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.
You've worked hard all week just to make it to Saturday, the one day you can forget about work and other obligations and enjoy a little time on the water. It's a glass calm morning, and as you zip up the lake, you anticipate getting to the honey hole that you're sure has never seen another angler. But as you round the corner, feeling the anticipation, your heart sinks as another fisherman approaches from the other direction.
The first thing everyone thinks of when you say sight fishing is spawning, says Elite Series pro, Shaw Grigsby. In clear water situations you can sight fish all year long.
In bass fishing, just like in poker, you have to be able to understand a good bluff. In both cases, the critical factors lie beneath the surface, invisible to the naked eye. If you play your cards wrong, you'll lose, but if you figure out the true nature of the bluff you can walk away with all the chips.
When it comes time to crank shallow water, all too often anglers just reach into their tackleboxes for a bait that has a pretty paint job and dives to the right depth. That's a mistake, says Elite Angler Dustin Wilks, who offers up one other factor that is a prime consideration when he ties on a shallow crankbait.
Sometimes it pays to have options during the course of a tournament. At least that has proven to be a valuable strategy for Elite Series pro Dave Wolak. While he's good enough to typically figure out the dominant pattern on any given waterway across the country, he knows that weather or fishing pressure can drastically alter a fishery over the course of a four-day tournament. Accordingly, he always has a backup plan.