What I learned from Belleville Lake

I’m guilty of being cerebral.  When I approach a lake I’ve fished or know little about, I typically have a plan in mind that is carefully formulated. Sometimes that works but I’m learning when not to do that and to trust my gut.  I would have saved myself three hours on Belleville Lake if I would have gone with instinct.  

Back in May I was on Belleville Lake for the first time ever and I didn’t catch a single fish in five hours.  There were tons of other guys around me (often times a sign that I’m in the wrong spot) but they weren’t catching anything either.  I left the lake dejected and wondering what went wrong.  At least I learned something that day; I learned what I was doing and where I was, didn’t work.

Fast-forward to this past week.  I launched in a different area and fished different depth zones with a lipless crank bait, Texas rigged worm, and a dropshot.  I marked a ton of fish and could see them following my dropshot rig but didn’t get a single bite.  I felt uncomfortable with what I was doing and all signs pointed to the fact that I was trying to force the situation.  I then gave into my instinct, crossed the lake, and started using a bait that I actually lost some confidence in this year but for some reason, I threw it anyway.  On the first cast, a small smallmouth was hauled in.  On the second cast, a second.  Within minutes my confidence was restored and I began kicking myself for not trusting my instinct.  I got many more bites that day and I learned just as much catching fish as months before when I hadn’t brought any to the boat.

Instincts are there and they need to be acted upon; a very valuable lesson.

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