Mark Hanowski, Little Falls, Minnesota, is a 12-year-old fishing fanatic who sent us a letter explaining his love of fishing. He also included this article, below, with tips on catching bass. The NAFC staff thought he made some good points. See for yourself.
I like to power fish. This means finding a place that you like to fish and that you think holds bass, then work the area hard, efficiently, and fast. Yet, sometimes, we have to slow down our presentations and work an area through efficiently. Like if I am power fishing in a bay and am moving along at a fair pace and I am starting to get hits, but I can’t seem to hook a fish. Then I need to slow down and work the area with a different bait or presentation. Always remember that bigger lures mean bigger fish, even if that means fewer strikes.
If you find an area that you know has fish but you are not getting hits on your last five similar lures, then try a totally different lure. For example, if I am fishing a weeded cove with a jig and pig, and I know there are fish there but they will not hit, then change to a spinnerbait, or even a buzzbait if the water is shallow enough.
A key thing to do when fishing bass anytime of the year is to analyze what you see, and think of an approach. If you are studying a lake map and have a plan, but then the conditions change, then you are going to have to analyze what the conditions are and adapt to the situation accordingly. You also have to take into consideration the season, present and predicted weather, water clarity, water temperature, etc.
So a lot of things come into play when it comes to making a pattern. Remember that patience isn’t just about throwing different lures until you get a bite. It’s also about fine-tuning to get the best results possible. A bass is a bass is a bass. The bass doesn’t change. Only the conditions change, and you must adjust accordingly.
It is important to have an idea of what will happen before you start fishing, so you have a starting point. This reduces that lost feeling you get when you look over 10,000 some acres of water. Next, you should have some confidence lures you want to use so you try to find places you can fish them, conditions permitting.
The key here is to remain versatile and flexible, in case you don’t get to use them as much as you want, because that can blow your confidence. Finally, you have to believe that you will get the fish dialed in. This comes with experience, and a lot of time spent on the water!
Editor's Note: Thank you, Mark, for sharing your story and passion. We hope to hear more from you in the future.