John's Journal...

How to Make a Bad Day of Bass Fishing a Great Day with Scott Canterbury

Day 1: Scott Canterbury on 45 Minutes of Bass Fishing to Win $100,000

Editors’ Note: Scott Canterbury of Springville, Alabama, (, won the title of Rookie of the Year in 2008 on the FLW ( tournament circuit. He also won an EverStart event and a Rayovac tournament on Lake Eufaula in Alabama. He’s finished second in the Forrest L. Wood Cup twice, winning $100,000, and he has many more second-place finishes in tournament bass fishing. When he was fishing tournaments in his home state of Alabama, he won three fully-rigged bass boats at different tournaments and cashed quite a few checks in local tournaments. “But on the tour level of tournament bass fishing, I haven’t had a win yet, although I'm getting close,” Canterbury reports. Although Canterbury's a fulltime bass pro, he also works construction and is a plumber part-time.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewI've had quite a few bad days of bass fishing. If you don’t let those bad days destroy you mentally, you can turn a bad day of fishing into a fair day or even a good day of bass fishing. One of the first secrets is staying confident about the tactics or techniques you're using to try and catch bass and the places you're fishing. I guess one of the worst bad days that a bass fisherman, especially a bass tournament bass fisherman, can have is to experience equipment failure. Several years ago, I was running 15 miles down the lake and lost the lower unit on my boat. The officials sent out a rescue boat to pull me and my boat back to the launch site. I had to wait to have a new lower unit put back on my motor. So, instead of starting to fish that tournament at 7:00 am, I didn’t begin until 9:30 am.

When I was 40-miles down the river, about 10 miles from where I wanted to fish, I lost power to my boat’s powerhead. I looked at my watch. It was 11:00 am, and I hadn’t been able to fish at all. I hadn’t even made my first cast. I had enough power to idle. So, I idled for about 40 minutes to get to one of the places where I thought I could catch bass. I was actually able to fish for only 45 minutes, but I caught 13 pounds of bass. Then I turned the boat around and idled all the way back to the launch site. When I reached the launch site, I weighed in my bass. Those 13 pounds of bass allowed me to move high enough up on the leader board to be able to fish the Forrest L. Wood Cup, which is the championship for the FLW. At the Forrest L. Wood Cup, I finished second and earned $100,000. If I had given up when I had two major engine failures, I wouldn’t have earned that $100,000 for the FLW Forest L. Wood Cup.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIf I just had given up and not tried to fish, I wouldn’t have made that end-of-the-season tournament. When it looks like everything is going wrong for you, I think one of the biggest ways to salvage a day is to still find a way to fish. If you have to paddle your boat when your trolling motor breaks down, or your big engine gives out and you're on the water, regardless of what happens, you need to find a way to fish.

To learn more about bass fishing, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and some print books, “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: Always Have a Backup Plan for Bad Weather Bass Fishing with Scott Canterbury

Check back each day this week for more about How to Make a Bad Day of Bass Fishing a Great Day with Scott Canterbury

Day 1: Scott Canterbury on 45 Minutes of Bass Fishing to Win $100,000
Day 2: Always Have a Backup Plan for Bad Weather Bass Fishing with Scott Canterbury
Day 3: Don’t Panic When You're Not Catching Bass with Scott Canterbury
Day 4: Not Catching Bass - Trust Your Gut with Scott Canterbury
Day 5: The Best Days Outdoors Often Are the Worst Days for Successful Bass Fishing

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Entry 835, Day 1