The Secret of Tournament Bass Fishing

Re-posted by Randy Yancey-Division Director, USA Bassin Tournaments, Table Rock Fall Division

The Secret of Tournament Bass Fishing

Posted on Aug 30, 2010

By Matt Beckler

This may very well be the magic article that all tournament bass fisherman have been waiting for. The article that exposes the secrets of the upper echelon. So take a minute and lets delve into the world of the unknown. A world in which the likes of a VanDam, Evers, Reese, Brauer, and a Clunn could only know about. This mystery place is kind of like the Area 51 of bass fishing if you will.

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There must be a secret to consistently weighing in limits of fish on foreign waters right? We watch the coverage on ESPN from our couches chapping our lips from licking them in excitement and awe at the simplicity of how these fisherman easily fill their boxes with four and five pound fish. We amuse ourselves like children watching a high wire act at the circus. “How do these guys do this” we ask ourselves every weekend. So, we pay close attention to what kind of gear that they are using, how big the engine is, what the brand of sunglasses are, and how many ball bearings their bait caster has in it’s thumb grips. “That must be it!” we say to ourselves and there goes some more of our hard earned money as we ape what we see on television and read in the magazines. We have come to the conclusion that stocking stuffers and retail end cap glittery packaging has to be the secret of catching winning fish! Lets not kid ourselves, it certainly does not hinder our efforts to be surrounded with the best equipment, tackle, boats, and gear on the market. Also, it keeps our outdoor economy with viable fresh air.

Now we have a full spread of the latest NASA approved fishing reels, rods, clothes, sunglasses, and an engine that has more horses and ponies packed into one cowling than John Force’s top fuel funny car. Armed with GPS, side scanners, Japanese lures, and weights made from materials that are questionable to be found on the periodic table of elements, we are finally ready to expose their secrets. Lets go fishing.

Day one results: not too good, must be the front that passed through last month. Day two results: even worse, must be the dam people pulling water off our fishes head. Day three results: the dam people quit pulling water and the bite went away. The greatest gear from the far east has not caught the under water Boone and Crocketts so it must be something else going on. It can’t be from decisions that we have made, no way. No one wants to walk up the hill with an empty bag and have to tell their comrades that they just can’t catch fish. So we blame it on the dam people and meteorologists. By the way, the dam people are some of the nicest folks I have ever met. They mention all the time that their ears start burning around 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. I just tell them to wear more sun block.

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So how does VanDam, Brauer, Reese, Evers, and Clunn do it on television and just what is their secret to unlimited catches of bug-eyed box fillers? I unfortunately do not have the resources to “Pull that rabbit out of the hat,” however, I can let you in on what I have observed. These guys are full time employees of the fishing industry and surround themselves with fishing and it’s nuances everyday of their lives. Information inundates their brains every minute from multiple sources in addition to the research that they pursue on their own. In short order, they are walking lineside computer processors, constantly storing and sending new information.

During a television show with Edwin Evers called “Lost Lake” he was fishing with deep crank baits on Grand Lake in Oklahoma. These baits have become so popularized by their success on Kentucky Lake and the Tennessee River Chain of Lakes by VanDam and Evers. We all have set out to enjoy this success with these lures but most of us have not been able to find the correct angle of retrieve, line size-sure match, speed of retrieve, and color that we read and watch on television. These factors don’t even take into consideration whether or not those are even bass that we see on our electronics. Wow, so many factors, just what is the secret? Readers, it is much simpler than this. Mr. Evers enlightened my approach to these baits and bass fishing as a whole with his “secret” that, surprisingly, he told on cable television. Edwin went on to say, “These baits work and they work well. Television editing will not allow you to see the amount of time that we have to put in a day to catch the fish for a thirty minute show. Stick with the bait all day and learn how to use it.” Well, this may not be exactly what he said but it is dam close. I just can’t let the dam people off the hook yet.

Click here for schedule for Fall Division on Table Rock Lake

The secret was let out of the clutches of the Fort Knox fishing with-holdings with that one statement by Mr. Evers. This is my synopsis on his comments: Work hard at what you do and believe in what you are doing and you will succeed. There is no secret other than spending as much time as you can on the water and doing your own research, not just relying on that of others, to better your efforts. We need to learn our tools and how they are best utilized. We must understand how all of our gear functions by itself and in relation to other gear. There is no one aspect of fishing that can better your results more than proper effort and experience. Learn from your days on the water and observe everything. Each day of fishing that we spend sets the foundation for the next day. Think of your career as a “ladder.” Every day we fish we can add a rung to it. But we better make sure that the rungs are secure and will hold us while we work on the one above it. Otherwise we will fall down and utter momma’s no-no’s at the dam people around 3:30 while walking up the hill.

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