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Every season I try to find something new to work on. Maybe it is a new type of lure/tackle on the market or trying to learn an old technique that I am not proficient with. Usually I suppose it is a combination of both as when I start studying a technique and trying different lures, I usually end of with an assortment of different lures before settling on particular ones. For example, I remember one season being addicted to jerk baits, particulary Lucky Craft Pointers and X-Raps. Another season it was buzzbaits, studying different shaft lengths, weights, speed to plane, etc. Another season was chatterbaits, and another one swim jigs and fluro line. One of the funnest things about fishing is that when I think I figure something out it usually opens up another batch of questions. I don't think any us truly master something, because there is ALWAYS more to learn. That is probably what keeps me going. With that said, this year I would like to experiment with swimbaits and some of the different Gulp products. I also have some ideas on how to make the senko fishing more versatile. I have several other side projects going through my mind as well, but in the end it is hard to put in the time to truly tackle them all.

What is on your wish list for the 2009 fishing season?
 

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That's a great question

I have only been back into fishing hardcore for the past 3-4 years. I have no idea how I spent 6-8 years not fishing. Anyway, I feel like I am light years behind most of you guys. Hmmm what am I going to focus on?

1. Keeping a log Fo Sho

Lakes
A. Copy Matt, Lee, and other all-stars
B. Since reading the post on drop shotting I'll certainly be giving that a go when cold fronts move through.
C. Swimbaits (to gear up for next spring FLA trip)
D. Learning more knots and using fluro leaders

River
A. Copy D dub, Eye, Erik and other Vets
B. more top water, large spinners
C. Use a bait caster more often
D. Expand my target towns, learn new water off the beaten path.
E. Those shad baits Matt used on LaSalle are going to be deadly on the Fox. Now do they make a Olive color is the ???

By copy I mean study and mimic other successful anglers either on these boards or in the fishing rags.

The biggest thing I want to focus on is spending more time in or on the water. Last years season was cut almost in half after buying a house and all the work that came with it.
 

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I'm really trying to get rid of the panfish bug this year. I'm gonna be fighting the urge to grab the UL all year long...but consequences have to be made. I'm really looking forward to increasing the number of bass I catch. I'm also looking forward to getting to know my baitcaster better and I'm also going to buy some swimbaits and go after the lunkers in some of my local lakes. Finally, one of the toughest ones is going to be.... trying to not use live bait. :cry:
 

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Matt,
Great discussion. This is actually a topic that I was thinking about starting.

I've often made plans at the beginning of the season about presentations I was going to learn and then I inevitably `end up focusing on something else. Last year, I was going to master swim jigs but then the Senko and Brush Hogs resurfaced as my go-to baits. We'll see how this year pans out but these are my current goals.

So this year I am really looking at refinement on certain presentations. I want to key in and master frog fishing, shakey head, drop-shot, and flick shake. While I have used those presentations before and have been successful, I want to gain greater confidence in my ability to fish them. I also want to pay more attention to the details such as weight size and hook size/style. Too often I just put on a 3/16th oz bullet weight and a 3/0 EWG hook and never adjust. I also want to focus on working baits differently to key on patterns. One of my buddies is awesome at this where too often I just drag my baits along the bottom. Lastly, I want to gain confidence in my ability to fish jigs. Yes, I've caught some fish on jig n pigs in the past but I rarely have one tied on. Obviously, it catches big bass but too often I end up pitching plastics instead. I did get off to a good start by catching a couple keeper bass at Braidwood last Saturday on the jig so I am going to keep it going.

So it looks like I have my work cut out for me. I look forward to what other have to say. Good fishing all.
 

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This year I want to target a lot more smallies. That's something I decided on the car ride back from Lasalle. I live right by Belleau Lake, which supposedly has them, but I think I'm going to have to make some trips to the lakefront and the Fox. In general, I want to move around more and target gamefish instead of sitting down, crackin' a beer and fishing for carp and catfish. I had a good year catching pike last year in the DPR, but I think I could have done better if I moved around more. I had a second rod in the water for cats and carp most times out, tying me to a spot.
 

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I'm going to take a different approach altogether with my fishing time. I have a baby on the way soon, and with a 3 year old at home already, things get crazy around my house. Add to it working full-time, going to college full-time, and trying to make ends meet from here on out with my wife leaving her job to stay home with the kids........ well you see where this is going.

