Original Caption: Dave Barnes of Weeks Mills, a guide and competitive bass angler, lands a 2-pound largemouth in Cobbosseecontee Lake in Winthrop. Lots of action make Maine's bass fishing the best in the Northeast. Portland Press Herald, May, 1995, staff photo by Gordon Chibroski.

Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo features another tour veteran that most guys have probably not heard about.  A 1995 local news story out of Maine interviewed Dave Barnes, Sr., guide and competitive angler, and discussed the growing interest in bass fishing, and what competitive angling is like.

At the time, Dave had “won the state bass fishing championship nine of the 17 years it’s been held, including last year.  He’s been on 14 of 17 state bass fishing teams and qualified for four Wrangler national championships.”

According to Bassmaster.com, he competed in 91 Bassmaster events, cashing checks in about 1/3 of those events.  The earliest of those events dated all the way back to the 1977 New York Invitational, where he finished 20th at Alexandria Bay, NY.  The most recent listed was a 2007 event, the Southern Open at Santee-Cooper.  He didn’t qualify for any Classics, and didn’t record any wins, though he did have a runner-up finish.

The article also compiled a list of “DAVE BARNES’ BASS TIPS,” which follow:

  1. Learn everything about bass, especially where the fish are and what they are doing at different times of the year. Seasonal patterns will help you locate the fish 99 percent of the time.
  2. Don’t get hung up on any one lure. Learn how to use all the different kinds – plastic worms, jigs, grubs, spinner baits, buzz baits and others – effectively.
  3. To learn how to use a new type of lure (when you don’t have anybody to learn it from) – read a book. Then leave your tackle box home and fish with that lure only until you gain confidence in it.
  4. Practice your casting often. Inaccurate casting is one of the most common problems for bass anglers
  5. Be very quiet in your presentation because bigger bass, with a keen sense of smell and hearing, spook easy. Talking doesn’t alarm them, but noise in the boat, such as stomping feet or dropping live well lids or tackle boxes, does.
  6. Wait until your boat is in the right position before you cast. The first cast is the most critical to catch big fish.  You have to be right on target.
  7. Concentrate on your fishing at all times. Nine times out of 10 it’s when you’re not paying attention that you’ll miss a big bite and miss the fish.
  8. Don’t worry about getting your line hung up. There’s no way you can avoid snagging it occasionally if you’re fishing close enough to stumps, rocks and other places where bass lurk.
  9. If you’re going out on a strange lake, got a good depth map and study it. Cruise at half throttle with a depth finder on, locating underwater islands, rock piles, points, etc.  Check shallow water for spring spawning areas like gravel bars or stumpy areas.
  10. If you’re serious about bass fishing and you want to learn a lot quicker, join a local bass club, hire a professional guide or fish with more experienced bass anglers.