Do I have to say that, Bass fishing is the most popular game fish in North America? I don’t think so, we all know that! They are really popular because of their abundance, a large number of bass found all over North America. But it’s challenging to get a bite from bass because of their drastic change of behaviors in different conditions. Due to that, there are some bass fishing tips and techniques.
Any level of angler can go for a bass fishing, from gamefish championship to weekend fishing whatever your purpose is, you need to learn the proper techniques to hook em. Without knowing their habits, characteristics, fishing techniques it will be a waste of a whole day. We will discuss all the facts that you need to know before going on a bass fishing trip and will share the effective techniques that I mastered over the past decades. So let’s get started!
Bass is a part of Sunfish family, there are a group know black bass (genus) and in this genus there are 14 types. The 3 main ones are the-
- LARGEMOUTH BASS ( Micropterus Salmoides )- These are the largest of black basses. They thrive in warmer water, it’s mostly found among the bass. They can be found in a large portion of North America.
- SMALLMOUTH BASS ( Micropterus Dolomieu )- Smaller than largemouth bass. They thrive in clearer and cooler water bodies. Fishing a smallmouth bass is fun because of their most aggressive nature. They are located mostly at the middle and lower Mississippi river basins in North America.
- SPOTTED BASS ( Micropterus Punctulatus )- They are the smallest among black basses. They almost look alike largemouth bass. They can tolerate more warmer and cooler temperatures.
We are talking about bass fishing tips and techniques, catching a bass with a rod and reel using artificial lures. There are definitely many other ways to catch them but those are not our concerns here. Bass fishing is all about passion, it’s about your relaxation from stress and spending a quality time. But without the proper techniques, you are not going to catch them.
Let’s break down the whole discussion into 3 major parts. I’m sure Studying these three parts will help you to catch your very first bass.
- Bass behavior
- Catching tips and techniques
- Equipment that you need
Basses are famous for game fishing because of their aggressiveness and their considerable big size. But understanding your fishing condition is a must have knowledge to get them into your hook!
For learning about bass fishing tips and techniques, First you need to know the 6 seasons of bass, they spawn in the spring and summer is the ideal season for bass fishing. Lets just see the chart below where we will see the difficulty level of catching bass based on seasons.
|Spring (post-spawn)||Not good (hard to catch)|
|Summer||Best time for bass fishing|
|Winter||Hard to catch them|
So as we can see that, spring and summer is the best time to catch bass and especially summer is the ideal time. Bass is mainly a cold-blooded animal, they react so fast based on water temperature, barometric pressure, sunlight. Now, folks, you need to know that bass fishing can be drastically different not the only season to season but also day to day even hour to hour depending on weather, temperature condition. So for knowing where and when you can find them, you need to know that –
Temperature: Water temperature is a major fact for locating them. For example-
- Warmer temperature push them to deeper, cooler waters
- In winter the water is cold, that decrease their whole activity. Bass will not expend much effort and will only bite when your lure is immediately within their strike zone
Sunlight: Sunlight is also a fact, they are highly instinctual. With the level of sunlight they react. For example-
- When it’s cloudy, they get out from shed. It increases their activity.
- When it’s sunny, enough light available they get themselves into sheds. If you see rocks, that’s a ideal place for them to hiding.
In pre-spawn, you found them around 8–15 feet (2.4–4.6 m) in depth
In the time of spawn, moves find them up to a shallower depth towards their spawning beds
Post-spawn moves you back down to 8–15 feet (2.4–4.6 m)
Bass has certain areas where they like to stay, it’s also based on the weather, time of day and which phase of their spawning cycle they are in. such as
- Vegetation, rocky bottoms, shallow flats, fallen trees, structures, bushes and grass are all great places to set your cast.
- Bigger bass often hang out underneath docks.
- Bass like to feed closer to shore in the morning and move out into open water later in the day. Fish off structures in late afternoon as bass will look for shade and deeper water.
Follow these instructions to find them. We already know that bass is a cold blooded animals and that means there body temperature is whatever the water temperature. There’s one more thing that will help you to find them based on exact water temperature level. See the chart below-
|Less than 50 F||Super hard to catch them|
|60-65F||Good situation for catch|
|65-75F||Ideal temperature to catch a bass|
So we can see that, 60-65 F is the ideal temperature for them. They like to move where they get their ideal temperature. If they got that warmer temperature in the shallow then they move to shallow water and if there’s hotter in the shallow then they move deeper. That’s the basic behavior they adapted.
Catching tips and techniques
Selecting the right lure based on different situation is a major technique that you need for bass fishing. There is various kind of lures which can simply make you confused but don’t worry we will discuss picking the appropriate lures for bass fishing.
The most common baits that you find to every angler. They can be used with just with a simple and steady retrieve They are user-friendly, easy to use and perfect baits for beginners.
