This probably sounds obvious, but it’s worth mentioning, especially since I’ve struggled with it lately…
Follow your instincts and ignore what “everyone else” is doing!
Case in point: I recently fished our local kayak fishing club’s bass tournament and came in with a photo of a single, 4″ bass. Out of the 30+ anglers, only 10 caught something. The water temperature was around 85F degrees, so we could have picked a better week.
When we first got out there, my first thought was “They’ll be scattered, suspended deep.” My fish finder was echoing that. But as I looked around, most of the field spread out and headed straight towards the shallow weed lines. Since I wasn’t from the area, my “they must know something I don’t” voices started yelling. So, shallow I went and on went the Texas-rigged worm. The fishing, not surprisingly, sucked.
The morning’s winner? A kid, not old enough to drive, that most likely laughed at all the old dudes and did his own thing. How’d he win? Trolling deep-diving cranks right where I initially marked fish.
The obvious lesson I shouldn’t have to keep teaching myself? Just like anything in life, trust your instincts, be willing to be different, and stop simply emulating the herd. Odds are, they’re wrong.