Finesse fishing is probably one of the mostmisunderstood things, especially for a lotof the anglers in the southeast part of thecountry. I think finesse fishing in a lotof parts of the world, in the West, up whereyou are, over where I am in the Northeaston the East Coast, finesse fishing is important,but in a lot of places guys grow up power-fishing,and especially in those power-fishing areasof the world, I think there are a lot of mythsbased around finesse fishing. Here are probably four of the biggest. The first one is finesse fishing is no goodin dirty water. Man, I have to tell you, thatis such a super myth. I grew up over herein New Jersey basically fishing the banksof the tidal Delaware River from when I wasa kid till now, and the Delaware River inits entirety is a pretty stained fishery,in a lot of places muddy. I think one of thebig misconceptions is that when you see dirty,muddy water, from brown mud all the way toorange chocolate YooHoo, that finesse fishingis out of the picture, and that is false. Finesse fishing works equally as good in dirtywater as it does, obviously, in clear water,and I think the key is that you just haveto alter your finesse presentation a littlebit. Typically, the more stained the water,the dirtier the water, the muddier the water,finesse fishing is still important in it,but what I do is I really slow down and Ireally get more target-specific. One of the true things in dirty-water situationsis the fish will get tighter to cover. Theywill actually suck in closer to whatever theyare relating to, so in situations where youare finesse fishing, you just need to putthe bait tighter and leave it there for alonger period of time. The other modification that I will make isin color. I think a lot of times in finessefishing, people assume that color of the finessebaits are always translucent, or clear, orcolors that are almost see-through, so inmuddy water, the only modification I do isI go to colors that are brighter, that standout more, or have more contrast in that dirtywater. I can tell you one of my favorite finessecolors when I am fishing dirty water is straightblack, and it is almost like the forgotten-aboutcolor, but I love a little black shaky worm. I love a little black finesse jig, a blackfinesse spinner bait, so I think one of thebiggest misconceptions is you absolutely can’tfinesse in dirty water. The second big misconception of finesse fishingis finesse fishing does not catch big fish. It is only for little fish, and it is onlyfor numbers. Gosh, that is the biggest misconceptionin the world. I will give you two quick examples. The biggest bass I ever caught in my lifeweighed fourteen pounds, one ounce. I caughtit from Lake Amistad, practicing for the firstElite event we ever fished there, and I caughtthat fish on a spinning rod with ten-poundtest on a weightless soft stick bait. Second example: last year at the Texas ToyotaBass Classic, Lake Conroe, I came in secondplace, and amassed–I cannot remember whatit is–over four days, but averaging overtwenty pounds a day, caught one fish overseven pounds every day of the event, includingone that was almost ten, a nine-and-three-quarter,and every one of those fish I weighed, allthose big ones, all came on a little shaky-headworm on eight-pound fluorocarbon line, sofinesse fishing is absolutely a techniquewhere you can catch big giant fish. It isnot just for little fish. It is not just fornumbers. It can catch giants. Third misconception on finesse fishing isfinesse fishing only means fishing a littletiny worm and finesse fishing only means fishinga little tiny whippy spinning rod. The’rebig misconceptions. I think one of the bigthings in finesse fishing is that people lookat it and they see it as this one generictype of fishing, but in finesse fishing, likein power-fishing, there is a broad range ofbaits and there is a broad range of actionrods and techniques that we are going to useto finesse fish. To give you a quick example, you know, I havea book out all about finesse fishing, andwe have thirteen chapters and pretty muchevery one of those chapters talks about adifferent finesse bait or a different finessetechnique. The thing to keep in mind withfinesse fishing is each bait, what you wantto think about, so to give you a quick run-downof some of those: a shaky worm, a dropshot,a flick-shake, a tail-weighted French fry,a floating worm, a weightless stickbait ora minnow bait–any of those–the thing thatI am thinking about is the action of the bait:the fall or the movement of that bait. Whenyou look at them, when you break them down,they are all different. So again, just like in power-fishing, justlike in spinnerbait fishing–you spinnerbaitfish, you are picking blade colors and youare picking blade sizes. Do I use a willowfor flash, do I use an Indiana for in-between,a Colorado for vibration? The same way wepick those power-fishing baits, we are goingto pick finesse baits, so finesse fishingis not just a little worm. It is a lot ofbaits. The other thing is, it is not just a littlewhippy rod. I can tell you that there arefour different actions of spinning