During the 2009 Elite Series campaign, a variety of baits and techniques where used to secure victories. However, in many of those wins, the lure that put an angler in position to win faltered in the home stretch and had to be replaced by an alternate bait on the final day of competition.
For many anglers, hook selection is an afterthought. Many times anglers don't consider the hook's wire size, or if it's an extra-wide gap or straight-shank hook, as long as it fits into the body of the bait, it's good to go.
Tips from John Murray about Light Line Manifesto
Anyone who has ever attempted to coax a bedding bass into biting knows well the frustrations the technique can often carry. Chief among them is the bass' disinterest in the angler's offering.
A trip to the local tackle retailer will reveal a plethora of color options in similar swirls, laminates, flecks and hues. It leaves one wondering if such subtle color differences really matter that much when it comes to catching bass. Elite Series pro James Niggemeyer has developed a loose system to help simplify his color selection.
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.