Confidence On Tap


FWC Seasonal Confidence Series


Spring Season Confidence Part 3:  The Flourishing End To A Challenging Season
The Blueprint for A Confident Spring Season Approach. $5, pdf format.

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Spring Season Confidence Part 2:  The Shallowest Point
The Blueprint for A Confident Spring Season Approach. $5, pdf format.

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Spring Season Confidence Part 1:  Early Spring – Starting the Season Strong
The Blueprint for A Confident Spring Season Approach. $5, pdf format.

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The Fundamental Formula
Fundamental Principles for Every Fishing Situation! $5, pdf format.

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Fall Confidence
Understanding the unique seasonal dynamics, making informed decisions, and getting it consistently right!


Part 1 Unraveling the Trickiest Period In Fall Fishing On the Way to Complete Seasonal Confidence. $5, pdf format.

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Part 2 Reaping the Harvest of the Fall Season’s Hottest Fishing Period. $5, pdf format.

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Part 3 Catering to Cold Water Bass: Cold Weather and Hot Fishing. $5, pdf format.

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Summertime Success Breaking down an evolving and challenging seasonal fishing period for a more confident and productive approach. $5, pdf format.

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Jig Confidence Why it’s essential, why it’s so valuable: understanding the most important tool in the bass angler’s arsenal. $5, pdf format.

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Fishing With Confidence: Self Confidence for A Sport That Demands It also available as an eBook download, just $16.99. Buy Now! >>

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Recent Articles from Fishing with Confidence

Celebrity Sleight of Hand

Van Dam says: That’s not how I do it, and then, does it.

When is the last time Kevin Van Dam received any bad press or criticism? A better question might be: has Van Dam ever received any bad press or criticism? He’s the Tiger Woods of bass fishing. If either Woods or Van Dam aren’t in the line-up, television ratings tank. As a result, Van Dam’s backside is dotted with lip-smack imprints, which unlike Tiger aren’t from strippers, but from an industry wanting to exploit him. Let’s face it: Van Dam isn’t going to get any negative press. more >>

Destroying Bass Fishing Myths: The message behind the manuscript

“It isn’t that all the philosophy about bass and bass fishing is wrong, that it lacks merit, or that all the products don’t serve a beneficial purpose. It’s that becoming a more consistently successful fisherman, and enjoying the confidence consistent success generates, will be a direct result of accuracy in the pursuit.” more >>

The New Year’s Resolution Solution: Staying Green for More Bass In 2014

At the turn of the year, a friend told me his New Year’s resolution was to catch more bass. He has caught plenty of bass – has the pics to prove it. One would think all that success would suffice. But he is like all other extraordinarily passionate bass fishermen – success is in the next strike. more >>

Challenges to Confidence: Maintaining Your Own Standard
Leeds, Alabama pro Aaron Martens has four-times finished second in the prestigious Bassmaster Classic. He has won several Elite Series tournament titles, is a former BASS Angler of the Year, and is also a three-time US Open Champion. And these accomplishments merely reflect Aaron’s professional career. Rather strong street-cred, to put it mildly. more >>

Behavior on the Fly: The Downside of Bass Fishing Doctrine
To accurately and comprehensively describe and explain the habits, tendencies, movements and intents of any underwater creature must be verified by visual observation. Only by watching unfolding behavior can it be said with relative accuracy that a behavior-defining characteristic or a thusly established fishing doctrine is sound. Because aquatic creatures aren’t visible a vast majority of the time, guesswork must play a predominant role in establishing behavior and fishing guidelines..more >>

A Lost Art
Tournament fishing seems to guide bass fishing these days. Everything seems geared toward competitive fishing: speed, efficiency, winning. Yet there is a stark contrast between what the industry says fishing should be, and what the focus of all their efforts and attention requires.more >>

The Wolf and the Lamb: A Classic Fiction
It’s exciting for any competitive angler to fish the Bassmaster Classic, and especially for an angler outside the “professional” designation. Every year there are the few who earn the opportunity through various circuitous routes, but let’s not forget a couple things. First, there used to be a prevailing attitude amongst professional anglers that Federation or supposed amateurs didn’t belong in the Classic. more >>

Prophecy that Works
I don’t know about the rest of you thinkers out there, but suppose any can tell me how bass behavior can be predicted on a body of water any sooner than immediately prior to tournament time? Anyone? more >>

