Re: Swapitus – and how to cure it.
Yup, I'd rather cover 6 miles of open beach with a needlefish and a bottle plug, than a quarter mile with "the bag".
At least that's how it shakes out for me. It may help to look at it in mathematical terms, so let's take a quick hypothetical. Test terrain is as follows:
6 miles of open beach, it can be sand beaches with a fairly consistent set of offshore bars, or a rocky shoreline with various points and coves, doesn't matter, take your choice. Let's say that in that 6 mile stretch, there are 12 locations that have "prime" structure, be it deep troughs in tight, near cuts in the bar, or rocky points with excellent perches bordering deep coves.
Now let's apply a few generally accepted constants (blitzes don't count here LOL).
1) The bass are not going to be spread uniformly across all 6 miles of beach.
2) The bass are most likely to be found where bait is present.
3) The bass prefer to use structure of any form to feed.
4) The bait (be it large or small) is not likely to be spread uniformly across all 6 miles of beach.
Now let's see where this leads.
Scenario 1 - Show up to an arbitrary location and fish a quarter mile of the beach, within that 6 mile stretch, and throw the bag.
1) You hit the nail on the head and land on the combination of structure and bait necessary for holding the fish, and at some point you pull the matching profile from your bag while rotating through it.
Probability - unlikely. First off, even if "uniformity" or linear existed in nature, and it doesn't, you would have at BEST, a 3% chance of landing on the proper conditions to produce fish.
2) You don't catch anything because you landed in the 97 percentile and casting the bag has no effect on the outcome.
Scenario 2 - Select 2 basic profiles that cover small and slender (a wide variety of white bait) and a larger fatter profile (damaged ground fish, bunker, etc) and cover 6 miles of beach, stopping at every prominent structure and fishing both profiles.
1) At at least one stop, you catch fish on one of the the two profiles.
Probability - likely. You have basically matched 85% of the likely bait profiles with two plugs and have covered 100% of the known structure that is likely to hold bait and bass.
2) You don't catch.
Probability - unlikely but possible. Chalk it up to one of those rare times when the fish are picky and a subtle difference in color may actually matter. It does happen and I will never claim it doesn't. That's why it's called fishing.
So once again, my main point is reduce fishing down to a series of priorities, a manageable way of understanding what is really important, and what is less so. Fishing can't be reduced to a mathematic matrix, but math can be useful in understanding what factors give yourself the best probability of catching fish.
Einstein said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results."