I am writing this article more towards the Jr. Bass Anglers as well as the young adults that have been bitten by the bug. You must know the one I'm talking about, right? It's the one that gives a person what they call "Bass Fever", (don't worry, it's nothing like the Beaver Fever that one would get from drinking contaminated spring water.) When I say that this article reflects more towards the younger generation, believe me, the middle aged and the more matured (slight older) generation of anglers already know what I'm talking about because they have already been bitten some time ago. Let's face it, once you hook into your first quality bass you're done for. Yep! Now it's all over for many of the other things in your life because you have been bitten by the bug, and for most of the ones that are bitten it seems like the "Bass Fever" just gets worst and keeps on spreading.
Owning and operating a 3-Day "On-Water" Bass Fishing School, bass charter service, being the co-host on coast to coast radio and TV shows, teaching seminars, fishing bass tournaments (when I have the time), and having my articles read all over the world from magazines and over 200 outdoor internet sites, I do get many Emails and phone calls. I would say that the biggest percentage of these Emails and calls (about 70%) come from the ages ranged from around 12 years old to about 35 years young. These anglers call me to either sign up for my school, charter service, or for information on just about every topic you can imagine when it comes to bass fishing. Once in a while, I'll get a few questions non-related to angling, but mostly anglers seeking information to help them understand more about this great sport, and I'm talking, men, women, boys, and girls. The "Bass Fever" has bitten so many people that now bass fishing is considered to be America's (# 1) number one freshwater sport. It is literally a multi-billion dollar industry because it's addicting!
Now that all that is out of the way, I hope I can help answer some of the most important questions that I continually get asked by you folks, so here goes. The number one question I get asked about is equipment such as, what kind of boats to buy, rods, reels, line, electronics, hard baits, plastic baits, hooks, weights, colors, fish formulas (or as some refer to as attractants), containers, and on, and on, and on. Would you like to guess what the next topic asked would be? You got it right!!!! "How the heck do I use this stuff?????" and then questions about water and weather conditions, how to locate fish, what baits are the best to use, and so on. You know what really kind of bothers me, are the anglers that think that they have to go out and spend a years wages to get started or step up to a novice level in bass angling or even up to pro status.
Let me tell you a little story on how I got "bitten by the bug" many years ago. Back in the early seventies while serving my Country in the U.S. Navy I had a very good friend that had asked me one weekend if I would like to go fishing with him and his brother over the week-end. Now, being a part time (I really mean) about a twice a year "Worm, Hook & Bobber" angler, I didn't even know much about what a bass was and hadn't the foggiest on how to catch one so I said "sure, I'd love to go." Well that week-end my life as a twice a year angler had changed me for ever. Jim (who was the friend that asked me to go) told me not to bring anything but myself, so I showed up at his home (which was very close to the California Delta) on Saturday morning ready to go sit and bob worms for fish. Boy, was I wrong! When we got to the delta, he launched his boat which was a older wooden boat that must have been made during world war I, and we jumped in the boat and went up river a bit. A few minutes later Jim stopped the boat and dropped his anchor and there we sat for a moment. Now, I picked up a rod and reel that he had loaned me, asking him where the bobbers, hooks, and worms were. At that question he started to smile at me and told me that he forgot to stop and buy (live) worms on the way to the river. I really didn't know what to think now because that's the only way I had ever fished before. Then, Jim reached in a leather bag and pulls out this tackle box and opens it up. I was puzzled now because as I was looking in his tackle box, and as I was looking all I saw were some hooks, sinkers, and a few bags of these purple rubber worms (for you older anglers, these were some of the first artificial worms that were made by Tom Mann called Jelly Worms.) Jim told me to hand him my rod so he could set it up for me, so I just kept my eyes glued on what the heck he was doing. Next, Jim hands me the rod (Texas Rigged) with the Jelly Worm and tells me to cast it over by a bunch of lily pads that were about 20 yards from us, so I did. After I made my cast (like bobber fishing) I set my rod down and immediately Jim told me to pick it up and to hold it slightly keeping the slack out of the line, so I did. Then, all of a sudden something grabbed my line and my pole bent way over and my line was peeling off of my reel (shoot, I didn't even know how to set a drag back in those days), then Jim reaches over and tightens my drag and tells me not to give it any slack. Well the rest is history! A whopping Five and a half pound largemouth bass. From then on I went every chance I could, and yes! I definitely now had "Bass Fever."
