www.insideline.net

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Pre-Classic Thoughts

E-mail Print PDF

February 21, 2013

Today we had the chance to catch up with five Yamamoto Pros fishing the Classic this year. It’s been two days since official practice ended and a major cold front with lots of rain and some snow has passed through the area. Conditions are set to clear up tomorrow and through the weekend, which means fishing is actually going to be tougher going into the event. Given the time of year and location, this weather doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Ask any touring pro and he’ll tell you he learned a long time ago that you have to be willing and ready to adapt. A few thoughts from the guys:

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 18:41 Read more...
 

Gerry Jooste – A 5th Classic via Zimbabwe

E-mail Print PDF

battisti-authorpic



By Terry Battisti


February 21, 2013

There are a number of things Ray Scott probably never dreamed of as he sat in a Jacksonville, MS motel one rainy day in 1967 after being rained out of a fishing trip. I’m sure he had visions of bass fishing becoming a recognized and respected sport – but did he really believe, at the time, that in five short years he’d have nearly the entire nation rallied around the overgrown sunfish?

With B.A.S.S. growing, his next step was to unify bass anglers by having them form clubs. These clubs became Chapter members of B.A.S.S. and were used to promote better fishing and clean water throughout the United States.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 13:52 Read more...
 

The Art of Winning at Grand Lake

E-mail Print PDF

robbins-authorpic12



By Pete Robbins


February 19, 2013

 

Veteran Yamamoto pro and renowned bass guide Art Ferguson competed in four Bassmaster Classics.
That alone is admirable but not exceptionally unusual. What is remarkable is that the four Classics he
fished were on a quartet of incredibly diverse waterways.
In 1990, he fished the Classic on Virginia’s historic and tidal James River. Nine years later, his second
Classic was held on the swampy and monstrous Louisiana Delta. The following year the big dance was
on Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. Finally, in 2004, he fished the Classic on South Carolina’s Lake
Wylie, a typical southern impoundment.
If those four events don’t speak to the diversity of his experiences, consider his guiding business. He
spends the warmer months in his native Michigan, plying the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair, largely for
smallmouths. When the temps up there get too cold, he retreats to Florida for a few months to lead
clients to oversized largemouths on the Sunshine State’s big grassy bowls.
Still not convinced? His two B.A.S.S. victories occurred in states we haven’t already mentioned – in 2000,
he won a Top 150 on Alabama’s Lake Wheeler and three years later he won an Open on New York’s
Oneida. As a result of this tremendous body of work, even though Ferguson may not have a Bassmaster
Classic title of his own, he’s uniquely situated to advise anglers from all corners of the country (and
beyond) on how to approach Grand Lake this week.
“A lot of things have changed since 2004,” he said, referring to his last Classic. “There are different rules
and stuff. So much is different with social media and the internet, so you can do a lot of research from
home. I’d do everything I could that was legal.”
His one B.A.S.S. tournament on Grand, in the 1992 Oklahoma Invitational, didn’t produce a good
result, but it still subsequently informed his opinion of the big lake. That tournament was held in early
November under exceptionally frigid conditions and Jim Morton won it using a buzzbait.
“It was a really odd time to be there,” Ferguson recalled. “It was cold and it snowed. Because it was
freezing, I expected it to be a slow bite, but I drew Mark Davis and he had a crankbait bite going. At that
time, it was one of the latest (in the year) tournaments I’d fished. I would’ve thought it would be a slow
jig bite.”
Even though he was from the north country, the lessons he learned from Morton and Davis helped him
to better understand how fish react to cold weather and cold water. Of course there are times when the
bite does slow down tremendously and an angler’s presentation needs to match that pace, but at other
times it puts bass on the feed. He expects that if the weather is cold but relatively stable this week, that
may be the case in this Classic, too.
“The pros should be trying to find schools of fish in staging spots,” he opined. “The best way to find
them is with crankbaits and vibration baits. I’d look at the mouths of creeks, where the creek channels
swung up against them, or in the first bends of the creek arms.”
Even though he was already an expert on Michigan’s lakes by the time he fished Grand in the early 90s,
the tournament helped him to reconsider his home waters. Since then, he’s had some tremendous
days on Erie and St. Clair when the water was in the low 40s. “We picture 42 or 43 as cold,” he said.
“But fish don’t feel cold. It slows their metabolism down but they’ve still got to eat. The baitfish may act
differently and the fish set up differently, but you can still catch them on a football head jig, a Hula Grub
or a vibration bait or spoon.”
Whether you’re from Florida or Michigan or any point in between, in addition to assessing how the
bass will react to cold weather, it’s also important to understand how it affects you. After a lifetime of
guiding and tournament fishing, Ferguson put it bluntly: “When you know it’s going to be cold, if you
allow yourself to get cold you can’t function.” It’s an oft-stated point that bears repeating – layered
clothing makes a huge difference. “I put on Under Armour long johns, then sweatpants or jeans, and
then a rainsuit with insulated bibs.”
His footwear selection may surprise some anglers: he often uses Keen sandals throughout much of the
winter, at least until temperatures dip below the 30s. “I use wool socks, but your feet can get too tight
in boots. The sandals allow the blood to circulate, which keeps your feet warm. You’ll also need to have
warm gloves when running (the boat) as well as good fishing gloves. If you have all of that, you can focus
on the fishing.”
It’s important to eat and drink to keep the body warm, but Ferguson was honest when he said that he
drinks coffee in the boat “whether it’s 100 degrees or 20 degrees.”
For an angler who’s had success in many different corners of the country, Ferguson doesn’t believe that
home field advantage will play a huge role at Grand Lake.
“Not to take anything away from Jason (Christie) or Edwin (Evers),” he stated. “Local advantage can
definitely help, but I guarantee they’re not typically fishing those lakes in January and February, so it will
kind of be new water to them, too.”

