UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

A new book, a new challenge

Walleye Trolling: Tackle, Techniques and Systems Used by North America’s Best Walleye Tournament Pros and Guides.

Professional bass anglers like to say that a bass is a bass, wherever it lives. That's true. But of course, we all know that not all bass act the same; and each requires a unique approach based on the conditions. That's sort of how the publishing industry works. As a writer and editor, I've helped publish more than 100 magazine issues, and I've worked on dozens of brochures, event guides, pamphlets, journals and features along the way. And despite all those experiences, no challenge in my career has ever matched the project I recently completed. About a week ago, I received the first copies of my new book called, Walleye Trolling: Tackle, Techniques and Systems Used by North America's Best Walleye Tournament Pros and Guides, which I co-authored and self-published with FLW magazine contributor and professional walleye guide Ross Robertson. Ross and I have worked together on many magazine stories the last few years. We've developed many mutual contacts in the walleye fishing industry. Yet with all that prior experience, this project was absolutely the most intense and demanding learning experience of my career - and it is now one of the highlights. If you're interested in walleye fishing, I'd love for you to stop at Ross' website, bigwaterfishing.com, and check out the book. It's full of in-depth descriptions about how expert walleye anglers Tom Keenan, Bruce Samson, John Gillman, Todd Frank, Mike Gofron, Brett King, Joe Okada, Johnnie Candle, Mark Brumbaugh, Chip Cartwright and Ron Levitan Jr. use walleye fishing's most effective trolling systems. There are also cool behind-the-scenes stories about major tournament milestones, prototype lures, road-trip blunders and tournament history from all of the pros I just mentioned, plus industry legends Al Lindner, Gary Roach and Dave Csanda. That's the only sales pitch I'll give you here. This space isn't for pushing products. To me, it's a place to share my fishing industry experiences. So I'll tell you what this experience was like. Ross and I completed this entire project on our own, minus a few photos here and there and the illustration work. We did the research, the writing, the editing and the design. We worked with the printer and set up a distributor. We figured out all the ins and outs of selling and dealing with retailers. We are doing the marketing and promotion. And we did it all in just over a year, when many authors take a year just to do the writing. Talk about a whirlwind. I can't tell you how many nights I stared into a computer monitor until 11 or 12 o'clock, or how many Saturdays I spent sweating under the hot lights of a photo studio. Throughout the process, I drew my motivation from the reason why we took on this project: We wanted to give walleye anglers a realistic source of how-to information that wasn't filled with the same old regurgitated "how-to fluff" that is often polished, re-packaged and spit out the door of a factory publishing house just to make a buck. This book is all real. The information is heavy. It's detailed. We did it exactly the way we wanted to do it. As a journalist, it was liberating, albeit exhausting. I won't tell you that you can read it, then go to the lake and hammer 30-inchers. That's not the point. What we wrote about was how elite trolling systems work, so that average anglers can take the information to their lakes and put it all together. And I plan to incorporate that same strategy in FLW Bass Fishing magazine. I'll still tell you how Larry Nixon and Luke Clausen caught fish at the last tournament, but I'm also going to dig deeper to find out how they arrived at that pattern, and how their experiences can help you catch more fish. That's one other lesson I learned in this process. While magazines and books are not the same, and each has its own set of challenges, in the end, the way we research, write, edit and design information about fishing is just about the same in any print project. The goal is to give the reader a thoughtful, educational experience. And if you're passionate about communicating your message and are willing to work hard, you often end up with a really great printed piece. I hope our readers believe we have accomplished just that.

Tags: blog  curtis-niedermier 

/tips/2015-08-21-schenck-to-retire

Schenck to Retire

There were tears. There were moments of silence. And then there was a great applause. That was the reaction from the crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena, when Indiana veteran Shad Schenck announced his retirement from professional fishing near the end of the day-two weigh-in at the Forrest Wood Cup. Schenck cited the demand of balancing full-time work life with full-time fishing life as one of his primary reasons for stepping down from the Tour. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-08-17-a-day-with-the-hawks

A Day with the Hawks

About 1,400 miles separate Roy Hawk’s home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., from Hot Springs, Ark., but Hawk’s path to get to Hot Springs for the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup has stretched far beyond that. The Western pro’s FLW profile shows a career of ups and downs, of trials and errors. He’s fished a mishmash of tournaments, from two seasons on the Walmart FLW Tour to Bass Fishing League qualifiers in the South to Rayovac FLW Series events in the middle of the nation to dozens of tournaments in the Western states. Generally, he’s had good success. In 77 FLW appearances, Hawk has earned almost $400,000. He won back-to-back Western Division Rayovac events in 2009. That’s why out West, Hawk is known as one of the region’s best. Elsewhere, however, he’s not yet had that keystone win that’s needed to make his a household name in the bass fishing industry. Maybe that all changes this week. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-16-cup-practice-begins

