Tied closely to number 2 is the need to spend as much time on the water as you possibly can during the peak times. For Everett, a surfboard maker by trade with PureGlass, it means taking all his vacation time in that productive window of opportunity or working nights so he can fish during the day.
"Here in Southern California where trophy fishing can be so competitive, it's critical that I get out there early and be prepared to stay all day long if the opportunity presents itself," he says. "You never know when you're going to find the bass you're looking for, but it's a sure bet that it's going to take some time and dedication to find and catch her. The best way to do it is to spend a lot of time on the water."
Much of the spawn is tied to lunar cycles. Lots of trophy anglers focus their fishing around full and new moons. Check your calendar.
When you finally get the opportunity you've been waiting your whole fishing life for, don't blow it by using inferior equipment.
"A really big bass will put your gear to the test," Everett says. "Don't go to a gunfight with a butter knife. Get the best stuff you can afford and know how to use it. Everything needs to be just right — your rod, reel and line, your hook-set and knot, your lure and hooks. If it's not just right, the bass is going to find that weak link and break your heart."
Everett uses and believes in Ardent reels, his signature series Phenix rod (a 7-foot, 3-inch extra-heavy model with a fast action), 20-pound-test Maxima monofilament line (he likes mono for reasons we'll cover in a later installment), Phenix Pro Line jigs, Uncle Josh pork rind and the Lake Fork Tackle Magic Shad for most of his record hunting.
Get the best gear you can find and put it together to create a system that works for you. Streamline your gear and approach. Get rid of the chaff and get ready to catch the bass of a lifetime.
Originally published March 2011