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Brandon Hayward's Blog

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Friday, February 24, 2012
And on the 55th day....
Monday, February 27, 2012
Monday weather

Poker games are like fishing spots. Come days, weeks, months--let's just call them stretches--they are great spots, but just like that they can turn off. Or turn right back on. You always gotta give them a check and try to keep an ear tuned to what's going on. 

I had kinda written this one (poker) spot off. It had turned into a bunch of white hairs sitting on their purses. But then a guy told me the games have been pretty good, which is pretty standard this time of the year. Chalk it up to tax refund season. 

Friday and Saturday I put some hours into the game. To say it was a good good--which requires bad players--is an understatement. I did what I always do, as in created a plan for how I'm going to play my hands against each and every player to get all the chips, if the opportunity arose. From there I just kind of paid attention to how people value bet, bluff, if they re raise their draws and their ace/king hands. Blah. Blah. Mostly I just thought about fishing and family and how there are plenty of other ways I'd rather spend my time than intentionally sitting to the left of a drunk. Simply put, I was there for the money. 

So much poker theory bleeds into fishing theory. Each and every poker decision of a winning player is based around one thing: 


As in putting opponents on a range of hands and then letting action(s) narrow down the range to the point that where by the time all the cards are out there, it's pretty clear as to where they are at. 

I won't bore you with this poker talk, and after spending my days off playing, the last thing I really want to do is kick off my work week with a poker blog. 

But here's a huge thing that might help you in your fishing. No, no, no, it will help you in your fishing: think about range when it comes to your gear decisions. Mainly, the range of fish you COULD hook. If the next bite will probably be from a 12- to 25-pound something, but could come from a 40- to 60-pound something (think bluefin tuna) do you really want to fish 20-pound test? If you are near kelp and it's a know seabass producer, do you really want to fish the bass gear or even just 25-pound mono? If there are 80- to 150-pound tuna around the boat and the next bite could be a 250- to 300-plus pounder, do you really want to have 100-pound in the water? 

Let range guide your fishing decisions a little. Just plan ahead for that next bite, before it happens. It's a recipe for success. 

HERE'S AN EXAMPLE of how a thinking fisherman applies range. "Okay," thought to self. "It's dark and we are fishing seabass, so line shy need not apply. There's is a lot of kelp at this spot (I think it's Slide Kelp) and the captain said there have been 30- to 50-pound seabass caught here in the dark." I'm going to pass on the 25-pound mono, and stick with the heavy kelp cutter rig with a big hook. 

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