It's the least spoken-about asset within an angler's arsenal. Do you have an information network?
A vibration in my pocket tells me I just got a text message. Upon pulling out my phone I see some great news.
Looks like I'm going fishing a little closer to home.
Reasons to Build your Angling Network
I got that text during winter time. If anyone has ever fished "The Wall" then they know it can become packed with speckled trout when water levels and temperatures drop like a rock.
The drive from Slidell to anywhere in St. Bernard can be a little long. If I don't have to go that far, I won't.
The Wall is much closer and easier to fish. At the time, only a handful of anglers knew the Wall was "on". I would have time to fish it before an entire armada of less-informed anglers came to the feeding frenzy.
Hours, even days, of fishing that area have been reduced to a text message thanks to my information network.
Anglers do not Exist in a Vacuum
Here at the Louisiana Fishing Blog I stress the concept of "fishing smarter", which is all about paying attention to your environment and reacting accordingly in order to land more fish.
However, an information network is outside of this concept and focuses more on sharing information with other anglers.
Fishing guides use information networks. All the time.
Every. Single. Day.
It's one way they stay on the fish. In fact, it's not uncommon for one of them to find a horde of biting fish and call his colleagues over to ensure their clients catch fish as well.
When you're doing it for a living, it sure helps when someone has your back!
Tournament anglers also have information networks. You are incredibly naive if you believe professional anglers launch their boat to pre-fish a body of water without knowing anything beforehand.
Of course, established anglers have an information network as well. I don't guide clients anymore and I am not fishing any tournaments this year, but I would consider myself an "established angler".
Trust me, if I want to know what the conditions in an area are like before I get there, I can get realtime info from someone who is there looking at the water.
Why is Having an Information Network Beneficial?
If the benefits aren't already obvious, then let me tell you:
- know when the fish are biting before others do
- learn new tactics and techniques
- get to fish with other anglers
- and more
How do we build this network?
It's painfully obvious that you will have to get to know other people. Even if you're not a "people person", you will find that you and other anglers have a lot in common and will get along just fine.
You can build your reputation by posting fishing reports on forums like Louisiana Fishing Reports.
Post enough reports and people will get to know that you value being part of the community because you contribute to it.
If you do this enough, don't be surprised when people invite you onto their boats or want to do a multi-boat fishing trip.
You don't have to post awesome dock shots. Asking for help is ok and people will lend you a hand, especially on Louisiana Fishing Reports.
It also helps if you say "hi" at the marina. Fish cleaning tables can be an impromptu social setting that connects like-minded anglers.
A Special Breed
Anglers are a special breed and can't have the same conversation with non-anglers.
When they get a chance to "talk fishing" they will hop on it.
Last, but not least, it's highly recommended that you attend events like the Tito's Vodka Redfish Series. You don't have to fish the event, either.
Showing up at weigh-in and meeting everyone is a great way to put a face to the name.
Information Network Lagniappe
Here are some additional pointers to consider:
1. Nothing beats old-fashioned meet ups
The Louisiana Fishing Blog has an immense following on Facebook. We reach millions of people each week and have over 114,000 "likes", making it the largest inshore fishing page in Louisiana. On top of that, my personal Facebook page has over 1,200 followers.
However, despite these strong social media metrics, nothing beats meeting someone in person and saying "Hi, I'm Devin."
That's why I still go to trade shows.
2. Information Networks are not "cheating"
It isn't about someone just telling you where to fish. Information Networks are a two-way street. It's all about building positive relationships, not shortcuts to the "honey hole".
3. Be a Person of Value
Being valuable is key to securing your seat in an information network. You have to provide. Don't be surprised when no one wants to help you if all you do is take and never give.
Ready to get started?
Visit Louisiana Fishing Reports today, register a profile and introduce yourself in our forum.