The Inexplicable
Beyond survival fundamentals, most of the bass' behaviors defy explanation. Yet, that doesn't keep the sport's authorities from explaining them. A comprehensive behavior understanding? Just roll with the current story. more >>

Best Lesson in Bass Fishing
They say the best lessons are the ones that cost the most. Well, great expense is certainly a strong reminder, but I disagree with the conventional rule. I say the best lessons don’t cost anything at all. When one pays attention to the sacrificial mistakes of others, and learns from them, how could those free lessons not be best? They are. Lessons won are infinitely sweeter than lessons earned, and here is one worth winning. It occurred in The 1993 Bassmaster Classic on Alabama’s Lake Logan Martin. more >>

The Face of Fishing
My buddy is showing me his shiny new, luxuriously rich mahogany hardwood floor. Cocktails in hand, he’s pointing, illustrating the steps of install from start to finish. He’s also complaining, or perhaps bragging, about the cost. It was a big space, and the floor did look utterly amazing. It made the finished room! more >>

Anatomy of Success
Successful bass fishing isn’t as streamlined as shooting a ball through a hoop or chipping one into a small hole in the ground. Although a good jumper and effective chip-shot do require technique and expertise, their respective objectives are simple, straightforward – get the ball in the hole. more >>

Fall Fallacy
There’s this perception of fall fishing that’s perpetuated in nearly every bass fishing medium attempting to address the season. All essentially purport the period a rockin’, catch ‘em-at-will time of year. more >>

Not So Deep
The summer season is challenging on the whole. The fishing’s tougher, the elements inhospitable, and there are plenty of reasons for a less than optimistic mindset. Something that exacerbates the negativity for some anglers is the lack of confidence in fishing deep. The deck is stacked already. When one hasn’t that secure boldness to go where the summer game is predominantly played, well, it’s going to be a long day. more >>

Summer Recon
Full-blown summer fishing has one constant: good topwater fishing. The timing in summer for topwater success is predominantly early and late in the day, and during elongated low-light periods facilitated by weather. Weather isn’t traditionally a major factor in the summer period, as the season settles down too hot humid days, light winds and stagnate water. more >>

Just the Highlights
When you think about what anglers see and read about today, it’s all about the highlights. Regardless of the level of fishing passion, every angler has them. When asked, each will tell story after story of their many successes – big stringers, big bass, and banner days. We all have them, and here are a few of mine. read more >>

Highways, Bi-ways, or Whatever, Dude
It’s that time of the spring season when bass are said to transition back to deep water. They come into spawn, do so, and then make a beeline for the depths. I’m sure one could find bass that validate this theory. But be that as it may, what’s interesting about this phenomenon is the conventional wisdom behind the routes they use. read more >>

The Art of Landing
Young BASS Elite Series angler, Brandon Palaniuk, has certainly proven a fine bass angler. Not only did he win the Federation Championship in 2010, he followed that near-impossible mission up with an outstanding 4th place finish in his first Bassmaster Classic in 2011. However, catching bass shallow – as was the story in that Classic – is something most competent bass anglers do very well. Yet, Brandon revealed the depth of his skill winning the 2012 BASS Tour event on Bull Shoals by fishing deep. So, using insider vernacular, Brandon can catch ‘em. And he’s obviously not one dimensional. read more >>

Stumbling Onto the Winner’s Circle
Let’s begin this piece by firmly establishing an important premise: an angler which has chosen a professional fishing career path is a fine bass angler. Whatever vulnerabilities these passionate fishermen and women have, they aren’t really weaknesses, per say; there’s no method they aren’t capable of employing skillfully and with success. Instead, these weak spots are areas where the angler may merely lack a commanding level of confidence. read more >>

Spawning Nonsense
It’s that time of year once again. Depending on one’s geographic location, the spawn is either in the latter stages, setting up, or soon will be. It’s a time of year where bass anglers get a real good look at bass, when they get to see these ghost-like creatures actually interacting within their environment. It’s a chance to see them literally moving around, to study their reactions and body language. read more >>

Bass Colored Glasses
Steve and Christiana walked into the party. She was young, stunningly attractive, great figure. She made male eyes wonder, and wives jealous. Steve was handsome, charming, well spoken. In those guarded female conversations girls think men don’t know take place, Steve was often the topic of giggles and vociferous admiration at any party – and anywhere else! read more >>

