Having towed a boat and launched his bass boat across the country in all manner of lakes, rivers and streams, Elite Series pro James Niggemeyer knows his way around a launch ramp. Through his years as a touring bass fishing professional, he has learned that improperly loading a boat onto its trailer can ruin a trip to the lake.
The conventional safety pin-style spinnerbait isn't going away anytime soon. Take a look in the boat of any Elite Series competitor and you'll see a wide variety of spinnerbaits in every color, size and blade configuration under the sun. The weekend angler would be wise to emulate this hyper-preparedness.
Under the right conditions, even the most novice anglers will catch bass after bass on high-percentage baits such as spinnerbaits and small crankbaits. But imagine if in your earliest bass fishing experiences you were limited to using nothing but swimbaits. Chances are that you wouldn't be as eager to go again, given the bait's low-percentage yield.
For tournament anglers, there are a number of intervening conditions that can turn a good bite sour. Louisiana pro Greg Hackney doesn't sugarcoat it: "Cold, muddy water is by far the worst set of conditions you can fish," he says.
Up until a few years ago, pro angler Cliff Pace didn't even own a spinning rod. The Mississippi resident relied on tried-and-true "bubba" tactics to excel in tournaments. But once he started to compete against the best of the best in the Bassmaster Elite Series, he realized that he needed to integrate finesse tactics into his arsenal, and that called for spinning tackle.
It might be one of the first bass fishing axioms an angler learns: "Where there's grass, there's bass." Unfortunately, as Elite Series pro Greg Hackney points out, not all grass mats are created equal. In fact, if you're not fishing the most productive areas of a particular mat, you might as well be throwing rocks.
Take one look at the soft plastic aisle in a tackle store and it's no secret that plastics come in just about every color imaginable. Need a pink Fluke? They've got them. How about a Blue Sapphire lizard? No problem. Even with all of the color options available on the market, some bass anglers believe there are times when a plastic bait needs a little extra flash.
Have you ever had one of those days when conditions were perfect for throwing a buzzbait, but for whatever reason the fish would barely show any interest? Elite Series pro Pete Ponds has the solution.
For self-proclaimed topwater junkies like Elite Series pro Gerald Swindle, it's never too early in the year to talk about topwater applications.
When bass fishermen get together to compare notes, it often devolves into a competition over whose boat is the fastest, whose boat handles rough water the best or whose boat has the best layout. It's only infrequently that we sit down and compare tow vehicles.