The Mental Side of Fishing

Hello Surfcasters!

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Thinking It Out
After a night of fishing, whether it is an extended trip with daylight hours before the next night’s fishing, or a 3-hour ride home, I mentally review the conditions I encountered and the way I responded to them. The obvious things I make note of are the bait I saw and how the plugs swam – if there was enough current or tidal pull to give them the desired action.

Wind is always a factor, too. I like enough to give a good chop on the water, but not so much that it makes it difficult to cast. I don’t mind a strong cross wind because the pikes dig and you can keep a tight line and good contact to the plug. The downside is there is a good chunk of lead in the head of my Medium and Deep divers and the plugs will turn head first if you try to get too much out of the cast and catch the line with the front treble. Smoothing out your cast should help with this.

Totally calm conditions – even though much easier to fish – are not my favorite. I like a little chop to keep the fish from getting a good look at the plug. Let them react to the size and action of the plug. With that said, I have had some tremendous nights of fishing in calm conditions! On other nights where in my mind’s eye there had been excellent conditions, with good reports of bait and fish, I have caught nothing after a full night of fishing. I have always looked for patterns to gain some advantage, but more than not, the fish are not where they should be. I always have a plan, but it can change as soon as I hit the water. I fish a lot by feel; the feel of the conditions, the feel of how the plugs are swimming, and most important, do I feel the fish are there?!

After I have reviewed the conditions, I concentrate on the fishing and whether I caught or not. If I did not catch, I go over what I could have done differently. Was I in the wrong spot? Did I spend too long trying to get some fish out of it? Was I fishing a Troller when I should have been fishing a SLIM? Did I miss something that I should have seen? Should I have been refreshing my Bunker\Menhaden gel a little more frequently? Did I give up on the fishing and lose my focus? I know that when I am into fish, I can feel every waggle of the plug because I am so focused on the retrieve.

If I did catch, I review the bite to see if I got the most out of it. I always wonder if I could have caught bigger. Did I switch from a Giant to a Troller soon enough to get the bigger fish out of the school? I always try to increase the size of the plug to increase the size of the fish. When it works there is nothing like it. On the occasion when I have caught a lot of big fish, I try to understand what I did right and how much of it was being in the right place at the right time. For the most part with surf fishing, one thing you will have a lot of, between fish or hits for that matter, is time to “think”! I hope this rambling will spark some insight into the way you fish!

New Stock Available
I have just finished a run of Dark Olive Iridescent Scale in assorted styles (Giant, SLIM, SLIM Medium Diver, and Troller). Initially, I was asked to make this plug as a custom. I liked the way it turned out so much that I decided to add it to my standard colors. What will make it so effective is that it can be a generic color that will pass for a lot of different bait fish. It has an iridescent gold hue on top and an iridescent reddish/pink hue on the upper back and sides. It also has a faint pink stripe along the side that only shows up in certain light. The sides and belly are pearl scale over flat white. I like this color a lot! And, just for good measure, I have a few Light Olive Iridescent Scale available, too. Click for photos and inventory.

I also have quite a few Custom Plugs in stock – Giants, SLIMs and more, including 2 of my very popular Sea Robins. Click here for Custom photos and inventory.

As always, my subscribers are getting “first shot” at these plugs.

Fishing Show & Workshop – Long Island
I’ll be taking any remaining inventory with me to the Surf Fishing Show & Workshop put on by The Fisherman magazine on Thursday, Sept. 15. It will take place at the Huntington Hilton Hotel on Rte. 110 in Huntington, New York. Hours are 6pm – 11pm. I will be giving a talk on Making and Fishing Big Plugs. Be sure to stop in and say “Hi!”

BigWaterLures in the News
I’m happy to have been featured in two magazines this summer – in the July issue of the Saltwater Sportsman (an article called “Boston Blackout”) and in the August issue of On The Water (an article called “Trolling for Twilight Trophies”). Check them out!

As always, if you have any questions about my plugs or how I fish them, please e-mail me – I always like to talk about fishing. Don’t forget to use
Good fishing,


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