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Adventure Report, Close to Home

You all know that I love to travel Nebraska, fish the variety of waters we have, catch a variety of species of fish, and share that here on my blog.  I will continue to do that every chance I get.  However, life is usually a lot more routine than that.  I am not always traveling, am not always able to get away to one of the several waters I wish I could be fishing at the time.  No, just like most of you, I am at home much of the time, but I do not sit around wishing I could be fishing the latest, hottest bite wherever that may be.  No, I GO FISH!

I came to a conclusion a long time ago that a person could either sit around wishing they could be fishing on some distant water, or they could just go fish whenever they had time, wherever they were.  The best way to improve as anglers is to spend as much time as possible on the water!  I try to pick waters close to home that have potential to produce some good fish, big fish, and then I try to fish them as much as possible.  Many of those trips will not be all-day efforts; most are a few hours whenever I have time.  But, those hours add up and the longer you fish a body of water the more you learn, the more you figure out, the better you become, and in the process more and bigger fish end up on the end of your line.

I believe that luck has very little to do with catching fish; that anglers can learn how to improve, be more successful more often, catch more and bigger fish.  I also believe that the more time you spend on a body of water, the more you will master catching fish from that body of water.  Then, those skills can be easily applied to other bodies of water when you have a chance to fish them.  Too many anglers spend too much time “chasing rainbows”, running from one hot fishing report to the next.  That is a great way to find out “you shoulda been here yesterday”, and it does not force you to learn the skills it really takes to catch fish.  Too many anglers believe the key to being successful is being on the hottest bite instead of learning how to become better anglers.  Do not get me wrong, I am not saying you should force yourself to fish marginal waters, learn to pick waters with good potential, and then spend enough time on those waters to realize that potential.  That takes a significant investment of time, and usually is most easily accomplished on waters close to home.

Over time I have racked up hundreds if not thousands of hours fishing certain waters close to home.  Looking back over all those hours, one thing I have learned is that things change all the time.  Sure, seasonal patterns and accompanying fish movements are repeated year after year, but each year is a little bit different.  Conditions are never identical from year to year, and in fact even from day to day.  I usually start a trip on spots that have produced in the past and I usually start with presentations that worked in the past, but then I try to adapt and adjust from there.  The danger in fishing close-to-home waters a lot is falling into ruts where you only do the same things all the time.  I try to force myself to be versatile; if the old favorite spots and baits are not producing, try something different!  Let the fish tell you what they want.  A lot of the learning process of fishing is trial and error, and in many cases the only thing I know for sure is that an angler has to keep trying!

It is reassuring though when the old favorite spots produce once again.

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And sometimes it is nice to just kick back and relax.  I am very serious about my fishing and can fish VERY HARD at times.  But then once in awhile it is nice to be a little more “low-key”, to just sit back on a dock with family and friends and catch some fish.

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And to be reminded that many times the K.I.S.S. principle is best–Keep It Simple, Stupid.  I cannot tell you the hundreds, maybe thousands of fish, the simple Kid’s System has dried off for me and my fishing partners over the years.  It still works, is still a great way to spend a relaxing evening catching fish!

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Of course sometimes you have to expect that your daughter will catch the biggest bluegill, a bona fide 10-incher!

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That is my recent fishing report.  More to come, both near and far!

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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