Keith Combs Offering Marine Electronics Classes in 2016

Keith Combs Offering Marine Electronics Classes in 2016

Bassmaster Elite Series and multiple Toyota Texas Bass Classic champion Keith Combs is offering 10 classes cover how to use marine electronics to catch more and bigger bass this year.

Elite Series pro Keith Combs has developed a new series of classes to help fisherman become better at interpreting and utilizing their electronics. Each class is based around a Power Point presentation utilizing actual screen and mapping shots taken from Combs’ boat.

All classes will be taught in a conference room environment, and will cover 4 hours of material plus a 1-hour catered Q & A lunch.

They are currently offering 10 classes covering 4 different topics:

  • Locating spring bass
  • Locating summer bass
  • Locating fall bass
  • Locating winter bass 

They will look at breaking down 3 completely different types of fisheries by season with the use of down imaging, side imaging, conventional sonar, mapping, 360 imaging, and Auto Chart Live.

The first classes are scheduled for Feb. 6-7, 2016 at the Courtyard Marriott in Lufkin, Texas. To learn more, visit www.theelectronicedge.com.

The Keith Combs difference

The Keith Combs difference

Story by Pete Robbins

After 10 minutes on the water with Keith Combs, I knew how many Elite Series pros feel when they visit the Lone Star State.

Combs hadn’t cranked up the big motor yet, had only unstrapped the rods on one side of the deck, when he bowed up on a bug-eyed monster of a bass that he pegged at well over 10 pounds. We didn’t have a scale, so the Facebook haters may disagree, but when it comes to guesstimating the weights of double digit bass, I’m going to wager my last dollar on whatever Combs says, because the guy has caught a pile of them.

I’d ventured to Texas partially because I wanted to get a sore thumb from lipping big bass (preferably mine, not his), but also because I wanted to get a better sense of what makes Keith tick. I’d previously dubbed him “The Once and Future King of Texas” on the basis of his extraordinary finishes on Texas waters. Based on his track record, I don’t think that assessment was premature, but in some ways it assumed too much – I thought I knew what he could do, but hadn’t seen it firsthand. Fishing writers and fans do that all too often. We declare someone the “best flipper” or the “greatest deep cranker” or the “master of tidal water” without having seen more than a few television snippets of what makes that so.

I wanted to get to the bottom of why Keith Combs does so well in general, and in particular in Texas.

Of course, asking that question of Combs himself would’ve probably been a fruitless proposition. I’m sure he can make a more-than-educated guess as to why he’s enjoyed great success, but there’s an element that likely remains a mystery even to him. Why does he go down a ledge and catch 5-pounders while one of his competitors – using the same rod, reel, line and lure – catches only half as many 2-pounders? It’s the same question that Denny Brauer might’ve struggled to answer about his jig flipping, or KVD might’ve said during his ridiculous run of AOYs and Bassmaster Classic trophies about his all around game. “I just do what I do and they eat it.”

In that respect, it reminds me of what NBA Hall of Famer Moses Malone said to Sports Illustrated’s Frank DeFord when asked why he was such an effective rebounder:

“Basically, I just goes to the rack,” Malone answered.

Basically, Keith Combs just puts ‘em in the livewell.

To a skeptic like me, someone who knows that he could probably never be an Elite Series angler, but doesn’t quite know why, that doesn’t sit well. I wanted to know more. So after fishing with Combs, watching Combs and picking his brain for two full days and parts of two others, here are the four things I observed that I think make him exceptional:

HE’S GOOD AT THE THINGS YOU CAN SEE

Everyone on the Elite Series can cast well. They can pitch, then can flip, they can skip a jig into a 2 inch by 2 inch gap and send it skittering it into the next county. While they may have the best of the best when it comes to tackle, for the most part it’s nothing you and I can’t buy. As much as they try to convince you otherwise onstage, it’s not the motor, the boat, the line or the green pumpkin shimmy grub with 27 black flakes that they’re using that makes them good – it’s them.

Every angler out there can do everything well. Tommy Biffle, flipper extraordinaire, can beat you with a spinnerbait. Aaron Martens, the king of dropshotting, loves to flip mats, and he’s deadly at it.

Combs is no different. While he is probably best known for his offshore cranking skills, I was treated to a lesson in sight fishing that erased much of what I thought I knew and enhanced what was left. He could see things I couldn’t. He found beds I never would have found. Once I could discern the smallest sliver of white at the edge of the bed he’d spotted from twice the distance, I’d struggle to keep a bait there. Meanwhile, he could tell me exactly what the “ghost fish” was doing, and knew that I’d hooked up before I could feel the bite.

HE’S GOOD AT THE THINGS YOU CAN’T SEE

As I engaged in my decidedly amateurish attempts to catch the bed fish that he’d located, Combs proceeded to blind cast a soft plastic in the vicinity. Often he’d catch two or three fish while I tried to tempt the spawner. It was embarrassing – I’d been gift wrapped an easy one and meanwhile he’d dredge up a few that were every bit as big, with no effort whatsoever. He made it look easy, but when I tried the same thing I’d catch maybe half as many, despite it being a “do nothing” technique.

