Bass fishing tips involves persistence, commitment, and a little bit of luck.There is a logical progression to the sport when you first start fishing for black bass, including largemouth and smallmouth bass. In most cases, the first journey doesn’t result in a trophy.
To make the novice (as well as the intermediate) bass angler feel more at ease on the lake, we will break down the best bass rods, lures, baits, plastics, and methods.Additionally, you’ll start catching more bass. And probably larger bass.
That is, if you know where to go, how to set up your bait, and how to employ the appropriate methods. When you first begin fishing for black bass, you could quickly become confused by the terminology, methods, and equipment employed.
With this overview of the most crucial details, we’ll strive to make the procedure simpler.First, let’s examine what a black bass is and why you might wish to catch one.
American black bass species types
The most sought-after game fish in the nation is the freshwater bass. They are present in the seas of the entire nation, as well as those of Canada and Mexico.
Although they were illegally introduced and subject to a catch-and-kill order, bass were recently discovered in a lake in Alaska. Largemouth, smallmouth, and occasionally other black bass are recognised sport fish in the other 49 states.
Black bass are a variety of freshwater fish. Being able to recognise them will offer you an advantage because each type will call for a different strategy.
Due to their size and fighting ability, largemouth bass (also known as “largies”) are common in most states across the nation and, for many fishermen, the primary goal when bass fishing.
The upper jawbone of the largemouth bass extends past the eye, and its mouth is significantly larger than that of other fish. Along with their spiny dorsal fins, largemouth bass have a deep notch between them.
Largemouths can be found in waters that freeze over in the winter, although warmer lakes and ponds tend to be where they thrive and grow the fastest.Anywhere there is cover, largemouth fish will take it.
Any cover that offers a great place to ambush their prey, such as between rocks, hiding in aquatic vegetation, around submerged trees, and so on, will likely be holding fish.
Bass flourish in still, calm, warm water, but they may adapt to a variety of other environments.
Smallmouth bass (smallies), which are also common across the nation, prefer clearer, cooler water than largies. When fishing lakes and reservoirs, keep an eye out for them under rocky cover and sandy bottoms.
Smallmouth bass fishing in rivers can be quite successfulUnexpectedly large fish can be found in rivers and creeks; look for cover like stones and ledges where they can remain somewhat hidden.
When pursuing smallies, smaller lures and soft plastics often produce better results than those you may use for largemouths.The smallmouth’s cheeks typically have three darker lines and their jawline doesn’t reach past their eyes.
There are nine to ten sharp spines on the dorsal fin. Some smallmouths have blazing red eyes that give them an angry appearance.Other names for spotted bass are Kentucky bass, Alabama bass, and spots.
They share the same habitat as largemouth bass throughout the Southeast and are more active ambush predators than their kin. Although they aren’t as common as largemouth or smallmouth bass, they have been introduced to other waters all the way up the West Coast.
Use the same size plastics and lures for largemouth bass as you would for spotted bass while pursuing them.They can range in size from 11 to 25 inches, depending on the water and forage that are available.
The eye doesn’t pass across the upper jawline. These fish have soft, shallowly notched dorsal fins and lateral spots.
Florida bass & Redeye bass
Technically speaking, Florida bass, also known as Florida-strain bass, is a subspecies of largemouth bass. The dorsal fin has nine spines, and the upper jawbone extends past the eye.
These fish can be found in Florida and other parts of the southeastern United States, but they have also flourished and expanded to enormous sizes in other places, especially California.
Redeye bass have a second dorsal fin that appears red and have tiny black patches under their lateral lines.
The red eye is not past the top of the upper jaw. They can be found in North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia in rivers and streams with gravelly bottoms.
Lakes and reservoirs rarely contain red-eye bass.
The Guadalupe bass, the official state fish of Texas, the Cahaba bass, and several basses that are indigenous to the river systems of Florida and/or Georgia, such as the shoal bass, Chattahoochee bass, Suwannee bass, Tallapoosa bass, and warrior bass, are other less common black basses in the United States.
Fishing for Bass
There are numerous methods for catching bass. It requires time, patience, and a fundamental comprehension of how each bait type is fished to choose the best strategy for each body of water.
The colour of the bait is one of the most basic aspects of bass fishing to understand:
#1 Fish vivid color in murky, silty, or discoloured water.
#2 Bass will be able to notice the baits more easily because to bright colours.
#3 In clear water and soft, natural colours.
