Life Hacks

How to Fish for Bass: A Comprehensive Guide

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Bass fishing is a bit overwhelming for beginners, more so when they don’t have the right bass lures and rods and basic fishing techniques. Whether you are fishing for fun or a competitive sports angler, you must be well equipped to land a spectacular catch.

Anglers incorporate the best fishing tips and tricks with better mastery of the basics to optimize their fishing chances. Also, you must ensure that you are safe by wearing a lifejacket. Having company while fishing is essential, but if you fish alone, ensure that your relatives and friends know where you are fishing.

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How to Catch Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass fishing is not easy because these fish are always on the move. Largemouth bass’s movement depends on spawning desires, water temperatures, and feeding. If you want to become a professional bass angler, you must have a better know-how of how these factors influence bass migration.

Here are some of the things you need to know for bass fishing:

1. Know Your Fishing Conditions

Your fishing condition is very crucial since it determines if you will have a catch or not. The following are essential fishing conditions you need to understand:

Know the Bass Habits During Every Season

The most suitable fishing conditions are during the summer and spring. This is because the bass usually feeds near the shores early morning and then gets into open waters later in the day. For you to maximize the bass spawning behavior, you need to split spring into four parts: pre-spawn, spawn, post-spawn, and apply different techniques in late spring.

Pre-spawn requires you to fish at a depth of 8-15 feet, and spawn lets you move to shallow water to spawning beds. Post-spawn gets you back down up to 8-15 feet, while late spring is the maximum time for you to fish around the shores and structures.

During winter and when the temperatures are low, you will only catch the bass when they are in their strike zone. Bass will feed near the shores when the temperatures drop.  

Enhance Your Terrain

Bass stay or hide in different areas based on daytime, weather, and spawning cycle phases. Some of the greatest places to cast your lures are rocky bottoms, structures, fallen trees, grass, vegetation, shallow flats, and bushes. For instance, big bass is usually beneath docks.

Select Your Fishing Location Depending on the Daytime

You will find bass feeding near the shores in the morning and later in open water. You can fish off the structures in the afternoon because the bass search for deeper water and shade.

2. Pick the Right Lure

Your fishing lure is essential since it determines how fast you will catch the bass. There are various types of lures that you can use to fish, as discussed below:

Fishing with Crankbaits 

Crankbaits are ideal when you want to fish in an area with plenty of water, light vegetation, grass, shallow flats, and rocky bottom. Crankbaits are very versatile and come with a lip or lipless.

Their effectiveness in baiting mainly depends on water depth and your reeling speed. Crankbait’s shape determines its movement, which mostly depends on water temperature because bass are not much active in cold temperatures.

Lipless crankbaits are suitable if you want to fish at a depth of 50 feet. In shallow water, you need to have a lightweight lure when fishing or reel a bit faster. On the other hand, you have to use a heavier lure or reel slower in deeper water.

Your lure will not go so deep into the waters if you are using a higher pound line. Instead, its effectiveness will increase if the line’s diameter also increases. You can use crankbaits with round or square bill crankbaits when you want to fish for bass in rock, around wood, or shallow water.

Medium-diving crankbaits are the best when fishing in a range of 5-10 feet deep, while deep-diving crankbaits are suitable when fishing 12 feet deeper.

Fishing with Spinnerbaits

Spinnerbaits are suitable when fishing in a quick cover. Their distinctive blade shape allows them to be dived and be retrieved more easily. Larger blades easily maneuver around debris, rocks, and stumps, while small blades quickly maneuver in the grass.

Spinnerbaits are ideal for fishing when it’s cloudy and windy since they cause some reaction from the bass. Faster spinnerbaits work best in clear water, while slower spinnerbaits are suitable in muddier water.

If you want to cover a big area without necessarily spooking the fish, first, you need to cast near you and then cast far from you. Spinnerbaits come either as weedless or standard. Setting the hook on weedless spinnerbaits is a bit challenging, but they are the best for fishing in plenty of covers.

There exist three types of blades, namely Leaf, Colorado, and Indiana, where every type is effective in various conditions. For instance, the leaf type is a perfect choice when fishing in clear water or grass, and you need a fast retrieval. Colorado blade is ideal when fishing in murky or muddy water or at night.

Fish with Topwater Lures

Topwater lures are effective when fishing in shallow water and areas with surface vegetation like lily pads. They usually ripple the surface of the water with splashing and popping as you try to retrieve them. Bright colors are ideal in spring, while grey and black colors work well in the winter or fall.

