Fishing Tips from the Pros --- Bass Fishing

DENNY BRAUER
is the all-time leading money winner on the BASS Tournament Trail with over 1.5 million dollars in prize money to his credit. One of Americaís great seminar speakers and educators, Denny has his own popular television on ESPN "The Bass Class with Denny Brauer." He designs lures for Strike King and specializes in jigs and loves shallow water tactics. Denny is a Ranger Pro Angler and is sponsored by Humminbird.
Web Site:
www.brauerbass.com

Heavy Cover Bassiní

"When bass are hid out in heavy cover, the two best bets for catching them are flipping and pitching. Make it a point to learn both techniques. These are both short line, heavy line presentations that work real well in getting the lure to the fish and the fish out of the cover when he bites.

The favorite lures for this type of fishing include: plastic worms, lizards, jigs and tubes. My favorite of all is the jig and pig combo. It just seems to penetrate the heavy cover well, and is pretty weedless. For those extra picky bass, Iíll go tot my flipping tube. A lot of anglers have good success on big worms in warm water and lizards during the spawn. Keep all of these lures in mind when fishing heavy cover. Something is sure to work, so hang on tight."

Finding Cold Front Bass

"Anyone who has fished for bass, or most other species for that matter, will know that those hours just behind a cold front will be the toughest for getting a bite. Fish will leave their normal hangouts in shallow water after that front blows through. Hereís where to look for them.

Look for heavy grass or the thickest wood cover in or near shallow water. The bass will get tight in this cover and often bunch up around it. Try pitching, flipping or slow rolling a spinnerbait for these close-mouth bass. Remember, slow is the magic word here. If the shallow water tends to be void of cover, move out to the first break, using your Humminbird to find the best cover. The first drop should be holding the fish. Remember to slow down your presentation with that jig, spinnerbait or slow moving crankbait and you could be back in action."


PENNY BERRYMAN is viewed by many as the "Sweetheart of Bass Angling." Penny has a wonderful, outgoing personality to go along with her uncanny ability to constantly succeed on the ladies professional bass fishing circuits. Among her many accomplishments, Penny has been named Bassn' Gal Angler of the Year, World Champion, and qualified for Bassn' Gal and WBFA Classic for over ten years in a row. She's an outstanding seminar speaker and a great industry representative. Penny has Tracker Boats and Motor Guide among her national sponsors.

Tips That Trigger A Smallmouth Strike

"If you live near a body of water where smallmouth bass thrive, then you are indeed fortunate. They provide some of anglingís greatest thrills.

On lakes and rivers that are extremely clear, you can increase your chances for success by using a bait casting reel with a very high gear ratio. I suggest one with a 6.2 to 1 or higher. Run a spinner bait as fast as you can turn the handle near submerged grass beds, off of windy points or parallel to chunk rock banks. In large bodies of water, where smallmouth structure is located a long way from the shoreline, a good GPS like the Humminbird NS25 can put you right back on the exact spot every time. Donít be caught offshore without the aid of this wonderful navigational device."

Find The Bait Ė To Find The Fish

"If there is one important lesson I have learned from my countless hours on the water it is: Locate a school of bait fish, such as shad, and you can bet that the fish I am seriously looking for wonít be too far away.

A good fishfinder is your most valuable tool for locating a school of baitfish. I have grown to rely on the Zercom LPG 2000. It shows the bait, the cover and the fish themselves. The tighter the "wad" of baitfish, the more chance there is of predator fish close by. Make special note of the exact depth of the bait. From here you need to locate good structure, such as a brush pile on the side of a point, at this same depth. Bass love an ambush point such as this."

Topwater Tricks That Work

"You can expect a lot of short-strikes while fishing a topwater bait. When this happens, hereís a tip that can put the odds in your favor. Add a six to eight inch length of monofiliment to the rear split ring on your top water lure. Tie a 1/16 ounce white crappie jig on the line as a "teaser". You will be amazed at the number of fish you catch on the trailer, and will be surprised at the size of some of these.