He likes to crank and he likes to sight fish, but Keith Combs is all about not force feeding the bass what he wants them to eat. As much as he likes to look, he also likes to listen. There’s a perception that pros who win on tour like the gamble. The too-often used phrase is “swing for the fences.” Combs said that the decision to chase checks or go for wins is a false dichotomy. He said that earlier in his career, on the few occasions when he tried to fish for checks, he ended up outside the cut, while when he fishes for wins and things go awry, he can almost always salvage a money finish.

Kithe Combs Fishing

Look at his B.A.S.S. track record – 38 money finishes in 47 events – and it’s clear that consistency can exist hand-in-hand with slugging. Last year he missed two Elite checks (including BASSfest). In 2013, he missed one. If you’re always in the money, eventually things should break your way, and you don’t get there by doing one thing and one thing only.

HE REALLY LOVES TO FISH

This one might sound a little foolish. Don’t all of the Elites love to fish? Doesn’t everyone reading this column love to fish? Not as much as he does. Anyone can love the catching part of the exercise. It takes a true fanatic to love the hard labor part. He told me that when he was guiding on Falcon and Amistad, he’d often drop his clients off in the afternoon, then go right back out and spend hours just burning gas and graphing. It was a time when he was regularly catching 30 plus pound bags of fish and he was still looking for more places, building up a library of hundreds of waypoints that might not have been good on that particular day, but were perfect for some future situation that he expected to occur.

While I was in Texas, another friend mentioned a possible trip to Italy. “Do they have bass there?” was Keith’s first question. “If not, I don’t want to go.” He doesn’t understand his Elite counterparts who take time off in between events to “stay hungry.” We fished each of the four days I was there, and he would’ve been out there had I still been in Virginia. After I left, he was heading somewhere else to scout. There’s no downtime, no loss of intensity, and no getting out of rhythm with the way that fish behave.

HE LOVES TO WIN MORE THAN HE LOVES TO FISH

Fresh off a money finish at the Sabine, one that more than half of his peers would’ve killed for, he was still mad that he hadn’t been able to go for the win. Heading into Day 2, he was in 42nd place, only 2 pounds, 10 ounces out of the Top 12, but also only a pound ahead of 53rd. He could go one way the next day and shoot for big fish, or the other and fish for more plentiful but smaller fish, but not both. He’d made up his mind to aim big, a slight risk. Ultimately, the longer fog delay and resulting shorter day prevented him from doing so, and it still smarted that he didn’t have the chance to aim bigger. At the same time, he salvaged a check, finishing 49th.

As we fished down the bank on a perfect spring Thursday, the lake uncluttered of boats, we passed by small fish, looking for big ones. “That one’s too small,” he’d say. “Let’s find ‘Big.’” It’s an attitude I’ve seen in VanDam and Brauer when I’ve shared a boat with them, the type of mentality that recognizes that what they have is good, but what they could have is so much better. That runs completely counter to the security-first space that most of us inhabit. Perhaps it can be taught or learned, but more and more I think it’s ingrained.

After thinking about this and writing all of this, I understand what pushed Keith Combs from the precipice of very, very good to great, but I still don’t understand how he got to that initial landing point. That’s the frustrating thing for weekend duffers like me. He’s like a running back who acts like he has eyes in the back of his head, avoiding tacklers he can’t possibly see, or a basketball player who seems to continue to rise as those who seek to defend his dunk start to fall. There is some extra gear there, something that pushes Keith Combs and the other 20 or 30 anglers in that uppermost echelon of the sport where insane talent meets incredible drive. We can try to figure it out all we want, and measure the things that are measurable, but ultimately I believe it is unknowable.

Keith Combs Signature Series Rods

Keith Combs Signature Series Rods

BASS Elites Pro Keith Combs

BASS Elites Pro Keith Combs partner’s with Power Tackle to come up with The “Keith Comb’s Signature Series Rods.” There are 10 rod models designed specifically for  Keith’s style of fishing. The Rods will be available at local retailers in Q2 of 2015.

 

All rods are crafted in the USA with component such as RainShadow blanks, which are the finest in design and manufacturing of Toray graphite and Eglass composite blanks. The Alps TexTouch blank exposed reel seat with “dual locking nuts” are undoubtedly the best reel seat on the market for sensitivity, comfort and durability. The 11 mini guide ALPS system has been designed for making long accurate casts while increasing sensitivity. “Power Tackle will proudly build these rods for Keith and offer them to the dedicated fisherman for an unbeatable value.” Says Judy Reneau, Power Tackle.

