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/2015-04-24-blog-east-vs-west

Blog: East vs. West

I’m not going to say the West is better than the East, or vice-versa. However, I am going to say that where fishing is concerned, there are some distinct differences between the two. The list is long and I’m sure that you can think of many additional differences, but here are a few things I have found that separates the two locales. For the purposes of this blog, let’s make the dividing line the Mississippi River although I think we should include Texas with the East. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-blog-the-bucket-list

Blog: The Bucket List

I lived my first 25 years in the Midwest, and I used to get horrible cabin fever this time of year. Sitting in front of a television and watching Jimmy, Hank, Roland and Bill catch monster bass on a spinnerbait on every single cast only made it worse. READ MORE »

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20 Questions with Ray Hanselman

Ray Hanselman is on fire. The Del Rio, Texas, pro won back-to-back Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournaments to start the 2015 season. His first win was in February on Lake Amistad, which is Hanselman’s home lake and where he runs a guide service. His second win came last week on Sam Rayburn. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-15-the-spawn-is-on-at-grand-lake

The Spawn is on at Grand Lake

When the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division competitors arrived in Grove, Okla., to start practice for the 2015 opener on Grand Lake this week, they didn’t have to look far to figure out the predominant pattern. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-blog-back-in-the-groove

Blog: Back in the Groove

It feels good to be in full swing of the tournament season again. We just finished the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake, and it was an excellent event. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-5-pivotal-moments-in-my-career

5 Pivotal Moments in my Career

The FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake marked the beginning of my senior campaign. While it was great to get on some open water for the first time in months (though we didn’t finish very well), it also had me looking back at five events that, more than any others, led me to this point. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-a-year-of-new-firsts

A Year of New Firsts

There are a lot of firsts in my life now: my first full year on the Walmart FLW Tour, the first time not to fish any full B.A.S.S. circuit in many years, the first time to fish with co-anglers in a long while, the first time to compete at Beaver Lake, and so on. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-10-up-then-down-again

Up, Then Down Again

The highs and lows in this sport are amazing. They are amazing and sometimes hard to deal with. Sometimes you just have to test yourself on how thick your skin really is. For example, consider my highs and lows in the last few months. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-07-sweet-home-alabama

Sweet Home Alabama

Hey everyone, I'm just getting back and caught up from the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake. The lake was fishing like never before, and all the fish have grown up quickly on those blueback herring. Now that I've been back home a week and watched all the videos and read all the articles about the top 10 anglers I can say I have zero regrets! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-02-when-everything-comes-together

When Everything Comes Together

Dave Lefebre describes what baits and techniques he used to win the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake in this week's blog. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-01-a-look-back-at-the-star-studded-top-20

A Look Back at the Star-Studded Top 20

At Lewis Smith Lake for stop No. 2 of the 2015 Tour, however, the top 20 featured an impressive group of anglers who not only were top performers that particular week, but have been throughout their careers. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-23-last-time-at-lewis-smith

Last Time at Lewis Smith

It’s been two seasons since the Walmart FLW Tour visited Lewis Smith Lake in Jasper, Ala. Now that the Tour has rolled back into town for the start of official practice on “Smith,” as most pros prefer to call this deep, clear reservoir, there’s an important change that could have a real impact on the tournament’s outcome: The umbrella rig is no longer allowed in Tour competition. Last time, a number of top pros relied on the multi-lure rig for the bulk of their catches, and winner Brent Ehrler caught a key kicker with one on the final day. This year’s event will be held a couple of weeks later in the month, which could mean the fish will be a little farther along in their prespawn-to-spawn transition and shallower patterns could be in play (possibly bed-fishing among them; see 2008: Spawners and Spots below). Still, the 2013 event is the best, most current preview of what we can expect to see this week, so we dug a little deeper into the most productive patterns from the last bout on Smith. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-18-expect-change-and-adapt-to-it

Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-so-you-want-to-be-a-co-angler-

So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-16-a-30-piece-puzzle-with-four-pieces-missing

A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-a-clean-slate

A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-08-strader-striding-kenney-gaining-steam

Strader Striding, Kenney Gaining Steam

Wesley, Wesley, Wesley. If anyone is going to catch JT Kenney and overtake his 12-pound, 8-ounce lead, it appears as if Wesley Strader is the man to do it. He lit up the leaderboard and FLW’s On The Water feed yesterday when he caught more than 21 pounds in one short midday flurry. Now he’s doing it again on day four. Strader has a 9-pounder in the boat and a limit estimated at more than 20 pounds. Most of that limit was in the boat by about 9:30, leaving him plenty of time to upgrade. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-07-giants-are-falling-at-toho

Giants are Falling at Toho

Let’s jump right into the details: Wesley Strader caught a 6-pounder and has a limit approaching 20 pounds. He’s the daily leader so far, but he’s got a ways to go to catch Kenney, who has a 4-pounder in his livewell. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-07-ramie-s-florida-freak

Ramie's Florida Freak

If you want to catch a double-digit bass, Florida is probably the best state to do it east of California. The Sunshine State churns out some of the biggest bass, on the most consistent basis, of any state in the nation. Heck, its namesake strain of fish is, literally, genetically programed to grow to massive proportions. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-06-toho-midday-report-day-2

Toho Midday Report Day 2

If you’ve been following the FLW On The Water feed, you might have seen a slight uptick in the reports in the last hour or so. A crisp north wind, which was cold enough to force many anglers into their rain gear this morning, seems to have tapered off to a breeze. Down south on Kissimmee the sun is shining. And as the weather has improved, so too has the bite – as evidenced by the sudden surge in fish-catching reports. The increase in action is good news for many anglers who experienced slower fishing this morning than yesterday. Stacey King, who came into today in second place, is among that group. Unfortunately for day-one leader JT Kenney, “slow” for King is still pretty good. He’s got a limit, including a pair of 4-pounders, and has already culled. That makes King our unofficial leader right now. READ MORE »