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.
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.
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.
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.
For the first time, the Elite Series Anglers have two years of schedules in front of them. With the recent announcement of the 2009 and 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series, and with a five-month break between the last 2008 event and the Bassmaster Classic, that gives them some time to consider how they'll approach the seasons to come.
BASS Elite Series rookie Clark Reehm has prepared for a career as a professional bass fisherman since he was 12 years old, but despite nearly two decades of prep work, some things still caught him by surprise during his first season in the big leagues.
Elite Angler Clark Reehm may not look particularly buff, but under duress he's been known to perform superhuman feats of strength, lifting boats off mudflats and push poling those same boats down hundreds of yards of what often turn out to be dead end canals. He doesn't do it for the health benefits; it's all about finding populations of fish that the competition overlooks.
Louisiana pro Jeff Connella knows that the ability to locate fish quickly is the primary difference between top-flight Elite Series pros and many of their weekend angler counterparts.
As our waterways get increasingly pressured and the bass within them get correspondingly more wary, it has become imperative to appeal to all five of their senses. But making a perfect presentation takes time, and with limited hours in the day, sometimes it's imperative to figure out whether it's worth it to sacrifice some of that perfection in order to get in more casts.
In Tommy Biffle's mind, the rules of math that apply to the rest of the world are not necessarily in effect. The veteran Oklahoma pro says that a lot of times, he'd much prefer to catch just five bass instead of 10, 20 or even 100.