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John's Journal... Entry 60, Day 2

Learning From the Pros

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Sam Swett of Covington, Louisiana, has fished on the B.A.S.S. professional bass circuit for 10 years. Avid fishermen in his home state know him as an expert knowledgeable bass angler.

Question: You've talked about fishing the pro-ams. How do someone get involved in fishing a pro-am tournament?
Answer: Before you fish a pro-am, you first of all must become a member of the B.A.S.S. organization. Generally in May or April B.A.S.S. sends out its magazine to announce the tournament schedule for the following year. B.A.S.S. also announces the rules and the deadlines for getting in your entry fees. Generally B.A.S.S. randomly selects anglers. If you enter, I recommend you enter in all seven pro-am format tournaments. That way you have a chance to get into at least one because a lot more people fish the pro-ams now as amateurs with the understanding that it's a random draw. So the more tournaments you enter, the more chances you have to get chosen.

click to enlargeQuestion: When you fish on the pro-am, you sit on the back of the boat, right?
Answer: Yes, as an amateur you have to fish out of the back of the boat. You don't have any say so whatsoever about where you go, lure selection or anything like that. But you can observe the pro, you can mimic what the pro does, or, if you feel a need to change, you literally can change out baits. I've done that before. Luckily, during the first four pro-ams I fished back in the mid 1980s, I spent each four-day tournament with a different pro.

click to enlargeQuestion: What did you learn from those four different pros?
Answer: I learned technique and tournament strategy. Often when you fish a local tournament, you'll only fish for one or two days. However, when you fish two-, three- and/or four-day tournaments, you learn time and fish management. Often people will go out and catch all their fish in one day and not reserve any to catch for the next two to three days. So once I get a limit, I start hunting different areas as opposed to continually pounding a spot where I've had good concentrations of fish.

Tomorrow: Funding The Fishing




Check back each day this week for more about Sam Swett ...

Day 1 -Getting Sponsors
Day 2 -Learning From the Pros
Day 3 -Funding The Fishing
Day 4 -Serving The Sponsors
Day 5 -Breaking Into The Pros

John's Journal