Fish detect tastes with receptors inside their mouths and on the outside of their skin. Their "taste buds" are very sensitive and can distinguish the difference between sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavors.
With these two facts in mind, it's critical for a successful angler to keep their hands clean when handling lures, line and bait. The good news is that there's finally a cleaner called Reel Clean that completely eradicates any odors on your hands, including the foulest smelling fuels, lower-unit lube or any odor mankind can encounter. It even takes out skunk! Keep your hands scent-free with Reel Clean when you go fishing and I promise you will catch more fish.
HOLD THE LINE
When it comes to equipment, the thing I stress most to anglers is the importance of having fresh line (and the right line) on your rod/reel. Old, brittle, coiled monofilament will cost you a lot of fish in terms of break-offs and bites (since baits on coiled line don't swim as naturally). So re-spool every year. And even though it costs more up front, try spooling up with a high-quality braided line. The strength-to-diameter ratio is dynamite; today's braids are very supple and easy to handle; plus it won't go bad like mono and you can use it season after season.
VISUALIZE MORE BITES
Having proper focus is important in any sport, from baseball to bass fishing. Great athletes visualize the action before it happens, and successful fishermen do the same thing.
Here's an example of what I mean: Let's say your fishing for bass on a weed line with a rubber worm. You're hopping it along the bottom in and around cover. Keep your eyes fixed on your rod tip and the line coming off of it. This focus will visually alert you if you get a strike (a rod twitch on a hard bite; or a line twitch on a soft bite).