It is with great pleasure that I introduce Adam Hinkle to the Tacticalbassin community. Adam is a close friend and a top-notch angler. He excels in the pressured lakes and reservoirs of Southern California and is known for his ability to adapt to changing conditions. One day you may see him on the boat, the next day he’s climbing through the brush approaching pressured fish from shore. He thinks outside of the box and that’s good enough to gain him a soapbox on this site.
We recognize that not everyone can afford a shiny bass boat. For that matter, not everyone wants a shiny boat. With that in mind, it seems only fair to bring an angler on board who not only fishes from shore but excels at catching trophy bass with his feet planted firmly on the ground.
The truth is, that introduction does the guy no justice. He’s been featured in several magazines, has caught numerous trophy bass and even landed an 87 lb Blue Catfish on 4 lb line. Seriously, you need to listen to what this guy has to say. With that, I’ll let Adam take it away.
You are the biggest, oldest and wisest bass in your lake. You are king of your water and have seen every trick in the book. As soon as you hear that familiar sound of an outboard motor cranking in the morning, your guard goes up. You are wise and know that all of these sounds – sonar ping, trolling motors humming, footsteps on the bottom of boats and the slapping of water on a hull – are signs of warning. That trophy hunter, floating above you on the surface a hundred yards away, doesn’t have a chance because you spotted him long before his trolling motor was dropped in the water and even before he thought about making his first cast.
Today, something is different. The trout swimming your way, bumping through all of those rocks looking absolutely delicious, just appeared out of nowhere. It doesn’t seem completely normal, because no real trout would swim right at you this arrogantly. This is just too easy of a meal, right? But there’s no sign of warning, no boat, no footsteps, no locker slam, no sonar ping, no noise whatsoever. Just a stupid, little trout about to swim right into your face. You are not going to pass up this opportunity.
This is exactly why most of my largest bass have been caught walking the bank. Those fish had no idea I was there. Big fish, as you know, are smart, very smart. They really have seen everything in the book. They know better than to ignore signs of warning, but when you take all of those warning signs away, they become vulnerable.
Fishing the swimbait from the bank is how I learned to trophy hunt. I didn’t get nearly as many bites walking the bank as I do from a boat because I was limited to how much water I could cover, but the bites I got were big, really big. I was able to focus on the most prime spots on the lake and spend more of my time fishing slowly in big fish water. There was no paying attention to GPS points, no watching my meter, no fighting the wind with the trolling motor. I had complete control of my bait, I knew I had set myself up in productive water and I knew exactly what was happening on the end of my line. But most of all, those fish didn’t have a clue I was there.
The next time you want to get out for a few hours and toss the big bait, follow these steps:
-Think about a few specific spots at your favorite lake you can reach from the bank that you know big fish frequent.
-Pick a lake that is pressured by boaters. This is what this whole idea is about – taking advantage of a giant pressured bass’ vulnerability.
-Grab a rod, a few baits, a camera, a scale and eat your Wheaties because you’re going to need them!