Two-time Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry is handing out gold at the Expo right now. Before there’s a rush on him, we’re not talking about physical gold bars. We’re talking intel.
Thanks to the Humminbird MEGA LIVE shot B.A.S.S. is now able to stream through in real-time to the fans, we’re gaining more and more knowledge by the minute. When you sit Cherry down and ask him to watch it and explain what he’s seeing, the dam of info bursts. That’s what’s happening on Bassmaster LIVE Mix right now.
Cherry just shrunk back a little, after realizing some of his buddies back home were probably going to be sore about the tips that just poured out of him while watching leader Jeff Gustafson use his forward-facing sonar LIVE out on Tellico.
While watching Gussy pan around on a mostly blank screen, Cherry knew what most of us didn’t. That just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not necessarily there. He explained how, “back home on Norman”, the fish will be glued to the bottom this time of year. And it’s not until he “raises them” up off the bottom that he even knows for sure the bass are there.
Cherry said he’ll reel his bait along the bottom and bump fish, and the less aware angler may very well think they’re just bumping bottom. But these bottoms are mucky with no gravel, rock or anything to bump. Once Cherry feels his bait bump fish, he grinds until he gets a bite. And then he’ll often see a school of 5 or 6 bass come up off the bottom as he’s reeling that fish in. This is what he’s referring to when he says he’s raising them.
After he knows for sure there are a few fish there, he won’t even “shine them” anymore, meaning he’ll no longer pan his forward facing sonar (FFS) across the fish. The bass are already becoming so conditioned to the ping of FFS, that Cherry knows he’s better off “just fishing for them” at that point.
Forward facing sonar changed professional fishing forever a few years ago. But even though the hardware has been available to the masses for some time, the knowledge wasn’t. Pros literally kept their heads down, stared at their graphs and refused to give up the juice on what they were working their butts off to learn.
But now, with the livestream of anglers’ units directly to our screens, the anglers are spilling the beans and the learning curve is shortening by the second. FFS changed professional fishing already, but we’re about to see things accelerate across the country now.