“Troy and I win tournaments all during the day,” the recent water, and when I’m not fishing – I’m fishing. I’ve also caught fish inductee to the Freshwater Fishing Hall-of-Fame adds, “by fishing on darter heads, taken the fish off, thrown the darter head back out, the moment for eight hours. Our tournaments are won by grinding then put the fish in the livewell.” away.” He goes on to note the toll a full day of competition takes Siemantel is emphatic when it comes to the subject of doing on anglers. “Tournament fishing is a juggling the little things right, even during the closing min- act, and being mentally focused is big. A lot the Big utes. “Equipment, equipment, equipment! Besides of guys forget to eat and drink and it catches location and boat position, it’s something you can question is: up with them.” Siemantel stays hydrated with control. You’re not losing time, you’re saving time. Herbalife’s Liftoff, an energy drink with no calo- how do you You should be able to tie a knot in ten to fifteen sec- ries and plenty of vitamins. onds. Excuses are for guys who are not willing to win. Many anglers speed up as the clock winds keep your cool If you lose a fish in the last five minutes because you down. At times, this can be a mistake. When didn’t retie when you should have, you got lazy. Guys during the last he’s searching for a kicker, though, Gutierrez who are consistently successful have everything in not only fishes faster, but he also fishes big- hour of a tour- order.” ger. “I’m looking for a reaction bite from fish that aren’t feeding. I’ll fish a jig faster, I’ll fish a nament when cLock mAnAgemenT buzzbait faster, I’ll bulge a spinnerbait. I’ll not It takes time to learn to develop game plans, alter the pressure is only pick up the pace, but I’ll also pick up the them when conditions call for it, and avoid making size.” The 47-year old pro adds, however, that mounting to rash decisions as time runs short. As Bill Siemantel he can change his approach depending on the remarks, the best anglers fish the fish and don’t care make some- situation. “I can also fish excruciatingly slowly what anyone else is doing. He advises sticking with if I have to.” the fundamentals of structure, water column and bass thing happen? Siemantel notes another factor anglers can behavior in guiding you to where and how you’re fish- use to stave off panic during that last hour be- ing and, with experience, positive results will follow. Both pros stress the importance of learning to fore weigh-in – “It tends to be a great feeding trust your instincts and recognizing that not everything is under time. Look for main lake points with wind blowing onto them and your control. And, as Greg Gutierrez points out, success can be a mudline. If you need another fish to fill your limit, run from one the best medicine of all. “I do second-guess myself at times,” he point to another, drag something like a dropshot Roboworm in Ox- admits, “but not when I’m catching fish.” BW blood Light, and you’ll catch a 2-lb’er. Especially in the afternoon, it only takes ten to fifteen minutes to catch a limit fish.” The 20-year L.A. City firefighter goes on to mention another hidden benefit of this last-ditch approach. “The funny thing is, this is how you can find a pattern. Get on major points with wind and mudlines. It’s extremely simple yet a lot of guys overlook it.” There’s no doubt that pressure can have big effects on de- cision-making. The choice of whether to take the time to retie for a bent hook, so-so knot or to change-up lures, which an hour earlier would have been a no-brainer, suddenly becomes a stom- ach-churner. Gutierrez has a couple of simple tricks he uses to maximize his fishing time. “I’ll throw out a dropshot with another rod while I retie a bait I want to use. That way, I have a bait in the
Photo courtesy of BASS Communications.
May/June 2009 »