Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Needemp

Cali Hawg Hunters vs Regular Bass Fisherman

Recommended Posts

I like this site. It is a great place to gauge the average opinion of fellow bassers and pick up a few good tips. I have learned a lot from here. My only problem with this site is the perception that the guys that specifically aim for double digit bass are the same kind of bass fisherman than the other 99% of us, and that somehow the hawgs they catch make them a superior fisherman. I just don't agree with either of those opinions. I understand not all hawg hunters are like that but there are a few that come across as having that attitude.

Hawg hunting has a few simularities to regular bass fishing, but not enough to be considered equal to our type of fishing. For one, you can only fish in a small portion of our country in trout stocked lakes with huge swim baits or live bait. The fact that those two lures are used by them totally seperates them from the rest of us. We sometimes have to use a variety of different lures. Also they fish pretty much in open and deep water. Sometimes we have to move up in the shallows, chase them in the deep or try to locate them somewhere in between. Cold fronts, sun light, and rain can completely change our approach, while the hawg hunters might barely be effected. Also those of us that fish know we had a bad day if we don't catch at least a handful of keepers. And a 5 pounder makes it a great day! If we come back to the docks empty handed or just a few keepers, then we realize that WE probably did something wrong and could have done better. Hawg hunters are only satisfied if they catch a "double digit" fish (some of them).

Last thing, I live in MO and our state record is 13 pounds. This is around the average state records in the US. The largest bass in Cali was 25.1 pounds (not the record but she exists in her waters). That makes thier bass twice the size of ours. So when they catch a 16 or 18 pound bass, while very impressive, it is only equal to an 8 or 9 pounder.

Just my opinion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

****Moderator Note********

You might want change the title of this thread.

This topic has been discussed many times before. And to tell Hawg Hunters that they aren't "Real Bass Fisherman" is pretty narrow minded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand what your trying to say Needemp.  These so called Cali Hawg Hunters aren't seen in the bass tournament world, just like the bass tournament guys aren't seen going for the Hawg's, like the die-hards do.  However, to say that they are not real bass fishermen is wrong.  I'm sure they only go out on specific days according to the weather, making the day's they go hawg hunter are the ideal conditions.  Whereas bass tournament guys have to grind it out and entice the bass to bite during a cold front.

Their fishing philosophies are different but they are real bass fishermen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, the title of this thread is ridiculous and sounds like an insult to me

Now IMO, the comment about fronts, rain, sunlight and pressure barely affecting trophy hunters is so far from the truth its not even funny.  Big bass are SUPER sensitive when it comes to weather.  On some days they will throw a swimbait, but when a severe front comes through most scale down to tiny 4" weenie worms on drop shot rigs with 4-6lb test line.  A angler who can reel in a double digit bass on that equipment is on a higher level plateau than I could ever reach.  Consistently finding those pigs puts them at an even higher level.

This is coming from someone who fishes tournies on a regular basis, so I don't always target big fish.  To say a trophy fisherman isn't a real bass fisherman just doesn't make sense. Trophy fisherman have more of a right to turn around and call me and you, the average joes, not real fisherman IMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Needemp,

I recommend taking the time to learn more about Hawg Hunting before jumping to conclusions.  Trophy bass fishing is indeed different than other forms of bass fishing.  But it is every bit as difficult to master.  It takes skill for all forms of bass fishing.  The ones that truly excel, have absolutely paid their dues on and off the water, and mastered it to a "T".  They're truly the elite of their class, whether fishing tournaments, for fun, or for trophies.

To say one is better than the other isn't a fair comparison or assumption at all.  They're different.  Period.  It's a personal preference.  

You may have no intention to fish for trophies, and that's fine.  But that doesn't give you free license to pan those that do.  That's not what this site is about.

I encourage you to ask questions and learn more about the fine art of trophy bass hunting.  I'm sure you'll be amazed and surprised at how difficult it really is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Needemp,

 I'm new to this site so I'm not going to go on ranting and raving but I want to put some things out there. It seems like you've just got some misconceptions about what we Cali guys do. Its true we catch big fish in deep, clear lakes. Its also true that we catch big bass in shallow fisheries like Clearlake and the California Delta. Some of these areas are 5 feet deep for a quarter mile and yes, you'll find us in the very back corner flippin' jigs in 6" of water for those big green girls. When times get tough you might even find us dragging 4" worms on Carolina rigs, dartheading, dropshotting, etc. Not to mention, Clearlake and the delta do not and have never recieved any trout stockings. Additionally, not all "big bass" guys fish tournaments but a LOT of them do and many have done very well!

