a bass with a jig in its mouth, with the title "The Truth About Fishing With Confidence" alongside

The Truth About Fishing With Confidence

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Imagine you’re on the water, surveying grassy inlets teeming with bass. You cast your bait into a patch of thick, tangled cover, looking to entice any bass lurking below. 

But as your bait drops into the nasty vegetation, you hesitate. You’re afraid your prized $10 bait will become hopelessly snagged in the gnarly weeds. 

So you slowly and cautiously reel in your bait, leave the grass-choked inlet behind you in search of easier water to fish, and forever wonder if you just left behind the trophy bass of a lifetime.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In fact if you’re anything like me, you may actually feel emotional pain when you lose a fishing lure!

Many anglers struggle with the fear of losing baits when fishing in dense cover. But what if I told you that casting off this fear could unlock your fishing potential and allow you to catch 2X more fish than you are catching now?

Welcome back to Jig Is Up Lurecraft!

Today, I am going to dive headfirst into the joys of fishing with confidence. I’ll explore the benefits of a fearless mindset, and how it can make fishing more fun. In addition to that, I will be unveiling three effective methods I have used to increase my confidence and, ultimately, make my fishing trips more sublimely enjoyable.

So grab your tackle box, tie on your favorite lure, and let’s tackle the fear of losing our lures head-on.

Why Fishing With Confidence Is Important

When I first started fishing, I suffered from an innate fear that I would lose fishing lures while trying to catch fish. Fact is, I did lose quite a few lures at first. (Spoiler alert: I still lose fishing lures occasionally 😉)

a bass swimming around an underwater tree
Bass love to be near cover.

Eventually, I stopped casting into risky areas because of this fear. In doing so, I was hurting myself because I was more anxious about losing lures and less focused on catching fish.

Thankfully, I was able to turn that around. Now, I cast with confidence into places where fish might be – places where my bait may snag and never return from.

This is so important, for two huge reasons.

For one thing, this fearless mindset has given me the gumption to put baits in places that are more likely to hold fish. By not fishing with confidence, I had been passing over all kinds of fishy areas!

Not only that, but this fearless mindset has given me peace of mind and allowed me to enjoy fishing so much more. That anxiety I used to have about losing lures? Poof, it’s gone. 

“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”

-Joe Namath, NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback

Now I cast my bait into those gnarly areas. If I lose a bait, I write it off as part of fishing. But now I have confidence that if there is a trophy fish in that cover, my chances of hooking and landing that fish are really good. That, my friends, is a marvelously liberating feeling. 

a caught smallmouth bass with a jig in its mouth
A bronze bruiser pulled out of the grass.

So if you ever feel shy about throwing lures into heavy cover, or you just plain do not feel confident that you are fishing in the right spot, 

Maybe you are more confident than I was about casting into heavy cover. But do you struggle to feel confident that you are fishing in the right spot? Or perhaps you doubt that your tackle will hold up to a trophy fish? Whatever your confidence struggle may be, I know exactly how you feel.

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of confidence, let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks that can have a tremendous impact on your fishing confidence.

Tips For Fishing With More Confidence

Go Fishing…A Lot

This first piece of advice is unbelievably simple, and I think it’s applicable for anyone who wants to fish with more confidence.

Go fishing. A lot.

This piece of advice helped me a ton.

PB Smallmouth
Learn by trial and error until you find what works!

If I wanted to feel more confident skipping worms under low-hanging tree limbs, I’d practice skipping a worm in open water to improve my skill and confidence (still working on that, by the way).

Not sure if you are setting the hook properly when you feel a bite? Go fishing, and see what kind of hook set lands you the most fish!

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Not sure how deep bass are in early April? Start shallow and, if unsuccessful, slowly move deeper until you find them!

It’s a classic strategy of learning by trial and error. Put in the time and effort. Make those mistakes, and learn from them.

I guarantee the simple experience of fishing (and fishing often) will boost your confidence and put you on the road toward having a more fearless mindset. 

Find Tackle You Are Comfortable With

I used to have this spinning rod that was light as a feather. It was a very strong rod, and I caught several quality bass with it.

But every time I used it, something felt … off. Casting with this rod didn’t feel natural, and my wrist would even get sore if I used it for very long.

a rod and reel laying on the bank beside a river, with a dam in the background

Over time, I realized this rod simply was not for me. The weight balance simply was not comfortable for me, and it was causing these feelings of discomfort.

Eventually, I sold that rod and bought a totally different spinning rod altogether – a Dobyns Colt 693SF.

The Dobyns rod actually weighed heavier than that super lightweight rod. But believe it or not, I was so much more comfortable with the Dobyns rod, that it actually felt lighter to me than the other rod had!

The lesson I’m conveying to you is this – find fishing tackle that you are comfortable with, tackle that will help you rather than hurt you. This could mean finding a rod and reel that feel comfortable in your hands. This could also mean finding crankbaits with great underwater action that you know will catch fish.

Doing so will translate to greater confidence and comfort out on the water. Give it a try and see what it does for you!

Make Your Own Baits

painted ballhead jig sitting on a jig mold

Personal story for you: I used to fish with run-of-the-mill store bought jigs. These jigs caught fish but, frankly, they would fall apart after only a few hours on the water.

Sadly, I wasn’t getting much mileage out of those store bought jigs.

That’s when I decided to make my own jigs, so I could build them to last way longer and catch more fish.

In the process of making custom jigs, I discovered something amazing. Over time, making jigs was costing me less money than buying them from the store!

Why is this? Simply put, I have little fear when I’m fishing a $1 jig. If I lose it, so what? It’s a $1 jig!

But a $7 jig? Ouch.

Fact is, spending less money on jigs has given me more freedom to fish jigs fearlessly. This is important because now I feel at liberty to cast jigs into heavier cover, which has translated to catching more fish.

If you – like me – abhor losing baits and throwing money away, then handmade tackle could be a game changer for you.

Learn More About How To Make Awesome Baits:

Conclusion: The Truth About Fishing With Confidence

Fishing is a fun pastime. It’s even more fun when you can do it with confidence.

But confidence doesn’t always come naturally. For me, confidence was built upon the ramparts of fishing (a lot), honing in on the tackle that worked best for me, and even making my own fishing lures.

If you are still learning the ropes of fishing and trying to piece together the puzzle, I guarantee these tips will help you grow as an angler so you can catch more fish. Give them a shot!

Do you already have a fearless fishing mindset? Leave a comment below on what helped you become more fearless!

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