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Catching Your New Personal Best Bass

Big Bass Hunt

Everyone has a different agenda or reason for going fishing.  For some it is a chance to simply get outdoors and enjoy the scenery.  For tournament fisherman it is typically a contest to catch the biggest 5 bass they possibly can in a day.  But, if you are a big bass hunter, your reason is to catch the biggest bass of your life. 

If I had to title this segment it would be “Maintain your Combat Focus”.  When you first pull up to a spot, you have high expectations of catching fish, you will notice as the minutes turn to an hour, you have left that combat focus far behind.  You need to mentally prepare yourself for long hours on the water and long stretches of time without a lot of bites, or any bites.  So let’s put the throttle down on some of the things you will need to do in order to make sure you maximize your time on the water to hunt for your new PB bass. 

  • Fish the Weekdays.  If you can get some time off the next few months during the week, you will have less pressure on the water and more areas to yourself.  Most bass tournaments are on Saturdays and Sundays.  A lot of anglers tend to pre-fish on Fridays, so Monday through Thursdays you will more than likely see less boats on your claim.  
  • Have your gear ready.  When you have switched from wanting to “catch fish” to wanting to hunt a monster, don’t let your gear cost you the bass of a lifetime!!  Go over your equipment with a fine tooth comb.  Things such as:  Re-Line your reels, check the drag, check the guides on your rods, charge the batteries in the boat, check the tire pressure, check hooks and baits, boat and truck gassed up and running properly, etc….the list goes on….a guide snapping off on a hookset may cost you that monster bass of a lifetime.  
  • Go alone or with someone of a like mind.  If I am by myself, I am not worried about the other person in the boat having a good time.  I am only zoned in on the task at hand- Catching a new PB Bass.  If you do go with someone whilst you are hunting a mossy back water gorilla, make sure they know EXACTLY what your intentions are.  You are not there to chunk and wind to catch a bunch of fish, rather to slowly and methodically pick apart the area that has the best chance to yield a megahead.  
  • Get Mentally Tough.  Let me tell you something right now…..when you see other people catching fish, it will make you really start to doubt yourself and your thought processes.  Maintain your focus and stay the course at hand.  You are judging your day by putting yourself in high percentage areas and fishing the right baits at the right time to catch the biggest bass in the lake.  BUT, don’t set yourself up with unrealistic expectations of catching 10 bass that day over 8 lbs.  
  • Murphy is Alive & Well.  In case you don’t know who Murphy is- if it can go wrong, it will go wrong.  Monster bass have a knack for finding the weak spot in your line, wrapping up on the trolling motor or burying up in the brush instantly upon the hookset.  Don’t get discouraged when the big one does indeed get away.  It IS GOING TO HAPPEN.  What you do next will show what you are made of.  It is human nature to dwell on the past.  But, chalk it up as it is what it is, then try and remedy the problem and keep chunking and winding.  This is not the time to kick your $3,000 graph or break your $200 rod.  We all know that fishing is a mental man’s game.  You won’t fish the same while you are fuming mad.  Get a drink of water, eat a snack and take moment to let the moment pass and get back after um.  

Please stay tuned for the last part of the series which will include my Trinity of lures and how I use them to pursue larger than average bass.  

Shane Smith

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