A great baseball pitcher skims the lower outside corner on the big pitch. A great tennis player uses every angle with the perfect spin. A great writer describes every detail. A great fisherman is no different. Here is the example to prove it.
This has never been more evident than on one of my recent bass fishing trips. Let me explain this in detail. My buddy and I had on identical lures, with identical line as with drifted windy points in the afternoon and into a recent April evening. The method seemed simple. Cast a wake bait towards a rocky shore of quick drop off from 1 to 15 foot water. Slowly real in on the surface. Set the hook following explosive strikes. All the strikes were my buddy's until I got more detailed.
I watched over the first 10 minutes as my buddy scored 2 bass on 4 strikes. It was remarked that I was unlucky so far. When he yanked in his third bass, I knew I needed to be more accountable to myself. I began watching his lure as much as mine to find the key difference.
We both made casts. Both lures landed a foot from shore. Mine mostly stayed on the surface but also dove so that it went just slightly under the surface half of the time. It took me studying three more casts to see that he needed a two o'clock angle to keep the lure from getting pulled by the boat as we drifted along. I began to emulate it.
I got a couple of boils as my buddy pulled in his 4th bass and missed his seventh strike. By casting at a 2 o'clock angle, I was no longer getting the lure within a foot of the shore. His last two fish struck with 2 feet of the shore but in about 5 foot water due to the quick drop off.
I adjusted again by making precise casts with 1 foot of the shore and at the 2 o'clock angle. Speed was now slow to keep the lure on the surface. My lure lost its wobble for a moment as I got a boil but no strike. Half a second later my buddy's lure got slammed trailing right behind mine for his 5th bass. I needed that lure to travel at exactly .2453 mph, or something like that so that it stayed completely on the surface yet continually wobbled. The fish were stationed a few feet off the drop off in an ambush zone similar to great white sharks nailing seals in Australia. Hey, I like that comparison. Go with me on this.
I made another cast to do it just right. Boom! I caught a three pound bass. Over the 2 hour trip, I ended up catching 6 and my buddy caught 8.
An extreme example happened when we got catty corner to a dock. We watched as a bass trailed my buddy's lure and slammed it so hard that the lure flew 3 feet into the air. The fish sat in the clear water next to the boat. I cast behind him and reeled the lure under the surface. The fish slowly moved out of the way as the lure almost hit him in the face. My buddy casted again. In his excitement, his lure went an inch below the surface. The fish circled violently underneath but made no strike. I cast again and wobbled on the surface. Another explosive strike caused us to yell out in awe and excitement.
This was a day to remember and a new pattern that I have added to my repertoire. I would probably have caught none if it wasn't for paying attention to the details. Details matter!