A summary of bass fishing in central Indiana in 2011 from the perspective of Brian Waldman

A summary of bass fishing in central Indiana in 2011 from the perspective of Brian Waldman

The sidebar entitled "About Catch Rates" in Ralph Manns'article in the In-Fisherman's Winter 2011/2012 issue sparked a considerable amount of discussion among some members of the Finesse News Network. Manns wrote that "creel survey and tournament data demonstrate that average bass catch rates are around 0.25 bass per hour." In the minds of many members of the Finesse News Network, as well as practitioners of Midwest Finesse that the late Chuck Woods created in the 1950s and 1960s, a catch rate of 0.25 bass per hour is appalling.

The Midwest Finesse anglers and members of the Finesse News Network get their frames of reference of what constitutes appalling, average and excellent bassfishing from the logs and diaries kept by anglers such as Brian Waldman of Coatesville, Indiana, who is part of the Finesse News Network.

In a December 31 e-mail to the Finesse News Network, he wrote:  "The 2011 bass season is in the books, and it ended on a nearly perfect trip on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31), my partner and I caught 108 bass in five hours of fishing. About 75% of those were caught on the finesse hair jig."


His e-mail also included a statistical summation of his entire year, which noted that he fished for bass 82 times and for a total of 260 hours. The average length of each trip was three hours, 10 minutes. He caught 2,305 bass, which is an average 8.86 bass per hour or one bass every six minutes and 46 seconds. Fifty-three percent were caught by employing finesse tactics — primarily small hair jigs.  On 17 of his outings, he caught 50 or more bass, and he said:  "Since I primarily fish alone, my target for every trip is to catch at least 50 bass."


His e-mail also explained the method he employed to catch 47% of the 2,305 bass. "They were caught by power fishing, but using a strategy I call sucker-shot fishing. Sucker-shot fishing is basically trying to call your shot in advance of a trip, using tactics, history and timing to capitalize on short-term bites with more traditional power techniques. If I hit the right lake at the right time with the right technique, I can end up with some good numbers. For example, during the post-spawn, I use Pop-R's, Spooks, floating worms. In the early summer, I focus on bass congregating on ledges, and I use deep crankbaits and football jigs. During the fall, I work with spinnerbaits and buzzbaits to catch bass that are foraging on gizzard shad on or near the surface. Then in the early winter, I use a jerkbait.   If I guess wrong and the power bite isn't on, then I quickly switch to finesse."

He primarily fishes six lakes within a 30-mile radius of his home. They are either flatland or hill-land impoundments; they range in size from 100 acres to 2,060 acres; five are public and one is private. Gizzard-shad, bluegill and various invertebrates are the primary forage for the bass.

After examining the summary of  Waldman's past year, readers of this blog can readily see why member of the Finesse News Network and devotees of Midwest Finesse tactics were astonished and even aghast when they read Manns' sidebar.  In sum, if anglers want to catch a lot more than 0.25 bass per hour, they ought read about Waldman's tactics in the  November 18, 2011, blog: https://www.in-fisherman.com/2011/11/18/the-manifold-virtues-of-the-small-hair-jig-according-to-brian-waldman-an-update and  in the November 17, 2011, blog: https://www.in-fisherman.com/2011/11/17/the-manifold-virtues-of-the-small-hair-jig-according-to-brian-waldman.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Awesome Spoon Bluegill System

Awesome Spoon Bluegill System

Check out this deadly spoon system for big bluegills introduced by one of In-Fisherman's readers.

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead gets new product details from Simms Fishing Product's John Frazier about the new waterproof 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch.

Spider Rig Crappies

Spider Rig Crappies

Doug Stange employs one of the most effective crappie systems ever.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Everything you need to know about popular catfish species and how to catch them on proven riggings. Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Everything you need to know about popular catfish species and how to catch them on proven...

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options. Other Fish

Best Carp Baits Today

Dan Johnson - June 29, 2018

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

Fish it on your favorite neko rig, wacky rig, or shaky head. Midwest Finesse

Berkley Fishing's Powerbait Flute Worm

Ned Kehde - February 04, 2020

Fish it on your favorite neko rig, wacky rig, or shaky head.

The Steady Swimmer is endowed with a paddle- or boot-style tail. Midwest Finesse

Venture Lures' Steady Swimmer

Ned Kehde - March 20, 2020

The Steady Swimmer is endowed with a paddle- or boot-style tail.

Here is what we discovered about the 1/16-ounce Lazer Sharp Pro-V Finesse Jig. Midwest Finesse

Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle's Lazer Sharp Pro-V Finesse Jig

Ned Kehde - March 03, 2020

Here is what we discovered about the 1/16-ounce Lazer Sharp Pro-V Finesse Jig.

The ExoSwim is adorned with a paddle-like tail. Midwest Finesse

Biospawn's 3.25-inch ExoSwim

Ned Kehde - February 14, 2020

The ExoSwim is adorned with a paddle-like tail.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.