Locals only or Worldwide?


Last updated 8/5/2014 at Noon

“Pssst…..hey buddy? I got what you need, GPS coordinates, reef names, secret

spots full of shell guaranteed to give you what you’re looking for. I got it

all.” In a wide eyed frenzy the unsuspecting and overly enthusiastic angler

who’s hungry for information does exactly what you would guess, he buys it all.

Anything for an edge and everything for a big fish. The quest for these big fish

drives many folks to extreme measures and often different locations. The biggest

key to success is just simply knowing the what, when, where, and how of each

location and all that starts with information.

Gathering information for a fisherman takes on many forms. For years it was a

difficult task to find out anything truly helpful on a new body of water without

spending the time to get to know it. Anglers went to great lengths to acquire

local knowledge. Hiring local guides to give a “Readers Digest or Cliffs Notes”

version of a particular area was the most logical way to get your feet wet. For

those a little more adventurous there was the overhead method, taking a plane or

helicopter for a ride with a camera and a map. Lots of B.A.S.S. guys employed

this method for many years since you could cover so much area in such a short

amount of time.

Fast forward to today and the all the electronic wizardry that’s available and

you can just about make the claim that there are no more “secret spots”.

Websites like Google Earth will show you just about anything out there in clear

vivid detail. Companies like Navionics make GPS and mapping chips that are so

detailed it’s ridiculous. They even make them updateable from their website so

you get the latest and greatest information available.

Now with all this electronic help it’s awful easy to get lulled into a false

sense of security. Several years ago I saw a boat on Sam Rayburn that had run

aground and flipped over on what was supposed to a submerged hump. 2 anglers

from out of state armed with a high dollar GPS were involved in the crash. Yes

they were on the right route. Yes they were following the coordinates. No they

didn’t realize the lake was 10 feet below pool at the time so they crashed. A

GPS doesn’t make you invincible nor will it guarantee you that you will be fine

if you follow the track. This is where local knowledge and plain old common

sense comes in to play.

There is no substitute for local knowledge or time on the water, it’s just plain

priceless. If you are so fortunate to find someone willing to share some

information by all means respect their areas and do your best to reciprocate the

exchange of information when you can. The exchange of information between

fishermen can be the difference in struggling and success. On a recent trip to

Gulf Shores Alabama I couldn’t help but want to fish the surf in front of our

condo as it appeared to be alive at times with bait and all sorts of activity. I

took a trip to the local tackle shop, J and M Tackle, and got all the info I

needed to make my trip a success. These folks were really nice and very willing

to help an out of state angler like myself. It’s very rare when you can’t get a

good tip or piece of information at the local tackle shop; it’s the first place

to start asking around when you go to an unfamiliar body of water.

Now an even helping of electronic help and local know how will certainly put you

on the right path to success but don’t ever rule out bringing your own secret

weapon. Many times I have seen anglers show up at an unfamiliar body of water

and use a technique that the locals never dreamed of and be successful. I guess

that’s what makes the sports so interesting, the fact that there are no

absolutes and anything can happen. Here's hoping you find all you need on the

information highway and each stop along the way.


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