Slow DownSlow Down If you want to catch big bass, you have to slow down. Here are some pointers to help you out.
By Chuck Bauer
Many years ago when I first made contact with Bob Crupi (the only person to have two bass over twenty pounds on the I.G.F.A record books), he left me with many new ideas. Ideas that if practiced consistently over time, they would help me or anyone else catch bigger fish. One such idea that stands out was to SLOW DOWN my presentation. Bob said that from a swim bait to a 18-inch worm to a live crawdad, S L O W D O W N.
BIG BASS did not have the impulse to have a reactionary strike on a bait, like a smaller fish. As the BIG BASS grow older, larger and wiser, they tend to eat when they want and will not "react." John Deckard calls this a "distinction". BIG BASS have a distinction that they will not eat something that flys by them. Going 100 mph in a school zone will not work on BIG BASS.
Think about it for a moment . . are you rushed on your way to the lake? Are you running late? Do you fly into Starbucks or 7/11 and get an extra large, extra caffeinated coffee? Can't wait to get there and get launched? When the launch ramp gets crowded, do you start honking the horn at some inexperienced fishing enthusiast? You're so hurried and "fueled" by your self-imposed adrenaline rush that when it comes time to fish, your presentation breaks the sound barrier. But that's okay . . . , they told you to "burn" the spinnerbait or "turbo-retreive" the buzzbait so it leaves a jetwash that would make an FA/18 Hornet jealous. This is how many fishing enthusiasts "set up" for their fishing experience.
Now, don't get take me out of context here. Yes, there are times when these above mentioned techniques are called for. Yet, in most cases, when on the hunt for BIG BASS, they are going to turn their noses up at you and think that they just might be occupying the safest place in the lake.
Crupi, when first learning about bass fishing, lived on Long Island, New York. Bob told me that way back, when he caught his very first bass, he placed it in an aquarium and watched its habits. He learned many things by watching and feeding it. He gave it worms, crickets, crawdads, small minnows and feeder fish. He was able to see first hand what these natural baits did and how SLOW they moved. In my very own aquarium, a crawdad or nightcrawler moves so slowly that it gets boring sometimes just to watch. Yet, they are giving us clues . . . clues to slow down our presentations.
So, S L O W D O W N by following these Profishin'l Pointers:
Chuck Bauer's Profishin'l Pointers
- Present your baits just like you were driving your car through a school zone and a police officer was standing outside of his patrol car and has the radar gun trained on you.
- Visually imagine in your mind what a "natural" presentation would look like.
- Practice casting your baits in a swimming pool and see how they work. Your bathtub or kitchen sink doesn't cut it as a proving ground.
- Invest in a 10 gallon aquarium with an aerator. Place all kinds of "live" bait (worms, bluegill or perch, minnows, crawdads, waterdawgs, feeder goldfish, etc.) in your aquarium and observe daily. Place a small bass in the tank and observe as well.
- Slowing down gives you versatility and another "tool" to use.
- Take 500mg of patience before your trip. If you are high on the adrenaline chart, take 500mg before every cast!
- Slow down on the trolling motor, its not a qualifying engine for a N.A.S.C.A.R. race.
- On the way to the lake, go into silent time and really think about slowing down.
- Commit to SLOWING DOWN. Don't give up on it after you have really only tried it for ten minutes. A habit takes about 20-30 days to form so be patient with yourself.
- Break your adrenaline habit by working a 12-inch or longer worm (I have some that are 18-inches in length) or stitching when you are carolina riggin'. As Bill Murphy states in his book, "Stitch" the bait back to the boat. Some of these stitching retrievals may take ten minutes or more from one cast! Stitching just might be one of the most effective BIG BASS techniques known to mankind.
Know that just being aware to slow down and that you'll need to be more patient means that half the battle has already been won. Awareness is the BIG first step. Breaking the habit is second. Making it a new habit is third.
When I teach goal setting seminars, I share with the audience members that each goal must have a identifiable benefit as well as an identifiable consequence. That means if you reach your goal, you have earned the benefit. However, on the flip side of the coin if you don't reach your goal, you must suffer from the consequence.
In slowing down your fishing presentations, you now move towards the goal of bangin' BIGGER BASS. You place the advantage towards you. Yet, if you stay with the same adrenaline-based presentation, your chances of bangin' a BIG BASS are extremely diminished. Benefit vs. Consequence.
Kinda' reminds me of the very famous "Insanity" quote. It goes something like this . . . "Keep doing what you've been doing . . . and expect things to change." That, my friends, is the definition of INSANITY.
So, change things up and S L O W D O W N. Keep after it and keep the vision of that BIG BASS clear in your mind. Who knows . . . maybe someday we'll hear bout' YOUR ten pounder!
Chuck Bauer is a noted Big Bass Specialist who has been recognized many times by various organizations, including Bassin' Magazine, Texas Fish & Game, North American Fisherman Magazine, Outdoor Life, Texas Hunting and Fishing News, The Dallas Morning News, and Texas Outdoor Times Magazine. Chuck is a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association and he is on Pro Staff for Kick-n-Bass.
Chuck also does free fishin' seminars in and around the Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex.
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