August 18, 2018

What You Can Learn From This Dingleberry Bass

This small, freshwater fish, that no one wants, taught me a powerful lesson about inshore fishing. I'd love to share it with you!

What is the greatest satisfaction in fishing?

Catching speckled trout and redfish does different things for all of us:

  • cooking a delicious catch
  • spending time with family and friends
  • enjoying some peace and quiet
  • admiring Nature's beauty
  • blowing off steam, etc.

I love all those things!

But if I had to choose one, it'd be finding fish on my own, especially in new areas and with new techniques.

Quick Exercise

Reach deep inside your fishing memories and recall the first time you caught a fish trying a new lure, or that time you found them in a spot you never fished before.

Tell me you didn't feel like a rock star!

Like you walked out on stage in front of 10,000 screaming fans to rock their faces with gnarly guitar solos and exploding pyrotechnics.

See what I mean? It's like a drug.

And that drug is what a lot of us pursue on our fishing trips.

It Was A Journey

See, at first I thought it was all about showing off limits of fish at Breton Sound Marina's cleaning tables, all while soaking up the admiration of other anglers.

Throwback to 2009!

I eventually discovered the best fishing trips were the ones I tried something new, whether it was using a new lure or trying a new technique.

Well, that's exactly what happened on a fishing trip last month, not to brackish waters in Louisiana, but a freshwater lake in Texas.

A Special Fishing Trip

I was visiting family, and since they live near famed Lake Conroe I thought it'd be crazy not to bring my boat and have fun trying new techniques for a fish we rarely target: largemouth bass.

One of those techniques was skipping docks with a weightless Senko (which is like a stubby worm, in case you're not familiar).

Senko and Matrix Shad

Well, I'll tell you that it was tedious and extremely slow-paced.

First, you must "skip" the lure under the dock without getting tangled on anything, like this:

skipping docks

And then you let the lure fall.

And wait.

Then wait some more.

No twitching, no jiggling, no working the lure at all.

Just let it sit.

It was so painstakingly slow!

Now Imagine This

Imagine being the kid picked last for dodgeball.

Yeah, that's how I felt!

This technique was new and I wasn't sure if I was doing it right.

Then BAM! Pay dirt!

A little, dingleberry bass hit like a freight train, which surprised me because I wasn't sure if fish even swam around those docks.

The surprise melted to elation: I had just succeeded doing something I had not done before. 

I feel like I picked up a new skill set, and understanding of fish behavior.

(It's worth noting I fished that same dock with a jig and a spinnerbait and got nothing, but as soon as that Senko began to fall it was on.)

  • The only wrong way to catch a fish is refusing to try new things.
  • It pays to come out of your comfort zone.


Being successful with new lures and tactics is not the only thing we seek on our fishing trips, but it sure does make the difference.

The key to that success is what I share with anglers inside LAFB Elite, so they can have those good feelings, too!

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a veteran of the Iraq War and former fishing guide. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Never Miss Practical Fishing Tips & Tricks for Louisiana's Coast