Each of the many species we talk about here on TheOnlineFisherman.com presents their own unique challenge. This specific article is going to be: 10 Tips for Catching Largemouth Bass.
Catching Largemouth Bass
Some fish – grayling, let's say – are incredible, but little-known on the angling circuit. The almost-magical dorsal fin on the northern species, lifting as amazingly as if it were attached to an Atlantic Sailfish – is covered with spots that almost burn with color. But saying grayling is not like saying largemouth bass. Do a search on the internet and you can see for yourself. The "How to Catch" search results for largemouth hit more than 1.7 million. The grayling results were a little over 200,000. That's still a lot of anglers, but clearly more people are fishing for largemouth bass than are fishing for Arctic grayling. Fortunately for our visitors, we will cover both fish.
Largemouth Bass are known as one of the toughest, most challenging of all freshwater species. Living in warm waters, they get well over 10lbs, and the world's record could very-well be living in a lake, river, or even pond near you. All you have to do is catch them.
This article will give you ten tips for catching largemouth bass. We will be providing a range of related articles about how to catch largemouth bass, so this one is only one you'll consider reading as you develop your skill sets. Like any fish, you can specialize in catching only one species, and get almost obsessed with the details. Don't do that. It does not increase the odds you'll find that record or release a 12 pounder. Only time on the water will do that. Largemouth remain the most sought-after species in the world with good reason. They're tough.
Bass live in every body of freshwater in the state of Florida. Have a rod ready in your car with a Black rubber worm and a torpedo lead. You can use it to fish just-about any water you can reach by foot, and a lot of big bass can be caught from shore – especially on Golf Course ponds.
Fish a lot
If you get a chance, get on the water. Fishing for largemouth can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it; an hour on a pond is far easier to achieve than an hour on a saltwater grass flat. They're harder to reach for anybody that doesn't live on the water, and they're potentially more dangerous and should not be done alone. Catching largemouth bass is something you can do alone without risking your life to any great degree (some gators we've encountered did not look all that safe, however, so do be careful of them and snakes, as well. Rattlers love pond-side dinner.
Try new lures
We're big fans of black-rubber worms, but try different things if only to a) learn that they work, and b) realize that some work very well during certain seasons. At the very least have a swimming plug, a spinner bait or two, a topwater, and a jig or two. A gold spoon with a weedless wire or mono attachment is a must-have for your bass tackle box.
Find a friend to fish for bass with
There are plenty of addicts in the world of catching largemouth bass. You can find them here on our forums, and you can find them in tackle shops and you can find them in species-related fishing clubs. Find one near you and join it. You'll have somebody picking you up on the way to the golf course, river, or lake before you know it.
Study the fish
Bass act differently in the springtime, when they dig holes close to shore in which to lay their eggs, then than do three months later when the surface of the lake is 90 F. and the water at 22' in the lake's water column is more like 72 F. Learn thermoclines, bedding behavior, which lure colors work better in shady conditions, and whatever else you can learn about. We have every book Doug Hannon ever wrote, for example. Visit his site. He sells stuff, but underneath his sales conversations is the best information about largemouth bass and how to catch largemouth bass that exists on the earth. Or the Milky Way.
Use Live Bait
There is nothing like a wiggler (live red worm) to attract a largemouth bass. Wait! We take that back. Live shiners will make bass that have been hibernating in nearly frozen water to wake up, smash the bait, and take off for another county. Do not be afraid to use bait. Many elitists and people that think they're just plain-cooler than anybody who didn't go to HahVad fish. They only fish with artificials and think that those of us that are not familiar with Fabian Socialism (we are, unfortunately) are barbarians. We love live bait. So do fish. Try it, they'll and you'll like it.
It's out there. Downed trees, rock piles, rocks, the corners of a river, a point sticking out in a pond; it's all structure. If you have a bottom-finder, you'll find structure where the depths change in a lake or even a pond that you had no idea was there. Fish are attracted to structure because bait fish live there thinking they're safe. They're not. Neither are largemouth bass that are there watching you perfectly present the perfect bait. Understand structure and its role in the feeding process and schedule.
Bass are not bonefish, but they will spook if you make unnecessary noise. They'll spook if you talk too loud, in fact. Like any other fish, if the water's very muddy and opaque, the fish are not nearly as spooky as they are when it's as clear as gin (one of our favorite adult beverages). But be quiet and aware of your surroundings. That's a general fishy talking point we try to mention whenever possible. Be quiet, and look around at how beautiful it is out there. Ssssssh!
Do not run out and buy a $200 rod that holds a $400 reel and $1,200 worth of lures in one bag and $1,940 in another. All guided by $8,211 worth of electronics on a $92,500 bass boat. Don't get us wrong. We love companies who sell very expensive stuff and pay good money to get their expensive stuff in front of the eyes of our readers (and us; we're as idiotic as any of you when it comes to spending good money on stuff we really do not need). That said, start with minimal expenditure until you know how addicted you really are. Or might be. Then spend your family's wealth if you want to. We advise against it, but heck – it's your money.
Reading is something that is second-nature to one person and a terrible and daunting task to another. Do not let yourself be in the second category. With the advent of eBooks, iPads, and digital tablets like the Kindle becoming part of every person's existence, and smart phones numbering in the millions, if you want to catch bass get a book or two. We could recommend anything from Doug Hannon, with Mark Sosin's work definitely an equal, although he did not spend every waking hour of his life on bass waters studying one species and one species only. Get books about bass from bass professionals and read a paragraph once in a while. It will improve your fish-catching ability.
There is always more to learn about catching largemouth bass, so looking at books, fishing with other anglers, visiting tackle shops, and doing anything you can do to learnn more is going to improve how effective you are. It's not about catching fish, though. There is the outside, the water, the sounds, smells, and just being part of our wonderful community that makes it worth while. Catching largemouth bass isn't a bad addition to the recipe, though.