In the course of a year, I interview dozens of people involved in the fishing industry. Some of my favorite chat sessions are with the most successful tournament anglers and those noted as experts in their craft.
And when compiling stories for a multitude of sources, not everything makes print. Letís face it, a lot more goes into making a champion than can often be fit in a couple pages.
For a while, I wondered what to do with all of that lost information. Occasionally, after briefing through my notes from previous interviews, Iíd feel compelled to share my inconspicuous findings.
Today, weíll begin such an investigation.
What I present to you are strictly quotes. Sure, a little context is thrown in to set things up, but I didnít want to cloud these tidbits with any additional input. If youíre like me, youíll read them, think a bit and likely form a unique opinion on how to apply.
Thatís the fun part.
Mark Rose on (not) scouting lakes and pre-fishing:
"When you go early and graph, mentally, you eliminate things if (the bass arenít) there. Even if you try not to, you eliminate those places in your mind somewhat. They never fish the same.Ē
Luke Clausen on lure action for clear-water smallmouth:
ďYou need to snap the lure real high off the bottom. In clear water, thatís an advantage because the fish can see it from far away, so you show (the lure) to as many fish as possible. But you need to pause it to let (the fish) get to it.Ē
And for cold-water largemouth:
ďIt takes a lot of effort for a cold-water fish to turn and go down to the bottom. Lures that fall real slowly and hang out in the middle of the water column are better. The bass can just suck it in.Ē
John Cox on being tough on his trolling motor during his shallow-water forays:
ďIíve popped the trolling motor completely out of the mount. The strings (lift cables) break all the time. Letís see Ö burn spots in the armature. Cables break a lot. The prop will spin and then not spin. The plastic piece that locks the motor down breaks; that always breaks. And the cables loosen quite a bit. I usually swap motors out two or three time a year.Ē
Bryan Schmitt on dominating the Potomac River:
ďEvery tournament Iíve won on the Potomac has always been in a different place. You need to find the freshest thing happening; something thatís not supposed to be happening, but is. Fresh, overlooked stuff is 100-percent key; thatís what Iím always looking for.Ē
Bryan Thrift on being Bryan Thrift:
ďEverybody asks, 'How the hell do you catch them in the tournament when you suck at practice? Whatís my answer to that question? I donít know. Thatís why I always say itís luck. But if I figure it out, Iíll let you know. No, I donít want to figure it out 'cuz then Iíll look for it and I wonít find it. Donít write that down.Ē
Sure, I saved the best for last. I could write a book on Thrift.
But all of these guys are unique, thatís for sure. In upcoming weeks, weíll check in with more characters, including a few surprises.
(Joe Balog is the often-outspoken owner of Millennium Promotions, Inc., an agency operating in the fishing and hunting industries. A former Bassmaster Open and EverStart Championship winner, he's best known for his big-water innovations and hardcore fishing style. He's a popular seminar speaker, product designer and author, and is considered one of the most influential smallmouth fishermen of modern times.)