Bass fishing can seem like a simple game. Cast out, wind in and, boom, catch a bass. In reality, it’s not quite so simple. While anglers of any skill level can catch bass when they are biting aggressively, some anglers have a knack for catching bass consistently and in a variety of fishing conditions. To learn some bass fishing secrets and tips, read on.
Use Smaller Lures to Catch More Bass
Bass fishermen who focus on catching only big bass often use only big lures. But what about anglers who just want to catch bass, but also have the opportunity to catch a big bass? Small lures are the way to go. One of the best lures for catching large numbers of bass is a jigworm. The rig is basic–a mushroom-head jig that weighs 1/8 oz. to 1/4 oz. and a four- to seven-inch plastic worm threaded into the hook. Weedlines and drop-offs are prime places to fish a jigworm. Anglers should use spinning equipment and eight-pound-test fishing line. Cast the lure out and bump it along the bottom as you retrieve it, or reel it steadily so the lure swims just off the bottom.
Learn to Fish with a Jig and Pig
Two elements go into a jig and pig–a skirted, weedless jig, and a trailer (pig) that is made of plastic or pork and threaded onto the shank of the hook. There was a time when anglers only fished jigs and pigs slowly along the bottom in cold water. In reality, jigs and pigs can be fished throughout the year, and they do not need to be crawled along the bottom. Among the ways to present the lure, which is the go-to bait of many bass anglers when they are looking to catch a big bass: flipped or pitched into heavy cover; cast and retrieved steadily around emergent and submerged vegetation; and skipped underneath boat docks and other overhead structure. A jig and pig that weighs 3/8 oz. is a good place to start, but switch to a heavier lure if you are having trouble maintaining contact with the bottom, or a lighter lure if you are in shallow water and the jig and pig is fouling in vegetation.
Lipless Crank-baits Can Find Fish Fast
Bass anglers oftentimes have to search for active bass. One of the best ways to find bass that are actively feeding is with a lipless crankbait that weighs 1/2 oz. Rig the bait on a seven-foot, medium-action bait-casting rod. That will allow you to cast the lure great distances and cover lots of water. Focus on weed edges and large weed flats. Retrieve the lure quickly and try to make it catch in the vegetation. As soon as you feel the lure hit a piece of weed, jerk the rod sharply so the lure comes free. This action could cause a reflex bite from bass in the area.
Consider a Wacky-Rigged Worm
Most bass anglers fish plastic worms along the bottom as part of a Texas or Carolina rig. Impaling the plastic worm through the middle of its body on a hook and casting it out–a wacky rig–is a method that is often overlooked. The wacky-rigged worm has a slow, seductive fall and curls into the shape of a “U” when it is retrieved. The lure is especially effective in shallow water when fished around boat docks, but anglers also should consider it when bass are in deeper water, particularly along weed-lines. There will be bass at various points in the water column, so casting out and letting the rig sink likely will produce bass. If the rig does make it to the bottom, retrieve it slowly and pause often. The fluttering action is unlike what bass have seen before, so they are more likely to strike. Fish a wacky-rigged worm on a spinning rod and eight-pound-test line.