Fun & Games

Trivia Games


Contact Us




John's Journal... Entry 243, Day 1


Establishing the Pattern

Editor's Note: The most-difficult question for a bass fisherman to answer is, "How do you know when to change lures, when to change water and when to change fishing techniques?" Often the difference in catching bass and not catching bass is your ability to know when to change. Making the right decisions at the correct times will spell victory or defeat for a tournament bass fisherman or a weekend angler. On Table Rock Lake in Missouri, during the second week of March, Mark Davis' ability to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em was the reason he won $100,000 in the BASS tournament there. If you'll read each day's upload this week, you'll see how Davis made those critical decisions at the right time each day to catch more bass than the best 150 fishermen in the nation. This week's information may be some of the most important you'll learn about catching bass. So, don't miss a day this week.

Question: Mark, what did you learn on the first day of practice at Table Rock Lake?
Davis: When we arrived at to Table Rock Lake, the water was cold and clear. On the practice day, I was catching quite a few keepers using a Strike King Series 3 brown-crawdad-colored crankbait. I tried a lot of different lures, but I got the most bites on that lure. I was fishing the bait on a spinning rod with 8-pound-test line paralleling bluff banks.

Question: Why is that a good pattern for March?
Davis: During the second week of March, the water is still cold in Missouri. The bass can easily catch that small bait and eat it, and they seem to be holding off those deep bluff banks.

Question: What type retrieve were you using?
Davis: I used a medium retrieve and tried to bounce the crankbait off the large, underwater boulder rocks. When the lure hit the rocks, I'd pause the bait and twitch it slowly, like a stunned baitfish. The bass would most often take the bait either on a steady slow retrieve or just after I'd bumped a rock and paused the lure.

Question: How many bass did you catch and release during practice?
Davis: I averaged catching about 10 fish a day during practice. We could only weigh in five bass, so by catching 10 a day I felt that I could cull to my biggest stringer. The keeper bass on this lake had to be 15 inches, and during the entire tournament, I never caught a bass that weighed more than 3-1/2 pounds. Most of the bass I kept weighed 2- to 3-pounds each.

Question: Why did you choose the Series 3 crawdad-colored crankbait?
Davis: That crawfish color is a good early spring color to fish. Also, I was fishing rocks, which is where crawfish live, and the water was extremely clear. I feel that the natural brown-colored crawfish pattern seemed to match the color and the type of bait on which the bass should be feeding.

Question: Why did you choose the brown color instead of the green or the red?
Davis: When the water's gin clear as it is at Table Rock, brown is one of my favorite colors because brown is the color of the rocks where the crawfish hide.

Question: At what depth were you running the lure?
Davis: I was trying to keep it at 6- to 7-feet deep. I felt that this depth was where most of the fish were holding and that if I had the right technique, the correct lure and the best color, I'd win the tournament. Because I caught at least 10 good keepers a day using this pattern, I felt pretty confident that I could run this same pattern every day and win. But, I also knew, at this time of the year, the water and the weather conditions could change drastically and that I might have to adjust my fishing to match the water and the weather.

Visit the Strike King Web site to learn more.




Check back each day this week for more about MARK DAVIS - BASS FISHING'S TOUGHEST QUESTIONS ANSWERED ...

Day 1 - Establishing the Pattern
Day 2 - Throw It All Out The Window
Day 3 - Throw It All Out The Window Again
Day 4 - Having To Share Water
Day 5 - Knowing When To Hold 'Em And When To Fold 'Em Pays Off

John's Journal