The unique fact about spinnerbait is it has a blade that spin, gives vibration and flashes that attract fishes. It’s easy to understand weather the fish bite the hook or not with a spinnerbait. Bass fishes surely can hear the sound and feel vibrations by their sensory organ which is their lateral line. And they react superb with a little amount of sound and vibrations. They work absolutely fine in windy and cloudy because they are meant to cause a reaction from the bass. Another reason for keeping a spinnerbait in your tackle box is they can be used at any time of the year and in any kind of situation. The 3 types of spinnerbaits blade shape are-
Use faster spinnerbaits in clear water and slower ones in the muddier water. That’s the basic rule of it! Try to keep all three of this and try to understand which one is loved by the fish most on that particular situation. Trust me, identifying these facts can give you some real experience.
we are talking about crankbaits here which is basically a fast moving bait. These hard baits cover crankbaits, lipless crankbaits spoons, and jerk baits. They are made out of hard materials. We will mainly discuss about crankbaits and lipless crankbaits cause these two types are most effective among the hard bait types for bass fishing.
- The crankbaits has lips which allow them to dive down when retrieved, the lips in front let the baitfish in different depth depending on the shape of the lip. If the shape is tiny and kind of square shaped then it’s a shallow water crankbaits which will pull down 2-4 feet if you pull it. If the lips is lot longer then it’s a deep water crankbaits, as you pull them alone they will dive 10-15 feet underwater. The quicker you pull, the deeper they go.
There are also some suspended crankbaits which have broken down into pieces creates more vibration.
- Lipless crankbaits don’t have any lips in front of them. An effective feature that these baits have, they got rattles inside them. An amazing thing which can attract basses much faster. Also, they are fast which pushes the fish to act.
A crankbaits or lipless one, they are really effective because they are fast moving plus lipless one’s got rattles inside so it pushes the fish to react way more faster and ultimately the biggest advantage is you can locate bass in the shortest amount of time.
There’s a wide variety of soft baits such as worms, flukes, creature baits, craw tubes, trailers, lizards. They are slow-moving baits made out of plastic.
My favorite ones are worms from the category. There’s a lot of types, the soft baits are effective in a cold situation. It’s often referred to as bottom bass fishing when the water is cold they show less activity, so these slow-moving live alike baits are so effective then. But these baits are ineffective when the bass is so much active.
Soft lures work best when water is over 55 °F (13 °C). Use large lures that are 7–10 inches (18–25 cm) when the water is murky but shorter lures that are 4–5 inches (10–13 cm) when the water is clear and the bass are lethargic.
Want to see the aggressiveness and enjoy the bass fishing? Topwater baits are the most famous and exciting kind of baits. There are buzz baits, frogs, prop baits referred as topwater baits.
- Buzzbaits: It’s a great bait for beginners, it has a specific kind of blades which claps the water surface and make a buzzing sound that’s why it’s called buzz baits.
- Frogs: frog is the favorite food for bass. They can’t just resist themselves grabbing a frog and have a delicious meal. It displays there ferocious nature. They come suddenly into the water surface to get these topwater baits which are a great scene to watch.
- Prop baits: These are another kind of topwater baits which gives a splash and attract bass.
Topwater baits are only for summertime or when the fish is a lot more active than other time. It includes warmer water and there feeding time which is early morning and late evening. So if you want to go for a fishing in the early morning during the summertime, use a topwater bait, it will be fun!
It refers us to hooks, sinkers, and swivels. Because of various techniques and variety of depth, we need to know some basics about hook and sinkers. There are different types of hooks and sinkers. Let’s know a little bit about them.
- Hooks: there are different types of hooks comes in different sizes. The basic hooks are for soft plastics. Treble hooks are used for hard baits and weighted hooks are for topwater baits.
Buy the 3 or 4 outsized hooks for you soft plastic baits. Some techniques need smaller hooks or bigger hooks, it all depends on your fishing technique.
The main thing about a hook is how sharp it is! Sharper hook increases the chances of landing a bass. They can’t fight much when you have a sharper hook. So try to choose the sharper one always.
- Sinkers: These little things add weight and allow the bait to go deeper, basically they keep the bait stable in currents or high winds. Weights also have different sizes and types depending on your techniques.
We got all information about lures, now Rigging is the next step to catch a bass. Rigging means simply hook the plastic baits into the hook manually. The crankbaits, topwater baits, spinnerbaits don’t need to be rigging but soft plastic like worms, trailers do. I’m gonna let you know about most common and effective rigging which are super easy.
the most common rig that used to catch fish from winter time all the through summer. This particular rig is great for fishing in covers like docs, grass, stones where the bass love to live because of protection and ambush. Now let’s see how to set up a Texas rig.
- First, take a bullet weight(quarter – ⅜) normally or if you want to fish around 5-10 feet then take bullet weight( ¼-⅜ ) and start to get it into the line.
