A professional fisherman offers tips for a good haul

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2008

ZUNI—Curt Lytle, a professional bass fisherman who lives in Zuni, was to open the first round of the FLW’s Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., yesterday.

The Forrest Wood Cup is one of the big tournament in professional bass fishing competition. Only the top 40 Tour anglers for the regular-season qualify for the event. Lytle finished 37th.

The full field of 77 pros were to fish Thursday and Friday with a top-10 cut being made at the conclusion of Friday’s weigh-in. The top-10 pros essentially fish a two-day tournament over the weekend for a possible $1 million first-place prize.

Lytle, 39, began fishing and hunting when he was 13 years old, and has fished professionally for 11 years. Throughout the years he has fished for two major professional circuits, the FLW and B.A.S.S. He currently has a part-time job in Chesapeake as a consultant.

According to Lytle, fishing professionally generates enough income more often than not. In his entire 11 years he has earned approximately $600,000, making anywhere from $20,000 to $80,000 annually.

“The reason I have a part-time job now,” said Lytle, “has a lot to do with gas prices. Gas is a big issue for boaters and it’s quite an expense as of late.”

He also explained that when it comes to fishing professionally, freshwater fishing is more successful than saltwater fishing, as it is easier to find sponsors for the freshwater fishing scene. Lytle currently has three sponsors of his own: Yamaha, Ranger Boats and Berkley Tackle.

Some of tips he’s provided on his Web site include:


Any suggestions about how to locate structure away from the banks and read a contour map that will enhance my fishing?


The key to finding fish offshore is to look for extended points, humps and creek (or river) channel bends.

The points, humps and channel bends have to have some type of cover (preferably stumps, rocks or brush).

Then, after you’ve found the cover on those spots, you’ll want to mark the spots with your GPS so that you can find them again.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t catch fish on them the first time — you may have to fish them on several different trips to find the fish, but eventually they will show up.


A few months ago, I was watching an Everstart tournament that you won.

In that tournament you were using a modified football head that you designed. Is there a mold cavity, or even the heads themselves, that I can find?


I’ve totally quit using those heads because I wasn’t satisfied with the hook-up rate. They’re relatively snagless around rock but lousy around brush and logs.

But the biggest problem was the hook-up rate — it’s something like 70 percent.

I am starting to use the new Berkley Classic Power Jig with Rattle, which was introduced right before Jay Yelas won the 2002 BASS Masters Classic with it.

I’ll have more information about the jig soon.


What’s your best lure to find bass on a new lake?


My favorite all-around lure for locating fish on a new lake is a spinnerbait because no matter what the cover or water visibility I can always get a spinnerbait blade combination that will catch fish.