You need to pick topwaters that generate more splashes and noise to attract bass’ attention. Topwater lures are available either in poppers, buzz baits, walkers, wake baits, twitch baits, frogs, and pro baits, with every topwater lure type being effective in various conditions.

You can effectively use poppers when fishing around bushes, docks, stumps, rocks, and other covered areas. Buzzbaits are effective when fishing in sparse grass and after spawning in late summer.

Walkers are suitable when you want to cover abundant water top faster since they keep the bait at a visible distance for the bass. Wake baits work best in clear water because the V-shaped wake entices the bass.

Twitch baits work best in clear lakes and are suitable during spawning, that is, when bass are protecting their nests. Frogs mimic real frogs, and you can effectively deploy them around heavy grass or cover since they are hard to snug. When fishing in lily pads, mice and bot frogs are the best. Pro baits work best in areas with plenty of grass, more so in spawning season, and they strike at a longer range.

Fishing with Jigs

Jigs are ideal if you want an accurate feel on the line. They are also suitable when utilizing short-range pitching and flipping techniques rather than casting in a long distance.

These plastic skirtings help to lure bass all year round. Jigs mimic crawfish, allowing them to scoot along the bottom, and are more effective when used in closed cover or cover. You can use plastic worms and jigs when fishing on piers, thick grass, and docks since they offer shielding from predators.

Fishing with Rubber and Plastic Lures

These types of lures are more effective and versatile since they are lifelike. They mimic natural lizards and worms, and they can be fished either weightless or weighted. You can use these floating plastics like topwater, and they are ideal when fishing in heavy vegetation.

Rubber and plastic lures are more effective during winter since the bass are not active. They also work best in warmer weather, but they are ineffective when the bass are active. Large rubber and plastic lures are suitable when used in murky, while shorter lures work best in clear water. Plastic lures and rigs are more effective if you use them slowly.

3. Choose the Right Line

A fishing line is very vital when fishing for bass. Here are some of the things you need to do to ensure you select the right line:

Ensure the Line Matches with the Diving Depth

Pair the right line’s size with your crankbait depending on the bait’s depth that you want. For instance, you can use a 10lb fluorocarbon line to have a medium diving crankbait remain as deep as possible.

Select Heavier Lures for Deeper Depths and Lighter Spinnerbaits for Shallow Water 

Your reeling speed will determine how deep your lure will go. If you reel slowly, your lure will swim deeper, and if you reel faster, your lure will remain in shallow waters.

The size of the blade also influences how deep your lure will swim. Adding a trailer to your hook helps to enhance movement and buoyancy.

Use a Floating Rubber or Plastic Lure Together with an Ultra-Light Wire Rig

Rubber or plastic lures are available in various sizes and shapes and usually imitate lizards and worms. Therefore, it’s ideal if you deploy lines that cannot get snagged in debris or vegetation.

4. Select the Right Rod

Your fishing rod helps to deliver you with optimal power to catch the bass. If you want to choose the right rod, do the following things:

Use a Lightweight Rod for Spinnerbaits and Buzz Baits

A better rod should be lightweight with a medium soft tip and a medium action. Ensure you deploy a sensitive rod since the bass usually bumps the blade prior to striking. Remember, a light rod is more sensitive than heavier rods.

Also, shorter rods deliver more accuracy while casting compared to longer rods. However, longer rods help to deliver maximum power and offer a wide range of distances for casting.

Use Lightweight and Sensitive Rods for Topwater and Crankbaits Lures

Utilize lightweight and sensitive rods that are 6-7 feet long with light action tip or medium action tip depending on the lure’s weight. Use a medium-action rod to perfectly set the hook, allowing it to be more flexible while casting.

A sensitive rod determines the structure type that you are about to contact. If you want to cast a wide range of distance, use a 7 feet rod while deploying heavier baits. If you want more accuracy when casting between structures or fallen trees, a 6 feet rod works best.

Use Lightweight and Sensitive Graphite Rod When Utilizing Rubber/Plastic Lures and Jigs

A lightweight rod with a medium-light tip is effective because it ensures you don’t get tired as you hold up the rod over a long period.

When fishing in structures that are 20 feet deeper, a 6.5 feet rod works best; while fishing in shallow waters that are less than 20 feet, a 7.5 feet rod is more effective. Graphite rods are more sensitive and faster compared to fiberglass rods. A soft tip is essential because it ensures there is great tension with the bass at any given time. Remember, you can lose a fish easily if the hook’s point is embedded.

5. Employ the Right Technique

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If you employ the right fishing technique, no doubt you will catch the prey. The following are some of the things you need to do to ensure you employ the right fishing technique:

Toss Your Bait into Underwater Debris

Bass usually stay under or near the structure, waiting for feeding opportunities. If you are an experienced angler, you can skip your bait from the structures to strike nearby bass. It is good to note that bass usually strike lures when you irritate them or when they are hungry.

