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1. Fish big. My son Fritz at an early age encouraged me to "fish big". Well, little Fritz is now 6'6' 225 pounds, doing well in college, and an accomplished poker player. Fritz became tired of catching little bluegill and said "fish big". This year, each time out on Deep Lake, I have spent more time fishing big and it has paid off. I fish big first and fish for panfish secondarily.

2. Fish the weed lines. I decided to spend more time fishing weed lines at Deep this year. I caught bass at distinct weed lines fishing parallel using Texas type rigs and Keeper Hooks. I've caught fish skimming the tops of weedlines with Rattletraps when there's slight chop on the water (like November 1, 2008). I've caught small bass in open weed pockets with Cubby Mini Mites and floats. I still haven't caught a bass skimming plastic frogs on top of lilly pads at Deep but I will eventually. So I believe I am learning how to parallel fish weeds, skim non-emergent weed tops, and fish weed pockets better. Next year I hope to learn how to fish the different type of weeds in the northern bay better.

3. Fish new spots. I decided to always fish new spots at Deep every time I went out. In the process I've learned some new areas to fish (sorry, can't mention them).

4. Mobility improves fishing. Yes, my 4 HP forty year old weedless prop Johnson motor has given me much better access to parts of the lake I had never fished. Now I can plow through some weeds and fish spots that are new.

5. Trolling. I love trolling. It's not the magic answer to catching fish all the time, but it's just fun for me. November 1 my friend Roger caught a 4 ½ pound bass trolling with the rod, reel, lure, and location that I picked out for him. When you troll and you get hit, you never know if it's a weed or a bass. Using buoys and understanding lure selection and seasonal patterns should improve my trolling next year.

6. Catching and landing bigger fish. I read a book co-authored by Paul Prorok on catching large bass. I learned a few things that I am using. Here's a little thing. I never set a hook with the rod sweeping to my body. I always set the hook at maybe ten o'clock. Why? If the hook set fails, the lure doesn't rocket toward my face. The lure rockets away from my body.

7. Palomar knot. I've never seen a good demo on tying these knots. But I finally figured out how to tie this knot and I haven't had anymore slipped knots under pressure. If you're still losing lures stuck on weeds or an occasional fish, and the lure slips off, look at the end of the line. If the end of the line has little curls, it means your knot slipped, it didn't break off.

8. Get a good fish finder. My digital fish finder stopped working a few years ago. I tried using my ice fishing locator, still no luck. This Christmas all I want is a top of the line digital fish finder. The type you can put in the water and point laterally at a weed line to see if fish are present. This should improve my fishing considerably. All this year I was fishing blindly, barely knowing the depth or presence of fish. And still I caught fish.

9. Less is more. I take 3 tackle boxes with me. If I can cut down my urges and be more selective about what I bring to Deep Lake, I think I'll be a better fisherman.

10. Humility. Attending one Windy City fishing tournament was a lesson in humility. In 6 hours of fishing I was skunked. But one day I'll catch at one bass during a tournament. Congrats to the guys that catch fish every time they're in a tournament.
 

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Great Post! I'm sure my first outing at deep while in a tourney I'll be skunked. But looking forward to learning from the process. That post not only helped you but it also helped my self. Thanks Keep them coming.
 

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George W said:
Great Post! I'm sure my first outing at deep while in a tourney I'll be skunked. But looking forward to learning from the process. That post not only helped you but it also helped my self. Thanks Keep them coming.
George if you come out I will partner up with you. I have been fishing that lake for years I will put you on some fish ask Sean. Your a good fisherman Maybe I can learn a thing or two from the young gun's
 
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