How To Think Like a Fish – By Jiggin Jerry

Focus On Fishing | Jiggin Jerry

“I wish, I wish, I wish I were a fish.”

That is what Don Knotts sang in the movie The Incredible Mr. Limpet. I do not wish to be a fish personally, especially knowing there are people like myself out to catch me! But, to think like a fish, that’s what I want to do.

When the average person thinks about the idea of fishing, the first thing they picture is a pole, some string, a hook and a piece of bait, and you are fishing.

In some cases, that’s true. That is all you would need to fish, but then there are those who have taken it steps further.

They have bought fishing rods with reels, special fishing lines, different types of bait, different types of lures and different kinds of rigging, and they have gone out and they have fished.

Some have done okay. Some have become anglers and moved steps beyond others in successfully targeting different species of fish.

Using different fishing techniques, different size rods, different size reels, that can make a big difference when it comes to sport fishing, but about all of it, to truly become a successful and brilliant fisherman is to be able to think like a fish.

In order to think like a fish, or in order to think like the fish you are targeting, it requires research, studying, sometimes years of practice and experience.

The sooner one starts, the sooner they become the angler that they would like to be. Now this sport is not for everyone.

It does take patience. It does take skill. But, the only way to find it if it’s for you is to try. The majority of those who have tried it, they began to love the sport, and I would like to help you with that journey.

To think like a fish, there are all kinds of subjects involving fish and their species that you would want to target for the knowledge.

The number one is the fish’s staple, food, what do they eat? Then you would take it a step further, well, now that I know what they eat, where does their food come from?

How do they find it in the wild? Where do they find it in the wild? When do they find it in the wild?

Why is that food there only during that specific time of the year? In learning details like this, you start to understand why that species of fish you are targeting arrives in those locations.

Other things to understand about the species would be their spawning habits and migrating habits. In learning that about a species, you can understand how to track and find them.

Then you would take it a step further. In trying to understand their daily routines, where are they during this time of day?

Where are they during this type of temperature? How do they react to this kind of weather? As you become advanced and you start to understand individual species of fish and their habits, you will begin to realize that there is so much more to fish.

You ask yourself, do fish have feelings? When I say feelings, I am not talking about you yelling at them and they cry and swim away, but I am referring to emotions.


The answer is yes. In knowing how these fish respond by their emotions can make a difference in how successful you become as an angler.

Making a fish angry and knowing how to do so can almost guarantee you a strike on an artificial bait or any bait if done at the right place at the right time. Sounds confusing at first, doesn’t it?

But allow me to throw you a reference to help you better understand how the mentality of the fish and its mood can aid you.

Say freshwater, for instance, you are targeting Largemouth Bass, already known for its aggression.

This species of fish is a vigorous feeder and fighter, but this species of fish changes its personality and attitude through the seasons, and sometimes you have to make the fish angry, creating an anger strike, a strike that is caused after the fish has finally said to itself, “Leave me alone! Get away from me! Stop bothering me!”


You find yourself pulling up close to a bank. You spot a beautiful large Bass, let’s say in the 6 or 7 pound range.

Your heart starts to beat, but you slow down your movements, trying not to spook it. You notice that the Bass seems timid, moving slowly, could be a female, could be a male. You think about the time of year you are fishing.

It’s early spring. It’s just before spawning season. The fish is probably only interested in finding a mate and making a nest.

You notice it moves up and down the bank but only about 10-15 yards back and forth. You ask yourself; can I see a nest? Does the fish already have a nest?

Because in some states, you are not allowed to fish for Largemouth Bass while spawning, but you notice there is no nest nearby.

This fish is just going through the motions. You throw a couple of lures by it. It turns and looks in its direction then just turns away and keeps its slow swimming pace.

As an experienced angler, I have learned to become patient. I could just give up on this fish and leave right now, but I know that if I can make this fish angry by antagonizing it with a lure that catches its eye, something it would consider a threat or a pest, I can cause this fish to strike by anger.

So, I take a small flashy worm with a weedless hook. I toss it out just behind the fish as it is swimming forward. I twitch it quickly right over its head and just past it.

The fish looks up quickly, but I just go with it and I reel it in. I repeat this over and over, 10 times at least. I notice every time I have done it, the fish has gotten more aggressive.

I can see it clearly. Its color tones have changed. Its fins are fluttering. Finally, I toss the worm in again.

I twitch it rapidly just past the fish and pause and in an instant, it aggressively grabs it and shakes left to right so angry its only interest is to kill this pest that has been bothering it for 10 minutes, and in an instant, a smile comes across my face as I set the hook.



No, this story is not just about Bass fishing, this story is about thinking like a fish. This can be done with all kinds of species of fish.

They all have unique personalities, unique lifestyles, and learning as much as you can about each one of them will take your abilities as angler further than you could ever imagine.

So, just remember before you go out on your next fishing adventure, pause for a moment and think about if you could think like a fish, where would I be right now?

If you would like to think like a fish and learn some of these techniques to help you become that better angler, feel free to contact me at Fishing with Jiggin’ Jerry, LLC and let me know if you are interested in taking any of my inshore and freshwater fishing classes.

If you would like to see some fishing adventures, please enjoy watching some of my videos on YouTube at fwjigginjerry or follow me on Facebook @fwjigginjerry, and, like I always say, good luck out there and have fun fishing!


To view some fishing adventures, go to my YouTube Channel Fishing With Jiggin Jerry.

Follow me on Facebook Fishing with Jiggin Jerry.

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