The tiny jig trails behind the primary bait and simply looks too inviting to pass up. Fish this when fish are schooling or when your depthfinder tells you that a "wad" of shad is below your boat. With a rig such as this, anything is possible Ė including a double now and then."


RANDY BLAUKAT of Missouri continues to achieve success as a top-notch professional bass fisherman. He continues to excel on the BASS tournament trail and will be in New Orleans this summer competing in the Bassmasters Classic. Randy is constantly being featured in Bassmaster Magazine, and is a popular figure among American anglers featured in Japan. He is on the Zercom team and the Ranger Boat pro staff.

Crankbait Modifications

"Most crankbaits out of the box are rigged with treble hooks that are too small. Of course, this is necessary to prevent the hooks from fouling together every time you make a cast. This can be frustrating.

I like to remove both treble hooks and replace the front one with one large treble hook. This eliminates the fouling problem, plus gives the lure more wobble because there is no rear hook to create tail wobble resistance.

The larger, single hook will hold better than the smaller sets of two trebles. Plus it makes for easier storage of rods, when the lures are left ties on. In this case, fewer is better."

A Trolling Motor Transducer Tip

"A front mounted fishfinder can be the key to your success when fishing for bass. Learn to read the subtle changes in bottom structure and cover and you will be amazed at the amount of detail a bow unit is capable of providing.

Remember for the maximum performance, it is important that the transducer for the front unit be positioned on the foot of the trolling motor. Many anglers as well as marine dealers use the plastic wire ties to secure a transducer cord to the trolling motor shaft. This can be a costly mistake, since fishing line can become snagged on the ties when fighting a fish. Instead, I recommend using electrical tape. This eliminates line snagging completely and it also allows quick cord replacement if necessary."



CHAD BRAUER the son of professional angler, Denny Brauer, Chad has started making his own mark among bass fishing stars. Chad credits his degree in Fisheries and Wildlife as part of the success he has achieved on the BASS tournament circuit. Chad has already notched a win on the BASS Tournament Trail and has made a trip to the prestigious Bassmasters Classic. He includes Rangerís national team on his list of sponsors, as well as Humminbird.

Spinnerbait Tips For Spring And Fall

"Spring and fall are the two times of the year when the bass tend to move shallow. During these times, one of the best lures to use is a spinnerbait. Using the right blade combination can be the key to catching your best fish.

In the spring, big bladed spinnerbaits tend to match the baitfish best. The baitfish have one full growing season behind them are fairly large in stature. The larger blades will best match their size. In the fall, small bladed spinnerbaits seem to produce better, as many of the baitfish have just hatched and tend to run smaller.

Another thing to remember, bass in the early spring are hungry, they carry their heaviest weight ant they will tend to go for a larger forage. By matching the size of the baitfish, you can certainly expect to increase your catch."

Use A Different Approach

"As our waterways get more crowded and fishing pressure increases, we must employ new or different tactics in order to be successful. Bass will become conditioned to seeing the same baits, fished with the same techniques day in and day out.

To overcome this, it is important to pay attention to what the other fishermen are doing, or not doing. This will allow you to employ methods the others are overlooking. This could apply to an area that gets less pressure, using techniques that others are not using. For instance, you might employ a new technique such as the "Drop Shot", fished vertically over fairly deep structure. Chances are, not too many local fishermen have sharpened their skills to this deadly tactic.

Whatever you do, try something different and you will be amazed at the fish you will catch that everyone else is missing."

Tournament Tricks For Finding Fish

"In any major tournament, the key to catching your share lies in locating something out of the way. After three days of practice, most of the obvious places, as well as the community holes have already been hit pretty hard. And while some fish will always be caught from these areas, the secret lies in that spot you have found that few are aware of.

