Robert Richardson is the Publisher & Writer at CountryHookers.com; he also started and runs the popular survival/preparedness website OFFGRIDSurvival.com.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into fishing?
I’ve been fishing for about as long as I can remember. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I know it started in Southern Wisconsin going on bass fishing trips with my grandfather, and I know it quickly took over my life.
From hours upon hours spent circling gear in Bass Pro, L.L. Bean and Cabela’s catalogs to dreaming about those upcoming bass trips to the Wolf River in Wisconsin, fishing quickly became an obsession.
Even before I had an actual rod and reel of my own, I would steal safety pins and yarn from my Grandma so I could make homemade poles and then spend hours upon hours catching carp at my local pond. But it was those early bass fishing trips that sealed my fate. There was just something about the feeling of a bass nailing your bait that had me hooked.
Once I had an actual rod and reel, which I believe was some sort of early Ugly Stik, there was no stopping me.
Can you share some general bass fishing techniques for people who are just getting into the sport?
One of the best things you can do is just get out there and start really paying attention to what you’re doing. Start with soft plastics, something like a Zoom Trick worm or a Senko (I usually use Yum Dingers, but any stick bait will work) and start paying attention to how things feel. Watch your line, pay attention to how it feels when the bait is dropping, learn how it feels and what it looks like when it hits the bottom, learn to watch for those little irregularities in the line that may signal a soft hit.
Just get out there and practice. There isn’t a day that I’m out there that I’m not learning something.
What is your favorite place to fish for Bass and why?
I like river and small stream fishing; it’s not that I think I’m going to catch more fish, there’s just something about the feeling of fishing a river or small stream that I can’t get from fishing a lake. I guess it’s more of a fantasy thing; hoping you’re the one guy that found this tiny little stream where the monster is hiding.
When fishing a new lake or water, what are some of the things you look for and how should you approach fishing new and unfamiliar waters?
Some of this really depends on the time of year, what stage the fish are in, temperature, etc.; but in general, I know that bass have specific patterns and things that they do during each season of the year. So with that in mind, you at least have somewhere to start; start with what you know and then begin to expand from there.
If it’s the first time I’m on a new system, I don’t spend more than 5-10 minutes in a single spot unless I’m getting some type of action. If I start nailing fish, I’m going to try to exploit those patterns throughout the area until it stops working and then I start the process again. But the main thing here is don’t spend hours fishing a single spot, hoping for a bite. If the fish aren’t responding, and you’ve tried a couple of different baits and tactics, move on.
What your go-to technique for catching giant bass and why?
My number one super-secret bass fishing technique is – wait for it…
I know; I can hear the moans and groans. Listen, it may sound weird, especially if you were hoping for me to give you some super-secret bait tip, but you can’t overlook the importance of attitude. Fishing is definitely a confidence game.
There have been days where I have been skunked hour after hour, and then BOOM! The bite just turns around for me and its magic. But there really isn’t a magical reason for why it happened, and it wasn’t a super-secret technique that turned things around. It was the fact that I didn’t let a little something like a slow – or non-existent – bite get me down.
Throughout the day, even when the bite was nowhere to be found, I knew it was coming. It just had to be coming.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out there where someone came up to me crying about how “this place sucks,” “there’s no fish in this damn water” and so on, only to see them walking away right as I started nailing fish after fish.
I don’t leave! Even if it is a “bad day” I’m still out there studying what’s going on, tweaking my casts, looking for cover I may have missed, and a hundred other things that make fishing fun. Yes, FUN.
- I have fun, even if the bite is slow.
- I have fun fishing the high-pressure pond near my house where the bite really is slow and difficult.
- I have fun catching the fish that isn’t much larger than the bait I threw.
- Hell, I have fun sitting in my garage, drinking a beer, and practicing pitching my baits into a bucket – yeah, I really do that, and here’s a pic to prove it.
The point is if you have a shitty attitude you are going to miss fish. I’ve seen guys swearing and throwing a fit because “there were no fish in the lake” just as their line paused on the fall and they missed the subtle clue because their frustration slowly built up throughout the day. So have fun, and enjoy the experience because that really is what it’s all about.