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

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

Minus System Crankbaits for Largemouths

Minus System Crankbaits for Largemouths

In-Fisherman Editor-In-Chief, Doug Stange demonstrates the use of DT Fat Minus crankbaits for largemouth bass.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

8 Best Catfish Rigs - When, Where and How to Use Them

In-Fisherman

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...


Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at catching Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you can Other Fish

Must-Have Striped Bass Tackle

Rick Bach - May 04, 2017

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you...

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

Some anglers are heralding it as being a mind-boggling and state-of-the-art soft-plastic worm. Midwest Finesse

Mann's Bait Company's SpringR Worm

Ned Kehde - July 02, 2020

Some anglers are heralding it as being a mind-boggling and state-of-the-art soft-plastic worm.

Z-Man Fishing Products has resurrected one of the great cornerstones of Midwest finesse fishing. Midwest Finesse

Z-Man Fishing Products' OG Mushroom Jighead

Ned Kehde - June 18, 2020

Z-Man Fishing Products has resurrected one of the great cornerstones of Midwest finesse...

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 18 logs. Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2020

Ned Kehde - July 06, 2020

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 18 logs.

Here is what we discovered about the 2.75- and 3.75-inch Essential Swimmer. Midwest Finesse

Venture Lures' Essential Swimmer

Ned Kehde - May 19, 2020

Here is what we discovered about the 2.75- and 3.75-inch Essential Swimmer.

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.

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now