Anglers never should overlook the power of provocation, according to Ray Scott, founder of B.A.S.S. and father of competitive bass fishing. That lesson was emphatically driven home to him while on Alabama’s Lake Eufaula with Harold Sharp, his long-time tournament director.
“I was fishing the front and running the trolling motor,” Ray remembers. “Harold was in the back and yet somehow he was catching twice as many bass as I was. Finally, I asked him what his secret was.
“He said, ‘You’re making them mad and then I’m catching them.’
“There’s no other fish in the world like a bass,” Ray continues, “and many times provocation is more important than ‘Let’s have lunch.’ Yes, bass eat when they’re hungry, but they also strike to protect their territory. I’ve seen a bass hit a bait, then swim a little ways and spit it out. It’s a primary instinct.
“But you have to remember that what provokes that bass won’t stay the same. It could change in 2 minutes or 10 days. And it’s not because they think that we’re trying to catch them. They’re just doing what bass do.
“The guy who slows down and studies the fish, who can put the numbers together to figure them out, will do better than the others.”
(The above is an excerpt from my first book, Better Bass Fishing--- Secrets from Headwaters by a Bassmaster Senior Writer. It's a few years old now, but its information is just as timely today. Focus is on the "big picture" of catching fish by understanding bass behavior, patterns, weather, etc., with lots of short how-to "secrets" added. My more recent book, Why We Fish, explores the many reasons that we live and love to fish through 50 essays. Both are available at Amazon.)