Printer-friendly versionPDF versionFLW Tour pro and recent Lake Guntersville champion Brent Long discusses how he zeroed in on a winning ledge pattern, how bass clubs helped prepare him for the Tour, how he prepares for a new fishery and much more
- MODERATOR COMMENT - Welcome to FLW Live Reel Chat. Today we're joined by bass proBrent Longof Cornelius, N.C.
- MODERATOR COMMENT - As a two-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier through club tournaments, Brent Long routinely turned in stellar performances during FLW Outdoors events in the weekend Bass Fishing League (seven top-10 finishes and an All-American berth). However, Long proved once and for all that he could challenge some of the best anglers in the nation when he walked away with the FLW Tour title on Lake Guntersville in late June. There, Long put on a fishing clinic that led to his first tour-level win and a $125,000 payday.
- MODERATOR COMMENT - Today, Brent Long is here to take questions from you, the fans. So, without further delay, let's get started.
Q:Brent, congrats on your win. Was (your FLW Tour win at Guntersville) the most satisfying victory of your career? -- Jon Stebbins (San Diego, Calif.) A:Yes. To be able to win a major tournament with some of the top pros in the world was great.
Q:How did you feel heading into the Lake Guntersville tournament? During prefishing, did you have any indication that you had a good shot at making a real run at the title? -- Patrick Zak (Oakland, Calif.) A:I never focused on winning the tournament. I had such a slow year, so my main goal was just cashing a check. But after day one, I turned on the after-burners and went for the win. After day two, I felt like I'd secured a top-50 finish so I just decided to go for it.
Q:Brent, do you think the momentum of the Lake Guntersville title will carry over into the 2011 season? -- Eric Vrooman (Minneapolis, Minn.) A:All of my life I've realized that fishing is real streaky. Hopefully the momentum will carry over to next year. But it absolutely gives me confidence in myself. The mental aspect of tournament fishing is the biggest part.
Q:Congratulations, Brent! I heard you had an awesome co-angler on day one! LOL. Did you ever figure out why that school of fish was in the marina? Did you ever notice any current in Siebold Creek, and did it affect your fish in any way? -- Mark Denney (Cottontown, Tenn.) A:I enjoyed fishing with all of my co-anglers. The only thing I could figure out with regard to the marina was that there was a little depression with a shell bed. There was no current on day one. And I caught fish both when there was current and when there wasn't any current, so I don't think it really affected my fishing.
Q:What was your primary bait and tackle presentation during the Guntersville event? -- Jim Interlandi (Chicago, Ill.) A:It was a 3/4-ounce football jig (Ernest Langley custom made in blue-oyster color), dragging it along the bottom just like you would a Carolina rig. That's what I caught most of my fish on. If anybody is interested in those jigs, you can e-mail me at FishBrentLong@yahoo.com. You can send me an e-mail and I'll forward it on.
Q:At what point in the Lake Guntersville event did you realize you had a real chance at victory? -- Titus Song (New York, N.Y.) A:When I finished my limit on the final day.
Q:So what are you going to do with your winnings? -- Jon Pageler (Napa Valley, Calif.) A:Spent it. We're actually in the process of building a new house, so we'll use part of it for that. But we'll try to invest some of it as well. I'm sure the money won't last long.
Q:What kind of fishing line were you using on your jig worm, swimbait and crank? -- Hunter Ridenour (Dickson, Tenn.) A:On the jig and Texas-rigged worm, I was throwing a Seaguar fluorocarbon InvizX 15-pound-test line. With the crankbait I threw 10-pound-test Bass Pro Shops Excel monofilament line. With the swimbait I used the same line in 12-pound-test.
Q:Brent, what recommendations do you have for people who are just starting out but want to fish the FLW Tour someday? -- Jon Heineman (Bozeman, Mont.) A:I'd say to start out on the co-angler side to get a feel for what's going on. Learn as much from the pros as you can and move on from there.
Q:Canyou talk about the ditch you were fishing (at Guntersville)? How deep was it compared to the water around it? How steep was it? What made it such a consistent spot for you? -- Joel (Everett, Wash.) A:I think the main reason it was holding the fish was because it was in the mouth of two creeks coming together on the main channel. And it was actually a hump instead of a ditch. It was 13 feet deep on top of the hump, and it fell to 25 or 26 feet around the hump.
Q:Guntersville: Is it the best tournament lake in the nation right now? If so, why? If not, in your opinion what would be or is? -- Cody Ryan (Austin, Texas) A:I'd say that Guntersville is probably the best -- at least from my own experience and what other people have told me as well. It's just got numbers of quality bass in it. The DNR and/or wildlife managment agencies are doing a wonderful job managing that lake right now.
Q:Brent, how do you approach fishing a new lake that you've never been to before come tournament time? -- Andy (Louisville, Ky.) A:I always get a map of the lake and study it. Now with all of the new technology, you can actually download maps onto your computer. Then you try to find out the history of the lake for seasonal patterns over the last five or 10 years. Like on Guntersville, summertime means ledge fishing. So you have to know each lake's own specialty.
Q:Brent, generally speaking, what style of fishing are you most comfortable with? -- Jill Locke (Seattle, Wash.) A:Shallow-water power-fishing -- flipping and pitching jigs through shallow cover.
Q:How important were your days fishing bass-club events as far as preparing you for tour-level competition? What did they teach you? -- Louis Abernathy (Vossburg, Ala.) A:I would say very important. I started out in clubs fishing as a co-angler, so I learned what it takes and to not be dependent on the man in the front of the boat. I was forced to figure out a lot of stuff by myself. In club fishing, you're fishing with someone different all the time, so you're learning a bunch of different techniques from different people.
Q:Has anything surprised you after making the jump from fishing BFL events to the FLW Tour? Is fishing the FLW Tour everything you expected? -- Thomas Suk (Minnetonka, Minn.) A:No, because I've been fishing for so long -- fishing competitively for 20 years. I don't look at the other anglers. I just try to compete against the fish.
Q:How do I start and popularize a fishing club? -- Joe (Danville, Calif.) A:I'd advertise it in local bait shops and fishing-supply stores. Go onto FLWOutdoors.com and click on TBF (The Bass Federation) and you'll get all of the information you'll need to start a club.
Q:Brent, in this economic climate, how difficult is it to get sponsorships right now? -- Nathan (Pittsburgh, Pa.) A:It's very difficult. People are only spending money where they have to spend money. There are a few companies that do have extra money for sponsorships, but there are not many.
Q:What are some of the best resources I can utilize to learn more about bass fishing? I don't have much time to spend on the water, so I want to maximize my knowledge through reading. -- Mark Saunders (Wellington, Ohio) A:I'd say watching all of the fishing shows. And there are so many fishing Web sites. It's helpful to read the pros' tips and then try to use them and gain confidence in them on the water.
- MODERATOR COMMENT - Unfortunately, fishing fans, that’s all the time we have to chat with Brent today. Thanks to all who tuned in and participated in today’s Reel Chat. And a special thanks to Brent Long, the recent FLW Tour winner at Lake Guntersville, for giving us his time and insights into bass fishing. Check back shortly for a complete transcript of today's FLW Live Reel Chat.