There is a saying that 10% of anglers catch 90% of the fish and we all know one or two of these guys. They seem to have an unnatural ability to find and catch fish and can out-fish everyone else with ease. They are the masters of their craft. Some gain fame and celebrity while many are relatively unknown outside of their local waters. However, chances are, they all share some of the same traits found here.

Patience

A truly great angler has spent countless hours on the water. He (or she!!) has become familiar with their local water by virtue of having fished it in sun, wind, rain, and snow or even at night. Every run, every lay in the river, the drop off’s and weed beds in the lake, have been committed to memory. The behavior of the fish, the forage, the currents, are all familiar to the great angler due to patient study and constant observance. Patience certainly is a virtue for an angler, for fish know no schedule but their own.

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Willingness To Learn

A great angler is a life long student. There is always more to learn and even an inexperienced angler could have something worthwhile to teach. By keeping an open mind and being receptive to new ideas, the great angler surpasses limitations that may halt others.

Respect

Anglers who aspire to being the best in the sport are respectful. They respect the fish and utilize best fishing and fish handling practices at all times. They respect their gear and take care of it. You won’t find them with nicked and knotted line or rusty and dull hooks. Most of all, they respect other anglers, avoiding unnecessary drama and arguments that detract from the sport.

Adaptability

Fishing is not a static sport. It is ever changing and a great angler must be willing to change as well. Great anglers do not rely on one presentation or tactic. A great angler knows that fish are fickle and is able to alter his or her offerings to suit the occasion. A great angler can fish from small striped basses to even attempt to hunt down the ultimate of all fishes, the shark.

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Creativity

Great anglers are often inventors. If they can’t find a lure or bait to suit a situation, they make one. It is because the creativity of great anglers that we have the Rapala floating minnow, the Daredevle spoon, and the soft plastic worm. From shores to kayak fishing or even getting on a boat to go into the deep waters creativity is a trait that distinguishes average from master anglers.

Self Confidence

Along with being creative and adaptive, a great angler has to be willing to take risks. Trying something new and experimenting with different ideas may very well lead to failure before it leads to success but a passionate angler will test out theories and make discoveries anyway. Great anglers trust themselves and their instincts.

Generosity

Great anglers are great sportsmen. They have a passion for the sport and want to see other people enjoy it as well. A really great angler is one who gladly takes time to show a new beginner how to tie the same knot over and over again. He or she volunteers to take a kid fishing and makes sure they land a fish. Great anglers are the ones you see sharing tackle with the guy who forgot his hooks or the girl who lost her last sinker. They are ambassadors of the sport and give all anglers a good name.

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