I was very fortunate to spend the first weekend in February attending the final session of the Bass University school year.
The BU was revived by Mike Iaconelli & Pete Gluszek and included some of the biggest names currently on the Bassmaster Elite circuit. To say that the weekend was an eye and brain opening expeerience would be an understatement. It’s one thing to read all the books and magazine articles, watch the videos and fishing shows on T.V. but to be able to get up close and personal in a classroom setting was truly unique. Each day was comprised of 3 classes in the morning and 3 classes in the afternoon. Each round of 3 classes was followed by a roundtable Q & A session where any type of question could be asked.
Day one started off with Ish Monroe covering all of the finer points of using a large weight in pitching and flipping to punch thru heavy mats to get at those lunkers lying in wait below. His second class involved advanced frog fishing techniques along with all the tricks and tactics he uses on tour. Pete Gluszek followed by talking about shallow cranking – using a tight or wide wobble and lipless baits. He discussed the strategies he uses in adjusting size, color and vibration of the crankbaits in all types of conditions. His next class involved spinnerbait strategy. Blade combinations, colors and sizes used for different conditions and depths were explained. He added a short discussion on the Mop head jig, when and where to use this bait to generate strikes from the “big” ones. Fred Roumbanis rounded out the first day talking about the proper use of wake baits and some different modifications you can make. Fred finished out day one outlining how to put together a simple, straight foward tournament plan.
As if it couldn’t get any better, Day 2 started off with one of the “godfathers” of the swimbait technique – Byron Velvick. Byron began with a history of the swimbait technique, starting off as a west coast only method and then spreading across the bass fishing landscape like a wildfire. In his second lecture, he broke down all you needed to know about rigging, retrieve, shapes, colors, sizes and equipment. Next up to the plate was Peter T. Thilveros. Peter T. opened up with an advanced presentation on the utilization of the many types of soft plastics available. He then brought the students up to speed on the latest methods of using two traditional standbyes – the Texas and Carolins rigs. The weekend’s finishing kick was provided by none other than bass fishings wildman – Mike Iaconelli. Mike opened up with an animated presentation on the employment of using advanced finesse fishing strategies when the fishing sucks. Using the Flick Shake, Shaky head, tail weighted french fry and the wet noodle rigs to name a few. Ike closed out the weekend session talking about how to initiate reaction strikes from inactive bass. He detailed in depth the use of the football head jig and the Laserlure crankbait.
It goes without saying that the weekend was an experience beyond all expectations. I highly recommend that anyone wanting to expand their bass fishing knowledge and experise to attend a future seminar. Check out www.thebassuniversity.com for further details.