Veteran Yamamoto pro and renowned bass guide Art Ferguson competed in four Bassmaster Classics. That alone is admirable but not exceptionally unusual. What is remarkable is that the four Classics he fished were on a quartet of incredibly diverse waterways.

In 1990, he fished the Classic on Virginia’s historic and tidal James River. Nine years later, his second Classic was held on the swampy and monstrous Louisiana Delta. The following year the big dance was on Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. Finally, in 2004, he fished the Classic on South Carolina’s Lake Wylie, a typical southern impoundment.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 07:32 Read more...
 

Gluszek Talks All Things Classic

E-mail Print PDF

authorpic-maglio



By TJ Maglio


February 20, 2013

There are 16 anglers in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic field making their first appearance in the sport’s
main event. Yamamoto angler Pete Gluszek won’t be one of them. He has fished two Classics prior
to this year’s derby, being held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake Feb 22-24. However, his most recent
appearance was the 1999 Classic on the Louisiana Delta. That 14-year absence is the second longest gap
ever between appearances and has allowed him an interesting perspective on what it means to qualify
for a chance at the ultimate prize.
“I’ve fished several other championships since my last Classic,” Gluszek mentions, “But this one is
special. With all the time I’ve been spending in the industry and on the educational side of the sport, I
forgot how great it is to be a Classic qualifier.”
So what kinds of things does Gluszek know now that he might not have in ‘99? “I really think it’s all
about expectations. My previous experience in this and other championship events has made me much
better at dealing with the distractions. Things like media work and spectator boats during the event,
but also the pre-classic distractions like getting a wrap done and jerseys ordered. In ’99, there were no
wraps and the event actually fished a lot more like any other tournament, so I’m glad I’ve had other
experiences in the interim.
Gluszek also cites his experience as the “Dean” of the Bass University as another thing that has helped
him prepare for the event. “I’ve been so busy running BU events all winter and that has probably helped
me keep the right level of focus on the event. It’s definitely possible for an angler to put too much focus
into a tournament and then lose their perspective. Running the Bass University has also allowed me
to become more comfortable with crowds, the media, and the industry which will also make me more
comfortable once we get to Tulsa.”
Preparation
Another difference between Gluszek in ‘99 and today is that has become a lot more relaxed and
focused, something he would have definitely pointed out if he could somehow speak to his younger-self
prior to the ’99 event. “I would have told that kid to just relax and fish hisstrengths.” Meaning that back
then, he was often more worried about his results or what everyone else was saying than the process of
getting there.
“In the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about how I win tournaments. When I’m fishing my best, I’m not
the high-energy, jump all around the lake type of guy. I call it a relaxed intensity, by which I am able to
completely focus on the process, which in turn leads to my success.”
Gluszek’s maturity, confidence, and experience are not the only things that have changed in fourteen
years. The event and even the sport itself are significantly different, which resulted in a much different
practice strategy than he could have attempted years ago.
“It’s amazing how much different the actual tournament process is when you compare it to a decade
ago. There are so many resources out there that can help you before you even lay eyes on the
tournament waters. It used to be that you go fish to find your fish. With advances like Google Earth and
the internet, you can get past tournament results and figure out what to expect before you even get
there.”
Gluszek did take a scouting trip before the lake went off limits and spent several days scouting for likely
locations throughout a variety of possible conditions. “I really just idled around and used side imaging,
which is another tool we didn’t have in ’99. I thought my pre-practice went really well and I was able to
break the lake down into different cover types. I have a ton of structure marked.”