Seldom during practice do I run my boat over 30 mph. I am constantly looking at my Zercom in-dash fishfinder. What I am looking for is any unusual structure, away from the beaten path, that shows a potential for holding fish.

When I locate such areas, Iíll check them and if they produce quick action, the spot is marked on my GPS. Trying to find as many of these offbeat spots can be the key to winning, or at least placing in the money. Any fisherman can employ the same tactics for their daily angling. Look for the new or unfished structure and enjoy a place all to yourself."


CHARLIE CAMPBELL has been fishing professionally for over 30 years. He is one of the Ozarks most popular and well-known pro anglers. Charlie fishes BASS and the Central Pro-Am circuits. He is on Johnny Morrisí Pro Team at Bass Pro Shops and has been instrumental in the development and evolution of the Tracker and Nitro Bass Boats. He has been with Humminbird since the days of the original SUPER 60.

Boating Safety Tips

"One of boatingís greatest dangers is not being able to stop quickly. A boat running 60 miles per hour has no brakes, signal lights or rear view mirrors. Here are some tips for safe boating.

First of all, try and avoid the situations where a sudden stop would occur. Always look completely around the boat before turning or stopping. If you have a partner or passenger in the boat, ask them to keep a look out for other oncoming boat traffic. Do not follow another boat closely. Leave room for reaction time, since there are no "brake lights." Use caution when passing another boat, leaving plenty of space between. Carry a good, hand-held VHF radio for weather monitor and in case of break down or emergency."

Fishing Line Savvy

"There are advantages as well as disadvantages to some of the newer developed lines, such as fluorocarbons. While they have little stretch, they do hold their memory, which can make them hard to cast, especially in cold weather.

Tie the end of the line to a stationary object. Back the line out to beyond a good casting distance. Now stretch the line until the memory is gone. Then rewind. Pull the line through a soft cloth to remove any build-up. Next spray the line on your spool with Reel Magic to increase castability. This will also prevent the line from absorbing water. Finally, remember to fill your spool to within an eighth of an inch from the top, to get maximum casting distance."


LARRY COLOMBO once thought tournament fishing was the greatest hobby in the world, but now says he's too old to compete against the "Young Lions". After 28 years in the fishing industry, he applies the lessons learned to his job of Public Relations Manager of Techsonic Industries, manufacturer of Humminbird and Zercom electronics. Larry belongs to the Outdoor Writers Association of America and is on the Board of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. Larry edits all the Humminbird and Zercom Pro Fishing Tips.

Try A New Sure-Fire Technique

The secret is out. Pro fishermen have been keeping the "drop shot rig" a guarded secret for a couple years. Now the word is, try it for sure-fire success. To rig this popular new technique, use 12 lb. test monofiliment on a relatively light spinning or bait casting outfit. About 18 inches from the end of the line tie a hook on with a palomar knot. Run the end of the line back through the eye of the hook, which will cause it to ride upward. At the end of the line insert a "drop weight", the size depending on the depth you fish or the desired speed you want your bait to fall. Fish this rig with live bait or plastics vertically over rocky points or in brush. It is virtually snag free and will work especially well on suspended walleye. XPS drop weights and owner "drop shot" hooks can be obtained from Bass Pro Shops.

How To Fish The Drop Shot Rig

"The drop shot rig seems to be Americaís newest hot technique for walleye, crappie or bass. It is a vertical fishing technique, which can be super-successful when used in conjunction with a good, sensitive, bow-mounted fishfinder.

If fish are suspended, tie the hook from 12 to 24 inches above the sinker. Use a I or I/0 hook for live bait, and a slightly larger size hook for plastic grubs. Use a ľ to 3/8 ounce "drop sinker", which doesnít even require a knot. Live minnows can be fished in brush for walleye or crappie. Plastic 4" grubs, especially curl-tail grubs, can be vertically fished for walleye or bass. West Coast pro anglers have been winning a lot of money with this great new technique. It is dynamite in clear, deep water. Try it!"

