By Blake Rankie
The secret to catching better quality fish is looking for 3 different types of simple things. This is a very important secret to tournament anglers. It is one I want to share with you so the next time you are out fishing these secrets will put more fish on your line. What is it about 3 that is so important? Three combinations will almost always outperform other numbers.
The magic 3 combination must be looked at in all fishing conditions.
Let me explain:
All bait fish, crayfish, frogs, and most creatures all have more than one color on them. This is important in what lures you want to select to fish with. When I use an X Zone Tube, I almost always make sure it has 3 colors in it. I fished a tube one time that was green pumpkin and black flake. I went through a few areas where I knew some smallmouth were hanging out and did not get a bite. I switched back to a green pumpkin, black and red flake tube and ended up catching a ton a smallies.
That small little change in color made all the difference. The same happens when you look at a frog. I love to fish SPRO Bronzeye 65 topwater frogs in the thick stuff and my best frog colors all have 3 colors in them. Will a pure white or pure black frog catch them? Use a Spro frog in Rainforest Black, Leopard or Nasty Shad and I know you will catch some big bass. These SPRO frogs all have a color combination of 3!!! When it comes to hard baits like Strike King or Spro crankbaits, I always use baits that have a 3 or more color combinations because I am trying to make it realistic to the fish and put the odds in my favor that at least one of the colors on my bait will trigger them into biting. Flipping baits are the same for me. When I am flipping baits on weed line flats like a X ZONE Pro Series Muscle Back Craw the secret of 3 is still used. Sometimes you may only have a plastic that has 2 colors in it then I use a different color of Ultra Tungsten weight, or a colored scent marker and I still have the combination of 3.
The importance of 3 goes past just lures but also in locations and structure where the fish like to hide. When fishing docks look for docks with some blow in matt on them and an overhanging tree, sand or weed edge around them. You could find a nice piece of wood but add some weeds and rock around it and the secret of 3 will land you in a better chance of catching that big fish. Look at bottom areas on your graph and you will start to notice that the secret of 3 is looking at you all the time. Ask most anglers where they caught their fish, and they will say it was in areas with 3 or more types of structure. How many times have we caught fish in an area with rock, weed and zebra mussels, or sand, rock, and weeds? Look at largemouth bass weed fishing. Any area or flat that you can combine 3 different types of structure or even types of weeds together you are increasing your odds on catching more fish. Look for flats with good milfoil, coon tail, weed mixed with a good bottom structure like scattered rock and get ready for some big bites. I know when you look at a huge flat of weeds it can be very intimidating. Start breaking the areas down and look for the secret 3 combinations and start there. I fished a tournament on Bay of Quinte and found a weed flat with milfoil, rock, floating garbage with current and we caught over 70 bass out of that flat and won the event. (Yes, we also cleaned up the garbage bags before leaving).
Locations are another area where the power of 3 can help put more fish in the boat. Look for locations with depth changes, bottom structure changes, current, the swing arm from a river and more. Fish love to set up in areas where they can easily feed and hide from predators. The areas where they can have the best location, structure and bait are where most of the fish will be around areas with the secret of three. Find these locations with the secret of 3 in the area and increase your odds of catching more fish.
I have learned this secret of 3 from a ton of fishing time, fishing with other very talented anglers and reading every article I can. I have also had the opportunities to talk to individuals like KVD, Skeet Reese, Scott Martin, Randall Tharp and other top pros in the USA about this and they also had similar opinions when it comes to how, what, why, where they fish and the secret of three was brought up yet again.
Everyone has heard that most of the fish in a lake are only in less than 25% of the water and I believe that this is true for the biggest or best quality of fish and most fish. You will always have exceptions to the rule but to increase your chances of catching more fish start thinking of and using the secret of three and I know you will catch more fish and have more fun out on the water.
See you out on the water and please practice catch and release.