Bass Fishing

Art by Ed Luterio Bass Fishing

So what does it take to be known as a “Bass Pro?”  The criteria or resume for such a prestigious angler is held by only the best fisherman of bass in the world.

I suppose anyone who is an avid bass fisherman and think they are pretty good at it can call themselves a bass pro.  They can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk, so to speak.  Like many sports professionals , i.e. football players, baseball, professional golfers, etc., to walk the walk and be a professional you have to have the skill and documented proof of that skill to be a real professional.  So, what is that criteria or resume that is required to be a professional bass fisherman.  First you have to be a tournament bass fisherman.  Yes, like all sports there has to be competition and it is through these competitions that the best of the best is recognized and branded the ultimate bass fisherman title of “Bass Pro.”  You have to compete in lower class bassmaster opens  until you were good enough to qualify to compete in the elite series.  Then you would have to fish the elite series until you were good enough to finally qualify and compete in the ultimate Bassmaster Classic.  So there you have it.  Well, not so easy as it sounds.  Bass fishing is very competitive and like most professional sports, most who try do not succeed. It’s all about hard work and continuous learning.  Bass fishing is a skill, and a skill don’t come natural, it is earned.  Hard work, practice, and continuous learning is required.  All three of these attributes are critical and if you are missing one of them you’re out.  Meaning you will never make the elite series of tournaments.  Luck will only take you so far in the bass fishing sport. 

And then there is sponsorship.  Every pro bass fisherman needs a sponsor.  The bass fishing tournament industry is expensive, and unless you are just outright wealthy and willing to turn lose some of that wealth willingly, you are going to need a sponsor.  How do you get a sponsor.  The answer is really two-fold on that one.  First, you need to be the best of the best, otherwise known as a winner.   All winners get to be known, which is what sponsors are exactly after, to be known, which in turn promote their product.  Secondly, you need to actively promote yourself.  If you are the best of the best then get out there and let it be known.  This where that Pro Angler resume kicks in.  Document your record.  Your so called prized winnings.  When you put the two together sponsors are more than willing to join in on your team. Over the years, it has become very common for anglers to put together a fishing resume for potential sponsors that highlights their accomplishments and involvements over their angling career. Certain sponsors have said that they receive about 10 contacts every day from anglers for sponsorship (and that doesn’t include clubs, companies, and charities). Demands for sponsorship have rapidly increased as tournament trails increase for every kind of fish.

Since the fishing industry has directed anglers into developing fishing resumes in hopes of gaining sponsorship, it has produced a measure of complacency. An angler might think that a résumé, as well as a superior résumé to boot, will greatly increase his chances for getting a sponsorship. But résumés, long or short, are now being exchanged by marketing proposals. And with good reason.
Anglers who are able to bring in a strategy of attack (Proposal) for marketing, advertising and promoting a company basically position themselves as a man that is looking ahead to methods that can help the sponsor land new customers while retaining their present client base. Now, composing a proposal takes thought and planning. It requires the angler to prepare and consider marketing avenues of most ways that will assist the prospective sponsor in acquiring what they’re interested in – leads, sales, and earnings. A résumé gives information about things the individual angler has actually accomplished and essentially reveals to a potential sponsor, “Look at precisely what I’ve accomplished; take a look at me!” The proposal alternatively says, “Here is exactly what I propose to do to help you bring in much more business. The following is what I will do for you!”

In preparing a sponsorship proposal, almost all avenues for marketing, advertising, exposing, and promoting the sponsor should be determined, regardless of whether they are produced from:
• Email
• Internet
• Mail
• Printed Media
• Personal Contacts
Merely stating that you’ll proudly show their logo on your trusty old tournament shirt, truck and boat is expected should you be approaching tackle companies and is regarded as ho-hum in the fishing industry. However this kind of exposure may very well assist you in getting ready a sponsorship/marketing proposal for a business which is outside of the industry.
The bottom line is the fact that the key to a successful proposal is involving yourself with the financial success of your actual sponsor(s). If you plan and strategize to assist them achieve success, you’ll achieve success.

 Bass fishing professionals do use some strategies.  What is a sport without strategy that leads to the resulting win.  You have to win to get to the top.  I am going to give you some of the top strategies, tips, and or guidelines used by professional bass anglers.  After reading through the following seven strategies your life as a angler will never be the same. The fact is you can use any one of the following guidelines separately and increase the number of bass that you hook.

1. Almost all weedlines are not the same. The goal when it comes to weedlines is usually to avoid those straight-line weed edges since they are the lowest productive areas on any lake. When assessing the lake you should keep an eye open for something different such as points, inside turns, and cuts.
As reported by the majority of expert anglers uneven weedlines indicate adjustments in depth or alterations in bottom makeup, which each attract bass. Another great thing to keep in mind regarding irregular weedlines is the fact that it offers the predator bass an upper hand in ambushing baitfish.