Now, please pay attention to what I say to those of you who think they have to buy everything that looks good without the funds to do it. If I had a mentor, instructor, or anybody to help me get started (other than Jim, who unfortunately got transferred shortly after my trip with him) I could have saved so much money over the next several years I could have bought a brand new car or truck because I started buying everything that looked good. I JUST DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO OR BUY FOR BASS FISHING for a long period of time because nobody would help me. Back in those days, bass fishing was just getting started and the anglers who fished for bass back then wouldn't share anything as far as information! (as some do today).
Here are some simple rules you could go by that may help you remedy the problems that I had suffered through years ago.
1.. Don't buy everything on the shelf that looks good! (there are a handful of baits that will work anywhere in the nation, face it, bass are bass and pretty much act the same anywhere you go. (It's just knowing how to use and present the baits.)
2.. Learn as much as you can by reading, but try to find an experienced angler who is willing to share his information with you.
3.. Check around and talk to anglers for information. I found that most, (I said most) bass anglers are great people and would love to share information about the sport of bass fishing with others.
4.. Enroll in a bass fishing school if at all possible. (Not just mine, but there are others that teach bass fishing in a few different parts of this great nation.
5.. Always think of safety while on the water, and be courteous to others!
6.. Shop around for the best quality equipment for the money you can afford.
I hope that this will give you a better understanding about bass fishing in general. If you want a career in the bass fishing industry, be prepared for many ups and downs, but if you put your mind to anything and work hard for it, it usually happens. In my 3-Day Bass Fishing School I teach on baits that can be used just about anywhere and under most conditions. I teach different presentations on various baits, and try to squeeze over 30 years of knowledge in just 3 short days.
If you would like to inquire about my 3-day "On-Water" Bass Fishing School or just a guided bass fishing trip please Email me at [email protected] or you can visit my sites at www.capital.net/~rlbrown or fishing-boating.com/basscoach or even phone me at (518) 597-4240, I'll do my best to make sure that your time on the water will be time well spent!
Until next time, God Bless!... "The Bass Coach"..Roger Lee Brown
Scentbox This is the best tool a angler can have with them. This is a scent (fish formula) applicator that I wouldn't leave home without! It will literally save you money and will not make a mess on you or your boat like most do! www.scentbox.com
Team Yamamoto's Inside Line Magazine & Gary Yamamoto's Custom Baits
www.insideline.net/team/eastern.html some of the finest baits you'll ever use, and one of the most bass fishing (informative) magazines of today!
Kistler Custom Rods One of the best quality rods for the price I have ever used! Contact: Trey Kistler at (281) 259-8033 and tell him I sent ya! www.kistlerrods.com
Easy Retriever A item a angler shouldn't be without! This retriever has saved many baits over the years which means (MONEY!) in your pocket.Call Rick at (256) 734-8102 and tell him I sent Ya! www.easyretriever.com
Pro's Soft - Bait Glue I have to tell you that I used to go through about 8 to 10 tubes of Krazy or Super Glue per season, and with this glue I can use one bottle in a years time without it drying up (and it works actually better than the other glues) it really is a must! (804) 798-5225 is the number!.. Tell them I sent ya! www.prosoftbaitglue.com
H & H Rattles This is the only company that I have found the "Right" Carolina Rig Rattles, Rattles for my Jigs, and Tube Rattles. You will literally get hooked on them?
Call (501) 847-2135 and tell Doyle Moler I sent ya!
TTI Companies The makers of the famous "Bleeding Hooks" you've really got to try them!!!!!! they manufacture the Tru-Turn, Daiichi, and Xpoint hooks!.. These are the best hooks on the market today in my opinion! Call Ron Stallings at (334) 567-2011 and tell him I sent ya! www.tticompaines.com and www.waterworkswonders.com
BOWTIED Custom Jigs These are some of the best Jigs you'll ever use! Contact Dan Bowman at (937) 448-2278
KEEP ALIVE OXYGEN IN FUSORS These aerators will help you keep the bass more alive and healthy in your livewell. That means NO points taken away for dead fish when it comes to bass tournament fishing. I strongly recommend that if you own a boat, this is a must to keep in it! www.keepalive.net