Play Your Hunches

March 1, 2023 daryl bauer

I am not done ice fishing, yet.  Oh sure, I know parts of Nebraska have open water now.  I also know that other parts of Nebraska still have plenty of ice.  As long as I can find ice, I am going to take advantage of it.  “Stay tuned”.

But, yes, this is definitely “tweener” time, in many places the ice is too thin to walk on, but too thick to cast through.  What do I blog about at a time like that?

I have an idea, a good one. . . . At a meeting of pointy-headed fisheries biologists one summer, I fished the Wisconsin River with a fellow biologist.  That afternoon he caught a muskie.  All I could catch was big smallmouth bass.  Oh yes, I wanted a muskie, but I was not disappointed.

Jordan Weeks is his name and we have kept in touch with each other since then.  Jordan has been producing YouTube videos called Whiteboard Muskies, and yes, I am a big fan!

A few months ago he posted an excellent video that really rang true with me.  I am going to post it here and strongly recommend that you take six minutes to watch it.  It will make you a better angler.

I know some of you just dismissed my recommendation.  It is about muskie fishing and you don’t fish muskies.  Or, it is about a natural lake in northern Minnesota/Canada and it does not apply to the Nebraska waters where you fish.  Blah, blah, blah, big mistake.

Good fishermen are good fishermen.  You can learn something from all of them even if they target species or waters you do not.  You can especially learn from muskie anglers because so much of what they do has to be spot on or they have no success.

I dare you, watch the video, learn from it.

Besides that, you will not believe how Jordan catches the fish at the end of the video!

Playing hunches?  I cannot tell you how many times that has paid off for me, on a number of Nebraska waters for a variety of fish.  I could tell you one story after another. . . . One was a spot on a Nebraska reservoir that just felt right.  It had all the elements that should have made it attractive to big predator fish.  However, I fished it several times and caught not a thing.  Still, I got that feeling every time I fished there.  So, I kept going back.  Whenever I fished that water, I made sure to fish that spot.  Eventually, on the right night with the right weather conditions, the right wind, the fish were there, and boy, were they there!  That spot has produced a bunch of big fish for me since then.

I knew it would.

Waters change over time.  Habitats change, water levels change.  Hot spots can disappear as those changes occur, but then new ones pop up.  Or, something else that has happened is hot spots get discovered by other anglers and then crowded or fished out.  I move on.  There is another spot to discover, and I will be the first one to fish it.  I will keep following my hunches and they will keep paying off.

How do you accomplish that?  Well, learning everything you can about the fish you pursue and the waters you fish does not hurt.  All the electronics can help, but it goes way beyond that.  The electronics that sit between your ears is the best tool you have.  And, nothing beats time on the water.  The more you spend, the more hunches you will get.

Follow them.


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