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by Ralph B. Spoerl
Box—at the back of the boat:
the bass tournament season is about to get under way.
So far, I’ve signed up to fish as a boater, as well as a
non-boater. Yeah, I said,
most of us, I prefer to be in the front of the boat, but sometimes you
just have to adjust. Even in a draw tournament, when there are few non-boaters,
you can draw the short straw and end up in the back of the boat.
Where am I going with this?
It’s what we need to do when we draw that short straw and get
the back of the boat.
the past, when I drew the back of the boat, I found myself fishing
against other non-boaters—in more of a pro-am style.
That puts the boater in charge and the non-boater must follow
to the spots of the boater’s choice—wherever they are—and hope
he puts you on good fishing spots.
Bottom line… you have no control of the situation, so you
follow his lead and just hang on!
being said, the non-boater has to try to figure out just what the
boater will be doing and where he’ll be going.
Simple, right? Yeah, sure!
We all know that this information will only be revealed when
you’re on the water sailing along at about 60+ mph.
So, how does one prepare?
Trust me, it’s important to have a plan!
of all, you know you’re fishing for bass, so you need to be ready
for largemouth and smallmouth. Where
do you start? Rods,
reels, line, or bait? You
know you’re going to have limited space, so you should probably go
with four rods (three with bait-cast reels and one spinning reel).
Make one a seven-and-a-half foot bait-cast flipping stick with
a braided line. That
should work for any heavy cover and top water.
The other two bait-cast rods will cover spinner-baits and
crank-baits (you can put twelve-pound monofilament on those).
Then, go with a six-foot and a six-and-a-half footer.
If push comes to shove, one of those can double as a worm rod. You’ll use the spinning rod-and-reel for the “finesse”
gear and plastics (I like a seven-footer for that stuff).
tackle box will also have to be downsized.
We wouldn’t want to overload this guy’s boat.
Plus, there’ll be limited space.
I suggest using spinner baits of white and chartreuse, a white,
and maybe a black-and-blue. I
also recommend making sure you have a couple of Colorado blades and a
couple of willow leaf blades. Crank-baits
should probably be bone-white color, a crawfish color with some red
flecks in it, and a chartreuse-and-green one.
Oops… better also throw in some rattletraps, too! You should also have a silver-and-blue top, a silver-and-black
top, and a crawfish color. For
jigs, you should have a handful of flipping jigs, some swimming jigs,
and a few grubs to dangle on them.
As for plastics, I suggest going with the “standards”—a
few tubes, worms, and craws. Also
grab a few hooks and weights. What
do you think? Maybe fifteen- or twenty-pounds of stuff should work.
Add a life vest, a rain suit, sunglasses, lunch (assuming
you’ll have time to eat), and you’re ready!
Now, all you’ll have to remember is never test the depth of the water with both feet! Well, that should be it, and, as always… don’t forget to grab that (somewhat reduced, but hopeful) Tackle Box!