Saturday, February 24, 2024

Hot and Cold: The Struggle of Fishing by Bruce Callis


The Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay is in the books and many are so glad. Championship day started off with Aaron Martens holding a 5 pound lead over Bill Lowen. Fans following along on Bassmaster Live saw Bill on fire as Aaron struggled. But with one bass, a whopping 7 pound 2 ounce monster, Aaron came alive, producing both the big bass of the tournament and the biggest bag of the tournament at 21.5 pounds.
Aaron started off Day 1 with a 17.8 pound bag to take a less than a pound lead over Chad Pipkens. Day 2 had Aaron catching a 15 pound limit for a slim, less than a pound, lead over Chad still. Following the cut, Aaron produced a 16.5 pound limit and an almost 5 pound lead over Bill Lowen. Aaron secured his victory with an almost 8 pound lead over Lowen. And to end the day, a young boy standing on the pier cheering him on as he did wrap up videos, fell into the water. Talking to him to keep him calm, Aaron used his trolling motor to go over and pull him into his boat.
Aaron used a drop shot rig, a standard vibrating jig, a spinnerbait, and a Chatterbait throughout the 4 days. He credits the Chatterbait as the key to his rebound Sunday. He said he was using a green pumpkin/blue skirt on the Chatterbait with a Strike King Blade Minnow in the blue gizzard color pattern as a trailer.
But as much as it was a tough battle for some, it was a disappointment for others. The Upper Chesapeake Bay proved to be as tough as it can be. On the first day, 9 anglers did not land one measurable bass. On day 2 that figure rose to 13 anglers. Seventeen anglers on day one could only land one measurable bass, with day 2 improving to only 12 anglers with one bass. Day one offered 43 limits and on day 2 that dropped to 36. That is not even counting the many anglers who struggled finding only 2 or 3 bass that measured. A fishery that can be so hot was so cold to so many.
Following the event why do so many anglers put out videos saying what they used to catch their bass? They say how much of a struggle it was, but I used this bait and this bait to catch my fish (all 3 of them). I like knowing what anglers use and what works, but really? Do I want to know that this bait didn’t produce a limit for you? Or do I want to know that this sponsor’s bait didn’t land you any fish at all. Brand loyalty is great, but why do you need to say this bait worked for me. Obviously, it didn’t work that great for you, you finished with just 3 fish for the tournament. I’m not saying it isn’t a great bait, but really, only catching 3 fish with 2 baits is going to make me rush out and buy that lure?

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