitation about our sanity.

Once hooked, pardon the pun, we spend big bucks, travel lake to lake and it continues to be one of the only sports where you can’t really see the quarry and it’s under the surface of the water.

A young fisherman shows off his catch. Young anglers have the advantage of modern technology, but it’s up to older anglers to teach them the “special skills” that only come with experience.


Although we now have sophisticated electronics and other gadgets to use sonar to find them, we really can’t tell their mood or whether they will bite or not. We can tell their size and shape, but depending on our training and understanding of electronics, we may end up hunting another species that is not part of the plan.

Whether hunting bass, walleye, or other fish, biology is used more than many would acknowledge. Seasonal patterns based on the time of year, type of lake or river fished, water conditions, and angler skill level in bait selection and casting ability can do all the difference for success or failure. It’s not a simple game and those who are the best at it have special skills. In my opinion, fishermen are athletes.

The new fisherman is much better and has a lot more information at your fingertips. Something that took us years and years to figure out they do by watching a YouTube video or reading about it online. Our training was a dad, or a grandfather, or trial and error; theirs is a keyboard or their cell phone. This reduces the learning curve.

The variable that has not yet been specifically introduced into the equation is fishing pressure and lake size combined with the skill set. Everything else can be put into an equation and formulated for the desired result. A body of water without pressure may be easier to model than a body of water in an urban setting with more anglers on the water.

The last, but most important variable is the number of fish that live in a particular body of water, as even the best anglers cannot catch ghosts.

Fishing is the only sport where size, gender, and age have little to do with participation, and that’s what makes it special in my book. Being a great football player or a fast runner has little to do with how successful you can be on the water. I see it again and again with youth fishing, where the biggest and strongest are not necessarily the most successful.

It’s a sport where anyone can be successful, it really is the sport of a lifetime. Old and young, big or small can all participate, and the beauty of success is measured in the individual. There are competitions for trophies and cash, but a group of friends can just go and enjoy the day with bragging rights or a small bet.

To be honest, I never thought I would be involved in fishing 40 years ago. I didn’t want it to become a job and always wanted it to be the headache of imagining them facing the pressure of entry fees and an eight hour competition window. It was about seeing the sun rise or set, the lonely moments on the water and the release of stress that gave me the most pleasure, but once bitten by the virus of competition fishing, I really wanted testing my skills against like-minded others. competitors to see how I ranked.

Don’t worry, if you’re good, there’s always someone better. Information has always been the differentiating factor – a specific technique or a selection of baits. Because I grew up when competitive fishing was born, I could see it all and soak it up like a sponge.

I’m still figuring out how to catch more or better use my time on the water, but my pleasure now comes from helping others catch more and enjoy the experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a competitive wire, but I definitely have a smile and a warm feeling inside when I see that I could have helped a young angler succeed.

It’s actually better than winning me over at this point, and until you’re there, you might not understand it. I absorb experience and time spent outdoors like I used to with technique or bait, and winning isn’t as important as it used to be. Maybe it’s a matter of age, but more importantly, I think it’s finding someone to replace after I’m done that gives me the most pleasure. I had some before me who paved the way for me and now it’s my turn to love this opportunity.

Today’s young angler has skills way ahead of what I had at his age, but I have experience and wisdom and you can’t get that on the internet. I believe my best work is truly ahead of me. I love this part of the game, and even if I’m not that fast or can’t jump that high, I can still fish, and for that I’m very grateful.

Rather than quitting or giving up, I plan to stay in the middle until I can’t anymore. It is a matter of principle for me to stay engaged and I will never stop learning and passing it on. I hope you are in the boat with me.

Terry Brown Tighter Crop

Brown Sponge

Terry Brown is President of, an industry-leading daily website and social media community that provides product information, industry news and fishing techniques. You can learn more by going to