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.
When four-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier Dave Wolak sees matted grass, he's in his comfort zone. At times, he seems so in tune with heavy vegetation bass that it's almost as if he can see what's going on under the canopies.
Listening to Elite Series pro Mark Burgess describe his favorite shades of his go-to soft plastic color, green pumpkin, is like listening to him read off a restaurant menu.
Mark Burgess, who learned to fish on New England smallmouth factories like New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee, says not all smallmouth bass are created equal
Gary Klein used his three decades of experience adjusting to skittish fish and changing water levels at Lake Gunterville. Massive storms cause a tremendous amount of current in the lake forcing the anglers to adjust as the tournament progressed.
Adjusting to the prevailing light involves a "fishing in the moment mentality, according to Gary Klein. If an angler is convinced that there are fish in an area, he will keep refishing until he figures it out.
Gerald Swindle shares his science and what to look for when fishing the backwaters. He describes where to fish, adjusting to the wind, baits to use and other variables.
Probably the best time to fish a tailrace on Southeastern reservoirs is in the summertime. Then oxygen levels are at their lowest on the lakes. So what you have is one big comfort zone, an area with cool water and plenty of oxygen, a magnet that attracts both small and spotted bass and sometimes largemouth.