2. Wind direction is extremely important. Talk to any bass angler about wind direction and they will advise you to fish the windward side of a reservoir because churned water has a tendency to activate baitfish into feeding and at the same time disorient them somewhat. The same principles apply when it comes man-made lakes as well.

 3. Leave early – go deep – the majority of bass anglers who fish natural lakes will advise you to leave early and to go straight for the shallow water. Wrong answer! The second mistake that I know bass anglers state is to head to the inside weedline initially as the day starts. Again they are WRONG! Here’s the real deal… The larger bass is going to be feeding on the deep weed edge early in the day. This same rule of thumb is applicable as the end of the day approaches. The bottom line… Go for the deep weed edge.

4. Consider going past the edge – I use to go to the lake and follow the weedline with the determination of a hawk on a jack rabbit. I was just like a kid at Christmas time every time I landed my cast on the weed edge. Of course you are able to catch bass by using this technique – but you are defiantly not maximizing the location that you happen to be fishing.
 
Whilst fishing you might want to consider the weed thickness, target species, bottom structure, bottom incline as well as the weather.  Bass may possibly go farther back into the weed cover or shift off the weedline toward deeper water. Most importantly, the more desirable smallmouth spots may be only a long cast off the weedline toward deeper water. From my personal experiences, the more desirable smallmouth sites may be just a long cast off the weedline to a hard-bottom incline.
 

5. Flip The Canopy – with regards to angling natural-lakes, flipping and pitching to a weed edge is by far the most popular form of presentation. The majority of anglers will advise you that the bait should fall very slowly and so they favor particularly light weights. However, light weights frequently hang up on foliage. For myself I would rather utilize a 3/8 or ½ ounce weight so the bait reaches the bottom without interruption. I have discovered this technique to be very helpful on days when bass are not overly aggressive. I know they are waiting for me on the bottom level and secured under the canaopy.
When possible I am going to fish 10 feet or more into the weedbed, going after any little opening that permits my bait to enter cleanly and drop straight down. If it hits bottom without a strike, I’ll stop momentarily, then lift it about 2 inches and “BAM” drop it once more. After it sits for a few seconds, I’ll do another pitch. Before you decide to email me or post a lot of comments asking,  pleasepermit me to volunteer right now and simply let you know. Usually when fishing under the above circumstances I am going to flip and pitch a Texas-rigged tube or compact beaver-tailed bait with a pegged tungsten weight on 15-pound fluorocarbon line.  Green pumpkin is his typical go-to coloring. When almost all else appears to be failing I will switch to baby soft plastics to a finesse-flip-ping jig with a sweet zoom speed craw.
 
6. Pitch that Jigworm – if the bass are totally disregarding everything that I am throwing at them and it might appear that they are totally inactive I am going to intensify my presentation for the weedline to a ¼ ounce Slider Spider Classic Head with a 4-inch worm. Charlie Brewer’s Spider Classic Head boasts a big size and heavier gauge hook than the standard Spider Head. My personal opinion I feel that it is the offset hook that permits for the weedless rigging, and the cone-shaped head can slip through vegetation stalks. I would rather right it with a Zoom Centipede in a translucent coloring like watermelon or ice, but you can use any 4-inch worm. I fish it on spinning gear with 8-pound test and catch bass of most sizes.
Any time you cast make sure to cast parallel to the weedline and let your lure sink to the bottom. After that utilize your rod tip to lift the bait and pull it 2 to 3 feet before letting it settle back to the bottom level. Use the 5 to six second pause to take up the slack line before pulling the lure again.
 
7. Crank the hell out of the edges – Shhhh! Do not inform anybody about this next little secret… A deep-diving crankbait is yet another lure that I get excellent success with when fishing weedlines.
I’m sure a lot of anglers that you explain to this to would probably cringe at the notion of using a crankbait around weedbeds on all-natural lakes. I am willing to go up against any of those naysayers virtually any day of the week. I have hooked much more large bass with this method than you can shake a stick at. I’m revealing when those bass are actively feeding, this really is the lure that I would recommend that you throw.
I like to utilize a big bodied deep diver that can effortlessly reach bottom at the depth where weeds stop growing. Rather than use a moderate action cranking rod, I choose a firm medium heavy rod with a fast action in order to rip the bait free of vegetation. I likewise use a 12 pound fluorocarbon. Another reason I love the crankbait a whole lot is that it allows me to cover a lot of terrain. Remember whenever cranking the edge you should not be worried of getting caught up on weeds. Whenever you rip them loose it may trigger a strike.
FACT:  for those of you who adopt the seven guidelines above you are going to surely optimize your own angling experience and perhaps come closer to being a bass pro.
Below are some excellent resources for bass pro fisherman:
B.A.S.S. Master – One of the largest organizations dedicated to bass fishing.

Professional Anglers Association -

 

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