Bass Fishing Tips: How to Catch Bass
If you are just starting out bass fishing then you may well be confused by all of the different types of lures, rigs, rods and reels are that commonly used, Armed with our bass fishing tips we hope to help you get the best start!
Bass are one of the most prolific freshwater fish species found in the USA and Canada.
The are great fun to catch and can be caught by just about anybody.
Bass Fishing Tips
The following fishing tips will help you on your way to catchin
1. Find Their Cover
Finding out where bass are congregating will greatly increase your chances of hooking one.
Largemouth bass prefer vegetation such as weed beds and lilies when looking for cover.
Smallmouth bass however unlike largemouth bass will prefer to hang out over a sandy or rocky bottom .
2. Use the Right Lures
Knowing where to fish is important, but knowing what to catch bass with is just as important.
Bass are veracious feeders and when a certain kind of natural food source is in season they will tend to gorge themselves on it almost exclusively.
Shad and other smaller bait fish are a common bass snack. During summer months they will feed on topwater prey such as frogs and even go so far as to take the occasional duckling.
3. Time of Day
Depending on the season bass may feed at multiple times of the day. In the warmer summer months they will be more active. In winter however they may only feed a couple of times a day generally when it is warmest.
4. Water Temperature
Water temperature varies throughout the day and can vary greatly even in the same lake.
For example, as temperatures rise during spring bass will become more active. Being aware of how these temperature changes will affect your bass fishing is a crucial to your success.
5. Change Lure Often
If you know where the bass are and they are not hitting your lure then it is time to start changing things up. If a crankbait will not work then try a spinnerbait etc.
Try to change things up every half hour. But give yourself the best chance as possible to catch a bass by matching what they are already feeding on.
6. Know Your Rigs
There are a few different bass rigs that are used the most so if you are using bait for bass rather than a lure knowing what rig is best will allow you to present that bait in the best possible way.
7. Experiment with Different Colors
You may have the right lure on but still can’t catch a bass … Then try a different color.
Light conditions will change throughout the day and you will need to adapt your choice of lure color to that change.
8. Know the Wind
Bass like to swim into the wind generally speaking. So try to position yourself downwind of them. Stronger winds on lake can switch bas on to feeding, plus there is less chance of you spooking them, unlike on flat calm days.
How to Catch Bass
How you fish for bass will vary depending on the time of year or season.
There is a big difference in how you approach bass fishing during the spring, summer, fall and winter months.
And also if you are targeting largemouth or smallmouth bass there are some subtle differences in the bass techniques used for each type of bass.
The more experienced you become the more second nature these bass fishing tips will become.
There really is no substitute for getting out on the water and experimenting.
Always try to analyze the water that you are about to fish. Catching bass means presenting them with a lure or bait that they think is just as natural as the real thing.
How to Fish for Bass
How you fish for bass will vary depending on the type water you are fishing and what the bass are feeding on.
There are a lot of different types of bass rigs and bass setups that are suitable in certain circumstances.
Spring months are known as the pre-spawning months for bass. Bass tend to feed very aggressively during this time as they try to get ready for spawning.
It is in spring that bass move into the shallower waters having spent most of the winter in deeper parts of the lake.
Around March or April is the best time to take advantage of this.
They will try to find some kind of structure like a large weed bed or dead tree to claim as their own for spawning.
Summer months once the spawning season has ending can be one of the easiest times of the year to catch bass.
They are usually in a rush to replace all the body fat that was lost during spawning season.
The will hit a topwater lure very aggressively during these times especially if the lake has a lot of frogs in the shallows.
Fall is when bass start to stock up before the colder winter months. This is usually your last chance to catch them in the shallows before they head out into deeper waters for the winter.
Winter see’s a massive slow down in the bass’s natural feeding cycle. In lakes during the winter the deeper waters are warmer that the shallows and this is where bass will spend a large portion of their day.
There metabolism’s will start to slow considerably. They will rarely hit any kind of lure that is moving at speed.
Instead you need to slow things down and present then with a worm or a small jig right in front of them.
Bass Fishing Techniques
There are two main techniques used for bass fishing; fishing with lures and fishing with bait.
Fishing with lures involves casting a lure to a point just beyond where the bass is hiding. The lure is then retrieved across the bass’s line of sight so as to force a strike from them.
Different lures are retrieved in different ways, for example a crankbait will be retrieved with a fairly constant retrieval rate to help make them dive.
Whereas a popper chugger is jerked across the top of the water to make a sound that drive the bass wild.
When using bait for bass such as worms or leeches the bait is usually cast out with either a weight on the line or underneath a bobber.
Plastic worms and other bait imitating lures catch thousands of bass every year on very simple setups.
Best Bass Lures
Plastic worms are some of best bass lures ever made. The soft body moves very naturally through the water.
These need to be fished slowly and with care. Bas will tend to strike as the worm sinks so you need to learn to detect this as it happens.
The Texas rig, drop shot and Carolina rig are the most popular ways to fish them.
Crankbaits are one of the bet ways to fish for bass. Cast one out ear where the bass are hiding and then retrieve, simple but effective.
Crankbaits have a large lip at the front that helps them to dive as they are moving through the water. The more aggressive the lip usually the quicker they will dive.
Lures like Rapala Shad Rap’s are effective bass slayers when bass are feeding on smaller fish.
At first glance spinnerbaits look a little weird. They are not a natural bait imitator instead they would be considered an attractor.
A spinnerbait usually has a spinning blade that is mounted on a wire harness. Alongside the blade is a rubber skirt. The hook is usually hidden in the rubber skirt.
The blade adds a lot of flash and also vibration as it moves through the water.
These are a cast and retrieve kind of lure. Your best bet is to work them along weed beds or other underwater structures.
Jigs require you to know exactly where the bass are. You won’t cover a lot of water when fishing a jig unlike a crankbait or topwater lure.
They are normally fished on much lighter tackle than when casting a large crankbait. This is because you need a lot more sensitivity when working the jig.
You need to know when the bass has struck. A lighter more sensitive rod tip will make this easier.
5. Topwater Lures
Topwater lures for bass as their name suggests will stay almost exclusively on the surface.
They are some of the most exciting ways to fish for bass. Bass will charge at them from below and strike them quite hard resulting in lots of splash and action.
There are different types of topwater lures some will imitate a frog or a small mouse whereas other will make a sound or a small splash as they are retrieved.
Topwater lures are best used on calm days when the wind is not creating too much ripple on the water surface.
What Do Bass Eat?
Bass eat a wide variety of freshwater insects, fish and small mammals:
Knowing what bass eat and when that food is generally available to them can give you a serious edge.
The best bass bait will be whatever it is currently obsessed with feeding on. Bass are
Smallmouth vs Largemouth Bass
The main difference between smallmouth and largemouth bass is the type of cover that they prefer to lie in.
Smallmouth love sandy, rocky bottoms or gravel whereas largemouth will always look to hide in weed beds and under large lily pads.
When fishing smallmouth vs largemouth bass you may need to reduce the size of your lure for smallmouth.
And, given that smallmouth prefer clearer waters I usually find a more natural lure or bat color works better versus the brighter colors that largemouth will strike at.