by Gary Leiter
I read the
other day that the Chinese have roughly 3000 "front" companies in
the U.S. that gather intelligence on us. On a side note, I keep
waiting for the day when country's have enough "intelligence" to
leave us alone. But it's an undeniable fact of life that the need to
gather and hold information is a deadly, serious, game.
As a patriotic American I would like to offer up an idea that I know
the powers that be in Washington have overlooked… tournament
fisherman. Whether it's the act of gathering information through a
network of spies, or withholding information from that very network,
they have refined this art as good as any KGB agent. Now when I
started fishing for money, I looked at the guys that are much better
than me as an invaluable resource for learning. Great Bass Fishermen
aren't born; they have learned what they know from others and
countless hour's on the water. Whether I film a show with these
guy's, or interview them after a tournament win, I'm always prodding
them for information for the viewers and myself, But have surmised
over the year's that their not telling the whole truth.
Now, I've gotten to where I can tell from the speed of the answer
the level of deception.
The guys that are very good and are a threat to win at any given
tournament answer instantly, with confidence. "We caught our fish
flipping the willow's in duck creek"
The next tier of fisherman who are consistently getting better at
their sport, but aren't a favorite yet, start quickly on their
answer, Then realize that they are actually telling the truth, so
they pause… and then from the cuff try to distort the answer they
just gave as much as possible. "We caught our fish on a 10" Blue
Fleck worm… up river…. In… thirty feet of water." Nice save.
Now, the next tier of fishermen who are essentially beginners, and
for all intent and purposes, "Got Lucky" and won. They divulge
truthful information freely. "We caught our fish on a Texas Rigged,
tomato colored 6" lizard, flipping the back side of the docks in
These guys are not ready to hold any nuclear codes yet, but in a few
years, they will learn, and become just as deceitful as the rest of
Now there's a little bit of folly in this deception. The guys that
are REAL GOOD, won't listen to, or believe the answer that other
semi-pro guys offer up anyway. So the only guys listening and might
buy into the response, aren't a threat to beat them anyway.
The only weakness these guys have is that no matter how deep the
level of deception goes, They are still visible. Other competing
team's can see where they are fishing, and thus through their own
network of moles, Piece at least some of the truth together. That's
why guys who are serious about this stuff buy boats that wont "stand
out" on the water, purple boat's with orange flames are out…white is
ok. Anonymity is a must.
So the next question is, if you're a tournament fisherman, trying to
get in that upper tier, should you employ these same tactics? My
answer would be no. I've had the opportunity on Hunt Sleep Fish to
fish with many semi-pro/pro fishermen, and none of them have even
remotely the same tactics. I'll explain.
I was coming off the water after pre-fishing one time for a
tournament. On the ramp, I talked to three friends of mine, all on
separate teams, and all good enough to go pro if they took the leap.
Each one confided in me their "secret bait" which they caught fish
on that day, and each bait, tactic, location was entirely different.
On my way to the hotel room, I came to the conclusion that it's not
the bait. It's the fishermen throwing the bait. They each do
something unique that makes them better for now, than the rest of
Oh and I know what you're thinking, even though their close friends,
maybe they weren't telling you the truth.
I rest my case.