 Also, something you might not consider is that you see the picture that we portray for you. You say your bad day is when you blank and a good day is when you catch some? There are six months out of the year where a good day was getting a single bite on a swimbait, regardless of whether or not I landed her! Yes, there are awesome days and you see those photos but you don't see the 1, 2, 5, or 30 trips in between where there are no photos to show.

 Is swimbait fishing "different" out here? You better believe it! We're blessed to play with some of the biggest bass in the world. That said, there is no reason you can't pick up a swimbait that imitates the forage in your waters (www.mattlures.com) and catch the biggest bass of your life too! And finally, you don't seem to think that trophy hunters make it in the "big circuits". Consider Ish Monroe and Michael Iaconelli for a moment. While I wouldn't say that they're both true California trophy hunters they definetely have learned the art of catching giant bass and no doubt, you've seen them on the circuits!

Here are those two fine examples of guys who catch big California bass that have also put a wee bit of a dent in the tournament world.

Ish.jpg

ike.jpg

Well, I guess I lied, I did do a bit of ranting!  :P But I don't blame you one bit, there a lot of common misconceptions about what happens in this state. Fishing is low on the very long list so its all good.  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It almost seems like someone is looking to stir things up. I'll bite. Fisrt off I believe that the biggest diference between Tounament anglers and trophy anglers is their goals and expectations. Tournament guys are fishing against the clock and other anglers. Trophy hunters are fishing against the fish and many times other anglers. not always bass anglers either. Many times the shorelines are filled with guys soaking powerbait catching trout, they can be a huge obsticle. T guys are not tyring to catch big bass and Trophy guys arent trying to catch keepers. Its almost like they are pursuing two diferent species. To say a trophy hunter isnt a real bass fisherman is very ignorant. It is my opinion that the trophy hunters are the purest form of bass fishing. They are only seeking the largest possible fish. This of cource takes nothing away from the tournament guys. I Just had a long phone conversation with Rick Clunn. I have always looked up to him and I think he is a verry cool person. Believe it or not he asked me many questions about how to fish swimbaits becuase he felt he needed to add them to his arsenal. He also asked me how I bed fished and I told him my formula. Pretty cool that the "greatest bass fisherman" was asking me how I do it. I felt not worthy but I definatly gave up the goods. I am also Friends with Mike Long who is considered the best trophy fisherman alive. Mike is also a very dominate tournament fisherman winning many team tournaments by himself or fishing with his young son. He does have a regular adult partner and they win the W.O.N team AOY award every year. His Partner who is also a great trophy hunter John Kerr has won the US open. This event is fished by practicaly every major pro in bass fishing, I think Aaron won it last year. So believe me the best trophy hunters can and do win T's its just not their biggest passion.

as far as who is better. I think that the elite tournament fisherman is better then the elite throphy hunters with the  elite trophy hunters being better than all the other Tournament guys. The exception is Mike Long I honestly beleive he is the greatest bass fisherman who ever lived. His numbers are absolutly staggering. The last I heard he had around 60 bass over 15lbs and hunreds over 10lbs. He has a few 19+lbers and a 20+ and a 21.5 caught this year not to mention many Tournament wins in both team and solo events. these arent club tounies either these are big semi pro event that often have big names in them. Its where Rojas and Martins started. Now do I think that all trophy hunters are better than tournament guys of course not, there are only a few trophy hunters that I would consider elite. I am not one of them. It is just too completly different passions.

Some HUGE misconseptions about the Trophy hunters are, Only picking the best days. there are no best days. these guys fish any chance they get and if you knew what the best days are you would see that your argument is weak. the best days are usualy in miserable weather.

Thinking that big swimbaits only work here in Cali is just absurd. I have caught MANY 3lbers on large swimbaits and there not always trout patterns. All my biggest fish have been caught on Bluegill paterns. I would geuss that there are bluegill in MO. Iget photos and guys thanking me from all over the USA.

