John's Journal... Entry 253, Day 3
BEST NEW TACTICS OF THE PROS
Three More Pro Bass-Catching Methods
Editor's Note: Have you wondered what's hot and what's not in the world of bass fishing? Has a new tactic caught on fire, promising to change the way we all fish for bass like dropshotting and flipping have in years past? Or, have anglers re-explored and dusted-off old techniques that once again have proved their value as significant bass-catching strategies? What's the inside scoop on the way professional bass anglers fish to produce the most and the biggest bass? Here's the answers to these questions as we all look forward to the 2004 Bassmaster Classic to be held at Lake Wylie in July, 2004.
Gary Klein: Return to Your Roots - Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, who finished second in the 2003 Bassmaster Classic, passed the $1 million mark this past year on the BASS tournament circuit and ranks seventh on the all-time money leaders' list. Klein has won eight tournaments on the BASS tournament trail and has finished in the top-10 56 times. "In 2003, I returned to flipping, my best technique for bass fishing," Klein reports. "I came into the sport as a flipper but knew I'd have to learn new tactics to stay in the game. I tried to compete at every event as best I could with a flipping stick in my hand most of the time. Then in recent years, I relied less and less on flipping to catch bass and win tournaments. However, because of the adverse weather conditions we experienced early on, I had to return to my first love, flipping. Because I re-emphasized this tactic, I was able to fish well. The bass spawn was late this year in many states. Starting off in Florida, every event we went to had a shallow-water bite happening, which was very conducive to flipping and catching bass. I learned this past year that often the best new technique you can use is an old tactic you haven't fished with for awhile. For me, that's flipping."
Jay Yelas: Combine the Old with the New - The 2002 Bassmaster Classic Champion Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas, had an outstanding 2003, winning the BASS 2003 Angler-of-the-Year title. Yelas ranks sixth on the BASS all-time money list. "I combined an old bass-fishing method with a new technique this past year to produce a winning season," Yelas says. "I caught more than half my bass on spinner baits. One of the bass I caught on the spinner bait weighed 10 pounds. I also took some key fish this year on Clear Lake in California on the Berkley Sinking Minnow, a new Senko-type lure. I incorporated this new tactic into my arsenal of lures. I found that the Sinking Minnow worked best for me when I was fishing vertical structure."
Kelly Jordan: Stay With a Strategy When It's Working - Kelly Jordan, a native of Waco, Texas, has fished the BASS tournament circuit since 1996. With two career wins on the BASS tour and nine top-10 finishes, Jordan ranks No. 7 on bassfan.com. "I learned how to flip hyacinths in heavy cover this year," Jordan says. "Although I'd flipped in heavy cover before, this year I wanted to know more about this technique because I knew it would pay off in big bass. I wanted to understand how to flip hyacinths specifically because we have tournaments on lakes with hyacinths in them. When bad weather arrives, the bass will bury-up deep in the hyacinths. So, if you don't know how to catch bass in hyacinths, you won't do well on these lakes. Another lesson I learned this year was to stay with a strategy that was working for me. In one tournament, I was flipping hyacinths and catching bass. However, because I didn't see anyone else flipping hyacinths, I quit. When I quit, I lost because the fellow who won the tournament won by flipping hyacinths. I realized that flipping thick cover like hyacinths was a tournament-winning strategy as well as a bass-catching technique I needed to understand better."
For more information on Berkley's Sinking Minnow, visit www.purefishing.com.
To learn more about Strike King's lures, go to www.strikeking.com.
TOMORROW: THREE PROS TEACH YOU