VanDam on More of What the Pros Taught Him
Editor's Note: I'm glad you came to visit Strike King's webpage to learn better tactics from Strike King pros. Let me tell how other pros have helped me fish better.
Denny Brauer isn't only the master of flipping, a relatively easy technique to learn, but he's also an expert at skipping and pitching. I attended one of Brauer's seminars years ago and learned the basic mechanics of the pitches and skips he uses to get his lures in and under cover like boat docks where the average angler can't fish.
To cast like this, I learned you had to have the magnets in your casting reel set a certain way to keep the reel from backlashing when the jig hit the water and then skipping to the back of the boat house or dock.
I watched how Brauer held his rod, how he set his reel up, how he moved his arm forward to make a skip, and how he got the jig to go where he wanted. I learned how to use the skipping technique that I utilize in my fishing today from that seminar with Brauer.
From Rick Clunn, I learned how to thoroughly fish a spot and make bass bite. Clunn showed me that if you believed a bass was in a bush, on points or around some type of structure, then you should work that piece of structure from both the shallow side to the deep side of the structure into shallow water.
If you still didn't get a bite, Clunn suggested that you change lures and continue to work that spot until you believed a bass wasn't there or until you made the bass bite your lure.
Tommy Martin taught me how to Carolina-rig a worm and how to use a 7-foot graphite rod with a soft tip to feel the lead as it moved along the bottom. I also learned from him how to feel every type of structure the lead touched.
Before I fished with Martin, I would try to set the hook as soon as the bass picked up a Carolina-rigged worm, just like I'd set the hook when I fished a worm rigged Texas-style. However, Martin showed me how to wait and make sure the bass had the worm all the way in its mouth before I set the hook.
Every pro angler I've fished with, read about, watched on television or listened to at seminars has taught me a useful technique or unusual strategy to improve my fishing. From the other pros, I've learned how to be a pro and how to continually improve my fishing ability. I believe you will too.