Rattle Their Cage

"One of springtimeís most productive lures, year after year, continues to be the Rat-L-Trap. Fishermen everywhere find this type of lure to be excellent when fished over grass or shallow structure.

The one problem you encounter with the lure is, when fished over submerged vegetation, such as millfoil, coontail moss or hydrilla, is the lure will hang, because it is weighted. The rod tip must be held high and the retrieve quite rapid to keep the lure from hanging.

A suggestion for fishing this type of vegetation is to try a variation of the popular lure, called a spin-trap. The spin-trap has a singe hook, and a bright tail-spinning blade. The lure can be fished slower, with a lot of flash and action, similar to fishing a spinnerbait. It can be counted down for deeper cranking. Bass and walleye will find it hard to resist."


GUY EAKER has ranked among Americaís top anglers for the past 15 years. Guy hails from Cherryville, North Carolina, where he and his son Guy Jr. continue to rate as one of the top father/son fishing teams in the country. Guy does many seminars for his numerous sponsors, which include Triton Boats and is one of Earl Bentzís consultants. Humminbird has been one of Guy's sponsors for over 20 years.
Web Site:
www.guyeaker.com

Big Tube Lures For Big Bass

"To catch a big bass, Iím convinced that it takes a big lure. Of the 40 or so bass Iíve caught over 10 pounds, only one has come on a relatively small bait. One super good lure for big bass are the oversized tube lures produced by most bait companies. One of my sponsors, Pradco, produces tubes up to 4 Ĺ inches in length. Many of these have solid heads, which allows for the use of larger hooks, and also makes the tube more durable. I like to flip or pitch these large tube lures into potential places where a big bass is likely to be hiding. There is also a good chance that the bass has not seen a lure of this type before.

Iíve found that when properly fished, a large tube lure will produce results, when other lures proved unsuccessful."

Start With A Good Map

"More and more as modern technology takes over, we see better and more detailed maps of our major waterways becoming available. I rely heavily on maps, especially on an unfamiliar body of water. I want a map with contour intervals of 5 ft. whenever possible. This kind of detail will help pinpoint potential bass areas, even before getting on the water.

Some maps have 20 ft. intervals, this means each wavy line represents a depth variation of 20 ft. You wonít learn much from a map like this. A good lake map will also show cover such as stump fields and flooded timber. But more importantly, it will show you actual shoreline configuration.

Look for the shorelines wit the most irregular lines. These represent little points, indentations, coves, etc. These are the ideal places to start looking for bass and baitfish cover."


O.T. FEARS from Sallisaw, Oklahoma, continues to enjoy a successful career in the sport of Professional Bass Angling. O.T. always has a full slate of spring seminars at Brass Pro Shops and other locations across America. He is on the Delco Voyager Pro Team as well as Ranger Boats. O.T. has earned victories in several BASS events, including the national tournament at Santee Cooper in South Carolina.

Slip Bobbiní For Schooling Bass

"Schooling fish that push shad to the surface are fun to catch. That includes all species of bass, plus whites, hybrids and strippers. Iíve found a great, but little used technique for catching schooling fish. This technique requires suspending a small, white jig just beneath the shad or minnows upon which they are feeding. To do this I use a slip bobber and a 1/8 or ľ ounce jig in a white, blue or gray color pattern.

There is a new bobber designed for crappie fishing that works quite well. It has a rattle in it, is concave on one end and will pop and spit water as it is jerked through the water. The bobber keeps the attention, while the jig acts as a great attractant. Some really nice fish can be landed on this relatively small offering."

Finding Bass In All The Wrong Places

"Thereís an old saying that bass are where you find them, meaning that they may not be in the best looking areas. Some of my very best days fishing have come as a result of fishing some unattractive bit of shoreline. Places like this donít receive much fishing pressure. Consequently, these bass arenít as lure shy, are less spooky and are much easier to approach.

