You have to have some method of organizing this information. I will go over some of my methods of organizing this information. Some of my methods are simple and some I take to the next level.
Some of the sources of this information are: magazines, videos and the Internet to name a few. Let’s start with magazines.
Magazines- There are way too many to mention but most importantly, how can we benefit from the information contained in their many articles? Most bass fishermen get their Bassmasters in the mail and read it cover to cover. The problem with this is “reading the articles” you will very seldom benefit by “reading” an article. If we want to get better at this sport you have to commit the time to “study” this sport.
I take reading Bassmaster to the next level. When I get my Bassmaster magazine I generally read through each article to try to pick out the highlights of each article. One misconception that fishermen make when reading these articles is that they feel when the article mentions for example Lake Murray in South Carolina that what they are talking about won’t help them on the lakes they fish. This is where studying bass fishing versus reading about bass fishing comes into play. Instead of just reading the article on fishing buzz baits on Lake Murray in South Carolina you have to look at the information and ask yourself “How can I apply that to the lakes I fish”?
Once I have “read” through Bassmaster I start back at the beginning and this time I study what is being said. I have a notebook that I will put the title to the article along with the month and year of the magazine. As I go through the article this time I take notes of all of the things which I feel is important that will help me. I do this on each and every article in the magazine and I may go back through the article several times to make sure I have not missed something important.
Once I am done “studying” Bassmaster and taking notes on all of the articles. I enter this information into a database I created on my computer. For example: All of my notes are entered several ways 1. Title of the article 2. Month year of the magazine 2. Specific bait discussed 4. Cover or Structure 5. Lake, etc. That way I can now do a search of what specific information I am looking for without going back through many magazines to find the information I’m looking for. You don’t have to use a computer to do this you can setup a system using file folders instead. This system works just as well as the computer.
I also categorize information on various lakes using the same system. Bassmaster and Bass Times do a great job of giving details about tournaments, use this information to your benefit. The first thing fishermen look at is the bait that was used to win the tournament instead you should look at the details of the tournament. Example: What kind of lake or river was the tournament held at? Natural lake, highland reservoir etc. Time of Year. Water conditions etc. All of this is often overlooked and really should be the most important things we should notice. As I study information concerning tournaments, I go to several online mapping web sites for example www.maptech.com, if you haven’t been here yet please do. What I do is input the lake/river and state where the tournament was held and maptech.com will display a topo map for you to view. I look at the locations where the anglers who finished high fished. Look at the location, creek/river channels, ledges etc. You would not believe how much you can learn about bass fishing by doing this.
The Internet- Any information you need can be found on the Internet. I go through the same process of studying the information like I do for magazines. A few other things I do with this information is that I store the domain names of where the articles are in my database but remember you could also print out this information and store it in file folders.
Videos- This is another great way to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time. I begin by “watching” the video to get the general idea of what is being talked about. Then I view the video again “studying” every little detail of the video. I not only listen to what the anglers are talking about, I watch every move this anglers make, their hand movements(this is a common technique used by golf instructors) their eyes, remember the lake or river that they are fishing is not important because there is other information that can be gained by just observing. Of course I use my notebook and take plenty of notes while viewing the tape.
This system can benefit the beginner and the most advanced angler because there is always something to learn. I realize that this system seems complicated but I can tell you since I implemented this system 3 years the results have been amazing.