How to Catch Bass: Pro Angler Tips
Chris Riley Updated on May 19, 2021. In Fishingby
There are three kinds of people researching how to catch bass: those who have never caught one and want to learn, those who catch the occasional fish, but it is not good enough because of the size or frequency of catch, and those already in the big leagues who want to see if there is a new trick out there they hadn’t thought about.
This article covers a few techniques that have worked for the most seasoned anglers, and we hope it will have a positive impact on your quest. Below is a compilation of these with a bit of elaboration.
It is an old fishing technique where you throw the bait with the intention that it does not penetrate the water surface but rather jerks on the water’s surface, enabling you to get it under obstacles where the bass love to hide.
It is important to display your lure where the fish are. Always look for cover in the environment you are fishing in. This could be boat docks, vegetation, lily pads, rocks, among others. Bass fish are predators and like to hide so they can ambush their prey.
Duplicate the Current Environment
One way of doing this is by looking in the water to see if the bass you already caught threw up or spit what they were feeding on previously (which is common). This will give you an insight into the type and color of lure you should throw into the water to appear as natural as possible.
Bass keeps changing their diet throughout the year depending on the seasons; they will prefer crawfish earlier in the year and shad in the summer, for example. An efficient lure will be the most identical bait to their current diet.
Fish Facing Where the Wind Is Coming From
This is usually also the direction of the current, and bass swims with the current. Facing the current has two advantages: the fish will find your bait before they find your boat and get spooked, the sound of the water hitting your boat will also carry away, keeping the unsuspecting fish clueless as they approach the boat.
Fish Shallow During Spawning Season
Spawning requires oxygen; therefore, most spawning beds are usually hidden close to the water’s surface. Adult bass is prone to be close to the surface, protecting their eggs before they hatch. They will bite due to a combination of hunger and irritation. The spawning season is usually in the spring.
Take Advantage of the Weather
Bass fish are very intuitive of the weather patterns and will often respond in advance. For instance, the pressure from an impending storm sends them into a frenzy, making them more active and susceptible to biting as they feel an urgency to feed.
The best time to catch them is slightly before the storm or on overcast days. Topwater plugs, chatter baits, spinnerbaits, and other moving lures are ideal for this time.
They are less likely to bite after the storm has passed. During these calm days and other sunny days, they will stay undercover, waiting for prey. Water bottom baits like jigs and rigged plastics are better for these conditions as they can be pitched to the base of the cover.
Keep presenting the bait at different angles if you are confident the spot is right. Sometimes bass instinctively play it safe by staying undercover, and it will take a couple of tries before they bite.
As much as you may have done your research before setting out on your fishing trip, certain situations may arise while you are out on the water. You need to be able to adjust your methods to suit the prevailing situation.
You may discover the bass you are tracking are feeding on a type of fish whose features are not even close to the lure you are using, and you need to change it. Always pack a variety of gear so that you can adjust on the spot and don’t end up wasting an entire day.
It is good to have lures in different colors, shapes, and sizes to quickly change them if you realize they are why the fish are not biting. Find creative ways to organize your tackle box so that it fits all you need.
Fishing in areas with heavy vegetation may force you to opt for shorter and stronger rods with a heavy line to enable quick reeling of bass out of the vegetation and brush.
Punching Through the Cover
Bass fish will hide under any form of structure you can imagine. Most of the time, you cannot see them even though you know there are fish in the spot you are angling from. The grass or water vegetation may be providing the perfect canopy and preventing your lures from breaching.
Bass fish have mastered the craft of hiding, and they find such habitats ideal. This is where punching through is necessary.
It involves using a heavy lead up the line, which can punch a hole through the vegetation for your bait to penetrate down to where the bass fish are. The weight of the lead will be dependent on how thick the vegetation is.
Getting the Bass to Bite
Different situations require different approaches if you were to get the bass to bite. The retrieval technique you choose will determine the ideal rod and reel to use in your gear, as different tools suit different motions.
If the bass fish seem to be near the surface swimming around structures or chasing baitfish, it is an indicator that they are aggressively feeding, which should be your cue to introduce larger baits or lure and retrieve them faster.
If they are calmer close to the bottom and keeping out of sight, smaller bait presented at a slow pace will be ideal for getting their attention.
Using Sharp hooks
Bass fish have hard bony jaws that are not easily penetrable and require the sharpest tools.
Save the Shredded Worms
Bass will see it as wounded, vulnerable prey and are more likely to pounce on them. If you consider the predator-prey relationship of all living things, their instincts are to attack the weak, which a more guaranteed meal.
Use a Bit of Red
Use bait with a red head or red hooks. The bass will think the bait is injured and defenseless and will pounce on it.
Use a Fish Finder
This tool will help you identify exactly where the fish are from the comfort of your boat. As much as you will not tell precisely if they are bass fish, a little knowledge of fish patterns will aid in the deduction. Big schools of fish are more than likely some type of baitfish, and the predator follows the prey.
You can also see underwater structures like logs, trees, and weeds, which are common bass fish hiding grounds. Some fish finders enable you to map lucrative spots so you can come back later if you cannot achieve your target for one or another reason. It is much easier to track bass using these technology-laden fish finders.
Effective Use of Lures
These are all rounded and can be used for any fishing technique, including flipping, pitching, skipping, swimming, or working deep structures. They can get into areas other lures can’t fit and are always paired with a trailer. They always get big bass to bite.
These are designed to look like real worms, which are a bass delicacy. They feel like natural food to the bass fish, causing them to hold on to the bait longer than they otherwise would have once they bite. They can get into very weedy areas because they are made compact by burying the hook in the worm’s body, so the point only exposes itself when you set the hook.
They have a spinning blade (or blades) which dangles from a bent wire and draws attention by flashing reflections and vibrations in the water that covers a lot of distance
Crank baits can be used to target fish in deep cover or open water, covering a large area quickly. They mostly resemble fish and come in various colors, sizes, shapes, weights, and depth allowances.
Top Water Lures
Top water lures are designed to attract the bass to the surface of the water. The fish will leap out of the water to capture them as they seem to be prey in distress. They produce splashing sounds as they float on water and are usually brightly colored to grab attention.
There are so many tricks, techniques, and tools that make the business of bass fishing easier that we could not pretend to cover them all. While this is not a comprehensive guide on catching bass, it captures some very simple concepts that we felt greatly improved our strategy.