I have had the opportunity to fish with some very good bass fishermen, including Boyd Duckett and Kevin Wirth and Pam Martin-Wells. The following are some of the differences I see between how they fish and how I, and other "weekend warriors, fish for bass.
- Knowledge of Bass
Pro bass fishermen know their quarry. They have studied bass habits and movements while fishing for them and while off the water and know what bass will normally do under given circumstances. Pros can find bass because they know how bass react to different situations.
I have been amazed at the ability of pro bass fishermen to concentrate on the task at hand, catching bass, no matter what is going on. I can be asking questions for a magazine article while they fish and they give thoughtful answers, but the are still focused on catching bass. They may miss a deer on the bank or an eagle flying overhead but they will never miss a tell-tail swirl in the water or the shadow of a stump. They process all the factors they observe and come up with ways to catch bass.
No matter what tackle a pro bass fishermen uses they have it mastered and effortlessly place their lures in the best possible spots every time. They make it look easy but it takes thousands of hours of practice to do this. They can pick apart a piece of cover or an area on a lake without missing a spot a bass might hide. They are very methodical and thorough.
Professional bass fishermen are extremely competitive. They want to win no matter what they are doing. Kevin Wirth has ridden horses in the Kentucky Derby when he was a jockey and he went all out to win then, just as he does now in bass tournaments. And he hates to lose in any thing he does, from golf to shooting pool. All pros have to have this desire to be the best.
- Sixth Sense
It seems the bass pros have some sixth sense for finding and catching bass, too. It is some unexplainable talent that they have that is not learned. It might be a combination of all the above but it seems to go beyond that. They have some innate ability to find and catch bass.
Can you fish with the pros? Probably. Will you be competitive with them every day? Not unless you have all the above qualities, and more.