Cast Your Bait and the Line Parallel to the Shore and Pull the Bait Back to You

Doing this will let your bait stay a bit longer in the strike zone and eventually enhance your striking chances because this helps to extend the exposure of your bait to bass. An acute angler will do his “maths” well to increase their chance of catching the bass. However, you need not be discouraged if you don’t obtain the bite.

Imitate Helplessly or Fleeing Prey with Erratic Movements

This technique is effective when employing topwater lures to initiate feeding and anxiety from the bass. When using the walker lure, you should form a zig-zag pattern on the waters’ surface. Then, ensure that the bait moves fast from left to right.

You can jerk the twitch baits back to the water’s surface to entice bass that are protecting their nests during spawning. You can employ short jerks on your rod for spraying water with pro baits.

Cast the Jig Lure and Let the Line Have Enough Time to Reach the Bottom

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Fishing using plastics and jigs is a bit different than using other lures’ types. This is because anglers retrieve the bait by moving the rod tip rather than reeling to generate the action.

After giving the bait a twitch and it has reached the bottom, you need to lift the rod tip slowly until it is in a 12 o’clock position. Allow it to remain in that position for a while, drop it to the 10 o’clock position, and then reel in the slack. Continue with this process until your line gets in.

Hold your finger against the line and regularly lift the rod tip if you want to have a good feel of your line. This will help you know when there is a bite. If you want to set the hook perfectly, quickly drop the rod tip to the 3 o’clock position and then pull back to 12 o’clock.

Jigs are effective if you use them around fallen trees because bass usually hides there. Also, jigs work best on the rocky bottom, thick grass, standing timber, and flats.

Pitch the jig all over the angles and allow it to fall to the bottom with a compact line. You can hop or drag your jig down the ledges or drop it to imitate the crawfish’s movements.

Drop or Lift the Rod While Taking Up the Line’s Slack for Rubber Lures

When fishing using rubber lures, you apply a similar technique as fishing using jigs. You don’t have to reel the rubber lures in; instead, recover them by dropping and lifting the rod. You also need to cast out and wait for a while to allow the line to reach the bottom.

After giving the bait a twitch and it has reached the bottom, lift the rod tip slowly until it hits the 12 o’clock position. Allow it to stay there for a moment and then drop it to the 9 to 10 o’clock position before reeling in the slack. Redo the process until the line gets in.

Ensure you hold your finger against the line if you want to have a good feel of the line as you lift the rod tip.

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What is the Best Bait for Bass?

There are so many types of fishing baits that come in various sizes and shapes. But the big question is which the best bait for bass is? Choosing a fishing bait is challenging, whether you are an experienced angler or a beginner because many options are available in the market.

The following are among the best baits for bass:

Lipless Crankbaits

These baits are ideal for fishing to any depth. You only need to drop them until they reach accurate depths. In most cases, anglers usually cast these baits, create a straight line, and retrieve steadily. They work best in shallow water because they combine speed, vibration, and noise.

Topwater Hard Lures

These lures are more effective during dawn and dusk because this is when the bass are more active as they feed. They include poppers, topwater walkers, wake baits, and pro lures.

Most of them are rigged with treble hooks to ensure they don’t snag even in open water. Topwater pro lures are perfect in choppy or wavy water conditions.

Square Bill Crankbaits

They come in various sizes, shapes, and colors. These baits can be silent or have knockers to ensure there is more interruption in the water. They have a square lip and mimic crawfish, shad, and bream. Squarebill easily winds over laydowns, riprap, or submerged plants and weeds without snagging.

Paddletail Swimbaits

Swimbaits perfectly imitate baitfish, making them great for bass fishing. Some of them, such as the soft plastic paddle tail swimbaits, are among the best bass catcher throughout the year regardless of the weather condition.

Chatterbaits

They are also called bladed swim jigs or vibrating jigs since they cause great vibration in the water. Chatterbaits work best when the bass are active or shallow though many experienced bass anglers use them all times of the year. Rigging chatterbaits is easy and simple, and you can add a trailer to make them heavy and moving slowly with a lot of action.

Soft Plastic Stick Baits

These are the most flexible and versatile plastic baits in the market. Therefore, almost all fish species eat them just like worms. Anglers use these stick baits with shaky heads, drop shots, swing heads, and Carolina rigs.

How Do You Catch Bass for Beginners?

