John's Journal... Entry 47, Day 2
What Larry Nixon and David Fritts Do to Catch Bass Fast
EDITOR'S NOTE: Regardless of where you fish, you'll usually want to catch the most bass in the shortest time. America's top bass-fishing pros face this same dilemma every day they fish. However, tournaments impose certain restrictions on the pros' fishing that you don't have.
But if these anglers could fish as they preferred, how and where would they fish, and what baits and tactics would they use to catch bass quickly? I posed the following scenario to some of the nation's top bass-fishing pros: "You and I are standing on a boat ramp at Lake X, a lake you've never fished before. I tell you that I'll give you $100,000 if you can catch a limit of bass in one hour. I won't give you the time of year, water, wind or lake conditions. I want you to take bass on this mystery lake using any tactic you choose except dynamite, hand grenades or other illegal tactics. Where and how will you win the $100,000 prize?"
The all-time money winner on the B.A.S.S. circuit, Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Arkansas, has earned more than $1 million in B.A.S.S. tournaments. He has fished in more than 200 B.A.S.S. tournaments, almost always finishes in the money and has qualified for more than 20 BASS Masters Classics besides winning Megabucks four times.
"I'm convinced I could earn $100,000 for one hour's worth of fishing," Nixon said. "I'd take a spinning rod, a jighead and a 4- to 6-inch plastic worm and go to the boat docks and rocky points where I usually find bass.
"No matter what water depths the bass are holding at all day, they will take 4- to 6-inch plastic worms. When you must catch large numbers of bass in a short time, small plastic worms fished on rocks and main river points will yield bass.
"I've found that you always can catch bass on light line and little lures near boat docks. Even if you fish in deep, clear lakes, bass will hold under boat docks throughout the year. Boat docks concentrate baitfish like bluegill and shad and provide cover and shade. Many fishermen rarely fish boat docks, and bass can find a place around docks to get away from people traffic.
"Too, you'll often find released bass at boat docks when fishermen return from a day on the water. Anglers will show off their catches and then release the fish. So boat docks constantly get restocked.
"The small plastic worm is like a hors d'oeuvre dropped in front of a bass's nose. Bass rarely will pass up a light snack, like a small plastic worm when you pitch it under a boat dock."
David Fritts of Lexington, North Carolina, has fished in more than 100 B.A.S.S. tournaments and many BASS Masters Classics and has earned the titles of BASS Masters Champion in 1993 and Angler of the Year in 1994. Fritts enjoys fishing crankbaits and gives most of the credit for his bass-catching success to crankbaits fished on offshore cover.
"With only an hour to fish for a limit of bass for $100,000, I'll throw a crankbait because crankbaits allow me to cover the most water in the shortest time," Fritts explained. "To locate a lot of fish in a hurry, you must cover the water quickly. I also realize that on any lake in the nation bass will hold on creek and river channels and any other type of contour breaks where the bottom drops off from shallow to deep.
"I also know when current comes through the lake, the bass will feed the most actively. So I'll sit out in the parking lot and study a lake map before my time ever begins. Too, I'll call the local power company to learn what time they'll start to generate current through the lake. Then I'll pinpoint areas on the map where the current will run over a creek or a river channel break that I can fish.
"If I can control when I start fishing, I won't crank my boat's engine and start the clock until I know the current will come across those underwater breaks. When the time feels right, I'll run to as many of those creek channels, river channels and bottom breaks as I can get to and fish that crankbait in those spots. By fishing fast and covering the areas I've marked on my map, I'll catch 10 bass in one hour."
Tomorrow: Learn From George Cochran How To Catch Bass Fast
Check back each day this week for more about How To Catch Bass Fast ...
Day 1 -How Gary Klein Catches