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"FISHING HAS NEVER LET ME DOWN..."
NAFC Interview with Chuck Bauer

Chuck Bauer is a noted Big Bass Specialist who has been recognized many times by various organizations, including Bassin' Magazine, Texas Fish & Game, North American Fisherman Magazine, Outdoor Life, Texas Hunting and Fishing News, The Dallas Morning News, and Texas Outdoor Times Magazine. Chuck is a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association and he is on Pro Staff for Kick-n-Bass.

Chuck also does FREE fishin' seminars in and around the Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex. You may find out more information about Chuck at www.chuckbauer.com or www.worldrecordbass.com

NAFC -- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AN ANGLER?

CB -- I have been fishing for 36 years.

NAFC -- DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON CATCH AND RELEASE? HAVE YOU ALWAYS PRACTICED IT?

CB -- For many years, I was a trout fisherman and really didn't practice "catch and release" (C&R). In 1985, I switched to bass fishing and didn't really know anything about it. In studying and reading many magazines, I became familiar with C&R. At first, it was difficult to throw fish back. After a while, it became very easy; especially considering the long-term, positive effects that catch and release has on any fishery. The NAFC "Catch and Release Contest" taught me how easy it is to document your catches and release them. Most anglers, for some reason, will not carry a camera, measuring tape, and scale with them. So, when those opportune times show up, they miss their chance of documenting the catch and, most importantly, releasing it. Best of all, it is such a rush to release big fish, especially in front of young children or other fisherman. You set an example; especially for the kids. I fish every couple weeks with my good friend, Jeff, and his three young boys. I remember two years ago starting to fish with them -- the boys always wanted to keep their fish. Now, it's catch, document, and release all the way. Heck, these boys even talk about "Catch & Release" at school and church! A true form of how one small positive thing you do has such a ripple effect!

NAFC -- FAVORITE METHODS FOR BASS FISHING?

CB -- I have three favorite methods for fishing:

1ST, I use live bait. Yes, I know, many fishermen are against using live bait, however I learned, a few years back, that in order to catch BIG BASS on a consistent basis, you must get out of the small-fish box and into the big-fish box. Paul Duclos and Bob Crupi both asked me, "Would you rather have a real steak or a rubber steak?" Same applies to catching big bass. Bluegill, waterdogs, and crawdads are my rule of thumb. With live bait, I am very SLOW and methodical when fishing. I stay deep and am very patient. Bob Crupi, who has the 2nd largest bass on the books, told me that with that particular fish, he cast a crawdad out and let it sit for quite some time, not even touching his pole, before the big female hit it.

2ND, I'm prepared mentally. To catch big bass, you have to get mentally into the big-fish box. Your mental state and belief has so much to do with catching big fish, and is just as important as using live bait. I know, each time I go out to fish, that I will catch a bass over 22-inches, and I have to do things different than most fisherman to accomplish that. Being mentally prepared means going against the current; i.e., when others are beating the bank for a 3-pound bass, I want to be deep and sitting on spots where the big bass are most likely to congregate. Mental toughness also means sometimes fishing by yourself. Many of my fishin' buddies like to catch numbers or do the opposite of what it will take to catch a BIG fish. I tend to plan out my strategy and place the advantage to me when it comes to finding that big fish. I do not fish for numbers. I do what it's going to take to catch big fish. That means staying away from normal strategies and going against-the-grain, in most cases. Stealth is such a big factor, as an example. In some cases, I will shut down the big motor and drift over to a spot over 50 yards away. There are reasons why a bass gets big, so you have to do everything in your power to turn the advantage to you.

3RD, I use big plugs. Big fish hit big baits. Often, I will use a Castaic Trout, AC Plug, or even big saltwater plugs to fool big bass. In the summertime, one of my favorite techniques is to use a big saltwater pole with lead core line and run a plug 40-50 feet deep in selected areas of my home lake. Back in February of 1998, I caught a 25-inch 9-pound bass on the Castaic Trout right out of a small pond in Dallas. You just never know.

NAFC -- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A MEMBER OF THE NAFC (NORTH AMERICAN FISHING CLUB)?

CB -- Four years. (Note: Chuck is a life member of NAFC.)

NAFC -- BEST PLACE TO CATCH BASS IN YOUR STATE?

CB -- Two places for me are the best in Texas. First off, there are a variety of tank ponds and even city ponds that hold big bass. It amazes me, when I pull a six- or seven-pound bass out of a neighborhood pond, how it will shock people -- again, the belief cycle at work. I even carry my poles, camera, tape, and scale with me in my Suburban -- just in case I come across a pond that I haven't fished before. I've had women pushing a baby strollers come by and take pictures and witness for me -- and they cannot believe the size of the fish -- and when they tell their husbands, they think their wives have gone waco. Beyond that, Lake Ray Roberts just northeast of Dallas is my favorite lake. I truly believe that Roberts holds a number of 14-pound bass and bigger, and in the next few years some huge bass will be caught there. Additionally, Ray Roberts does not receive the pressure that Fork gets. I had one day last year at Ray Roberts that I had four bass with a total weight of 34 pounds!

 NAFC -- WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO FISH?

CB -- My Dad. Since I was four-years-old, he always took the time to take me out fishing in the ocean off Southern California and every once in a while we fished little Irvine Lake. Dad had me tying my own knots by the age of four. I am so thankful for his time and effort; he put into me and fishing -- kept me out of trouble in my later years. NAFC member, Paul Duclos, who has been a fishin' mentor for me ever since he caught his 24-pounder back in March of 1997, has been exemplary in teaching and coaching me on big fish -- Paul got me out of the "Little Fish Box" and into the "BIG Fish Box."

NAFC -- ANY AWARDS, RECOGNITION, ETC., FOR "CATCH AND RELEASE"?

CB -- My "catch and releases" have been recognized many times by various organizations, including "Bassin' Magazine," "Texas Fish & Game Magazine," "North American Fisherman Magazine," "Outdoor Life," the "Dallas Morning News," "National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame," "Texas Hunting and Fishing News," and "Texas Outdoor Times Magazine." I am on pro staff for Kick-N-Bass Fish Attractant. I have also received a special award from the "National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame" for a 33-pound, 45-inch long channel catfish I caught in August of 1998.

 NAFC -- ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT MEMBERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

CB -- I owe a great deal to this wonderful sport of fishing. Many times, we as humans are challenged with different or difficult things, and I can say that, through my whole life, fishing has never let me down. Outside of my love for fishing, I am a professional business coach, public speaker, and small business consultant. I have a web-site for my professional services and another web-site with information on fishing; including photographs and stories.

Chuck does FREE fishin' seminars in and around the Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex. You may find out more information about Chuck at www.chuckbauer.com or www.worldrecordbass.com.


Profishin'l Seminars & Workshops
2810 E. Trinity Mills Rd., #209 Carrollton, TX 75006
E-Mail: chuck@chuckbauer.com Voicemail: 1-888-877-0263