Mail Call!

Good grief! Looks like our plan to head for Belly Button Bayou this afternoon for some bass fishin' has been squelched by the postman! He just dumped a sack of mail from BASS members on the front porch, and it's so big, we can't even get out the door! So I reckon we might as well stay put and answer some of these cards and letters from our fans out there in bassin' land.

Dear Harry 'n' Charlie,
My outboard really sucks — gas, that is! The last time my buddy and I fished a tournament, it cost us over a hundred bucks in gas! Got any fuel-saving tips for a die-hard bassin' man like me? I'm enclosing a photo of me and my fishing partner waiting to blast off in my boat. — Darryl Freen, Backwoods, Ark.

Holy bilge pumps, Darryl! No wonder your outboard's suckin' gas! Judging from the picture, that fishin' buddy of yours looks like he's had a few too many Grand Slam Breakfasts at Denny's! It's a wonder that 200-horse outboard can even get your boat up on plane with him ridin' shotgun! Sounds like you need to find you a skinnier tournyment partner! — H 'n' C

Dear Harry 'n' Charlie,
For years I've heard bass pros talk about making their topwater stickbaits "walk the dog." I've tried this technique repeatedly without success. Can you fellows give me step-by-step instructions on how to do it? — Sven Svenson, Yumpin Yiminy, S.D.

Sven, you has come to the right place, for Harry happens to be a real expert at this time-honored technique. Follow his easy instructions and you'll be walkin' the dog like a pro!

  • 1. First go to a lake with some bass in it. Do you have any bass in South Dakota??

  • 2. You'll need the right tackle! I recommend a 6-foot worm rod busted off to 4 1/2 feet, a rusty red baitcastin' reel and some kinky 25-pound line.

  • 3. Tie on a big ol' Zara Spook. My favorite color: bullfrog!

  • 4. Stand up and face your target. Bass like to hang around cover, so look for stuff in the water like submerged logs, a reef made out of old tires or a sunken lawn chair.

  • 5. Cast the Spook to the target. If you get a professional overrun, cuss real loud while picking out the tangle. Then cast again!

  • 6. After the Spook hits the water, jerk the rod some and give your reel handle a few quick turns.

  • 7. Keep on jerkin' and reelin'! When you get 'er down right, your Spook will stagger back 'n' forth like a drunken sailor!

  • 8. Make sure you keep both feet planted firmly on your boat deck so's you don't get pulled overboard, 'cuz I guarantee this retrieve will catch you some monsters! –Harry

  • Dear Harry 'n' Charlie,
    I've been studying up on finesse bass fishing techniques and I must admit, I'm a bit confused! There's "shaking," "flick shaking," "drop shotting," "split shotting," "doodling" and goodness knows what else! I was wondering, what's YOUR favorite finesse tactic? — Les Manly, Kumquat, Ariz.

    You is barkin' up the wrong tree! Down here in Swamp Gas Corners, where the water is black as tar and loaded with snaggy stumps and a 10-pound bass don't raise no eyebrows, using finesse tactics would be like tryin' to whack a grizzly bear with a pea shooter! — H 'n' C

    Dear Harry 'n' Charlie,
    What kind of music do you guys like to listen to when you're driving to and from the lake? I'm partial to show tunes myself. — Percy Primm, Key West, Fla.

    We like both kinds of music — Country and Western — and we'll keep listening to Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson 'n' Waylon Jennings until the 8-track player in the Lunker Express finally gives up the ghost! By the way, we strongly advise that you not pull up to any launch ramp within a 100-mile radius of Swamp Gas Corners with Dancing Queen or I Feel Pretty blasting from your vehicle's stereo! — H 'n' C

    Dear Harry 'n' Charlie,
    How come you guys never anchor, eh? Myself, I got three of them anchor crankers on my boat and I use 'em when I'm fishing them slip bobbers in current. —
    Reinhold Weinerschnitzel, Cheddar Cheese, Wis.

    Judging from your references to slip bobbers, anchor crankers 'n' current, not to mention where your home port is, we suspect that you is a walleye fisherman and not a bass fisherman! There is not a great call for anchors in our parts because the bayou is only 2 feet deep. When we want to sit in one spot, which ain't often, we just knock the cottonmouths off a stump and tie a rope to it! How 'bout them apples, eh? — H 'n' C

    Dear Harry 'n' Charlie,
    Have you tried the new tungsten sinkers and if so, what do you think of them?
    Phil Phlegm, Dullsville, Ga.

    No, we has not tried tungsten sinkers yet, and not just because they cost 10 bucks apiece, either — we heard a rumor that tungsten is radioactive, and that all the bass pros who've been usin' sinkers made from this scary stuff have started to glow in the dark! So if you find yourself suddenly able to go night fishin' without the aid of a flashlight, don't say we didn't warn ya! — H 'n' C

    Dear Harry 'n' Charlie,
    Got any tasty shore lunch recipes you'd like to share? — Pete Ptrbywytz, Lake Fribbitz, Minn.

    Yours is not the first inquiry we've received from the Far North concerning this strange ritual called shore lunch. Evidently you Yankee fishermen must be bored outa your minds from not gettin' no strikes on them in-spinners y'all seem to prefer, 'cause why else would you waste so much time standin' around on the bank grillin' kielbasa when you could be catchin' bass?! Like we've said time and again, we Southerners has got three good reasons why we stay in our boats and don't do shore lunch: ticks, chiggers 'n' rattlesnakes! Next time, instead of totin' that big Weber grill around in your boat, do like we does: Stay in your boat and pop open a can of Vienny sausages or potted meat instead! — H 'n' C

    Dear Harry 'n' Charlie,
    My father-in-law owns a big lumber company and pays me $250,000 a year to handle his payroll and balance his books, all of which takes me about four hours a month. This leaves me plenty of free time to spend with my wife, who looks exactly like Angelina Jolie and is VERY affectionate. But lately I've become bored and have been thinking about hitting the road to fish the pro bass circuit. What do you guys think I should do? — Indecisive in Idaho

    You want our advice? Check yourself into an insane asylum, bubba, 'cause you obviously ain't playin' with a full deck! — H 'n' C