John's Journal...

Secrets of Longtime Bass Fishing Pro Larry Nixon

Day 4: Bass Fishing Pro Larry Nixon Tells Us to Eliminate Mistakes and Have Confidence in Fishing

Editor’s Note: Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Arkansas, began guiding fishermen before he was in high school. He joined the professional bass fishermen's ranks 37 years ago. Nixon became professional bass fishing's first $1 million winner and today has earned more than $3 million fishing B.A.S.S. and FLW circuits, not including sponsorship money. He was named Bass Angler of the Year twice and won the Classic. A member of the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame, Nixon, also is one of the most-respected anglers in tournament bass fishing history and still is ranked in the top 50 bass anglers in the world by Nixon’s favorite technique generally is fishing a worm, and his favorite body of water to bass fish is Toledo Bend. When he’s not fishing, Nixon can be found deer hunting.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewSecret No. 9: Eliminate Mistakes

Larry Nixon has fished competitively for almost four decades and realizes that bass anglers must eliminate mistakes to have consistent success when they fish for bass. “Don't just fish early and late,” Nixon emphasizes. “Throughout the year, anglers often focus only on fishing the early morning and late afternoon times. However, sometimes you can catch more bass in the middle of the day. So, rather than making the mistake of giving up and going home early, because the bass aren't biting, focus on fishing later in the morning like 9:00 or 10:00 am. Eliminate tackle mistakes too. Sharpen your hooks; change out the line on your reels daily; check your rods; carefully inspect all the appliances on your boat; and take extra fuses and bulbs with you.

“Also don't make any mental mistakes, which are the most-difficult problems to overcome. You must ...
* “concentrate on getting your boat in the correct position to make a cast,
* “make an accurate cast,
* “be ready to set the hook as soon as the lure enters the water,
* “watch your line and your bait,
* “let your line and your bait tell you what's under the surface,
* “know where the bass may strike a lure,
* “give a bait some kind of erratic action as it passes through that strike zone,
* “begin your quick-retrieve back to the boat and
* “start looking for the next spot where you want to cast.”

“At the same time you're digesting all this information, pay attention to changing weather and water conditions. Determine whether or not the wind is picking up or dying. Is the sky becoming lighter or darker? Is the water clearing up or becoming more stained? Is the air temperature warming up or cooling down? Often we spend so much time thinking about boat position, casting and setting the hook that we forget to constantly monitor the weather and the water. We may not notice the subtle changes taking place in the fishing environment that dictate where the bass and the baitfish will be holding on the cover, and how the bass want the baits presented. Most anglers can learn the physical aspects of bass fishing quickly. After a few years, they'll learn how to prevent equipment problems too. However, mental mistakes more often than not will determine the winner and the loser in a bass tournament.”

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewSecret No. 10: Have Confidence When Fishing for Bass

Nixon believes having confidence that you can catch fish is one of the most-important secrets for doing well when you fish for bass. “I'm convinced that you need to have confidence in fishing a big bait, like a jig with a trailer, and learn how big bass relate to different types of cover,” Nixon explains. “Take a jig, and pitch it, and pitch it. Cover ground, and hunt for objects where big fish live: piers, pilings, logs, rocks, grass lines, etc. Just keep pitching and pitching that jig. Learn too that big bass are very specifically spot-related. If you drop a bait in the bass's house, that bass will kill and eat the bait. That's why a jig is such a good big-bass bait, because what you're doing is putting that big bait right in the bass's house.”

To learn more about bass fishing, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro,” “How to Win a Bass Tournament,” “Catch the Most and Biggest Bass in Any Lake: 18 Pro Fishermen’s Best Tactics, “Hot Weather Bass Tactics” and “How to Become A Tournament Bass Fisherman” or go to, type in the names of the books, and download them to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

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About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: Pro Larry Nixon Says Don’t Choose a Favorite Lure and Remember to Always Have Fun Fishing

Check back each day this week for more about Secrets of Longtime Bass Fishing Pro Larry Nixon"

Day 1: Pro Larry Nixon Shares Some of His Bass Fishing Secrets
Day 2: More of Pro Angler Larry Nixon’s Secrets – Fishing Fast and Prospecting for and Connecting with Bass
Day 3: Top Bass Fishing Pro Larry Nixon Uses Satellites and Fishes with the Best Line for Success
Day 4: Bass Fishing Pro Larry Nixon Tells Us to Eliminate Mistakes and Have Confidence in Fishing
Day 5: Pro Larry Nixon Says Don’t Choose a Favorite Lure and Remember to Always Have Fun Fishing

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Entry 772, Day 4