(Editor’s note: Starting immediately, FLW Tour pro Adrian Avena has agreed to make regular blog contributions approximately once a month on FLWOutdoors.com. Going forward, bass-fishing fans will be treated to a wide array of blogs from a host of different FLW Tour pros on FLWOutdoors.com leading up to the 2014 season and beyond.)
There hasn't been a tournament this past season where I’ve started with less than 10 rods on the deck of my BassCat. Half way through the season, I even went as far as installing larger rod straps because who knows what kind of conditions to expect? I mean, meteorologists get paid to be wrong each and every day!
I was told a long time ago by Elite Series Pro and Classic Champion Mike Iaconelli, "Think like a bass." That sounds like something he would say, huh? Believe it or not, it has helped me more than one could imagine.
On the water, every cast brings a different scenario. A point may come up, there might be a rock on a bank that you stumble upon, a fish may have just busted through the water or you suddenly see a brush pile come up on your Lowrance that you just ran over. The list of different fishing possibilities goes on and on, most of which require a different presentation depending on the circumstances. As a result, having the bait of choice at your feet ready to be picked up and fired out there with only the bend of your knees could result in a game-changing bass.
I am a firm believer in tournament fishing. Time is money! The less time I spend re-tying lures and the more casts I make with "productive" baits, the better chance I have to perform well. (And by productive baits, I mean a particular technique that suites the exact cast!)
In the past, there were countless times throughout a single day of fishing when I would be casting just to cast while my trolling motor was on high heading to the next objective - whether it be a dock, lay down, point, etc. I have found that in the past few years, picking up a fast-moving bait to throw in between those special targets can result in a bonus fish or two. For an example, if I am fishing a row of docks and they are 50-plus yards apart, I'll hit the key sections of the dock, then kick my MinnKota trolling motor to 70 percent and throw a crankbait suitable for that particular water depth, maintaining bottom contact until I reach the next dock.
The point is when you’re fishing competitively, you have to be ready for any and all scenarios – and be prepared to deviate from the script at a moment’s notice. Because, ultimately, that’s what separates the good pros from the average ones.