When it comes to finding active bass on large bodies of water, one of the standard mantras often heard from pro anglers is, "If you find the forage, you've found the bass."
At one time or another, everyone who has ever gone out in pursuit of bass has done so with another angler's advice on how to catch them still ringing in his ears. In most cases, the information was delivered with the best of intentions. More times than not, however, such "dock talk" is more harmful than helpful.
It's been said before that 90 percent of bass fishermen focus their efforts in the shallows. For those anglers confident enough to fish in deep water the technique can pay off.
Anglers are often at odds over which type of trailer is best for dressing up jigs.
In bass fishing, just like in poker, you have to be able to understand a good bluff. In both cases, the critical factors lie beneath the surface, invisible to the naked eye. If you play your cards wrong, you'll lose, but if you figure out the true nature of the bluff you can walk away with all the chips.
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Many bass anglers have a strong affinity for topwater lures. There's something addictive about watching a bait that is gurgling, sashaying, and spitting across the water's surface disappear in an angry boil. The thrill of the strike may be enough to entice the weekend bass angler to throw a topwater lure even when conditions are no longer prime.
When it comes time to crank shallow water, all too often anglers just reach into their tackleboxes for a bait that has a pretty paint job and dives to the right depth. That's a mistake, says Elite Angler Dustin Wilks, who offers up one other factor that is a prime consideration when he ties on a shallow crankbait.
It has been theorized that 90 percent of the bass live where only 10 percent of fishermen dare to go. For many anglers, fishing deep is tantamount to space exploration. Probing the unknown depths searching for invisible cover is often much less appealing than simply dropping the trolling motor and covering visible shoreline cover.
Sometimes it pays to have options during the course of a tournament. At least that has proven to be a valuable strategy for Elite Series pro Dave Wolak. While he's good enough to typically figure out the dominant pattern on any given waterway across the country, he knows that weather or fishing pressure can drastically alter a fishery over the course of a four-day tournament. Accordingly, he always has a backup plan.