Longtime Angler Hank Parker Gives Tips on Finding Bass

Author’s Note: Hank Parker, former Bassmaster Classic champion and host of the TV show “Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine,” believes that when a bass grows larger than 4 pounds, the fish has eliminated all of the predators that have threatened its life except one – the angler.

“I think a bass that’s larger than 4 pounds realizes that in the presence of man, it becomes the prey,” Parker explains. “So, a bass of this size hides-from and avoids areas where it will encounter the supreme predator, man. I’ve learned that big bass that have been unmolested are far easier to catch than bass that have been pressured by anglers. So, search out sites that receive very-little fishing pressure, even if the spot doesn’t look as though it will hold a bass. A bass on a small, solitary piece of cover is more likely to take your lure than a bass of the same size that sees 20 or 30 lures a week, because it’s holding on obvious cover. Although big bass will sometimes hold on obvious cover in high-pressure zones, these fish are very difficult to catch. Often, the only way to get a lunker that’s positioned on obvious cover to bite is to stay well away from the cover and make an accurate, long cast to that cover, instead of four or five casts. Make sure that the lure swims perfectly and naturally by the cover and doesn’t intimidate the fish. To catch a big bass in a high-pressure zone, you can’t beat the water to a froth with your lures.”

As I talked to Parker and Rick Clunn, the winner of four Bassmaster Classics, I began thinking about that day in the tree stand. The information I gathered from Clunn and Parker was almost identical to what hunters realize is required to harvest a trophy buck. A sportsman must search for trophy deer in overlooked areas where a deer feels very little, if any, hunting pressure, and he must approach the animal with the utmost caution and care so that he won’t spook the deer. That’s exactly the formula proposed by Parker and Clunn to take the biggest bass in a lake, and it’s the same one that a detective will use to find a missing person.

Click here to go on to part four, deducing where large bass live with expert angler Ken Cook. Click here to go back to part two.

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