Wednesday, January 20, 2010
|All the best players do it. It took me 10-15 years on tour before I really figured it out. It started to become clear when I started my career with the BassMasters. In those days most everyone on tour owned a boat, and when we had the partner pairings we would most always draw "boat to boat."
There were no Triple A's or co-anglers and you would draw the big name superstars of the sport all the time. It was a bit uncomfortable at times as you talked with your partner and tried to work out something that would work for the two of you. But it also produced some of the best times of my life as a professional.
I drew so many legendary fisherman, like BassMaster Classic champions George Cochran and Paul Elias. I was paired with Bernie Schultz at Guntersville and we caught 50 pounds together the first day of an event. I fished with Charlie Ingram and destroyed the fish at Sam Rayburn. I could go on and on.
The lesson I learned was all of the real greats generally fish to their strengths. They try to focus on techniques that give them "the power." Sure, they’re versatile, but they always focus in practice on trying find something that fits their strength.
I drew Rick Clunn twice on the B.A.S.S. tour —once at Lake Powell in Utah, and once at Grand Lake in Oklahoma. I never saw him use a technique that did not involve turning the handle on that baitcasting reel at all times. What I am saying is Rick is a "winder." He loves that reel handle! He turns that sucker all the time. Everywhere we stopped it was buzzbait, crankbait, spinnerbait. He is a huge believer in lures that move through the water at some rate of speed.
Rick does not like to talk too much during the competition, so after we weighed in our fish I asked him, "Rick, how often do you ever use a plastic worm or a jig?" He took a really long pause and said, " Do you mean in my entire career?” I said “yes” and he took an even longer pause and said, “Probably about five percent of the time." This is the angler that BassMaster/ESPN voted the "Greatest Bass Angler of all Time"…and he doesn’t believe in plastic worms! Now I don't want to put words in Mr. Clunn's mouth, but I think you get the idea. He has a strength, and he uses it. All the great ones do. Dee Thomas and David Gliebe bought their homes with a Flippin’ Stik. Zell Rowland has several sports cars because of his prowess with a Pop-R. The list goes on.
What I am saying is find a technique that you feel gives you an edge, and use it to your advantage. Hey, always try new techniques and work on your versatility. But never get to far away from your strength. It's no secret that in my own career I have always pushed the super shallow thing. I like to fish objects that I can see with my eyes. I very rarely look at my depth finder. I like to use lures that manufacture a movement by a bass to strike my bait. I throw my bait next to visual cover and move my bait in a fashion that promotes a strike. Hey, that's my thing.
My great friend Don Iovino was the guy who started the long time joke "Tauber never caught a bass that he didn't see hit his lure." Well, he is not too far from the truth...and I am darn proud of it! Always fish and practice with an open mind, but don't get too far away from the lures and techniques that have brought you your greatest success.
If you have any questions about bass fishing or getting started on the WON BASS Tour, feel free to contact Rich at www.richtauberfishing.com.