One thing that was said that is corect is that size is relative, however a 16lber would never be equal to an 8lber. A 10lb MO. bass might be a more accurate comparison.

One other thing to consider is that there are verry few succesful trophy hunters. Why because its too hard for people to change the way they think and to force them selves to relearn how to fish.

Only a few are consistant. You might see a lot of pictures of huge fish but they are mostly from the same small group of guys. Just like its the same small group of guys who consistantly win the big tournaments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MattLures,

Good post but if these trophy hunters were so great why don't they travel around the country to different lakes and try to catch the state records. In my books, that would make them real Trophy Hunters instead of just fishing 10-15 lakes a year and fishing in tournaments that are on these same lakes.

I respect all fishermen, so don't take this the wrong way. I just think you're giving them too much credit. Tell this Mike Long to come up to Minnesota and pluck the state record from one of our lakes. I can almost promise you, it wouldn't happen. Does he have a great ability, sure, on lakes that he knows well.

Again, I'm not bashing anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good post but if these trophy hunters were so great why don't they travel around the country to different lakes and try to catch the state records.  In my books, that would make them real Trophy Hunters instead of just fishing 10-15 lakes a year and fishing in tournaments that are on these same lakes.

I respect all fishermen, so don't take this the wrong way.  I just think you're giving them too much credit.  Tell this Mike Long to come up to Minnesota and pluck the state record from one of our lakes.  I can almost promise you, it wouldn't happen.  Does he have a great ability, sure, on lakes that he knows well.

There is more to it than just that. Some of these guys, the elite, are hunting for a World Record.

You can't exactly do that in Minnesota or most of the country for that matter. I don't care how good you are.  ;)

Great follow ups everyone. I have nothing to add.  8-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Captain Cali,

My point was, catch a trophy in each state. World Record or not. I think it would be a bigger feat to travel the U.S. and catch the trophy/state record from different states.

Would give these trophy hunters more "fish cred" if they traveled around, taking records from most states. That really means they know how to catch the monsters, instead of fishing the same waters and same spots day after day.

Again, please don't take this post the wrong way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabela10,

 My perception on the matter is simply this, Why? Why would guys on argueably the best water in the world want to leave to fish lakes with smaller fish? Why would they want to go half way across the country to prove something? Mike Long specifically is an incredible fisherman. If I'm not mistaken, he did go to Texas and promptly set a record there.

 I'm not attacking you at all either but what I'm saying is, where is the motiviation? California guys have no issue with the rest of the country so why go East, set records, etc... for respect? Naw, all you'd end up with is a bunch of guys telling the Cali boys to go home after they realized all their records had been nabbed!  ;D

 What most of us do out here in nothing special, its just another technique. If any one of you got as good with a swimbait as you are with a jig or spinnerbait you'd be knocking out your own records just as fast as you could go. That's a FACT, its all about building the confidence because while there is no "sure thing" when it comes to record setting, swimbaits are about as close as you can get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabela10,

I totally understand what you are saying. But like Supermat stated, why? What would be the motive to fish somewhere else for smaller fish while the bigger fish are being caught at home? There is nothing to prove. It's all about the biggest fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabela you almost answered your own question. One of the biggest reasons the best of the best trophy hunters like Mike L are so good is because they know there lakes so well. Mike has Topo maps and he takes picture and makes notes of the lakes when they are super low. That is part of being succsesful at Trophy hunting. A tournamt guy needs to find keeper fish. There are many more places that hold this sized fish and there are more of them so a good tournament guy has an easier time finding a pattern. The biggest bass arent as easy to find so it is critical to know every piece of structure that hold the biggest bass. Only with a ton of time on the water can they consitantly locate and catch the largest bass.

Could Mike L go to another state and break records. Absolutly but it might take him a while to learn the lakes. His learning curve would be short though because he could use all his past experiance to learn the lakes. Its just like asking if KVD could come to your local lakes and win tournaments. Of couse he could. Give him enough time and he would beat all the locals. KVD, Ike, Aaron, Clunn, they are the best at winning tournaments. they can go anywhare and do it. Mike Long, John Kerr, Butch Brown, Bob Crupie(Crupi is still great) these guys are the best at catching huge fish. they could come to your lakes and catch the biggest class of bass in there. The diference is it would probably take them a while to learn the lakes but once they did they would catch the biggest fish. There might not even be a lake record swimming in some of your lakes but I know they would be catching the biggest ones in there.

