Permitted use provided by: MajorLeagueFishing.com
Back in the day, as a young boy growing up in western Tennessee, southern Louisiana and North Texas, I lived to bass fish.
But without the existence of the Internet, instructional DVDs, and the television programs that are on Outdoor Channel today, those were the dark ages in some ways when it came to a young lad accruing fishing knowledge and information.
So I lived each month for the mailbox arrival of the latest in monthly fishing and general purpose outdoors magazines, rags like "Fishing Facts," "Bassmaster," "Field & Stream," "Outdoor Life" and "Sports Afield."
When the mailman would actually deliver one of those periodicals to our mailbox, I would sit for hours reading, learning and gleaning all of the information and fishing principles that I could from stories by my angling heroes like Buck Perry, Homer Circle, Ray Scott, Jimmy Houston, Bill Dance, Roland Martin and many others.
Because along with my dad, these guys taught me how to fish.
Today, learning how to be a better bass angler can be as simple as turning to this site - www.majorleaguefishing.com - and discovering by virtue of stories and video what the best of the best in the sport of bass fishing have to say.
Or it can be as easy as turning to the social media accounts of those same Major League Fishing pros.
Take the other day for instance, when I pulled up Facebook and checked the fan page of MLF pro Timmy Horton of Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Horton, who also tweets regularly on Twitter, had delivered some great and timely information to his fan base about how to fish for bass during the middle to late stages of fall.
While the attention of most outdoorsmen is situated around college football, deer hunting and duck hunting right now, Horton's contention is that right now is one of the best times of the year for a bass angler to load the boat up and to go fishing.
So borrowing from the social media post that Horton shared with his Facebook fans, here's why you should be throwing a crankbait this time of year:
"When the leaves begin to fall and the cold winds start to blow in November, crankbaiting can get hot, especially on southern lakes," said Horton, a Duckett Fishing rods, Bass Pro Shops and Bomber baits pro-staff member.
"I like to throw cranks that dive (down) to six to eight feet in November."
Where on a lake should a weekend angler - or a Facebook fishing fan - be looking to throw these lures this month?
"Look for bass in the main creeks that feed into the lake," said Horton, a Muscle Shoals, Ala. pro that is an 11-time qualifier for the Bassmaster Classic and the 2000 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year.
"Focus on turns in the creek channel where the bank is steep with blowdowns, stumps or big rocks for structure."
While it's tough to do so with a $5, $10 or $15 crankbait, Horton says that it's important to make contact with objects in the water.
"It's important to bounce the baits off the structure," said Horton.
Why is that? Because when the crankbait deflects, it will often produce a reaction strike from a hungry largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass that is intent on feeding up for the coming of winter.
And that - if you will pardon the pun - is the lure of fall bass fishing.
"Cranking can produce plenty of action that will make you forget about the cold weather," said Horton, a four-time winner on the B.A.S.S. tournament trails.
And that bass catching action is plenty of reason to bundle up, to leave the deer and duck hunting behind for a day or two, and to listen to the football game - in Horton's case, his beloved Auburn Tigers - on the radio.
Why? Because Horton says that late fall crankbait fishing can simply be some of the best bass fishing action of the year.
And that's good enough for me.
Even if the mailman didn't actually hand deliver that nugget of bass fishing gold to the mailbox outside my door.
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