Try fishing around a busy marina or boat ramp for instance. Almost no one bothers to do this and the bass there are used to all the activity and usually eager to bite."

Trailer Hooks That Work

"Trailer hooks on spinner baits and buzz baits are often times a necessity. Bass, especially smallmouth and spotted bass often like these baits moved fast. Thus, you will experience a lot of short strikes. Instead of using a straight, single hook for a trailer while fishing open water, try adding a treble hook to your bait for best results.

Often a bass will hit your lure with his mouth shut, or instead will just slap at the bait to try and cripple it. Using the treble hook will get you more hook ups than with the single trailer."


JIMMY HOUSTON thrills millions of American anglers weekly with his "Jimmy Houston Outdoors" television series on ESPN. One of America's top professional anglers, Jimmy has been fishing on the pro circuits since age 18. Jimmy owns a series of Marine Dealerships throughout his home state of Oklahoma. He includes Ranger Boats and Mercury Outboards among his sponsored companies, along with Humminbird fishfinders.
Web Site:
www.jimmyhouston.com

A Hot Spot On Any Lake

"On any man-made reservoir you will find rip-rap. Around bridges, causeways and roadways and rock rip-rap will exist. Never pass up fishing a rip-rap on any lake, at any time of year. You can almost bet that bass will feed there sometime during the day. It could be early, at midday or late in the evening. Should you be there at the right time, you can definitely have a ball. Early in the morning, try a buzz bait, Pop-R, Zara Spook or Terminator spinnerbait. Later in the day, work a crawdad colored crankbait parallel to the rocks. During the months of March and October, fish a rogue for great action.

Remember, anytime you are fishing a crankbait or subsurface lure along a rip-rap, try and keep the bait touching or bouncing off the rocks for best success."

Solutions to Short-Strikers

"Missed strikes are usually a result of the wrong color, wrong size, or wrong speed. When I find myself missing strikes, my first adjustment is usually the speed of retrieve. And believe it or not, usually I will go to a faster retrieve. If this doesnít seem to solve the problem, the next adjustment will be to down size the lure. Moving to a smaller lure will generally do the trick. But if this fails to solve the problem, then the next move is a color change.

I always prefer a little red on most of my lures. However, if the water is muddy or heavily stained, my suggestion is to try purple. You will be amazed at the results this will bring."

Pattern Them Quick

"A good depth / fishfinder can tell you quickly and easily how deep to begin fishing. Just remember to turn it on as you are launching your boat.

Once launched, take a quick spin a few hundred yards around the launch area. Watch your sonar and see how deep the baitfish are holding. If they are six feet deep, then concentrate your fishing activity at six feet or less. If the bait is ten feet deep, then fish ten feet or less Ė and so forth. The depth of the bait will give you a good indication of where to start. You can actually check this situation out while your partner is parking the truck."

HOMER HUMPHREYS is one of Americaís most popular figures on the pro tours. When heís not competing on the pro tour, Homer guides fishing parties on the Red River in Louisiana. He designs lures and is especially adept at teaching and fishing spinner baits. A strong supporter of Humminbird products, he is also on the national team for Tidecraft Boats.

Bass Love Brush

"One thing you can be sure of is, a bass loves brush. Whether itís a tree top, stump, grass or whatever gathers beneath the surface, a bass will find it and call it home. As a fisherman, learn to find and identify as many brush piles and underwater structure as possible.

When fishing these brush piles, try a jig or any number of plastics, such as worms, lizards, crawfish or tubes. Most will produce when fished properly in the brush. One habit Iíve gotten into that works well is, before I pull up and leave the brush pile, Iíll always pull a favorite crankbait through the brush. It gives them a totally different look, at a different speed and might just be what the ole Ďbiggun wanted in the first place. You just might land your biggest fish that you otherwise might have missed."

