By Mark Schram
Attention to detail is often the difference between success and failure while fishing.
A perfect example was several weeks ago during a tournament, when my partner Jim Pyle was kicking my butt during the first few hours. We were running the same program, in the same boat, at identical speeds. He was catching walleyes, and I was netting them. Maybe it was fate, but I knew he had an advantage over my presentation.
After two hours of watching him slam walleyes, while my crawler harnesses went untouched, I broke down and asked what was the difference. He replied, “You still haven’t figured it out yet have you?” Sheepishly, I replied no.
He showed me his harness. On it was a fixed clevis. I was using a quick change clevis. A quick change clevis allows the angler to change blades without cutting the harness. Could this ten cent part really be the difference? Jim explained that the permanent clevis allows the blade to turn slightly faster than the quick change clevis, and that was what the walleyes desired.
I made the change, and almost instantly my Off Shore planner boards were being slammed. This tiny detail made a big difference. Tips such as these are often passed from angler to angler in teaching moments or by accident. Many are guarded secrets and never shared in the tournament world.
Be very aware of every component on your fishing setup. Do not be afraid to ask “why” to an angler who is having success. If they cannot explain the differences between two presentations, take the time to analyze the situation. It may be the difference between future success and failure.