- Next, grab your worm hook (4 or 5) and perform a Uni Knot.
- Take the hook point and slide it into the top of the worm, after getting about a quarter inch take the hook point and push it out of the worm. Pull the hook through and get to the hook shank and then rotate it 180 degrees. So now the knot is inside the worm and then push the worm up a little bit and then slide the hook point into the worm meat. Try to keep the worm straight. And it’s done.
Shaky head rig:
wacky rig is a super easy rig to create a stand of action in the bottom. The football shaky head is highly recommended for this rigging cause what it does is it sit in the bottom and let the tail of the worm straight up. Now for a wacky rig-
- Take a shaky head hook and perform a Uni knot using fluorocarbon lines
- There’s a hook keeper in this type, take the worm all the way up to the hook keeper and then do the similar procedure like texas rigging. When the hit the bottom, the give a much better presentation which attracts bass more effectively then texas rig.
This is my favorite one, the most effective rigging style in my opinion. For a wacky rig, you just need a wide gap finesse hook. Stick baits are perfect in this wacky rig.
Why the wacky rig is best, well when then hits the bottom they swim like a worm really does it, when they fall because of there rigging structure the two ends are shaky and it really makes bass to believe a real worm is swimming. Ultimately make them catch the prey. So for doing this-
- Take a finesse hook, weed guard covered ones are good for fishing around cover and without weed guard covered hooks are good for open water.
- Perform a uni knot, you can also go for any kind of other knots.
- Find the exact middle point of the worm and hook it in that middle point.
- If you got a weed guard then attach it, and if your finesse hook doesn’t have any then just start fishing in those open water. And that’s wacky rig, super easy, isn’t it!
The most important thing about bass fishing is determining their location or finding. No matter what technique or how expensive equipments you have, if there’s no bass in that location you won’t get any bass in your hook. Bass location fluctuates a lot so that even the professional anglers has to face challenges sometimes for finding them. Here is a few tips below to find them.
- There are structures and covers which you need to know. Basically, structures are the actual bottom surface of a water body and cover means the vegetation underwater, rocks, human-made piers, docs, bridges lily pads, trees etc.
- Bass fish like to stays where the structure changes, so understanding that change of structure you can find bass.
- Covers are the ideal place to find them. Make casts to covers like rocks, lily pads, docs, grass etc. they love to hide there because of their protection issues and to ambush their food.
- Always cast parallel to the shoreline, you can find them.
- Points are one of the best spots for bass, locate points using google map.
- Search for fish in different depths, you don’t know the temperature level under the water. So the fish can be at any level where they found there optimum temperature. So locate there level by casting and retrieving in different depths.
- Look for their food source. bass loves baitfish, frogs, crawfish, insects, bluegill. If you see them, you can be sure that basses are near them somewhere.
The main three equipments alongside with baits and hooks are Bass Fishing rods, reels, and line. It’s a fishing where you need to choose your equipment according to their habits and catching techniques. Let’s discuss about the equipment below.
There are spinning rods and casting rods for specific types of reel. Each rods has its own characteristics. We are not gonna talk about spinning or casting rods here but specifications for bass fishing. You can choose a rod and reel combo or a setup where you have to buy them separately. For a set up a perfect bass fishing rod should have-
- Length- around 6-7 ft
- Power- Medium heavy
- Action- Fast
Fishing reels also have two kinds which are spinning reels and baitcasting reels, but here we will not discuss about those types, we need a low profile baitcasting reel. Obviously, yo0u can go for spinning reels but starting with a baitcaster here will help a lot in bass fishing. let’s get straight to the ideal bass fishing reels specifications.
- Gear ratio: 6:4:1 can be good enough
- Low profile baitcaster
There are 3 basic fishing lines. You must know already that they are monofilament, fluorocarbon and braided line. Each line has there advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the line for bass fishing is a must have things, without the appropriate line, it’s impossible to fish a bass. The perfect line for bass fishing-
- Monofilament: 12-15 lb, visibility is medium, relatively low strength and high stretch. You will get them at a cheap price. Ideal for starting bass fishing.
- Fluorocarbon: This type of line has a low visibility, it’s almost impossible to find them in water. So this medium strength, low stretch and low profile line is also a good choice. Price is a little bit higher.
After all these discussions, I just want to say that fishing is not all about getting results. It hard says that when the fish is going to bite, it can be in a minute or in an hour or can take the whole day. Don’t think about getting the result only, enjoy the fishing.
One thing you need to remember folks, the best one of all techniques is going for fishing again and again. What you learn from each trip is the most effective technique. If you don’t even get any of them, don’t be upset. The experience that you get is all it matters. The bass fishing tips and techniques we talked about is the basic things that you must have to know for bass fishing, but only by fishing, again and again, you can master at angling. So with learning all the facts, your involvement and consistency is the ultimate trick to catch a bass. Happy bass fishing, folks.