The results are in...
by: Chad LaChance 4/6/2012
This past weekend as part of the Larimer County Fishing Expo, the Fishful Thinker crew hosted the first ever Accuracy Challenge. I came up with the idea based on years of guiding and noting that most folks can't handle the most fundamental part of fishing...casting. Don't get me wrong, just about anyone can get a bait out there, but doing so accurately and with control is beyond their skill set. And, at the risk of offending people, I do mean "most" anglers...as in the majority, at least in my experience.
After running a bunch of people through the Accuracy Challenge, I'm even more confident in that statement. The bottom line...only a very small percentage of even the avid anglers that played our casting game could hit a 3 foot diameter circle at 25 feet. Only 4 people total scored the 3 foot ring at 65 feet, and less than 20% hit it at 15 feet! I rest my case.
I field emails daily asking about fancy lures, the best in line, rods, and reels, sonar questions...you name it...yet nobody ever asks about casting skills. We even produced a whole episode of FTTV around casting mechanics and skills and got minimal feedback on it, yet I get a ton of questions about some obscure lure or oddball rigging trick.
You want to catch more fish, at least with artificial lures? Learn to cast them with accuracy and line control. I guarantee it will up your catching more than anything else you could do.
Practice is the key...and fishing does not count as practice. If there is even a remote possibility of actually catching a fish, your inner-angler will take over and you will not focus on your casting. Golfers practice on the driving range, not the golf course...anglers should take that concept to heart.
Besides catching more fish, solid mechanical skills will keep you from losing as many lures and prevent frustration from snagging and line tangling...I know because for years now I've watched the progress throughout the course of a guided trip, where I focus the client on the mechanics and a light goes on so to speak...it's like they never considered that concept, and it usually becomes the biggest thing they take away form our day on the water. That is a source of pride for me.
So, there you have it. Hopefully I haven't offended people, but rather challenged anglers to focus on the basics. We'll host more casting accuracy contests in the very near future because I feel it's one the most important, yet overlooked, concepts in angling. Since education is a cornerstone of all things Fishful, and casting mechanics is the biggest building block in angling, teaching folks to actually master their equipment will be a major focus for us moving forward. The results are in, and for most folks, there is some low-hanging fruit on your fishing success tree. CL
The Accuracy Challenge range...looks simple and it should be!
Blog content © Chad LaChance
Browns Hunter, CO 4/6/2012 10:23:27 AM
Good article, Chad.
What would you consider to be minimal accuracy levels for your course?
And... what did you score on your own course?
Vanish, CO 4/6/2012 10:27:59 AM
I might have to set up my own little course and see how I do.
JKaboom, CO 4/6/2012 12:34:18 PM
Chad, which episode is your casting mechanics? I wil buy that season right away because I have been thinking about this a lot lately.
Flyrodn, CO 4/6/2012 1:10:05 PM
Chad is 100% correct that folks often concern themselves with the wrong thing when it comes to catching fish. He wrote an excellent article on improving casting skills, http://www.fishexplorer.com/co/articles.asp?action=det&aid=71, Give it a read if you haven't already.
JKaboom, CO 4/6/2012 4:45:06 PM
Thanks Flyrodn that was a good read :)
Chad LaChance (Fishful Thinker), CO 4/7/2012 8:38:40 AM
The casting show was in this last season which begins re-airing today. That episode will air 7 times the week of May 12 on both the HD and SD Altitude channels: http://www.altitude.tv/WhatsOn/ProgramSearch.aspx?texttosearch=fishful
I never took a full run on the casting course BH, but I hit all the 6" center rings fairly consistently (and nearly always on the the 3 closer targets) with both spinning and casting tackle...not bragging, just making a testament to practice. I think a competent angler ought to be able to hit the 3 footer with their chosen tackle.