“You’ll get better on the lake, not the couch!” – Joe Okada
As we approach stop number two of the inaugural H2H PWS season, I find myself very excited with a hint of regret.
Lake Wisconsin is a fascinating fishery less than 50 miles from home and I sincerely regret not giving it the attention it deserves while living in southern WI for most of my life. State record saugers (protected by the slot), trophy walleye and beautiful scenery make this section of the Wisconsin River extremely special.
That puts me in the same boat, so to speak, with most of the other competitors as far as system knowledge goes. This lack of knowledge drastically changes my practice strategy. Three days must be applied to learning lots of water prior to establishing a solid pattern, versus feeling out a handful of clues and then just running programs I could’ve developed over the past couple decades.
In hindsight, I wish I had committed more time to learning this system and it should be a lesson to all of us. There is no substitute for setting goals to acquire certain bits of knowledge on every trip to the water. Make the time, launch your boat, commit to learning or improving something to make you a better angler, then spend the rest of your day trying to take in what’s happening at that very moment and act on it to develop your feel. Is there a body of water or certain technique that’s been calling your name for a while? Don’t wait, act on those thoughts, just get out there and learn!
Figuring out unfamiliar water is one of the puzzle-building pieces in fishing I enjoy the most. On some bodies of water it begins to feel like you’re going through the same old drive-through at the same old restaurant, just to see if they’re serving the same old food. I want to look at my graphs and see something unknown that needs to be explored. That’s what keeps it fun and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Bring on Lake Wisconsin!