How do I learn a new technique?

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What’s the best way to step up my game?

Q: HOW DO I LEARN A NEW TECHNIQUE?

Expert: Brandon Card, Knoxville, Tenn. — The 2012 Bassmaster Rookie of the Year is off to another strong start and leads the race for the 2013 Toyota Trucks Bassmaster Angler of the Year award.

If you’ve ever been bass fishing, you’ve had to learn a new technique, even if it was just learning how to cast and retrieve. As you progress in the sport and get better, learning new techniques gets easier, but how you go about it will go a long way to determining how good you’ll be with it and how fast you’ll pick it up.
Do Your Homework

One of the most important things you need to do when learning something new is research. Without good research, you really won’t know enough to get started in the right way. Luckily, researching new methods is pretty easy these days with books, magazines, videos, television and especially the Internet.

Bassmaster.com has lots of how-to videos that can show you what you need to get started. YouTube.com is also great for this kind of stuff. Check out the videos or any available articles and find out what gear you’ll need, when and where the new technique is most applicable and how it’s going to fit into your game.

If you only fish Lake Okeechobee, learning how to vertically jig a spoon might not have much value to you. Likewise, if you’re targeting big smallmouths on Dale Hollow, punching matted vegetation isn’t going to be important to your success. Learn all about the technique and what you need to do it before you ever take it out on the water.

And if you’ve got a friend who’s already good at the technique, ask if he’ll take you fishing and show you how he does it. But be careful. Just because someone says he’s good doesn’t mean it’s true. And don’t let your buddy’s limitations or ideas about the method constrict your own. You might be able to take it further and make it better.

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