Mike Lucchesi of Elk Grove, CA wrote: Interesting reading and cleverly written, but completely lacking substance. Tips? Tactics? How big bass relate and react to seasonal changes vs. school fish? Couldn't find any of that, which was disappointing. Would have loved to have seen Mr. Siemantel's brain picked more for that type of information.
"Until I let go of old thinking, I wasn't ready to take a step up."
The Big Bass Zone is different. We pay attention to your comments and, when something needs to be addressed, you'll find our thoughts here in occasional vignettes called Reaction Strikes. I don't mean to single anybody out here. The point of Reaction Strike is to address questions and issues raised by readers.
So when I read the comments of Mike Lucchesi of Elk Grove, Calif. who wanted more tactics, it took me back about 7 years to when I first met Bill Siemantel. Although I haven't been as precise as Bill in recording my big catches, at the time I had caught more than 2 dozen bass over 10 pounds and one in the teen category. I figured I had a pretty decent big-bass resume.
I also considered myself pretty open-minded when it came to learning new techniques. Thankfully, Bill brought me along slowly. He knew that until I understood the mindset required, knowing the details didn't matter. Like Mike Lucchesi, I wanted some steak, not what seemed like the sizzle.
Eventually, I realized that the mentality required for catching bigger bass on demand was just as important, if not more so, than the nuts and bolts of lure rigging and seasonal patterns. If there was ever a motto for successful big-bass fishing, it's the song line "Free your mind, the rest will follow."
Until I let go of old thinking, I wasn't ready to take a step up. Like all bass-fishing disciplines, there are no magic bullets, no quick fixes, no express lanes to catching big bass. Until I started thinking differently, I couldn't fish differently.
So for those of you in a hurry to find the onramp to catching bigger bass, take a deep breath. Then, take a step back and look at the big picture: The proper mindset to catching big bass is substance. If the answer was simply in the mechanics of rod, reel, lure and presentation, somebody, somewhere would have stumbled on to it years ago.