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Buck Perry and Bass Fishing

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Many years back, a friend suggested that I read the late Buck Perry's "Spoonplugging, Your Guide to Lunker Catches". As I was just starting to get into bass fishing he felt this book would really be of help to me. He was, and still is, a firm believer in Buck's strategy for locating and catching bass.

I've read the book a couple of times and have used some of his advice with sucess. While the gist of this book pertains to trolling to locate fish, it does help to explain about structure and underwater features and how it relates to bass location. I do a limited amount of trolling and his methods do work.

Getting to the point, I'm curious as too how many readers have read any of Buck Perry's books or have gone through his entire study course? Also, was his book as hard to understand as I thought it was? Maybe my comprehension level ain't what it should be.    

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Getting to the point, I'm curious as too how many readers have read any of Buck Perry's books or have gone through his entire study course?

I read Buck Perry's book entitled "Spoonplugging" right after it was published.

Buck was an inspiring speaker (that was his job) and was dubbed the father of "Structure Fishing".

Though not my favorite instructor, Buck did make two contributions to the angling world

that I felt were very valuable.

1. Buck emphasized the critical importance of bottom structure (gradient analysis).

2. He intentionally designed the spoonplug to be butt ugly, to prove that lure appearance

was not nearly as important as lure depth and lure speed (I wholeheartedly agree).

In contrast, I took issue with the fact that most of his tenets were based on artificial impoundments (reservoirs)

and not natural lakes, which is an entirely different situation. Furthermore, Buck's theory

about daily migration of bass from deep water (30 to 35ft) to shallow water (under 8 ft)

has since been invalidated by transmitter tracking. Bass are surprisingly residential.

Roger

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Yes I study Buck 25 years ago and understood that trolling was his methods but mine would be different.

Most anglers can't get there mine pasted trolling and miss the message.

I read the Spoonplug Book and the study course over and over and when Buck passed i bought the leather edtion.

Garnet

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What I've learned from Buck Perry

Structure is a portion of the bottom that is different from the surrounding area, like bars, humps, creek-channels, riprap, and submerged points of land.

Breakline is a line or lines along the structure's bottom where there is a defined increase or decrease in depth, either sudden or gradual like the edge of a channel, hole or gully. There are other breaklines, too, like a weedline wall, a brush line.

It must be remembered that deep water is where bass spend the greater part of their time because it is a sanctuary from changing weather and water conditions. Thus, in order for a structure, break or breakline to be consistently productive for mature bass, it must be very close to deep water, or at least, the deepest water in the area being fished. You cannot have schools of large bass if the structure, breaks and breaklines are not connected in some manner to deep water.

In deep water, Buck is insistent that lures must come in contact with the bottom to be most deadly. His famed "Spoonplug" lure is designed to dive to exacting depths and bump bottom no matter how fast it's retrieved. But any crankbait, spoon, jig or plastic worm that touches bottom can be equally as effective.

Take nothing for granted," Buck states flatly. "Never assume bass are shallow, because they may be deep. Never believe they will hit a fast-moving lure, not a slow one. You've got to work an entire structure from shallow to deep

You gotta catch 'em while they're there because you sure can't catch 'em where they ain't.

What Buck did was move us off the bank and opened up the world of main lake fishing  ;)

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Shhh!

That is not where most guys like to fish or how they want to present lures. I think you will catch more fish is shallow water, too. Stay there, don't bother my fish!

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Used to read everything I could from Buck Perry.  He was a regular contributor to 'Fishing Facts' magazine also, as well as having his Spoonplugging publication.  I agree with some of the observations already stated....first, I didn't get it all, not for years, if ever.  Second, I agree that he didn't have it nailed completely as modern devices have suggested there is more to it than thought.  But he sure helped open up a world of fishing to a lot of us.  Information and commumication was a lot different then and for those of us that didn't have someone to show us the ropes...well, he filled a tremendous void.  Fair winds Buck.

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BP has always been attributed as being the father of structure fishing, even by some of the legends like Roland Martin.  I never got into the trolling part of his message but certainly understood the rest of it.  His teachings still have relevance today though some have been disproven.  I first saw his stuff in the old Fishing Facts magazine.  He, along with the Lindners, and Petros were great teachers in that little mag.

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It must be remembered that deep water is where bass spend the greater part of their time because it is a sanctuary from changing weather and water conditions.

Actually, that was one of Bucks theories which has been handily upended.

Transmitter studies have repeatedly shown that bass migrate very little,

but when they do migrate, the tend to follow the same contour line, rather than running

perpendicular to the depth lines (we've already been through the swim bladder thing).

On the other hand, "all" predatory fish (fresh & salt) spend a great deal of their lives

"NEXT TO" deeper water, but that's been common knowledge looong before Buck Perry.

We must remember that Mr. Perry was a salesman first, and fishing in 35 ft of water

is far more saleable than fishing in 5 feet of water. It's now about 35 years later

and deepwater fishing for "bass" is still unpopular (bass anglers aren't stupid).

Buck covered his tracks pretty well by saying that bass in deep water may be difficult

or impossible to catch (Ah hem). How come walleye fishermen, smallmouth fishermen,

pike fishermen and lake trout fishermen all fish deep? Might success play a role?

In an artificial impoundment devoid of healthy weed beds, largemouth bass

are forced to relate to deepwater cover & structure: submerged timber, silos,

artificial reefs, roadbeds, immersed automobiles, culverts or what have you.

As I stated in my post above, Buck Perry's teachings evolved around reservoirs,

but bass have lived for thousands of years in natural lakes before there were reservoirs.

His teachings still have relevance today though some have been disproven. I first saw his stuff in the old Fishing Facts magazine. He, along with the Lindners, and Petros were great teachers in that little mag.

Exactly!

Ironically, it was the In-Fisherman staff that shattered Buck Perry's deepwater myth

and his theory about perpendicular migration.

Roger

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There are two types for a lack of a better word of bass. Those bass that are shore line (shallow) related and those bass that live on the main lake (deep). Buck Perry simply put a spot light on a portion of the lake few people understand and made the likes of a Tommy Martin, Larry Nixon, Paul Elias, David Fritts & many others correct his theories. Now we know that deep water fish are not that difficult or impossible to catch, you will however need to understand a few things electronics and contour maps Ect.

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Both the Linders and Bill Dance and Roland Martin studied with Buck Perry Al told that to me personaly and that  Buck Perry was still relevent at that time 20 years ago.

So I did get that it was possible to fish your way to Key areas and they were not nessarally facing shore. unless you fish Florida and that I need to get back to these areas.

That new info. using transmitters has change to picture doesn't take away from a great body of information. Could you image if we threw out everthing In fisherman reported because 20 years ago they said just leave the hook in that fish it will rust out.

Garnet

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Im fairly new to "serious" bass fishing, and after 3yrs of frustrating attempts at observing patterns for tourneys, BP's writings turned a light bulb on in the dark dreeriness that is my bass fishing intelect. I almost never beat the bank anymore, and I catch lots more fish. From BP's writings, I realized the bank and surface are the ends of a basses usable environment, and as a group (ther are unique individuals) bass do not want to stay that close to the edge unless feeding actively chasing or ambushing to feed.....subsequently I catch more, bigger healthier fish now that I see the bank the same way the bass do. In a study ISU completed in '96? on the ?? river they found behavior that suggested "migration" patterns similar to BP's ideas. Its the only Statistically analyzed study I have come across.

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Whats truly great about serious fishing for me is all the money in the world will not buy results not bass boats not $500 fishing rods $1000 reels or the best bait in the world. At the time I was a pretty good rec. angler Buck Perry gave me the foundation to explore.

Garnet

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