“We are blessed to have added Keith Combs and Power Tackle to the Team RainShadow Pro-staff. Keith’s knowledge, determination and persistency will make him succeed. Keith Combs competing on the BASS Elites with his signature series fishing rods will give him the competitive advantage to win.” States Bill Batson, CEO Batson Enterprises. “I want anglers of any level to fish with the exact rods that I use personally. This will allow any one the opportunity to catch the biggest fish.“ Keith Combs voices.

Power Tackle has gained a reputation for solid, quality rods.  They have been manufacturing premium bass fishing rods for over 8 years and have become well respected by the serious fisherman.  Fished by pros like Keith Combs, Tim Reneau , Phil Marks, and Ray Hanselman, as well as other ranked fishermen, Power Tackle Rods are contending with the “big boys” of the rod industry.

For more information: www.powertackle.com

Watch Keith Combs on Exposed

Watch Keith Combs on Exposed

If you haven’t enjoyed any of our Season 4 premiers now is the time.   Tomorrow in his Exposed debut Keith Combs will break down Toledo Bend, a day of practice which sent him onto a top 20 finish and lead in to a week he will never forget at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic.

Keith shared some insight with ProPatterns concerning the upcoming Classic and his practice day last year on Toledo Bend.  World Record Angler Keith Combs

In celebration of the 2015 Bassmaster Classic which starts this Friday in Greenville, SC, ProPatterns will be offering exclusive savings for all of our fans and members wanting to upgrade to Elite.
Sales run 02/18/2015 – 02/23/2015.
– BUY 2 DVD Collections & get 3rd Collection FREE
Register with promo code ‘CLASSIC’ and get $25 OFF your annual membership and save even more on DVDS

Kurt Dove’s Pro-Bass Camp set for June

Kurt Dove’s Pro-Bass Camp set for June

 

DEL RIO, Texas — The fourth annual Kurt Dove’s Pro-Bass Camp for anglers ages 13 to 18 will take place June 23-27, 2015, on Texas’ Lake Amistad.

The camp is hosted by Dove, who is a Bassmaster Elite Series pro and a guide on Amistad. Campers learn about the sport and the business from some of the nation’s top anglers, and they even get to compete for college scholarships.

In summer 2014, 20 teens from Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, Alabama and Virginia attended the camp.

“I’m not sure we’ll ever exceed 20,”said Dove. “It’s four days of intense bass fishing activity from daylight to dark. We rely on that personal attention. We’re working to provide an avenue to lead kids from the youth level to the college level and beyond. We want to allow them to live their dreams in fishing no matter what those may be.”

As in the previous two years, the 2014 instructors were a mix of local sticks, national pros, Elite Series winners and even a Hall of Famer or two. Denny Brauer, Harold Allen, Cliff Crochet, Keith Combs, TR Andreas, Dave Mansue, Tim Reneau, Olin Jensen, Tyler Wilson and Mike Cones joined Dove as instructors last summer.

Dove has also partnered with Chase Kemp and the Donald R. Kemp Youth Hunting Club, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Las Cruces, N.M., that seeks to introduce children to the outdoors and provide them with opportunities to explore their interests in fishing and hunting.

The camp is focused on kids who are consumed by every aspect of the sport of bass fishing. In addition to ensuring that each camper spends at least seven hours a day on the water with a pro, the off-the-water hours are filled with nonstop activities — all aimed at rounding out the kids’ understanding of the sport and the business.

“There are flipping and pitching contests, lure making and seminars,” Dove said. “We also give them lots of advice on the industry and about equipment.”

The week concludes with a tournament which awards the winner a $1,500 scholarship, a new rod and a trophy. The second- and third-place finishers earn $1,000 scholarships. All of the scholarships can be used at the college or university of the young angler’s choice. Julian Sosa-Carver, Charlie Baker and Parker Smith finished first through third, respectively, in 2014.

“This past year the dominant bite was shallow to mid-depth, with a square bill, a Texas rig and some topwater action,” Dove said. Those who applied what was taught by the pros throughout the week figured it out and did well in the tournament, but that’s not the only way achievement was measured.

“We try to recognize as many of the youth as possible,” Dove said, so awards for the biggest bass of the week as well as the most improved angler are offered with great fanfare. Mason McGill caught the big fish of the week (3 pounds, 12 ounces) on a square bill, Alex Rigg was named the camp’s Most Improved Angler, and Bowdi Armstrong took top honors in the flipping and pitching contest.

Regardless of his or her finish, each youth angler was awarded a tackle pack, filled with products from Ima, Optimum, Ten Bears Bait, Strike King, El Grande Lures, Rod Glove and C&E Outdoors of Las Cruces, N.M., among others.

While the campers uniformly left the shores of Lake Amistad invigorated and enlivened by their new knowledge, the instructors also found their love of the sport renewed by the young anglers’ enthusiasm, said Dove.

“This year’s camp will be held June 23-27, and we are going to include 20 participants again,” Dove added. “My desire is to continue elevating the camp by continuing to offer more for the youth anglers involved. After all, that is what this camp is all about.”

To learn more, watch the video below or visit www.probasscamp.com.