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Comfort Zones

Comfort Zones 


Nathan Grant  
TRC Pro Staff Member  & Blog Contributor

Bass fishermen around the world have a wide variety of baits to choose from. There are crankbaits,

swimbaits, wiggle warts, drop shots, wacky worms, Texas Rigs, football jigs, swim jigs, spinner baits,

whopper ploppers, and poppin frogs... you get the point! There are a lot of things on the market. Most

fishermen have baits which fall into three categories (at least this is true for me and a lot of fishermen I

know), Confidence Baits, Alright Baits, and your Zero Confidence Baits.

I started Bass fishing when I was around ten years old. My dad fished, but it was more of a worm and bobber type fishing, so I was learning on my own. 

I joined Bassmaster and started reading magazines like crazy. Before I knew it, I was a pro! Obviously I am kidding, but I did learn a lot. I remember getting a tackle box of old lures and in this box, were some crank baits.

I would really kind of avoid throwing these baits. I felt like I did not know how to work them and I did not know what it was supposed to feel like. These baits were in my "Zero Confidence" category and they rarely got tied onto my line. I always wanted that monster SwimBait Bass, but I was afraid to tie it on.

I continued to fish and loved throwing my "Confidence" baits, but as I continued to grow as an angler, I realized my arsenal was small. I wanted to get better, be more competitive, and really grow. To do this, I had to really push myself. 

I started reading and researching how to use techniques I was not comfortable with. I watched videos and just tried to get more familiar. The next thing I started doing was hard - I would only take a bait I was not comfortable with. This forced me to either quit my trip early, or throw the bait I brought. This was good for me and I gained more confidence. I will not say I mastered this technique and honestly, I still have baits that I am not confident with, but I improved, and I continue to improve.

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 I started to throw the crankbait whenever I was fishing and I had really good success. This gave me confidence and the Crank Bait became my first confidence bait. As I continued to fish and learn, I picked up new techniques like a Texas Rigged Worm and a Spinner Bait. These three baits became my arsenal and fell into my "Confidence" category. I am always learning and over the years I have learned a lot of techniques and different rigs for different situations. I remember learning to fish a drop shot and a wacky rigged worm. These two techniques really worked for me in certain situations, however, they did not give me the same amount of confidence as the previous techniques I have listed.

The Buzz Bait was another one that I would catch fish with, yet this was not on my go-to list. These are baits that I will throw in different situations, however, they fall more into the "Alright" category, as I call it. Then there were baits like the jig, the frog, and the swim bait. These are probably three of the most well liked Bass Baits and they all catch monsters. These baits intimidated me for reasons that I cannot explain. 

If you want to improve as an angler, push yourself outside your comfort zone. 

Learn a new technique, or gain confidence on a technique you are not good at. I always want to be growing and improving. I encourage others to always do the same. Over the past several years, I started throwing a Chatter Bait, or Bladed Jig. In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing or if I was doing it right, but now it is one of my favorite baits to throw. I am not saying stop throwing your "confidence" baits, I still love the crank, the spinner, and the Texas Rig. But don't be afraid to push yourself and improve as an angler. You never know, you may end up loving something you never would have thrown without a push. Tight lines out there and make sure to go catch a big one!

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