John’s Note: Because of his bubbling personality, many sportsmen who watch “Jimmy Houston Outdoors” on TV fail to realize just how serious a bass fisherman the host, Jimmy Houston really is. He’s been on TV for 30 years and had the #1 outdoors show on ESPN for 20 years. Houston, who started fishing the B.A.S.S. circuit in 1977, was the B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year twice and sometimes fishes FLW. One of the nation’s best bassers, Houston has proven his consistency in bass fishing time after time. Here Houston shares how to consistently be a better bass fisherman.
The first key to being a consistent bass fisherman is to be able to fish all the lures in your tackle box.
Although this statement may sound simple, being able to do this is a very complex key to successful bass fishing. Just throwing a lure out and reeling it in is not fishing the bait. You have to know when each particular lure in your box should perform best. This means that you must understand which weather and water conditions are best for specific lures. Next you have to determine what action and retrieve to add to the lure for that particular situation. There may be five actions and four retrieves that will produce bass on one lure. So, figuring out the most-effective action and retrieve best suited for the weather and water conditions and the bass’s mood is what I mean by being able to fish a lure.
Once you have mastered that one lure, then you must learn to fish all the other lures in your tackle box. Then when you have mastered each lure you have and understand when, where and how to fish that lure, you more consistently can catch more bass. Too many anglers become bait specialists. They are spinner bait specialists, plastic worm experts or crankbait masters. But on any given day, a specific lure may not catch bass. So, I believe that to take more bass, you need to be aware of how and when to fish a variety of lures. Don’t become a one-bait specialist.
Most weekend anglers generally fish one or two bodies of water every weekend.
Therefore they should be fairly familiar with these waters. However, usually sportsmen don’t have all the information they need about their home lakes, because they get into the rut of fishing the same places year after year. To become a better bass fisherman, I try to fish a new place every time I go to a familiar lake. Once you get to the point that you believe that you have thrown your bait in every bit of water in a lake (yet you probably haven’t), then move to the spots you haven’t caught bass in for the last 4 or 5 years and attempt to catch a bass there.
Since lakes change, what may have been a bad area 3- or 4-years ago may have become a hot spot since you’ve last fished it. Don’t stay away from your regular hot spots, but at some time during each fishing day, fish new water. Then you’ll learn the lake better and have more places to catch more bass.
To learn more about bass fishing, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro,” “How to Win a Bass Tournament,” “Catch the Most and Biggest Bass in Any Lake: 18 Pro Fishermen’s Best Tactics, “Hot Weather Bass Tactics” and “How to Become A Tournament Bass Fisherman.” Click here to get these books.
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About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.