You set off early in the morning for a day of bass fishing. As you reach the bank of your favorite fishing spot, your eyes rest on a tranquil pool a few feet from shore where reeds bend in the early morning breeze. As the sun rises, you cast your line into the reeds. Is this the day that you are going to catch the granddaddy of all bass?
Bass Fishing Techniques
Bass is the name shared by a wide range of fish species that are game fish. The sunfish family includes bluegills, spotted bass, pumpkinseed fish, largemouth, small mouth and rock bass. These bass are known as warm water or black bass. The striped bass, white bass and white perch are temperate bass. Bass are popular with both casual and tournament anglers.
The trick to successful bass fishing is to know where to find them. Bass can be found in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. They tend to lurk in areas where bait fish are plentiful.
Natural lake bass fishing can range from mediocre to very successful. In southern areas, shallow lakes are the natural habitat of whopping largemouth. They glide through reedy and weedy areas close to shore. Northern natural lakes often contain a wide variety of landscape formations, such as holes, humps, rocky bluffs, natural reefs, islands and reedy or weedy areas. Bass hang out here, but are not as plentiful in these lakes because the water doesn’t contain the algae and plankton that they like to feed on.
Rivers are great places to fish for bass. Oxygen levels in rivers tend to be the same from the surface to the river bed. Water temperatures in rivers tend to be more moderate and isn’t as cold in winter or as warm in summer as water in lakes. Bass can be found just outside of the current’s direct flow and on the downstream side of fallen trees, logs, stumps and weed beds. If there are boulders or logs in the direct current flow, that’s where you will find largemouth bass lurking. It’s very easy for them to feed in areas like this, as the current carries the food along. Bass tend to lurk around river bends and any floating cover they might find. Bottom and surface fishing will make your fishing excursion a great success.
Most anglers do not fish for bass in streams and this can be a huge mistake. Smallmouth bass tend to lurk in the cooler water of streams, especially below fast moving rapids, in holes, on the bottom and along steep banks and bluffs. Areas that are undercut by erosion are the perfect place to find bass because they provide good hiding spots, as are areas around large rocks and fallen logs. Bass never stay in direct current flow, so cast into tranquil pools, eddies and in reedy and weedy areas and where objects break the flow of the current. Places where bait fish congregate draw bass to the area. Below a dam is an excellent place to fish for bass on an extremely hot summer day or on a mild day in the fall.
If you want to catch some big bass, don’t count out ponds. Bass tend to stay near shore around fallen logs, rocks and in deep pools. Reeds and weeds are a natural habitat for bass. If a pond draws a large amount of anglers during the day try your luck at night. You might be surprised at the results.
There are many factors involved when fishing for bass. They tend to move with the season and water conditions. Factors include water temperature, time of year, water level, weather conditions, food availability, and amount of sunlight.
Still fishing using night crawlers, minnows, insects, insect larvae and other baits mentioned will bring good results. Spinning or bait-casting with artificial lures, trolling with live bait, or fly fishing are all very successful methods when fishing for bass. If you are using lures, you need a 5½ to 7 foot rod that will compliment live bait or spin and bait casting. Your line should be between six and ten pound-test. If you are fly-fishing for bass, you will need a 7 to 9 foot fly rod with a fast taper, fitted with a single action reel that carries a floating # 7 to # 9 line with a 6 to 8 pound leader. If you plan on fishing for bass in reeds or weeds, always use a weedless hook.
If you have problems finding bass or are stumped over the tackle or technique you should use, seek out an experienced angler. This could be a family member, a friend or the staff of your local fishing shop.