Fish Hook Perspective
Anglers have been catching fish on this planet for a long time – tens of thousands of years to be exact. Archaeologists discovered two fishing hooks that dated 11,000 to 23,000 years old – the oldest fishing hooks known to mankind. They were made of shell, shaped with the traditional curvature and primitively milled points. How they fashioned and used them back then, and their success ratio, is a mystery. But one can be sure there was at least a measure of success with these rudimentary hooking and landing components. read more >>

Logical Doom
Talking with a buddy recently, he was all worked up about the supposed rich – whoever they are, and however the term is defined – and the tax “loopholes” they supposedly enjoy. It’s one of those deals where you don’t know how you got where you are in the conversation, but you suddenly awake to this vitriol over something rather meaningless. read more >>

The Perfect Practice
I don’t think there’d be much argument proposing that Kevin Van Dam is probably the best bass angler in the world right now. Virtually every fishing analyst has him winning any tournament he enters, or at least he’s on their short list. If he’s that great in competition, then he must be the go to source for learning how to practice. read more >>

Let Good Be Good Enough
I know, you’re thinking walleye fishing, John? What point could be made concerning bass fishing confidence by anglers that bounce leeches, spinner-rigs, and dead minnows around on the bottom? Who can even understand those guys with their northern vernacular? Well, serious anglers, competitive and otherwise, share a common bond regardless of what they fish for. It’s a desire to measure up. read more >>

Coming Together
It was a glorious winter day. Sound like an oxymoron? Well, it does to me, too. But this year it actually was. In early January air temperatures were an uncommon 58 degrees, and had been so for several days, with bright sunshine. There was little wind, and being on the water was just simply, satisfying. The sun beating down, the water calm, nice is the word that comes to mind. read more >>

Nothing That You Hear
Most have heard the old aphorism: “Believe half of what you see, and nothing that you hear.” Well, today one can’t believe anything one sees or hears. Television is produced, pictures can be doctored, and second-hand news loses its’ accuracy the further it gets from its’ source. That is assuming the source is accurate to begin with. read more >>

Cold Water Confidence
When the water turns cold, bass anglers tend to think bass fishing is done. It wasn’t very long ago it was thought bass went into hibernation and wouldn’t bite, and it’s still being espoused that they go into some trance-like state and shut down. Well, there’ve been many misconceptions about bass behavior over the years, some have been rectified, while some still stubbornly linger. This cold water lore is one of those fallacies. read more >>

The Giant Killer’s Lesson
Stealth is essential in bass fishing, and especially when fishing for those wary, seen-it-all, and easily put off big-uns, right? The experts are worried about noise. Don’t drop things in the bottom of the boat and keep the trolling motor on a constant-low setting are both common mantras they espouse. When one see’s these guys on television, even talking softly or in a whisper is apparently essential. It’s like they’re secret-ops on covert maneuvers, and talking too loudly will compromise the entire mission. Well, it’s silly; but let’s press forward. read more >>

Free Lessons
Life is full of mistakes. It’s not as if everyone flies into daily life not caring to make them. We’re all conscious of error, because we’re all conscious of consequence. Although some mistakes can be profitable, most are accompanied by a costly aftermath. Sometimes those costs are colossal, sometimes minimal. Either way, they’re ours to bear. We pay for our mistakes, as is said. So then, how beneficial must it be to learn from the mistakes of others? read more >>

All Is Well, That Doesn’t End Well
Hearing the weather report, I was thinking man, I’m fixin’ to wreck ‘em! The situation couldn’t have been more perfect. The week before I had located some fish, and uncovered a solid, workable pattern in one location. And with only a minor weather glitch in between, there was no reason to fear a pattern implosion. In fact, based on the conditions, the fishing should improve! read more >>

Luck Is for Rabbits
It was late summer. Practicing for an upcoming tournament event, Scott was targeting summer bass and main lake summer patterns. Idling around graphing brushpiles on the end of long points, he’d seen what he thought he needed to see and slammed the throttle down to run to another. Eyes fixed on his electronics, suddenly the screen went black. read more >>

Hook, Look, and Change Your Perspective
Televised bass fishing programming is evolving, and for the better. Less appealing to today’s bass fishing sophisticates are shows filmed on private and primed bass waters, with plenty of behemoth bass being caught on a new sponsor’s latest lure. There are fresh ideas being employed in the educational medium of television, and they’re exposing the bass fishing community to the realities of the sport. One such program is the Outdoor Channel’s Hook and Look, the conceptual idea of bass pro Kim Stricker. read more >>

