Bass fishing can be a game of inches. A slightly inaccurate cast can be the difference between a 6-pounder and nothing at all. When you’re on the back deck, this is even more magnified.
I have been on the back deck behind a lot of outstanding anglers. One of my best friends, Matt Henry, is the worst guy to fish behind. He’s like a dang vacuum cleaner; if there is a fish in front of the boat, he’s going to catch it. He’ll always put you on fish, but it’s insanely difficult to get bites behind that man. He is a machine.
Fishing from his back deck for a full college season years ago, I quickly learned that I would never get bit flipping or pitching my bug into the same area he just did. He was a very accurate caster and once his bait hit the water, he was very patient and thorough throughout his retrieve. This was frustrating for me at first. I can remember one tournament at Logan Martin where I couldn’t buy a bite behind this dude. It was making me crazy.
But as we fished more together and as I matured as an angler, I quickly learned to watch him like a hawk. I’d start noticing that each one of his pitches was targeting an indentation within a grass bed. So I started pitching my bait to small points in the grass bed. And what do you know? I started catching a bunch of fish and contributing to our limits. If he was skipping underneath boat docks, I’d start skirting the edges of the docks with a squarebill. It yielded a bunch of big fish for me over the years.
He is a heckuva fisherman. So I wasn’t going to contribute much by trying to eat his scraps. I started purposely putting my baits in very different places than he did which resulted in some really great finishes for us. Matt’s current tournament partner does the same thing, but even better than I did, and they’ve made a killing around this area together.