Patience Is A Virtue

There is an old saying in life that patience is a virtue. Smart fishermen will tell you that the same concept applies to fishing success as well. Unfortunately for me, patience is something I have never had. Sitting in one spot and waiting on fish to become active or move into the area has always been a struggle for me. Even when I was anchor fishing for catfish exclusively, I was constantly on the move. Rarely could I last more than 30 minutes on a spot without a bite before moving on to the next location.

If you are a viewer of my YouTube channel, you have undoubtedly heard me say that I like to keep my baits on good structure and keep moving. While this philosophy has served me well through the years, I often wonder if it has been a detriment to me as well. More specifically, I wonder if I could have caught more big fish by putting my baits on good structure and leaving them there for the duration of the trip. This is something I hope to either prove or disprove in 2019.

Each year, I set some fishing goals for myself. Last year, my main goal was to get better at dragging so I spent the bulk of my fishing time doing just that. In 2019, my number one fishing goal is to try to solve the inefficiencies of anchor fishing in a kayak. One of the ways I believe I can do this is by spending more time on each spot versus hitting multiple spots each trip. Due to the extra time it takes to retrieve an anchor in the kayak as well as the amount of time it takes to travel in between spots, I spend much of my day without baits in the water on a typical anchor fishing trip. By focusing my efforts on one to two spots versus the eight to ten that I would normally fish, a much greater percentage of my trips will be spent with baits in the water.
This blue was caught after being anchored on a spot for several hours.
I will do another post at a later time where I go into more detail about how I plan solve the inefficiencies of anchor fishing in a kayak. The main thing I wanted to emphasize in this post is that my goal in 2019 is going to force me into doing something that I have wanted to get better at for a long time and that is practicing patience. By limiting myself to fishing one or two spots per trip, I will have to be more patient. Time will tell if this will pay off or not. Outlined below are a few things I expect to happen this year.

1. I will catch less fish overall this year than the last few years where I have spent the bulk of my time drifting and dragging.

2. I will catch more 40+lb fish. Historically, most of my biggest fish have been caught while anchored. Even the last few years when I have spent very little time anchoring, a lot of my bigger fish have been caught on my anchor fishing trips.

3. I will catch more flatheads. While other's experiences may vary, one thing I noticed while spending most of last year dragging was how few flatheads I caught. The number of flatheads caught in 2019 will undoubtedly be greater. I will also be incorporating more live bait in the spring and summer months which should help increase the number of flathead bites.

4. I will develop tendonitis in my thumbs from playing on my phone too much. When I am moving via drifting or dragging, I am constantly adjusting my lines and keeping my kayak positioned to follow specific contours. This creates the psychological illusion in my mind that I am actually doing something while waiting on the fish. While anchor fishing, there is nothing for me to do but tinker on my phone and cuss pleasure boaters.
As I said above, time will tell if this experiment will pay off or not. I am inclined to believe it will though. I started doing this in December and have already caught some great fish including what I think is my new personal best blue. Many of the better fish I have caught so far have come several hours after being anchored down on a spot which are fish I wouldn't have caught had I been fishing like years past. Regardless of whether this experiment turns out to be a success or failure in the end, I will learn from it and become a better fisherman because of it. Now I just need to figure out a way to avoid getting tendonitis in my thumbs.
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