Cup Practice Begins

Welcome to Hot Springs, Ark., and the Forrest Wood Cup. Today, Sunday, marks the start of the official three-day practice period for the 2015 Cup. Right now is when pros start to piece together the puzzle that is summertime fishing on Lake Ouachita. To find out how the pros are preparing for this championship event, I head down to Brady Mountain Resort way too early in the morning to pester a few of them before they back their boats into the lake. I find out that for some pros, this morning is the first time they’ve launched a boat in Lake Ouachita this season – or ever. For others that made pre-practice trips, it’s the first time they’ve seen the lake since it went off limits earlier this month. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-08-13-british-bbq-star-heading-to-hot-springs

British BBQ Star Heading to Hot Springs

Now, a little barbecue and a little bass fishing are nothing out of the ordinary for Southern folks in the summertime. But Shea’s not Southern. He’s not even American. Shea is one of the premier British competitive cookers, and he’s traveling with his crew – the British Bulldogs BBQ team – across the Atlantic to test his slow-cooking mettle against some of the very best pitmasters in an event sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS). READ MORE »

/tips/2015-08-07-shifting-gears

Shifting Gears

I am stripping the big line off the Halos and re-spooling with 6- and 8-pound-test Berkley flouro, and reflecting on how much fun it was catching all those fish with all these relatively new baits, how hard some of the strikes were and how easy it was catching fish on baits that they haven't seen before. Well, that's all over now – back to smallmouth fishing. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-06-ouachita-pre-practice-report

Ouachita Pre-Practice Report

Lake Ouachita officially went off-limits to all Forrest Wood Cup competitors on Monday, Aug. 3. That means that from now until the official three-day practice period opens on Aug. 16, no Cup competitor can be on the lake and competitors may only gather information about Ouachita from publicly available resources and fellow qualifiers. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-29-do-you-really-need-so-much-stuff-

Do You Really Need So Much Stuff?

Lures and clothes have a lot in common. Just like clothing evolves and new styles come out and old styles come back, so goes fishing lures. The difference between the two, however, is that you can outgrow your old jeans, but you can never get rid of your old baits. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-22-how-to-fish-the-prop-bee

How to Fish the Prop Bee

The Brian’s Bees Prop Bee isn’t the most popular topwater bait on the Walmart FLW Tour. Rather, it’s more limited in scope. It’s a niche bait. When a tournament falls into the window where the Prop Bee shines, however, it’s one of those “you-gotta-have-it” baits that is practically a shoo-in to produce a few top-10 finishes. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-22-never-miss-a-bass-again

Never Miss a Bass Again

Do you ever listen at the weigh-in at how many guys talk about all the fish they missed? I can’t accept that it’s part of the job at hand. It’s one of my pet peeves. Most of us would do much better if we would just ask the simple question “why?” In prefishing we have already done most of the hard work. During the tournament, a missed fish can’t be accepted. I consider it a good tournament when I come back to the ramp with no missed fish, regardless of my finish. How does that happen? It starts way before the tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-cool-new-electronics-at-icast-2015

Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-13-no-patterns-no-transducers

No Patterns, No Transducers

In his fifth season on the Walmart FLW Tour, John Cox nearly won the 2015 Angler of the Year award while fishing from a 19-foot aluminum bass boat with no depth finder transducer. He fished only shallow – more or less – made four top 20s and came up 14 points shy of Scott Martin’s winning AOY point total. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-10-5-frog-tactics-that-work-now

5 Frog Tactics that Work Now

Beyond the simple joy of slamming hooks into the mouth of a shallow, surface-feeding bass, frogs also offer technical advantages that allow anglers to capitalize on some of the best big-bass action of the summer. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-08-a-bass-is-a-bass-but-not-always

A Bass is a Bass, But Not Always

Amigos, as you may remember, we left the past blog with a big question mark on the well-known saying, “A bass is a bass, no matter what.” Well, it’s time to give you a different point of view. A lot of you, while reading these lines, might start questioning my ideas. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-06-from-kayak-to-bass-boat

From Kayak to Bass Boat

Like many anglers, I am a fanatic about my equipment for the things I do. For example, I’m a four-time world champion whitewater kayaker and have won three of them in a boat of my design. I started Jackson Kayak to take kayak design to the next level and to do things that the bigger company I was working for wasn’t willing to do. I am also a long-time bass fisherman, which led me to fishing 2015 Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-06-more-than-a-fisherman

More Than a Fisherman

The competitive fishing world is a small one, and when narrowed down to the competitive bass fishing world, it is even smaller in the grand scheme of things. This, of course, isn’t to say that this small group doesn’t have an absolutely huge impact. It does. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-03-scott-canterbury-fireworks-fanatic

Scott Canterbury: Fireworks Fanatic

If you’re looking to put together an impressive Independence Day celebration this year, you might seek the consultative advice of Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury. He happens to be a professional when it comes to fireworks. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-07-01-the-no-excuse-guide-

The "No Excuse" Guide

Chatter can be dock talk, personal abusive talk, hater talk, fan talk and everything in between. The list goes on. I truly believe tournament fishing is all a mental game. I feel that the most successful anglers know how to tune it all out and fish in the zone. It is crucial to know how to tune out all the chatter and shut up and fish. READ MORE »