Simplicity: The Core of Biffle’s Three Decades of Success

Category: article

 Jul 6th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jul 6th, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has absolutely nothing in common with Tommy Biffle. 

However, the 18th Century German philosopher nailed Biffle’s style completely when he said, “Nothing is true, but that which is simple.”

Tommy Biffle with his winning jig. (Photo McGuckin)

Simplicity became a security blanket for Biffle three decades ago when he left a steady factory job to pursue his dream of pitching jigs for a living.

Larry Smith, a Coweta, Oklahoma marine dealership owner who used to fish jackpot tourneys against Biffle remains Tommy’s friend still today.  Smith vividly recalls Biffle’s early years of uncertainty. “One of the first tournaments Tommy left home to fish was at Guntersville. He struggled.  He was scared.  He looked at me and said ‘I think I’ve really screwed up’, ” recalled Smith, in regard to Biffle self-doubting his decision to quit a steady job and dominance as a local jackpotter to try his hand as a full-time pro. 

“I think Tommy resorted to what he knew best pretty quickly out of fear, but what he and the rest of the world soon figured out was that he was a better jig fisherman than just about anyone in America,” said Smith.

Twenty-six years later, pitching remains the security blanket, and Tommy’s success with the technique has him sitting as one of the world’s best.  He’s pitched his way to more than $2-million dollars since those early days of uncertainty. 

At age 52, Biffle not only continues to qualify for Bassmaster Classics … the grey beard is winning.  He’s taken home Bassmaster Elite Series trophies from Oneida, New York, Wheeler, Alabama and most recently his home lake – Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma.

“In my mind, I can catch fish with a jig or Larew Biffle Bug, anywhere, anytime I go fishing.  From clear water to muddy water, it doesn’t matter to me.  I can find a way to catch fish pitchin’ on just about any lake in America.  In fact, it’s not unusual for me to start my pre-fishing on a new lake with the same exact lures I had tied on at the previous tournament,” grinned Biffle.

Biffle typically chooses his namesake Gene Larew Biffle Bug in warmer temperatures or on tough fisheries, while steadily, and frequently still pitching black and blue jigs on America’s more generous waterways. 

Not convinced of his simple ways yet?  Digest this.  Tommy eats at Wendy’s nearly everyday that he is away from home, and he orders the same chicken sandwich every time.  So no surprise, 90% of the time he uses the same exact Quantum rod and reel.  His reel is a Tour Edition TE100HPT with a super fast 7.0:1 Burner gear ratio designed to pick up line fast between pitches.  “The TTBC76F rod I use is super stout for one reason, I want to get bass out of heavy cover fast when I hook them. It’s a big stick, but it’s well balanced.  It’s not tip heavy.  I took the foregrip off it to reduce weight too,” explained Biffle.

“I snicker when I see a guy with 15 rods on his deck.  I’ll never be that way,” said Biffle. 

We know Tommy.  Nor will you ever eat anything but chicken sandwiches at Wendy’s.  Because “Nothing is True, But that Which is Simple.”

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