Every human is born with survival instincts that are heightened and developed over time. For the professional bass angler, it's no different. While the bass pro's fishing instincts may not spell the difference between life and death, it can spell the difference between cashing a check and going home empty handed at the conclusion of a tournament.
Catching a nice bass on a tough day is one of the most satisfying feelings in bass fishing. The event is often followed with a high-five, a photo op, or in a tournament; a trip to the livewell. Many anglers fail to realize that with a little diligence, that single bite could lead to a memorable day on the water.
When it comes to thinking "outside the box," Bassmaster Elite Series anglers are on the cutting edge. Always looking for a competitive advantage, many pros spend hours cutting, melting, splicing and combining popular baits in an effort to discover a new way to put more bass in the boat.
While trolling down the bank, Monroe will often pass his boat directly over a bed containing a spawning bass. If the fish remains on the bed or quickly returns to the bed after his boat passes, he deems the bass worth his attention.
Over the past three decades, veteran Oklahoma pro Ken Cook has been a consistent competitor on the professional bass fishing scene. In a sport where longevity at the top level is rare, Cook has found a way to remain competitive long after claiming his first professional Bassmaster victory on Florida's Lake Toho in 1982.
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.
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."
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.
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.