SuperMatt hit the nail on the head. most of them have one goal and it lives here in the lakes they fish so why would they want to go somewhare else.

Trophy bass hunting is a lot like big game hunting. Do you think if you took the greatest big game hunter ever and relocated him that he couldnt kill trophy animals. Of course he could, he would just have to learn the land. Same diference.

its just two diferent sports that rarly cross over. It takes diferent mindstes and diferent aproaches. The top pros are the best at what they do. the top trophy hunters are the best at what they do. People might think that they are both just bass fishing but they arent. Its two totaly diferent sports and each have there elite.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice post mattlures. I enjoyed everything until you started talking about hunting. ha ha

Just a little fact. Our largemouth record got set last fall '05 by a tournament angler, Mark Raveling. he was not fishing in a tournament though. He got a 8lb 15oz pig. Got it on a buzzbait.

I want the smallmouth record for Minnesota and Wisconsin. I'll go after it in '07. I want to get my hands on the 7" Triple Trout bait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To quote Mr. Hannon It takes a rare breed of fisherman using simple techniques to perfection to consistently catch big bass.

There are a small percentage of anglers rather they are tournament anglers, hawg hunter, or weekend warriors that simply get it. They understand the effects of weather, water conditions, bait presentations, and the fish they are after. Far the rest of the anglers I'll quote Mr. Hannon again People often respond to failure and frustration by over-complicating theory and technique.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To quote Mr. Hannon It takes a rare breed of fisherman using simple techniques to perfection to consistently catch big bass.

Of this rare breed, how often do they go home empty handed?  I'm guessing in an overall preformance on the water, the tournament guy has more success with getting what he wanted out of the trip.  I'm thinking the hawg hunters are more of a hit and miss type fisherman, where they will and can go days on end without catching even a fish because they only target the big boys.

I have no hard evidence of anything I said.  It's just my opinion and feel free to correct me, thats why I speak here, to get corrected on issues I don't relate too.  Just speaking my mind. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go to any tournament wed site, read the results, there are hundreds of anglers who get skunked.

Bass fishing at any level is hit or miss    :-?

I've seen KVD, Clunn, Brauer, Nixon, Ike all of them skunked   :-[

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of this rare breed, how often do they go home empty handed? I'm guessing in an overall preformance on the water, the tournament guy has more success with getting what he wanted out of the trip. I'm thinking the hawg hunters are more of a hit and miss type fisherman, where they will and can go days on end without catching even a fish because they only target the big boys.

You're exactly right, I wrote this above. Its a fact that at certain times of the year pickings get tough for trophy guys if they only stick to the big fish. During those times I'll take an occasional "normal" trip or fish a few tournaments to put a little dent in the long list of skunks! In the same light there are times of year when you catch a 7 lber and wonder, why did I get out of bed this morning? If I'd just stayed in bed maybe I'd have enough energy to come back tommorrow and catch a 10! Haha, unfortunately its not that time of year right now... I'd kill for another 8 or 9 to string me along. It really is a different world when you go for trophies but that doesn't mean that only elites can do it, anyone can catch a trophy with a little work. Also, your comment about the guy getting a good one on a buzzbait, that happens sometimes out here too. A young kid caught an 18 in a lake out here a few years ago splitshotting a 4" worm!!! That's crazy, but it happens!

www.calfishing.com/gallery/v/members/supermat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trophy anglers goal is to catch the biggest bass in a particular body of water and it doesn't matter if they live on the left hand coast, the right hand coast, or some where in between.

Tournament anglers goal is to win money by catching the biggest 5 bass limit in a particular body of water and it doesn't matter if they live on the left hand coast, the right hand coast, or some where in between.

You also have local anglers like my self that are accomplished in both and it doesn't matter if they live on the left hand coast, the right hand coast, or some where in between..

What makes them the same is their understanding of the body of water they are on, the affects of weather patterns, water conditions, life cycle of the bass's prey, and how to use simple techniques effectively.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Needemp, for the thought provoking post.

Although Supermatt, Mattlures, and others have already said as much, I'd just like to reiterate, that "Trophy Bass fishing and Tournament Bass angling" are simply two completely different things.

