On the Line
2/20/2013

When the phone rings, sometimes it’s family or friends, often it’s fishing! It could be a writer seeking an interview about anything fishing or it could be a client or contact just wanting to shoot the fishing breeze.

When it’s a writer, I know I’ll be asked a bunch of questions about a specific topic. I usually take the phone and walk into my tackle room…so I can accurately relate specifics the writer is often seeking. I can pull a lure off the shelf and describe it in detail. I can add details of my other tackle, like the line diameter of my GAMMA Copoly, how many guides on my Quantum rods, or the exact weight of a specific lure.

My media friends are great to chat with, but I also enjoy hearing from clients or other anglers I’ve met at shows or those who have read about me in various magazines. These questions are much more laid back. I turn down the TV, prop up my feet and engage in a casual conversation.

Recently a client called me after he wrapped up a successful day on his home lake in Georgia. We chatted about how he fished; I only added verification on his choices resulting in his success. We chatted about his twin children, his wife and family and about a possible trip together in the future.

A visit by another client resulted in a tour of my tackle room to show how I store and organize my tackle. We ended up talking about springtime cranking, then hook choices and finally a topwater tutorial.

Some call asking about how to spend their Bass Pro Shops gift cards they received over the holidays. In particular, how to choose a rod and reel for a specific technique. Cranking seems to be the biggest question for a lot of anglers trying to upgrade their gear.

A few guys will email ideas for upcoming columns. Recently the Alabama Rig controversy has resurfaced. One guy asked about why FLW allows them and BASS Elite does not. However, while not used in the BASSMASTER Classic, some Classic qualifiers used them to go to the big show. Another topic is the recent addition of a beer sponsor to the FLW Tour. Many pros who currently fish this tour left Bassmaster when Busch beer was added as a sponsor. Has FLW tapped the dollars and dropped their family values?

Questions about spooling up line for trips for other species with other guides or about guide recommendations around the country? Going to Amistad? Check out BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staffer and Elite Series pro Kurt Dove! One of my clients even invited me to head to Florida for a chance at spawning bass!

The longer the relationship, the more calls and email I get. One client in particular seeks my advice on a variety of tackle and he now has it all. In fact, I often seek his opinion on tackle I’m considering, knowing he has a good variety and understands my line of questioning. He has so much gear; his wife jokingly blames me for his expansive collection. She has coined my special nickname…Dr. Bassenstein…as I have created a fishing monster out of her husband. To my delight, after accepting this name for several years, I received a coffee mug donning this unique nickname.

While I don’t have the answer for every question, I’m pleased to find my associates contact me for a variety of information and I share my insights and experiences. But more importantly, we share what’s going on in our lives. It’s all about relationships. A guide trip entails spending 8 hours or more with someone, enjoying the same pursuit, making one more cast, catching one more fish, figuring something out. While there is a physical element, it’s sharing the intellectual pursuit that intrigues most of us. But it’s really about friendship on and off the water.

I’ve written a piece in the BoatUS ANGLER Tacklebox about assembling your own the JIKA rig. www.boatus.com/angler/schaconas_20130212_jikas_king_reveals_secrets.asp

My next BoatUS ANGLER DIY column…modifying lures with dyes…blades, soft plastics and crankbaits!

Until next time, see you on the water.

WEAR a PFD! 

I’m gone fishing.

www.nationalbass.com


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