Secrets of Longtime Bass Fishing Pro Larry Nixon
Day 1: Pro Larry Nixon Shares Some of His Bass Fishing Secrets
Editor’s Note: Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Arkansas, began guiding fishermen before he was in high school. He joined the professional bass fishermen's ranks 37 years ago. Nixon became professional bass fishing's first $1 million winner and today has earned more than $3 million fishing B.A.S.S. and FLW circuits, not including sponsorship money. He was named Bass Angler of the Year twice and won the Classic. A member of the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame, Nixon, also is one of the most-respected anglers in tournament bass fishing history and still is ranked in the top 50 bass anglers in the world by BassFan.com. Nixon’s favorite technique generally is fishing a worm, and his favorite body of water to bass fish is Toledo Bend. When he’s not fishing, Nixon can be found deer hunting.
Why do many of the nation's most well-known and older tournament bass fishermen continue to outperform some of today's young hotshots? Larry Nixon has won every major bass tournament in the nation and consistently finishes in the money on the FLW circuit he’s fishing now. You can use Larry Nixon's secrets to improve your bass fishing - whether you're a bass-club tournament competitor or a weekend bass enthusiast who just wants to catch more bass on every outing.
Secret No. 1: Shrink the Lake
No one can fish an entire lake. Nixon recommends you pick one or two areas you have confidence in and decide to fish them. “If the bass aren't where you expect to find them, then go back to those places two or three times during the day. Look for wind and water changes or any-other changes in the environment that may cause bass to bite on those spots. I catch more bass fishing a few sites thoroughly rather than attempting to fish each place on the lake that I think may hold bass.”
Secret No. 2: Use Desert Tactics
According to Nixon, “I call summertime fishing from the middle of June through August desert fishing.” During the summertime, bass tend to hold out in the middle of a lake on no visible cover. If you fish a big reservoir, the wide expanse of water that goes unbroken in all directions looks like a desert. Nixon believes that during the summer months to catch big bass you often must fish offshore on underwater structure.
“I like to fish bottom breaks that are from 7- to 20-feet deep that drop-off into a main river channel or a deep creek channel,” Nixon explains. "I want to locate a very-vertical drop where the fish can come up from extremely-deep water into shallow water quickly. An ideal bottom break is one that is really close to a spawning area. One summer I was fishing for bass in the hottest time of the year when I caught my first bass on a bottom break where the bottom dropped off from 8 to 18 feet. Apparently the bass had moved up and were holding on the stumps on the edge of the break. The big bass came off an underwater point that had a cutback or an indentation in the back side of the point.”
Nixon likes to fish with his favorite summertime bass lure, a 1/4-ounce black-and-blue jig with an olive-green trailer. “Although the water may not be stained in the summertime, the visibility may be only about 1 to 2 feet,” Nixon mentions. “So I chose a jig that is easy for the bass to see in that desert.”
Secret No. 3: Fish the Zone
“During the summer months, I've found that bass will hold within 20 feet of a bottom breakline," Nixon says. “That 20 feet from the breakline is what I call The Zone. The bass usually will be on top of the break feeding, or they'll be suspended just off the lip of the break in deep water.”
Unlike many other anglers I've fished with, Nixon likes to make short casts - no more than 20 or 25 feet from the boat. Generally bass fishermen will make long casts to the shallow side of a creek channel, hopping the jig along the bottom of the shallow side, bringing the jig over the lip of the break and then hopping it along the bottom. However, Nixon uses an underhanded pitching technique to fish The Zone. “If you're casting within 25 feet of a breakline, you're keeping your bait in the fish's strike zone longer than if you're making long casts,” Nixon advises.
To learn more about bass fishing, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro,” “How to Win a Bass Tournament,” “Catch the Most and Biggest Bass in Any Lake: 18 Pro Fishermen’s Best Tactics, “Hot Weather Bass Tactics” and “How to Become A Tournament Bass Fisherman” or go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the names of the books, and download them to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.
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About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.
Tomorrow: More of Pro Angler Larry Nixon’s Secrets – Fishing Fast and Prospecting for and Connecting with Bass