I’ve always heard the South Side of Chicago was a particularly scary place to go. And I wouldn’t argue that. But when you start to read the message boards and bass fishing blogs, it sounds like the scariest place on earth must actually be Lake Mead.
How else would you possibly explain how otherwise reputable pros start to wobble in the knee, develop sudden skin rashes, or suffer untimely family emergencies, just about the time their U.S. Open entry fees are due?
Yet I never see those symptoms appear when Ramona’s John Kerr starts spooling up line for the West’s most challenging competition. Up ahead, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, the likes of Aaron Martens, Rick Clunn and Mike Folkestad with their combined eight (8) Open titles will be there, but Kerr doesn’t flinch.
Neither, the field of elite level pros nor a crowded calendar that limits his pre-fish time cause any trepidation. In terms of preparation, John says, “I know I won’t have as many days on Mead as say a (Mike) Folkestad or some others. I don’t have the time to know all the spots–especially with the lake level dropping.”
But what he does have are confidence, and for lack of a better description, the athleticism and endurance to match up against those with more time on the water. It’s an approach that has served him well in the past–a past which includes his 2003 U.S. Open title, if you somehow weren’t paying attention.
You see, John has a plan. And he’s fearless. “I’m going to cover a ton of water,” he told me, “I’m going to throw reaction looking for schooling or active fish.”
But he’s not going in blind. “I’ll break it (the lake) down. I never do any good in the lower basin, but I always spend one day down there. I can never pull a limit out of that area,” he confessed.
On the other extreme he says, “I eliminate the Overton Arm. I never do well there past the islands, I’ve just spun my wheels up there.”
But by eliminating water that doesn’t fit, he can spend that much more time in the areas that do produce for him. “In the Virgin Basin and Temple Bar there are more wolfpacks,” he says. “I can get five a day there and if I stumble across a decent fish, I’ll do okay.”
But what you won’t see from John are a lot of casts with a slow-paced plastic worm. Whatever amount of that fishing style employed will be left to his AAA companion. “If I do pick apart an area or cut or small cove to fish it thoroughly,” he explained, “I’ll ask them to throw a drop-shot to that hazy water.”
The key is a complementary approach. “We don’t need two (Super) Spooks out there; one will do the job,” he said. “I want them to throw a jerkbait or spinnerbait–something a little lower in the water column. (We want) just one bite to draw that pack in.”
But there’s no fear in his voice when John says, “I just cover water, put the trolling motor on high and make as many casts as I can.”
So repeat after me: “I am not afraid.” And click (here).
2 Responses to “Ramona’s John Kerr: The man has no fear”
That’s one heck of a good small mouth!
That is a good one–and from Havasu, in this case.