#4 For muddy, silty environments, bright yellow, orange, red, and chartreuse work well.
#5 For clear water conditions, use white, watermelon, green, pumpkin, browns, baitfish, and crawfish hues.
Rubber worms and Other Soft Plastic Lures for Bass Fishing
Bass lures made of soft plastic are quite popular.
They come in lengths between 2 and well over 6 inches. It’s simple to begin your bass fishing journey by rigging a rubber worm.
Soft plastics can be rigged in a variety of ways. Some connect directly to the hook, while others connect as a trailer to jigs.
The Texas rig, drop shot, and wacky rig are the most popular riggings for rubber worms. Additionally growing in favour is the Ned rig.
A few of the rubber worm bass fishing methods are shown here:
When using soft plastic baits for fishing, the Texas rig is a fantastic general set-up that performs well in most circumstances. Let’s examine one configuration for the Texas rig.
You will require:
#1 supple plastic bait
#2 sinker resembling a bullet
# Bobber stops or additional pegging accessories
For the majority of plastics up to six inches in length, use a 3/0 straight or offset shank hook, and a 4/0 for larger baits. Use a bullet weight that is suitable for the cover’s depth and thickness.
To prevent the weight from moving, place the pegging material—such as a rubber band—at the top of the weight. The weight makes it easier to move through vegetation without getting caught.
Most scenarios allow for the usage of the Texas rig. Morning and evening casts should be made along the coastline, followed by a slow to moderate retrieve. Until you have covered the entire weed bed or other cover, cast out.
A great rig for finesse approaches is the drop-shot. The bait is floating 5 to 10 inches above the weight, which is at the bottom. The bait is moved by each movement of the rod. For largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted fish, this technique is very effective.
You will require:
#1 Drop shot hook of size 1 or 2.
#2 Soft plastic
#3 Drop shot weight
Glue the hook to the mainline. For this, the Palomar knot works well. Make sure the hook is pointing up.
On the knot, leave a tag end that is about 18 inches long. How far above the bottom the bait will suspend depends on the tag line. After re-threading the tag through the eye of the hook, fasten the drop shot weight to the end.
Cast from the shore or jump from the boat to fish the drop shot. Bass will be attracted to the bait by making light taps up on the rod to keep it moving.
In recent years, more dedicated bass anglers have begun to rely on the Ned rig. Tie on a Ned rig if you find yourself in a position when nothing seems to be working. It’s the ideal finesse lure.
You will require:
#1 Hook for a ned rig, 1/16 to 1/4 ounce or larger
#2 Plastic ned rigged baits. Typically, they range in length from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches.
Then, thread the bait onto the hook so that it sits straight above the bend. Ensure that the tail end can move freely.
Cast a wide nett and mix up your retrieval. For me, a slower retrieve seems to be the answer.
Crankbait fishing for bass
One of the best lures for bass might be crankbaits. With crankbaits, anglers can swiftly cover large regions. Crankbaits come in a variety of shapes and hues, and they frequently mimic the forage species that can be found in different bodies of water, such as small fish and crayfish.
When scouting out new waterways to see where bass are aggregating, crankbaits are frequently used.
Purchase a shallow diving crankbait and a deep diving crankbait to begin with. You will have enough depth variation between the two to explore the water column and find the bass’s holding areas.
Choose size according to the kind of bass you are after and go for more natural colour patterns. For largemouth and spotted bass, use larger lures. Smaller lures are excellent for luring smallmouth bass.
It may take some practise to gauge the crankbait’s retrieval speed. Keep in mind that the average crankbait will sink at a rate of 1-2 feet per second if you want to go deeper.
Reel and raise the rod tip once it has reached the desired level. Reeling must come to an end before lowering the tip once more. Changing the speed like a wounded baitfish or minnow.
Spinnerbait fishing for bass
When pursuing any variety of black bass, spinnerbaits have a lot of potential. Due to their wire frame, they thrive among weeds and other vegetation. Spinnerbaits are a fairly simple tool to use right out of the box to catch bass because they have a lot of built-in motion.
Spinnerbaits are a wonderful choice for discovering new water because they can be rapidly picked up and put on the water. Although you might be fishing for bass, these baits will draw a variety of freshwater gamefish.
The type of rod you use will depend on the spinnerbait’s size and weight. Use smaller spinnerbaits while pursuing smaller bass, and spinning gear will be effective. A bait caster will work better with heavier spinnerbaits.
