More things I do that you shouldn’t


Steve Bowman
The water temperature was warmer than it was in practice. But the air temperature had taken a big drop.

A few weeks back, I shared some Things I do that you shouldn't. Let’s keep that conversation going...

Changing your outboard motor prop

I change my outboard motor prop after every 10 or 12 days of tournament fishing. If the one I’m using gets even a little bit dull, it’ll cost me 1 or 2 miles per hour. That’s several casts a day and maybe as many as a hundred over the course of a season.

Several years ago I lost the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title by 3 points. Under the current system one more fish every other tournament would have given me that title. Remember: places in an Elite Series event are often determined by 1 or 2 ounces.

Do you need to do that? No. Props are expensive. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Swapping crankbait hooks

If I’m fishing a crankbait, I change the hooks several times a day. The slightest nick or curl on even one point on one treble might cause me to lose a bass. Even running them through open water will dull them. Water’s abrasive so it counts, too.

For any angler who’s fishing below the highest professional level that’s a waste of money. If a point is a little dull, hit it with a file and keep fishing. Your point may not be as sharp as a factory point but that really doesn’t matter if you’re fishing for fun.

Changing plastic baits

I rarely fish a plastic bait for more than a few minutes without changing it for a new one, especially if I’m not catching them. Water will remove a lot of the salt and scent from a bait and it’ll dull or change some colors. I want my scent fresh and I want my color true.

For most anglers, though, doing that is silly. Spend your money on more fishing trips. Experience will tell you where to throw the plastic you do have to catch one. A wheelbarrow full of new worms won’t even come close to doing that.

Don’t be a tackle junkie

I have hundreds of bags of plastics and thousands of hard baits. I wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to how many hooks and sinkers I have, or how many miles of line. My boat looks like a tackle shop, and my garage would put most of them to shame. Basically, I have every size and color of everything that I think might help me catch a fish.

Most anglers don’t need 10 percent of what I own. You’ll be a better angler if you spend more time fishing. Owning everything that’s made will never make up for poor fish finding skills. All it’ll do is confuse you and make you spend all your time changing lures.

In these two columns I’ve tried to make a point about some things. Don’t go crazy with what you see and hear about what we (Elite Series anglers) do. What we do out there has nothing to do with what most anglers do when they go fishing, and it shouldn’t.