Mastering a new technique or pattern isn’t an easy thing, but boy, it sure makes a world of difference in your confidence level. In 2012 I finally made the big move on fishing deep, finesse-style techniques. I knew I was capable of fishing deep with drop-shot and finesse baits before, but I never really got in to it all that much. Now my understanding of that technique is definitely where it needs to be; I’m comfortable with it. I know that finesse fishing represents another weapon that I can use going forward. It took me a lot of time to focus on that style of fishing, but I feel like I understand its benefits and its limitations. The best way to learn any technique or pattern is to eliminate all other options and focus on it. That’s what I did with deep-water finesse fishing. When you set out to learn something new, take only the tackle and lures specific to that technique. Cover water, pay attention to why you’re getting bit and why you’re not. Analyze and compare; mastery of a technique only comes with time spent on the water. Once you’ve broken the confidence barrier, though, it will make a night-and-day difference in your fishing.
---- National Guard pro Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla.