Bass fishing basics
By Joseph S.
Bass fishing is one of the most enjoyed activities among fishermen. Smallmouth
and largemouth bass, which are also known as black bass, are two of the most
sought after fish in North America. Largemouth bass, so named because their
upper jaw reaches all the way past their eyes, are one of my favorite fish not
only to catch but also to eat. Smallmouth bass, which are obviously equipped
with a smaller mouth, are great fun too.
Smallmouth are the most highly respected black bass, because they fight very
hard, but largemouth are just as fun to catch. The two species are similar in
many ways but they generally prefer different types of water. Largemouth prefer
weeded areas as well as waters with muddy bottoms whereas smallmouth bass like
rocky bottomed waters and more clear lakes.
My bass fishing arsenal consists of many lures and soft plastics but there are
only three types of lures/plastics needed to catch a lot of bass. These are top
water baits, spinner baits, and plastic worms (specifically worms/grubs in the 3
to 4 inch range). I have many options to choose from in my tackle box but it
seems as if these are the only ones that ever get used when bass fishing.
I could offer many tips on how to fish these baits but in truth there are only a
few words of wisdom which need to be shared. First, when fishing with top water
baits you can never fish them too slowly. Slow is good with these lures. Let
them sit for a good while on top of the water before you start to twitch them,
and after each twitch let them sit again.
Second, when using spinner baits you should try different things to see what
works where you are fishing. Remember these fish have probably seen it all, so
you must offer them something appealing. This can be different depending on
where you are fishing. Different water types and climates provide fish with
varying types of food so try and find what they are feeding on where you are.
Try several retrieval methods with spinner baits. Start out with a slow and
steady retrieval and work your way up to a fast and steady retrieval. If this
fails try the stop-and-go method. Be open to new techniques until you find out
what they are hitting.
All of the techniques used for spinner baits apply to soft plastics as well.
The key here though, is to start with the slower retrievals, then move to slow stop-and-go methods, and finally move to faster retrievals after the first two
methods have failed. Don't be afraid to try new things.
I don't believe these tips will be seen written in stone anywhere, they are just
things I have picked up over the years. You might have already heard many, if
not all of these tips and techniques. Other fishermen might believe different techniques are what work and that you should try them, and I agree. The best
piece of advice I can give any fisherman is to try anything and everything. Do
this and see what works for you.
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