Focus on Baits
In all the tactics discussions you are reading about leading up to the event, there is a lot of talk about
jerkbaits, jigs, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits… Might this be another year where plastics don’t weigh
heavily in the top-finisher’s arsenals?
Not so fast, says Gluszek, “A lot of that talk was farther out when we thought we were gonna get an
extremely cold winter and that water temps would be in the 30’s and 40’s. Barring a massive cold front
between now and then, the water temps will likely be in the 50’s somewhere, which I consider perfect
plastics weather.”
Two GYCB staples that Gluszek plans to employ on Grand Lake are the Senko and the Double Tail Hula
Grub. “I’ve been throwing Senkos for almost as long as they’ve been around and it’s a major confidence
bait for me. You can expect me to have at least a couple on the deck at the start of practice and with the
water being warmer than a lot of people thought, I anticipate Senkos will play more of a factor.”
The Double Tail Hula Grub is also one of Gluszek’s standbys and he plans to take a “real heavy - real
light” approach depending on the conditions. “If we get a cold front where the water temp is dropping;
that Hula Grub fished with really light weight is one of the best finesse baits out there. Contrastingly, if
the fish are staging on some deeper rocks and the weather stays consistent, I like to rig a Hula Grub up
on a ¾ or 1 ounce jighead and bump it around bluff walls and stuff like that.”
As far as color choice, Gluszek typically lets the water color make his choice for him, but as he found out
in pre-practice, Grand has water in almost any clarity you could ask for. “I was amazed at how diverse
the water color was when I was there the first time. I found some creeks that had some good color,
some that were slightly stained, and some that were pretty muddy, and that was during a relatively
stable weather period, so the whole spectrum of bait color is available for use.” Gluszek’s full array of
colors isn’t all that diverse though, and he says he’ll, “Be well stocked with blacks, green pumpkins, and
watermelons.”
Outlook
Overall, Gluszek feels about as confident as he can be going into the event, in part due to his maturation
and experience in previous tour level events, but also because he feels that he covered all his bases
during the months leading up to the derby. “If I do poorly in Tulsa, it won’t be because I didn’t put in
enough time studying maps, graphing structure, or planning my attack. I feel as prepared as I can be,
and as long as I fish with relaxed intensity and don’t try to get away from the things that work for me,
I’ve got a good chance to do really well.”

There are 16 anglers in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic field making their first appearance in the sport’s main event. Yamamoto angler Pete Gluszek won’t be one of them. He has fished two Classics prior to this year’s derby, being held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake Feb 22-24. However, his most recent appearance was the 1999 Classic on the Louisiana Delta. That 14-year absence is the second longest gap ever between appearances and has allowed him an interesting perspective on what it means to qualify for a chance at the ultimate prize.

“I’ve fished several other championships since my last Classic,” Gluszek mentions, “But this one is special. With all the time I’ve been spending in the industry and on the educational side of the sport, I forgot how great it is to be a Classic qualifier.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 04:19 Read more...
 

A Yelas Blueprint for Classic Success

E-mail Print PDF

robbins-authorpic12


By Pete Robbins

 

February 18, 2013

Jay Yelas may be one of the newest Yamamoto pro-staffers, but he’s an old sage when it comes to competing at the highest levels of professional bass fishing. Over the course of 20-plus years as a pro, he’s fished 16 Bassmaster Classics and nine FLW Cups. He’s widely recognized as a sure first-ballot hall-of-famer.

Nevertheless, he’s “only” won one championship, the 2002 Classic. That’s not a reflection of any shortcoming on Jay’s part. In fact, while the Classic’s small field makes it seem like a comparatively easy tournament to win, the caliber of the competition, along with other “X factors” makes it one of the hardest.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 08:04 Read more...
 


Page 28 of 63