Change Your Blades

"Youíve just made a run down a productive bank, where you landed several decent bass. Youíve been tossing a spinnerbait and it brought reasonable success. To make that same stretch of shoreline productive on the next run, try using the same spinnerbait, with different style blades. Fish the same size lure, with the same skirt color, but change blades.

If you were throwing Colorado blades, switch to willow leaf, or Indiana blades of a different size. Change the retrieve slightly. Showing them a little different look is all it takes sometime to trigger those extra bites."


CECIL KINGSLEY from Lawrence, Kansas, is of one of those fishermen who never meets a stranger. Always willing to lend a helping hand to a fellow fisherman, or is ready to pass on helpful information to a young up-and-coming fisherman. Fishes BASS and the Central Pro-AM circuits and is one of Governor Bill Graves assistants in the annual Governor's Fishing Classic held on Wolf Creek Reservoir. Active in the youth Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs Program in the State of Kansas.

Not All Lines Are Created Equal

"Selecting just the right brand and style of fishing line is just as important to the weekend angler as it is to a touring professional. The line you choose can make a difference I the fish you catch.

Line choice should be based on a number of factors such as strength needed for your application, diameter, color/visibility and material, which will govern the amount of stretch youíll encounter. Educate yourself with regards to the factors that will best suit your style and methods of fishing. Some lines are easier to cast, have less "memoryí, and are invisible. Other lines may have opposite characteristics, but will have little or no stretch, such as the braided composite lines. The pound test comes with application. Use the lightest pound test you can, while still maintaining the strength and characteristics necessary to do the job for you. Check your line periodically during your dayís fishing. Retie whenever fray is detected, and change your line once or twice a year, as needed."

Modified Lures Can Make A Difference

"Many of the top bass pros in this country are fishing with lures that you donít have, or ever seen. The reason for this is, they make modifications on a number of types of lures that really make a difference in the number of strikes they get. These modifications work especially well on waters that receive a lot of pressure.

Some of the ways a pro modifies his lures will include changing weight, color, hood, trimming, adding on, etc. Often, a subtle difference is all that it takes to make a lure more productive. When you hear about a "hot new lure", it is usually because the bass are not accustomed to seeing it, and tend to hit it better. Pros lure modifications fall into this category.

Soft plastics can be cut, modified and changed by simply melting and fusing on new tails, legs, heads etc. And donít forget that most pros work for various lure companies and are usually privileged to trying out prototype lures, or a new creation they, themselves have come up with. When proven, the average fisherman then is able to acquire these creations form their local tackle shop."


GARY KLEIN is one of Americas most popular, and most talented bass anglers. Gary has achieved nearly every goal he has set for himself where professional bass fishing is concerned. His victories include wins on the BASS circuit, The WCF trail, The FLW tournament trail among others. Gary was instrumental in the development of the popular Zercom LPG2000, lending his expertise and advice when the unit was still on the drawing board.
Web Site:
www.teamprofish.com

Best Installation For Bow Electronics

"If you fish from a bass boat, be it aluminum or fiberglass, chances are that the majority of your fishing day is spent in the front end of the boat. Thus, to maximize your success, a good piece of electronic equipment should be mounted at the bow of the boat.

Your front mounted fishfinder can be the key to catching or not catching fish. It is important to install the unit where it can be easily seen, whether sitting or standing. And it is equally important that the transducer be properly installed for maximum performance. I strongly recommend the transducer be mounted on the bottom of the trolling motor, where the sensitivity can be maximized. This is especially important for watching your bait while vertical fishing."

Getting A Read On The Fish

"Much of the success I have enjoyed while fishing for bass over the years has come as a result of understanding the environment for the fish. Knowing where he lives, during what time of year, plus what he feeds on and when heís most apt to feed, all play a big part in successful angling.

A lot of my success I owe to my electronic equipment. My fishfinders are my eyes under the water. And of all the units I have ever used, the Zercom LPG 2000 is, without question, the best I have ever had on the boat. This unit provides detail from surface to bottom. I probably have learned more about the environment of the bass that Iím catching since using the LPG unit."

