Where are the fish hiding?
The A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Table Rock Lake ended Sunday with Mike McClelland holding off Mark Davis by a mere 13 ounces. Mike was fishing on a lake he knows well, yet with all his vast knowledge of the water, he still only managed to average 15.5 pounds a day. That is a little over 3 pounds per bass. His pattern that worked so well was “fishing by the seat of my pants.”
What made this event so different and why couldn’t others find those 3 pound bass? I know if I’m out fishing on a nice windy day, I’m going to fish what is handed to me. I’m not going to fish deep off shore structure, I’m going to go work windy banks and points. The wind is my friend as it pushes bait fish up close and gives me current. Now I’m no Elite angler, never claimed to be, but what seperates us from them?
No matter what body of water I am on, I know that fish are there. I know that on any given cast, a sweet 8 pound bass could just thump my bait and make me think I’m hung on a log. Is it that the Elites in their search for the trophy bass they forget the basics? Is it they over analyise the area and the bass? Is it that they try to pick an area apart so much? Is it that they truly overfish during practice? Or is it that they depend on their electronics too much? I don’t know.
Or is it that they just get caught up in it all and panic when what they believe should work, doesn’t? I have listened to enough of them talk with seminars and YouTube videos to know that they know what they are doing. I know that they know how to read an area and tell me what I should be doing. And I have learned a lot of great little tips that have improved my fishing. I can tell you that a pro I have listened to a lot has told me exactly what Mike did all 4 days is the way to fish exactly what conditions they were facing. He did terrible, finishing in the lower 25% of the field. What was so different that he didn’t find the fish?
Knowing what to do is one thing, but knowing and putting into practice what you know works is another. Patience is a must no matter where you fish. Mike worked his pattern on areas he had not practiced on and found bass. He knew a little ripple on the water was magic. He put his knowledge to work, and listened to what nature was telling him. Maybe we need to forget about thinking so much and just fish by the seat of our pants more often, or at least just go have fun. Maybe that is why so many Elite anglers didn’t do so good, they stopped having fun.
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