rods thatI normally carry in my boat, and I will giveyou a run-down of them real quick. One isa 6’6″ medium-heavy action spinning rod. Thatis the rod that I love to use when I am skippingaround docks, and it is the rod that I loveto use on jighead applications: a seven-footmedium-heavy action rod, the best all-aroundrod there is, a little bit longer. It is perfectfor flick-shake. It is perfect for tail-weightedFrench fry, stickbait–it is the best all-aroundrod. A 6’9″ straight medium spinning rod–thatis my dropshot rod–a lot more tip, a lotmore give to that rod, a lot more flexibility. You are not driving the hook home; you arejust kind of sweep-setting the hook. Then,finally, a really long spinning rod: a 7’4″ spinning rod with a little bit more heavyaction. It is a medium-heavy, but it is almostcloser to a heavy action rod, and that isfor applications like those bigger baits–along-cast weightless minnow bait, a big weightlessstickbait thrown into the bushes–some ofthose applications are used in braid on aspinning rod, so it is not just about a littlewhippy rod. There are other rods, so thatis the third one. Finally, I would say the biggest misconceptionin finesse fishing is that I do not finessefish because I always get birds’ nests inthe spinning reel, and birds’ nests, or thatline twist has to be a part of finesse fishing,and I wanted to end it with that one becausethat is a big one for me. You do not haveto get line twists, you know. Have I had linetwists in the past?Absolutely, and I think everybody has dealtwith it at one time. They have seen it, butthere are ways to finesse fish and use a spinningreel and use light line without getting linetwists, and real quick, I am going to giveyou the four techniques I use to stop linetwists on a spinning reel when you are finessefishing. The first one is when you are putting on theline. You go to your favorite store and youpick up a spool of line. You buy some BerkleyTrilene fluorocarbon. The first thing youwant to do is as that line is coming off thefiller spool, you want to make sure that theline is coming off counterclockwise, becauseas you reel that line in on your spinningreel, it is putting the line on clockwise,so you always want that line coming off ofthat filler spool counterclockwise. The second thing I do as I am bringing thatline in–so now, it is coming off of thatfiller spool counterclockwise, and I am truckingit in, I am reeling it in–before I reel itin, I am going to use a silicone spray, andI do not spray the line, but I spray a cloth. I will get a really soft cloth, somethinglike you wax your car with, and I will spraya silicone spray into that cloth. There are a lot of good silicone sprays onthe market that are geared toward fishing. There is Reel Line Magic. Kevin has one. Iwill be honest with you: I use generic siliconespray. You can go to a Lowe’s or a Home Depot,and you can buy just regular 3M silicone spray. I will spray that into the cloth, and I willreel the line through that cloth as I am bringingit into the reel, and what that does is helpsa little bit with that memory, gets a littlebit of that machine chalk off the line, sothat is number two. Number three is never, never, never overfill your spinningreel. My general rule of thumb is when I ambringing that line in, I like to leave, ata minimum, an eighth of an inch of the rimof that spinning spool showing. I see waytoo many guys that buy this great expensivefluorocarbon line. They get so excited. Theyare filling up the reel. They will fill thereel too much, and you never even see anyof the rim of the spool. At a minimum, leavean eighth of an inch of that spool empty:in most cases, almost a quarter of an inch,so do not overfill your spinning reel. Finally, number four–and this is the bigone, this is the kicker–is never close thatbale on your spinning reel by turning thereel handle. It is funny, because in Pro-Amevents especially, I will be up in the frontand I will have a co-angler in the back andwe are finesse fishing, and I hear him makea cast, and I can hear that “clink” of histurning the handle and the handle making thebail click back, and I cringe. It is likefingernails on a chalkboard, you know. I amthinking, “Ahhhhh. ” I turn around and say,”Stop that. “If you look, when you do that, if you usethe reel handle to close that bail, it throwsin a really little amount of slack into thespool, and so after 10 casts, after 50 casts,after a hundred casts, before you know it,you have a big amount of slack, and that isthe beginning to a birds’ nest. My last rule, number four, simple rule isget in the habit that every time you castyour spinning reel, click the bail back byhand, so you are using your hand to clickthe bail back, and then make sure the lineis under the roller, and you are ready tofish. If you do those two things, it becomessecond nature after a long time, so make yourcast, click the bail over by hand, make surethe line is under the roller, and you areready to fish. If you do those four things, I guarantee youthat you will not get bird nests in your spinningreel, and you will not be afraid to finessefish.