Cast the spinnerbait directly into the desired cover. If you can, throw it off a rock or a limb. The moment the bait enters the water, the waiting bass will pounce.
You want bass to make a quick, aggressive strike. A relatively quick retrieve will keep it submerged while yet moving quickly enough to prevent the bass from getting a close-up view of it.
Bass Fishing using Jigs
The jig works well in deeper water and is handy for quick casts to cover that holds fish. One of the more adaptable bass lures available is the jig. Make sure your tackle box contains a 3/8 ounce and a 1/2 ounce. These sizes are suitable for practically all circumstances you’ll come across.
In shallower water or when you want the bait to fall through the water column slowly, use a smaller size.The bait will sink in deep water more quickly in heavier sizes.
Jigs frequently mimic crawfish, so picking the right soft plastic colour for the trailing end is crucial. Make sure there is some degree of similarity. It’s a terrific idea to use natural hues like watermelon or green pumpkin.
When fishing in murky, filthy, or discoloured water, use a black and blue jig and trailer.If the colours match, jigs can also mimic shad, bluegill, and other sunfish. Use green pumpkin or a jig with blues for bluegill, and white skirts and a white trailer for shad impersonations.
Topwater Bass Fishing
The majority of bass fishermen concur that topwater bass fishing is the most enjoyable. You may be sure that bass will make lightning-fast movements when startling shadows rush out from behind cover to slam a topwater lure. Topwater lures come in a variety of designs, including buzzbaits and frogs.
Use topwater lures in the early morning and late at night. Topwater baits can be productive all day long in overcast or cloudy conditions.
Here are a few topwater lures that every bass angler’s tackle box ought to contain.
The buzzbait is one of the best topwater lures available. This lure is used to cover a large area while making noise on the surface.
Locate any water covering, such as culverts, grassy areas, docks, or other structures. Cast your buzzbait past the intended target and hone in on the cover as closely as you can. after that be ready to have fun.
Another choice for topwater is the Whopper Plopper. Throwing it into dense cover won’t work since it has treble-hooks, but doing it over and around lighter cover will cause the fish to surface.
Poppers are ideal for post-spawn circumstances. Try a popper if nothing is getting a bite.
Without moving very far, a popper creates an enormous amount of noise on the surface. At the very least one fish will probably end up in the nett.
Using bait to catch bass
Bass bait fishing may be a lot of fun. Where allowed, using minnows can produce larger, more aggressive fish.
Smallmouth and largemouth bass are always seeking out natural baits like the ones listed below:
#6 Crayfish come in last but certainly not least.
If you live in a place where live bait is permitted, you’ll learn that bass will eat the bait whole, hook and all. To be able to set the hook at the first sign of a bite, you must pay extra close attention.
Hooks that were swallowed indicate that either additional fish were caught or more lines were cut to release them. Some bass with deep hooks won’t make it.
Minnows make excellent bait and are available in many different species (where permitted). As long as you pay attention, shiners, shad, chubs, red shiners, and many more will lead to successful connections.
The crayfish is the best live bait available (aka crawfish, crawdads, mudbugs, etc.). When it comes to grabbing a crayfish, bass will do almost anything.
Casting a fly for bass
Flash and loudness are key components of fly fishing for bass. The often used flies will be quite large, and the topwater retrieves will be as loud as possible. Bass flies frequently have the appearance of minnows, frogs, or other common bass prey moving through water.
Here is a list of suggested equipment:
A strong fish must be able to be handled by the fly rod. The majority of circumstances should be very easily handled with a five- or six-weight, nine-foot rod. Casting the larger flies farther requires the use of a weight-forward line.
The possibilities available to leaders are numerous. Choose a material that has the strength to support the larger flies and any cover you might be throwing into.
Purchased tapered bass leaders, homemade knotted leaders, or just tying on straight monofilament with a leader are all options. Use test line that weighs about 10-15 pounds.
Making a knotted leader is not difficult at all. Use 4 to 5 feet of monofilament weighing 10 to 15 pounds, then tie 3 to 4 feet of 5- to 10-pound test. Line knots don’t bother bass as much as they do other species.
You should keep the following varieties of bass flies in your box:
#1 Yellow, black, and green coloured poppers
#2 Imitations of frogs
#3 Oversized stimulators and dry flies
#4 Fake hoppers and beetles
And effective casting presentations include:
#1 Cast to cover, let the fly sit for a few seconds, then twitch it a few inches, pause, and repeat. This technique is known as “twitch, pause, twitch.”
