How to Become a Better Angler in the Off-Season | Improve Your Skills

In the immortal words of Jon Snow, winter is here. 

There’s not much we can do about it. The fishing off-season means the bite has slowed to a grind. And for many of my northern brothers and sisters, the only option you have right now is to sit over a hole in the ice. 

So what can we do to get better without actually going fishing?

Well, we’ve already talked in depth about organizing your tackle with storage solutions for your hard baits, soft baits and terminal tackle.

But there are several other ways to better yourself as an angler while off the water so that you’re more successful on the water next season.

Here are Three Quick-and-Easy Ideas: 

      1. If you’re interested in learning new techniques, there are countless tutorial videos out there these days. 
      2. If you’re a tournament angler, you can do research on the fisheries that you’ll be visiting this season.
      3. And of course, there’s the Anglr app and digital logbook that’s extremely beneficial to look at in the off-season whether you’ve been using it all year or haven’t even downloaded it yet.

I was very fortunate to travel around the country for several years covering bass tournaments for a living. There’s no doubt that being in such close proximity to some of the world’s all-time best anglers vastly improved my fishing and made me much more versatile.

Being able to watch Kevin VanDam fish ledges and see the intricate details of his technique made it much easier for me to replicate on my home waters. 

Naturally, not many will have that intimate of an experience.

Watch Those Tutorials

But thanks to all the technology we have at our disposal today, there are thousands of hours of tutorials out there on every technique imaginable. If you’ve had a few heartbreaking near misses this season with a certain technique, watch an expert do it and see if you can identify what you’re doing wrong.

If you have absolutely no clue how to fish a spybait, Google it, sit back in the comfort of your warm home and learn. 

Tournament Reconnaissance

For the tournament angler, there are so many opportunities out there now to pre-practice. You can scan every detail of an entire lake in just a few hours at multiple water levels using Google Earth. You can research old tournament reports for the lake you’ll be fishing to get an idea of what the weights will look like and what the predominant patterns will likely be.

There’s an App for that

Then, of course, there’s the Anglr app.

It is a long standing and indisputable fact that keeping a logbook will make you a better angler. Having that baseline to reference and learn from is extremely important. But keeping a traditional logbook is tedious, time consuming and downright boring when you don’t catch much. 

The beauty of the Anglr app is that it does most of the work for you, even when you’re not catching fish. And often times the “why not” is just as important, if not more so, than the “why.” As long as you start the app at the beginning of a trip, your logbook writes itself throughout the day — keeping up with air temp, barometric pressure, windage and much more. 

So if you have been using the Anglr app this year, the off-season is a great time to go back in and do a deep dive through your logbook. Add a few notes while some things are still fresh on your mind, go through the more analytical data to identify deeper patterns between trips.

Now’s the Time

If you haven’t downloaded the Anglr app yet, the off-season is the perfect time to do so.

Familiarize yourself with the app and some of its more complex functions so you’re not wasting time on the water trying to dig deep into the app in the moment. Though if you do wait til you’re on the water, the Anglr app is pretty much a plug-and-play system and you can still gain a lot of insight with little input on the user’s end. 

If you have cabin fever this winter, try to escape — in spirit at least — and better yourself as an angler with one of these methods. 

The best anglers better themselves constantly.


This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

Become an ANGLR Expert and apply here.

Shaye Baker

ABOUT Shaye

Shaye Baker started fishing with his dad in Alabama as soon as they could find a life jacket small enough to fit him. Competing with his father in local tournaments, Shaye quickly found a hunger for competitive bass fishing. He furthered his fishing career at Auburn University helping to establish the Auburn University Bass Fishing Club. While at Auburn, Shaye served as the President of the club and qualified to fish on the traveling team amassing six Top 5 finishes including two 3rd place finishes in consecutive FLW College Fishing National Championships. While beginning to dabble in the world of outdoor journalism, Shaye continued to fish semi-pro events finishing in the Top 5 in the Bassmaster Opens, FLW Costa Series and BFLs. Finding himself at a crossroads, Shaye chose to put down the rod and pick up the pen and camera to focus on his career in outdoor journalism. Shaye has had work featured in Bassmaster Magazine, FLW Outdoors Magazine, B.A.S.S.Times and the Japanese bass fishing magazine Basser. Shaye has also had work featured on ESPN and Wired2Fish.com, FLWfishing.com and Bassmaster.com. While working with B.A.S.S., Shaye initiated and spearheaded their GoPro division which brought more video coverage to the fans than had ever been done before in competitive fishing. After his tenure with some of the best companies in the business, Shaye identified a need for competitive fishing where participation didn’t cost a fortune. By founding UPLOADED, the Online Fishing Series, Shaye established a free tournament series where anglers could film their fish catches and upload their videos to compete against other anglers for prizes.

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ANGLR Expert, Shaye Baker

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