BILL KOVAL hails from Middleton, Wisconsin where walleye are the primary target. Bill guides his Tuffy Boat into a number of national walleye events annually. He fishes the NAWA circuit as well as the PWT. Bill is very active in assisting with children's fishing events and annually helps coordinate a fishing program called Thursday's Child. He works many sport and outdoor shows throughout the upper Midwest.

Crankbait Colors

"There are many types of lures and bait an angler can use to attract walleyes. Crankbaits, being very versatile, are among the favorites. Walleye will strike them using all types of presentation styles Ė casting, trolling, etc.

The key is knowing what color to use in which weather conditions. Using the incorrect color can turn walleyes off on an otherwise productive fishing day. Here are a few guidelines to follow when selecting the appropriate crankbait:

Sunny skies, clear to slightly dingy water, choose metallic finishes, silver color combos.

Overcast skies, clear to slightly dingy water, choose natural painted finishes, gold combos.

Sunny skies, dingy to muddy water, color combos with gold or fluorescent.

Overcast skies, dingy to muddy water, natural color combos with white or bright flourescents."


JIM MOYNAGH is one of several "Yankees" who have achieved success on the BASS tournament trail. He hails from Carver, Minnesota where the water gets extremely hard in the winter time. Jim serves on the Zercom pro team as well as on Ranger's national team. Jim earned a $200,000.00 check when he won the FLW national tournament on Minnesota's Lake Minnetonka, in June of 1997.

How To Be A Line Miser

"Do you find yourself respooling line often? Itís a good habit to get into and hereís a tip to save you line as well as dollars. Maybe youíre stripping too much line away every time you respool.

The next time you respool, donít strip you line all the way down tot the arbor. Instead, leave most of the line on the spool for backing. Taper over it with a strip of electrical tape. Tie the new line around the taped backing and depending upon the size and diameter of new line going on the reel, spool on enough line equivalent to about three long casts. With this system, you can afford to change line more often, and still save dollars. Plus another benefit to this is a limit to the severity of backlashes. You will never have to deal with deep-rooted "birdís nest" in your spool."

Jig Colors For Clear Water

"When fishing slow moving lures like jigs or soft plastics in extremely clear water, it is a good idea to choose lure colors that blend with the background otherwise, a bass can more easily detect the lure as being phony. Slow presentations simply offer bass an indefinite opportunity to carefully scrutinize a lure. Many times an aggressive bass will approach a slowly presented lure, only to turn away after carefully studying it.

Under these conditions, I will first opt for translucent plastics because they seem to blend best with the background making them less identifiable as a fake. The shade I prefer is based on one of the following: the primary forage, the tint of the water, and the color of the bottom. Only under low-light conditions will bright colors (chartreuse, orange, etc. ) consistently produce in clear water. "

Organizing Soft Plastic Lures

"If you fish a wide variety of waters and find yourself carrying a large assortment of soft plastic lures, there is always the challenge of keeping them organized in your boat. Something that seems to be the answer to keeping them in check are soft sided coolers. I prefer the ones that are sized to fit a six-pack or a small lunch. I carry several of these, using one for holding a specific style of plastic (one for craws, one for lizards, one for tubes, etc.). As you might expect, the baits remain in their original packages.

Many of these coolers come with pockets which prove to be great places to store many of the accessory items such as hooks, lead inserts, rattles, etc. They can also be color coded for quick identification."


SCOTT PETERSON When it comes to catching walleye, Scott can not only do it, but he can instruct you in the art of walleye angling. Host of the most popular outdoor radio show in the Minneapolis area, on station KFAN, Scott is constantly keeping in touch with what is happening on the major Minnesota walleye waters. His regular articles appear in MidWest Outdoors magazine and he books a tight seminar schedule at the spring sport shows throughout the upper MidWest.