If I can get out at all this year after the baby comes, I'll consider it a blessing. That's why I'd just like to concentrate on giving back a little to my Dad and Grandfather who got me into this wonderful sport in the first place. I'm going to spend some quality time on the water not caught up in techniques, tactics, and whatnot. I know it sounds corny or whatever, but I don't think I've told my Dad how much his influence has changed my life. Same goes with my Grandfather.

It also may be a good year to get my oldest son out on the boat for the first time.

Hoping I can make this season about family and fun, and just let the chips fall where they may..... maybe karma will have something nice in store for me before the next ice season.

THEN IT'S GAME ON!!!!!!!! :twisted:

- I'll always be an iceguy at heart.
 

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I am going to try and get my first pike on the fly rod this season. I have my 9 foot, 8-weight bass pro shops fly rod, and I put the Pike/Muskie Mastery series fly line on there. I meant to accomplish this goal last year, but some things came up which prevented me from doing it. Oh well, I bet I caught a couple hundred northerns last season on conventional tackle, so it wasn't a total loss. :D
 

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Funny your obsession with the lucky craft pointer and x-raps. That is what I am focusing on this season. I am confident with my finesse fishing and all my plastic work. Though there is always room for improvment.

I am this year focusing more on more cranking/swimbaits on a lighter outfit. Last year all I focused on was throwing plastics.

I have thrown cranks in the past and have had success but ever since I have become addicted to plastics I really haven't gone back. I miss the stikes on cranks, they are explosive.
 

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The thing I want to work on the most this year is top water fishing, specifically work with weedless frogs. Last year I tried a little, but was going about all wrong. By wrong I mean with the type of line and pole I was using. This year will be a whole new ball game however, I am 100% equipped and ready to go. I will let you guys know how it goes when that time comes.
 

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For me, learning new water would have to be at the top of the list. Both on the Fox and elsewhere. I've owned a trailer in Wisconsin for three years now and I can count on one hand how many times I've been fishing up there since. Every time we're up there it's always work, work, work...that's gotta change.

EYE for an EYE said:

I'd like to use my kayak more.
Me too..'course I said the same thing last year. Let me know if you ever need a partner and if I can make it I will.
 

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I am going to dive into the world of carolina rigging this year. Years past I also fished the Texas rig. I probably won't be able to get out much this year but when I do I will be trying it out.
 

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Great Subject Matt! :D

This Year I am going to get more into crankbait fishing as I am and have been a diehard for Finesse Fishing my whole life. I have done well with cranks, But want to use it more than finesse fishing this year. But knowing me, I will be back to finesse fishing as I have that patience as I know it pays off. I also want to get into customizing my own baits to try to follow patterns throughout the year and keep a log of water temp as well as presentation to depth and etc. I have a feeling as at the end of the year. This will play a big part as I read through my past history when 2010 rolls around. There is soo much more I want to do, But I just can not think of it right now. I use so many techniques and lures, but once I find one that produces for the day, I stick to it but sometimes switch things up on ceritian structure and what not. Like Yami Master Said, Carolina Rigging is a great technique and I as well should use it more than a Texas rig with a slip bullet weight. I will as well have a rod rigged with me at all times with a carolina rig and another with a texas rig to see wich one produced better for me. Thanks for bringing this subject up. I will follow up with more once I get things situated much more.

I as well want to concentrate on deep water cold front bassin when the fall rolls through.

there is just soo much, I can't put it all together right now :mrgreen:
 

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Great topic. I suppose I'd have to just say focus on learning the illinois lay of the land as I just moved down here from Milwaukee in the winter time. I've already learned a lot and am excited to target species that I haven't targeted before.

I started keeping a log last summer and it will be nice to see it come full circle, I'll be excited to compare this year's notes from 2008.
 

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last season my goal was to get better at adding crankbaits. Well i did.

This year-finnese example: Carolina Rig, Texas Rig, Drop Shot, Shakey Head, Split shot rig, all the good stuff.

When im fishing at SIUC next year im going to fish the college FLW. Or at least hope to
 

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i would like to learn how to dropshot. fish jigs and jerkbaits and try to not rely on the shakey head as much. im addicted to it. i went fishing theother day with it and i caught a 7 - 8 lbder on it ill post the pic in a lil bit
 
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