BassWestUSA - September/October, 2009, Page 51

kered with ev- ery traditional bait with virtually no luck. Finally, near the end of the week, I pitched a 1/8 ounce dart headed worm on 6-pound line up un- der a dock and I saw a bass cautiously fol- low my bait down before committing. It struck me. That fish wanted my bait to move as slowly as possible. He wanted a light, small, subtle approach. If you have been fishing for more than a few years you have heard the sage ones in our sport tell you stories about finicky bites such as this. It is, however, difficult to truly learn the lesson unless you have lived it and experienced the phenomenon yourself. “Sage,” would be the exact word I would use to describe Trinity Lake guide, John Gray. John taught me how to bass fish years ago. I can still hear him saying in his deep, gravely, Maine accent “Don’t move ya bait! Let it sit ‘they’ until ya can’t stand it. Less is ‘moh’!” Incidentally, it took me a few years, but I was finally able to fully deconstruct the number one rule in Maine speech: you never pronounce the “r” in the back half of a word. Hence, ‘park the car in the yard’ becomes, ‘pahk the cah in the yahd’. Back to the problem at hand: not moving your bait is much easier said than done for a beginner. Like many things in life and in bass fishing, those words went in one ear and out the other - or so I thought. A few years later I can remember sharing a boat in another Pro-Am event with Jim Conlow. Jim fished profes-

September/October 2009