Hank taught us a ‘Classic’ lesson


Shane Durrance

Hank Cherry’s 2020 Bassmaster Classic victory was well deserved for a great angler – an angler who taught all of us bass heads a valuable lesson.

You know, we always talk about fishing our strengths, but sometimes we stray away from that.

We go to our favorite lake, river, pond or vacation destination with visions of grandeur. All of sudden, things don’t work out like we think they should, the wheels come off and we start tying on everything in the tacklebox.

Oh, you know who you are … and yes, I’m just as guilty of it. It’s human nature to assume the bass are biting somewhere and that you just haven’t shown them the right formula.

Hank didn’t do that. Granted, he caught fish on a bladed jig, a crankbait and his signature dock skipping jig.

But when the going got tough he didn’t overthink his area; he put his best fastball in his hand – a jerkbait – and went to work. 

In case you didn’t know, Hank Cherry is one of the best jerkbait specialists in the country. So, instead of reaching for a hand grenade and blowing up everything in his tacklebox with a curveball, the dude relied on his fastball.  

He hunkered down on one of the biggest community holes on Lake Guntersville, tied on a jerkbait and did what he is very, very good at.

He fished his strengths and didn’t waiver.

Regardless of whether I’m doing a seminar, filming a Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show, or fishing a weeknight tournament with one of my boys, I know my strength centers around a 1/2-ounce Strike King Structure Jig.

But like you, I’m intrigued with other lures and techniques. So, when things get tough, I have a tendency to steer toward something else that may not be in my comfort zone.

Sometimes it works. Often it doesn’t.

So remember, as you begin the 2020 season, think about your own fastball – your fishing strength. When you go to your favorite fishing hole and things aren’t going the way you had hoped, stop tying stuff on.

Instead, find an area of the lake that caters to your strength, lock that bait in your hand and you will have confidence you’re doing the right thing – for you.

If the bottom of your boat looks like you turned over your tacklebox at the end of the day, you will know that all you did was eat up time and didn’t fish with confidence.

Do as Hank did: Get in an area, break it down with your No. 1 lure and give the rest of the field a beatdown.

Don’t overthink it. Fish your strengths.

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