Many of my closest friends are hard-core tournament anglers, and I am thrilled for them when they win a tourney, just as they are for me, when I stick a pig.

Don't believe that trophy hunters are a just a small group of guys from Cali either. Running my own trophy bass website for nearly 10 years, I have met anglers from all over the country (even outside of the country) who fish specifically for the biggest bass in their waters. I consider these guys to be "trophy hunters" in every sense of the word.

I do have to admit though, I have often been in the middle of a post, talking about the giant Cali. bass that I am fishing for, when I suddenly stop to ask myself...... "How much is this post going to help anyone" ? ...or, "Who really cares" ? But then my next thoughts often are, "Personally, I love to read about guys fishing for giant Muskies.... Or Flathead cats.... Or Alligator gars..... even though we don't have them here" !!! Not to mention the overwhelming number of positive responses I have gotten, with my trophy bass posts, on this site and others.

Speaking only from a personal standpoint, I do consider myself to be as much of "an all around fisherman" as anyone..... fresh, and saltwater too. Obviously I love to stick big bass, but I have, and will continue to fish for any species that will bite my hook and rip drag ! Last week, my buddy and I had a blast sticking 120 Crappie for very close to 200 lbs !

Heck, do you think I'm concerned what the next guy thinks about my fishing ??? Have you seen my trophy Carp catches ? Those are some awesome sportfish right there ! :-)

Also, you have to remember that I'm an old guy (42 :-) who has been fishing for most of my life. I have fished for numbers of smaller bass for many years..... and on occasion, depending on my circumstances, I still do ! Granted, catching smaller fish is not going to give me the "through the roof" adrenalin rush that I get when I stick a monster..... but even small bass are a LOT more fun that just about anything else I can think of..... most especially, "work" ! ;-)

Finally, to be good at tournament angling, I think you need to be competitive, right ? Sorry. I just don't have an ounce of competitive nature anywhere in me. Never have had. I've never had any interest in playing (or watching) ANY competitive sports, so why would I apply competition to my fishing ?

Bottom line; I do what I love to do, and I share it with whoever is interested.

Great fishing to all,

Fish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off I am the postee of this one. I was feeling a little good last night if ya know what I mean and decided to comment about something I have believed for a while but didn't want to comment on. After reading what I wrote I realized my opinion seemed harsh. BOTH forms are real fishing. It takes skill to do both, but it is 2 different types of skill. I do not think that Hawg Hunters are the equivalent of so called tourny fisherman. As stated previously; niether one is better than the other, just different. One guy posted that hawg hunters sometimes have to downsize to 4 inch worms to catch hawgs. WHAT! As soon as they do that then they have stepped into our boat and became one of us. Another guy pointed out Ish and Ike as I guess an example of hawg hunters being equal. When these tourny guys fish those tournaments, they fish our style, NOT Cali style at all (BIG SWIMS and LIVE BAIT)

Fish Chris, I liked your post and I know you fish for other species. It was your comment over in the "Pros not using nets" post that kind of set me off. The comment that you dont have competative juices flowing through your body is interesting. But at least I understand.

I dont want to attack anyone at all. Dont need to. I dont know any of you guys personally so in my book you are all automatically pretty good guys. There is nothing wrong with a healthy discussion IMO. I just wish that the hawg hunters, which seems to consist of a very small group on this forum, would not come across as so arrogant! One guy said it makes them the elite of the elite. That to me is an unthought out statement. Some guy looks at a 15 pounder from Cali and is flabergasted because his biggest bass is 3.5 pounds. A 15 pounder here in MO is the equal of a 7 to 8 pounder. But up north it might be the same as a 5 pounder. I just wonder why people are so fascinated with the Cali bass. Just put it in the perspective of what it really is! Thanks guys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It looks like needemp is a "Hit and Run" poster. ;D

Sorry dude. There was this thing called Christmas morning I had to deal with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest the_muddy_man

Hey  Fellas I have the utmost respect for all variations of the fishermen here. I do have a bit of awe and extra respect for the guys who target big fish. They seem to have logged many hours learning both the bodies of water they fish in and the behavior of the fish in those lakes etc... So they , by knowledge and experience are in a nook all to themselves Me Im a dink kina guy TIL I GET TO THE FORK Im hoping and praying for my PB down there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing forum

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×