Marty Stone learned plenty during his 20-year career as a professional bass fishermen, what with four Bassmaster Classic berths and four shots at the FLW Tour Championship under his belt.
But one thing he’s learned in the five years since he’s retired and become an announcer for Major League Fishing’s televised events has been a big surprise to him: the effects of fishing pressure are highly overrated.
Sitting in front of a bank of television screens, watching bass pros fish MLF tournaments, Stone has come believe that fishing pressure really doesn’t have a lot of effect on bass. And it’s changed the way he’s fishing in the few local or regional events he competes in around his home in Fayetteville, N.C.
“Watching these guys fish, I’ve seen it happen too many times,” Stone said. “Tommy Biffle goes down a stretch of bank and catches three fish, and a few minutes later, Greg Hackney goes down the same bank and catches two or three more, and then Kevin Van dam goes down the same bank and catches two or three.
“Normally, if you’re fishing and you see some other guys fishing in an area you want to fish, you’re probably going to think that they’ve caught them all, that there’s no reason to go in there — but they haven’t.”
Stone said that seeing umpteen lures fly past their noses apparently doesn’t stop fish from biting or make them more likely to turn down the next soft-plastic bait that sinks past them. And no angler catches all the fish that are in an area.
“Now, if I go down a bank and catch fish, I don’t leave; I go back and start again and fish through that same area,” he said. “A lot of times, I’ll catch a bigger fish.
“If you get in an area and the fish start to bite, you’re not going to be able to catch all of them, not even close.”