Perspective Short of Psychiatry
Fishing for bass isn’t all about winning tournaments, but when that’s the objective, nothing is more difficult. Seasoned FLW Tour pro, Andy Morgan, understands how challenging it is. He said, “I’ve done this for quite a long time; and I just know how rare it is that you actually get a chance to win one.” 1 read more >>

Stretching To Make the Sale
What are consumers to believe? The 2011 Bassmaster Classic winner, Kevin Van Dam, said he found his winning stumps in Lake Cataouatche on the New Orleans Delta by seeing them. Yet, Humminbird's Marketing director says Kevin used their unit's Side Imaging feature to discover them. What gives? read more >>

The Best Bass Anglers in the World?
Opening ESPN’s coverage of the 2011 Bassmaster Classic, in his signature tone host Tommy Sanders set the table. With a flair for the dramatic, he said, “For everyone who’s ever cast a line, for everyone who’s ever kept score out on the water, it’s the ultimate dream: to stand on the stage after three days of fishing and hoist the trophy as the World Champion of bass fishing, to win the Bassmaster Classic!” . read more >>

Confidence to Catch More Bass
When anglers play this game long enough, they realize there's more to a confident pursuit of bass than a large collection of lures, pricey equipment, and insight from their favorite pros. read more >>

Fan Appreciation Goes So Far
Nowhere in the world of professional sport are fans allowed to directly affect the outcome of competition. They scream, chant, hurl all kinds of epithets and derisions in some venues, but in no way are they ever allowed to become obstacles nor impose their will. Nowhere, that is, except in the sport of professional bass fishing. read more >>

It’s All Fun Now
Veteran pro Tom Mann Jr. said, “I used to get nervous twenty years ago...not anymore! It’s all fun now!” In twenty seven years of tournament competition Tom has learned two invaluable lessons that make him a more confident and relaxed competitor, and they’ll do the same for any tournament angler willing to put them to use. read more >>

Bank Fishing From the Boat
Most dedicated bass anglers know what it's like to fish a small body of water with limited fishing access. These places have but a few isolated areas to stand and cast, which are choked by surrounding growth both on and off the bank. High weeds, cattails, bushes, and over hanging trees all make casting difficult. Then there are water obstructions – various forms of vegetation and other cover – which limit lure selection. read more >>

Flocking to the Shelves
Lure manufacturers know that seeing a lure catch fish in a high visibility venue will get consumers to buy and try it. They then hope the consumer has success with it and comes to rely on it! The lure then becomes a trusted, long-term necessity; and anglers become long-term, brand loyal customers. That's how the lure business works. read more >>

Intelligent Creatures…Uh…Okay
Bass are intelligent creatures. Well, I guess that depends on how one defines intelligence. ... Well, maybe they aren't very refined, but do they have the ability to learn? read more >>

The Realistic Part-Time Tournament Angler
With a club or open tournament drawing near for the working angler, or what I commonly term the part-time angler, there are certain realities that need to be faced. The goal, naturally, is to win. To give oneself the best opportunity to accomplish that, one needs to spend some time on the tournament waters. read more >>

The Temperature Template
Bass fishing is a sport of templates. By template I mean, anglers look at the season, the conditions, and water temperature and have an established blueprint of how to proceed. They apply a template to a particular seasonal period, and start searching in seasonally dictated areas. They apply a template to the conditions, cover, and water temperature and choose the appropriate lure(s). Whenever anglers begin their search for bass, there is a template for doing it in this sport. read more >>

To See, Or Not To See
“A fish’s eyes are different than ours,” says fishing icon Bill Dance. “Although researchers don’t know exactly how fish perceive color,” he continues, “they do know which colors are most effective for catching fish in different light levels and water clarities based on years of research.” For years I’ve questioned how anyone can fully understand the bass’ vision without actually being one? read more >>


March 2011
That Color Red

Historical Value

Anecdotal Evidence

February 2011
Confidence Matters

January 2011
The Truth Behind the Camera

December 2010
Quirky Confidence

November 2010
Fish Where They Are In the Fall

The Missing Ingredient

October 2010
The Right Mindset for the Fall

Science or Fiction

September 2010
Putting the Emphasis on Confidence

The Problem With Fluorocarbon

August 2010
Are the Pros Really Better Anglers?

Bass Fishing Isn’t A Chinese Fire Drill

Explaining Away Your Faliures

Fishing and Life Are About Staying in the Fight

Here Is What Happened At Lake X

The Sport That Doesn’t Cull