Pay Attention To Details

"Your line is the critical link between you and the fish and many anglers do not give this important link enough attention. Trying to get just one more year out of line thatís been on the reel for several already could spell out disaster. Losing the fish of a lifetime simply because of rotten line is a cardinal sin of walleye fishing.

At least change your line at the beginning of each season, and if you fish a lot during the course of the year, then change it again for good measure.

Run the line occasionally between the thumb and forefinger and check for nicks and frays. This is especially critical when fishing over rocks or heavily structured areas. If you donít, it just may cost you that trophy walleye of a lifetime."


BERNIE SCHULTZ is one of bass fishing's professors, Bernie not only exhibits talents when it comes to competitive angling, but is well known for his teaching and educating skills. He is a member of Ranger Boat's national team and is sponsored by many including Humminbird. Bernie writes for several bass and freshwater fishing publications such as Florida Sportsman, Bassmaster, BASS Times and others. He is also a popular international figure, and has appeared in Japan at several tournaments and tackle shows. Bernie is also an antique lure expert and collector and is the host of ESPN's "The Lure Collector" series.
Web Site:
www.teamprofish.com

The Right Way To Fish A Dock

"With fish docks most anglers have a tendency to cast to the edges of the dock. Sometimes this produces a strike, but often the bass are located well beneath the structure.

After making a few casts to the outer perimeter, start targeting the center supports under the dock. From there, move to the backside and try pitching to the key supports along the cat walk. If it is a floating dock, try fishing the inside corners, or wherever the dock makes a turn. The more thorough you work a boat dock, the more you increase your chances of success.

Remember that docks with diving boards are usually void of any structure, while docks with lights mean a brush pile is probably present."


DAVID WHARTON is one of "The Old Pros" of bass tournament fishing. David started fishing professionally over 30 years ago. He makes his home in Brookland, Texas, but for years lived in Broaddus, on the banks of Big Sam, Sam Rayburn Reservoir. David is on the Nitro national team. He's fished in the prestigious Bassmasters Classic and in addition to BASS, he fishes the popular Angler's Choice trail in his home state of Texas. He is on the Zercom pro staff.

Selecting The Right Crankbait

Look at the peg board at your favorite tackle shop and you will quickly realize that you have an infinite array of crankbaits to choose from. You can pick nearly any size, color or shape, depending upon the conditions you are fishing. Keep this in mind. Crankbaits with wide lips will run with a wide wobble. These are good for cold or muddy water. They should be fished slower for best results. Crankbaits with narrow lips will have a tighter wobble, these can be fished faster and work best in clearer water. Lures with a tight wobble generally produce a more natural swimming action.

Short Strike Solution

"Fishing a fast moving lure allows you to do several things. It lets you cover a lot of water in a short time, and it lets you catch the aggressive feeders. However, when fishing a spinnerbait, a crankbait or topwater fast, you will experience quite a number of short strikes. When this occurs, have a Texas rigged worm handy on another rod and keep it close at hand. Follow up the missed strike with the worm and more often than not, the bass will hit again.

Use a worm or plastic craw worm in the summer and fall, and use a lizard in the spring time. Make your follow up cast as quickly as possible, in order to capture the feeding mood of the bass."

Tips For Locating Bass

"The two key elements in locating bass is: Find the structure and find the cover. Structure can be defined as distinct changes in bottom depth, contour or composite. Cover is anything attached to the structure such as brush, rocks, stumps, vegetation, etc.

Locate combinations of structure and cover in deep water, mid-range depths and shallow water and you should successfully catch your share of bass year round.

Where legal, it is a proven fact that adding man-made cover to existing structure will increase your chances for success. Drop weighted brush on the end of points, underwater humps, roadbeds or on the edge of creek channels for sure-fire success."



Walleye Fishing Tips from Pros

Saltwater Fishing Tips from Pros



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