John's Journal... Entry 47, Day 4
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?"
Davy Hite of Prosperity, South Carolina, a young tournament pro, has won money in more than one-half the B.A.S.S. tournaments he's fished and earned the title of B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year in 1997 and won the BASS Masters Classic in 1999.
"I'd first look for shallow water," Hite emphasized. "I'd search for boat docks, grass and any other shallow-water cover. I wouldn't spend my time hunting deep-water honeyholes. I'd fish fast-moving baits that allowed me to cover a lot of water along that shallow-water cover. I'd choose the spinnerbait and crankbait as my two top lures because they would enable me to fish the most water in the shortest time.
"You must fish more intensively with the plastic worm and Carolina-rigged worms than you do with fast-moving baits. I'd leave my soft plastics in the tackle box and bet on shoreline cover and fast-moving baits to catch the most fish in the shortest time."
Cliff Craft of Suwanee, Georgia, a veteran tournament angler, has fished in more than 200 B.A.S.S. tournaments and qualified for many BASS Masters Classics. Craft has worked as a fishing guide and knows how to quickly fish for bass.
"I believe I could catch a limit of 10 bass in one hour by trolling," Craft said. "By trolling, you can cover the most water in the shortest time and keep your lure in the bass's strike zone the entire time you fish. When you cast and retrieve lures, you often will have the bait in the bass's strike zone during about 1/3 of your cast. But when you troll, you can keep that bait in the bass's strike zone while you fish.
"Trolling also allows you to cover a variety of water depths by moving the boat further and further offshore. You can find the water depth in which the bass hold and then continue to troll in the depth where you find actively-feeding bass.
"I'll troll a crankbait, like a Rat-L-Trap to locate a school of bass. Then I may go to the spot where I've found the bass and fish a 5-inch finesse Zoom worm in a green or a pumpkin color.
"I consider trolling the quickest way to catch and locate schools of bass. However, once you've found a school, you can take more fish out of that school quicker if you use a plastic worm. To win $100,000 by producing a limit of 10 bass in one hour, I'll troll to pinpoint the fish and use a plastic worm to catch the most fish in the shortest time."
Tomorrow: How Mark Davis And Kevin Vandam Catch Bass Fast
Check back each day this week for more about How To Catch Bass Fast ...
Day 1 -How Gary Klein Catches