The largemouth bass is one of the popular gamefish in the United States and offers a great fishing experience. However, most beginners don’t know the best fishing tips and are confused with the many bass lure options available and various fishing rods to pair with one another.

Are you new to bass fishing? Don’t worry. Here are some basic fishing tips and techniques that beginners can use to successfully catch the bass.

1. Know Where the Bass Lives

Bass usually live in different structures and cover all year round. You can find bass on rocks, docks, bushes, pebbles, stumps, fallen trees, vegetation, or sand at the lake beneath. You can also find bass on drop-offs, humps, ledges, or islands.

2. Know What Bass Eats

As a beginner, you have to know what bass eat. Some of the common meals for bass are small fishes such as panfish, minnows, and shad. They also feed on other creatures like frogs, salamanders, and crawdads.

Besides, bass feed on birds, mice, snakes, and baby ducks. Therefore, when you want to catch the bass, ensure you use a lure or bait that perfectly matches what the bass eat. For instance, if you are fishing close to the shoreline where there are many frogs, then a hollow-body frog is a perfect choice to deploy.

3. Know the Lure Type to Employ for Bass Fishing

Versatile anglers can use any type of lure they come across. However, this is not the case with beginners.

The best lure types for beginners are chatter baits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, swim jigs, and topwater. Apply techniques such as pitching, flipping, shaky head, drop-shot, and Carolina rigs.

4. Know the Best Time for Fishing Bass

Bass behavior is mainly influenced by weather, seasons, and daytime. As a beginner angler, you must know how bass relates to their surrounding environment.

For instance, during summer, largemouth bass usually feeds several times in the day, either early morning, afternoon, late evening, or night. This is the opposite of winter since the bass will only feed during the day when it’s a bit warm.

You should also know that bass migrates to various sections of the water body in different seasons. These are winter, summer, pre-spawn, spawn, post-spawn, and fall. If you want to understand bass reaction throughout the year, there are various videos, books, and articles that you can watch and read. But the best experience is spending more time on the water and observing their reaction.

5. Know How Water Temperature Influences Bass

Water temperatures vary from time to time and from one part of the lake or water body to another. This will affect the bass location at different times of the year.

When the water is warm, bass will be more active, while bass are less active in cold water. Besides, water temperature affects how the bass feed since it changes their metabolism.

What is the Best Setup for Bass Fishing?

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Bass anglers have been looking for new ways of improving their fishing techniques, and one way is using new bass rigs. This is because every rig has a unique setup that helps them maneuver various situations.

The following are different types of bass rigs in the market:

·   Drop Shot Rig

This rig is one of the popular rigs, and it’s ideal for fishing in shallow or deep waters. It is used to fish different fish species, more so catfish.

The rig comprises a hook and weight tied inline, allowing the shank to hang parallel to the bottom. The hook is supposed to face upwards, preventing it from snagging.

·   Carolina Rigs

These rigs have a soft plastic worm and weedless hook and perfectly work with egg sinkers that weigh up to 4 ounces. You can use a fishfinder slide if the weight is heavy.

You should put a plastic bead on the mainline to ensure the fishfinder or sinker doesn’t snag on the swivel. This bass fishing setup enables the fish to select the bait without necessarily sensing the sinker’s weight.

·   The Ned Rig

This rig is ideal for use during the winter and fall months because the largemouth is lethargic at this time. It is easy to use this rig, but you must understand how to set up your jig head and soft plastic bait. From there, you can then learn how to fish using the Ned rig, even in tough conditions.

·   Texas Rig

This is another popular bass fishing rig that is mostly preferred by many acute anglers because of its versatility and functionality. It needs a worm hook and a unique cone-shaped weight, and the worm hook should be threaded to ensure that the hook is well covered. This enables the rig to work through heavy cover or weed without snagging.

What Depths Do You Fish Bass?

How deep you can fish bass mainly depends on different seasons. For instance, the temperatures are hot during summer, making bass move from the shoreline to deep haunts.

In the middle of summer, bass can go as deep as 20 feet, more so in clear water. During the fall, bass will be in shallow water to feed that is about 8 feet deep. Generally, on warmer days, bass will stay in shallow water and move in deep water when the water cools.

Conclusion

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Bass fishing is a bit challenging to beginners, but learning the best bass fishing tips and techniques, it’s simple. You need to understand how different factors such as spawning desires, water temperature, and seasons affect bass. Having better know-how of these factors, then your bass fishing will be easier.

You require to know how to choose the right rod, lure, line, and finding conditions if you want to land a spectacular catch. For instance, bass feed near the shores in the early morning and later in open water. You can fish off the structures in the afternoon because the bass search for deeper water and shade.

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