#2 Hit the target region quickly and then strip the line in an erratic manner.
#3 Cast beyond the target region, wait for the line to settle, then strip in or near the target location. Repeat after a 3- to 4-second pause. To simulate a bait that is in difficulty, change the strip distance and pace every time.
The following fly fishing advice is for bass:
#1 Let poppers sit as you fish until the water is quiet once more.
#2 Frequently, bass will strike as soon as the fly touches the water. Keep slack out of the line to be ready.
#3 Use the line, not the rod, to set the hook. Fly rods are too flexible to set a stiff hook, and bass lips are sensitive.
#4 If you continually getting caught, make weed guards for your flies. For the guard, some monofilament line is used.
Keep an eye out for skewed line movement. The bait may occasionally be picked up by bass and taken off by them covertly. If you notice this, set the hook.
Locations to Catch Bass
Cover draws the attention of bass. Your greatest option will be anything you notice that provides cover and shade. Fish frequently forage in the shallows at dawn and dusk, especially in warmer months. During the hottest part of the day, they frequently go to deeper water.
Rivers, lakes, and reservoirs all around the country are home to bass. They are opportunistic eaters who rely on shelter and shadows to locate prey.
Reservoirs and Lakes
Look across the water body quickly to see any obvious coverage or structure. Try casting around the edge of the cover and retrieving if the coastline includes submerged rocks and trees. Your bait must closely resemble the local wildlife’s natural prey.
Fishing will differ between shallow, murky lakes with lots of vegetation and felled trees and clear, rocky lakes and reservoirs.
Although bass will seek refuge in rocks, they choose to stay deeper in cleaner water, potentially even floating rather than resting on the bottom.
It could take longer to find the bass in a rough region. Your chances will be greatly increased if you search the shoreline for outcroppings, points, ridges beneath the water, any weeds, or any cover from downed trees.
Many southern lakes, as well as shallow, swampy lakes elsewhere in the country, may include a lot of vegetation, stumps, and fallen tree cover.
These seas are more likely to be murky and generally shallow, especially in the South. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics worked well on the bass-holding structures.
Creeks and Rivers
A fun outdoor activity is pursuing bass in creeks and rivers. There are some species that choose rivers over lakes, such as the Redeye bass.Moving streams, especially rivers with moderate current strength, are frequently inhabited by smallmouth bass.
In rivers and creeks, bass frequently hide under boulders and ledges where they can avoid the stronger currents but dart out to catch a passing minnow or other prey.
Bass Catching Season
In southern regions, bass fishing is frequently possible all year long.In the northern states, ice over bass habitat can make fishing more challenging.
Although it can be enjoyable, ice fishing is never a sure thing. In contrast to their gluttonous feeding habits in warmer waters, bass tend to linger out at the bottom when the cold water strikes.
Here are a few things to think about when bass fishing in each season.
Around the beginning of spring or even late winter, the bass bite picks up in the southern states.Bass begin to actively forage and defend territory in the shallows as they get ready to spawn, depending on the water’s temperature. During this period, you’ll also notice that the bite is really violent.
Although sometimes the biggest bass are caught early in the season, the better bite frequently occurs a little later up north where the water stays colder longer.Once bass transition into spring mode, fishing in the shallows will produce some of the best results of the year.
The summertime location of bass will depend on the weather and water temperature.As the weather cools, they will move to the shallows, where they are more easily targeted.
On warm days, bass may continue to dine in the shallows because the baitfish will remain in that location, but these predators will likely hunt more actively in the lower light of the mornings and evenings.
During the summer, topwater lures like poppers and frogs can be effective around vegetation. Since bass prefer to hide in foliage to avoid the sun, topwater lures will often elicit strong bites.
In many areas of the country, bass are fairly active in the early to mid-fall months as the fish prepare for winter.
You might find luck fishing the shallows and any cover you’d target in the spring, or you might need to be willing to delve a little deeper to discover bass holding in holding spots close to good shallow habitat.
Crankbaits and other topwater lures like buzzbaits and poppers can still be highly effective.
The greatest time to go bass fishing isn’t during the winter because the fish are typically attempting to conserve their energy. Because the cold water greatly slows their metabolism, they will often be suspended in deeper water and consume less food.
Bass fishing may be successful during the winter. A slow, choppy retrieve could occasionally pique a bass’s curiosity and cause it to strike the bait.If the temperature rises for a few days in a row, bass in southern states may be seen going into the shallows during the winter.