The fastest path between two points is a straight line. So it's no surprise that Kevin VanDam, a noted power fisherman capable of covering vast quantities of water with lightning speed, is a big fan of straight lines. However, VanDam's favorite lines have nothing to do with speed; they have to do with mud.
Every angler who has fished a bass tournament surely remembers that first morning. You were nervous and anxious about the unknown that lay just around the bend uncertain of the outcome but convinced that you were living in the moment. Then, of course, there are the mistakes that were made that first time the things that can only be appreciated in hindsight.
Anglers who have been confined to the house during the winter are now counting the days until spring finally arrives and they can get back out on their favorite lake in pursuit of bass. However, Elite Series pro Bill Lowen, an acknowledged Ohio "river rat," is quick to point out that lakes and reservoirs are not the only places fishing action will be hot come spring.
When bass fail to react to a certain bait color, Davis maintains, the cause is often due to prolonged exposure to that particular hue.
Somewhere in the bowels of his Alabama home, Elite Series pro Aaron Martens has a crankbait graveyard with an inventory greater than the average tackle shop.
Elite Series pro Mike McClelland's name has become synonymous with dragging a Carolina rig or football jig around the bottom for bass. In fact, you might say that the Arkansas pro wrote the book (or at least a chapter) on deepwater structure fishing.
Each spring, as bass anglers head to the water, ready to dust the cobwebs away from a winter-long hiatus, they're faced with a conundrum; suspending jerkbait or floating jerkbait?
For the tournament bass angler, a successful day on the water is measured by the total weight of the best five bass and not the number of bass caught. Culling through scores of smaller bass means more time spent unhooking and re-rigging, and less time with the bait in the water. Even the causal weekend bass angler can appreciate a pair of 4-pound largemouth compared to a dozen "dinks."
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.