After reading the story of how the guys who caught them at Douglas caught them at Douglas, I see why those of us who didn't catch them at Douglas didn't catch them. Seems that several of the top finishers were using the "long-line (or strolling) technique" to get their cranks much deeper than you can by casting them. Guess KVD didn't get the "long-line" memo. I know I sure didn't. Pretty sure I wouldn't have done it, as it's damn close to trolling, which is definitely against the rules. Since it's also known as strolling, which I've heard Tournament Director Trip Weldon say on more than one occasion is the same as trolling, I wouldn't have used it. I'm pretty much a one cast and reel it in kind of guy.
Having never even heard of the long-line technique, I Googled it. "Longlining for bass". Hmm. About 8,570,000 results (0.10 seconds), most of which are directly related to the Douglas event."Longlining for crappie". About 11,700 results (0.17 seconds), most of which have the word “trolling” all over the place in them. Hmm. "Longline fishing". About 290,000 results (0.14 seconds), most of it on how longlining is used in commercial fishing with scads of hooks to catch scads of fish. It also doesn’t seem to be highly regarded as a conservation minded technique and it’s obviously not even sporting.
For those unclear, here's how it works. Find yourself a nice, juicy piece of structure that's covered with bait and bass. Too deep to reach it with your crank bait? No problem. Pull up on top of it with the boat, make the longest cast you can, then with "the reel in free-spool while moving the boat to force the crankbait deeper. When most of the line was played out —- or a bass took the bait — the spool was engaged and the reeling-in began." That's right, chunk it out there, peel all the line off with the trolling motor (or big motor, according to one of the top finishers), then wind it back in. Sounds pretty much like trolling to me. Hey, I'm not making this up, it's plastered all over the bassin' world, courtesy of B.A.S.S. Communications. Here's the link.http://www.bassmaster.com/news/method-man#node-222321
Here’s another link on the actual technique.
Those in the loop are saying that these guys weren't REALLY, TECHNICALLY strolling, since the spools on their reels were disengaged while they were moving the boat. Really? They weren't dragging the bait around even the least little bit? No? Then why would a bass take the bait, as it was referenced in the “Method Man” story, before the reel was engaged? They come all the way up from 25 foot to take it off the surface? Sure.
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You know the rest.
I suppose this will go down as a "grey area" since it doesn't clearly state in the rules that strolling or long-lining or whatever you want to call it, is illegal. Just more proof that we have too much grey in the rules. I've never had a problem getting my butt beat by guys on the same page as my butt is on, but I get pretty bent when I get spanked by a loophole or a grey area.
K-Pink - Not long-lining or strolling or whatever you want to call it. Chunkin' and winding', baby.