I’m a vampire

Yes, it’s true. I’m a vampire.

I don’t suck blood, though. I suck energy and a positive mental attitude from some of the young anglers I see around this country. Some of them are fishing professionally with well-established careers. Others are just getting started. Regardless, they all have one thing in common — a will and a desire to catch bass in tournament competitions around our country.

One of them is Brandon Card. He’s the fellow I mentioned last week when I said I’d say a little something about the guy who taught me to stroll, and say a little more about what he actually did teach me.

Brandon spent at least two hours working with me, showing me the tricks of this technique. That’s a lot of time, especially considering that I might catch his fish. After all, we are competitors at the Elite Series level.

The technique is simple enough so I won’t go into much detail here except to relay a couple of things that might help you.

I might have mentioned this before, or maybe somebody else did, but we do not stroll to get our baits down deep. What we are really trying to do is get it down and keep it down over a long distance. With a rod and reel the bait will go down in a V shape over the length of our cast. It’s only “at depth” for a little ways. When we stroll, it runs along a horizontal path for a long ways. This allows us to cover much more water.

The other thing Brandon taught me was about tackle. I asked him what gear ratio reel I should use. He told me to rig three outfits. One should have a reel with a low gear ratio, another with a medium gear ratio and the third one with a high-speed ratio. He said each reel would force me to use different muscles. All of them wouldn’t hurt at the same time. He gave me good advice. Big, deep diving crankbaits aren’t easy to wind when they’re down deep. Switching muscles makes a difference over a long day.

Another fellow that I’ve sucked energy from is a guy I met while fishing Hoover Memorial Reservoir here in Ohio. I’m not going to use his name because I don’t have his permission to do so but I can say he’s a student at Ohio State and he can fish. He’s quiet, almost shy, but at the same time he’s a dedicated professional. The first time or two we fished together I mostly worked as his net-boy.

My last vampire type nourishment comes from my Tuesday night tournaments here in Columbus. There are a couple of teenagers who fish with us now. They’re fine young men. They conduct themselves with honor and discipline. When I look at them, I can’t help but smile. If they’re the future of our sport, we’re in good shape.

At a time when we hear so much negative stuff about our young men and women, I think it’s important to keep anglers like I’ve described in mind. We all draw from them whether we admit it or not, and thank God we do. 

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