Bass is one of the most sought after game fish in North America as well as many other parts of the world. When people think of bass they think of a tough fighting, tail dancing, big fish. Bass puts up one of the best fights in the game. They can leap right out of the water and will surely make your drag scream. Bass come in a variety of sizes, and catching a trophy bass can be a rewarding experience. Most anglers are familiar with three different types of bass: large mouth, small mouth, and rock bass. Our comprehensive guide will go over the details of each and how to target them. Bass are great tasting fish, and are not overly difficult to target if you know what you are doing and have the right equipment. Our guide will teach you exactly how to find trophy bass and how to land them one after the other. You don’t need thousands of dollars in equipment to target bass, which is another reason people love to fish bass. They are aggressive fish and will often attack your lure if it gets anywhere near it. Let’s dive into a little background information first.
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Bass Background information
The freshwater basses that we discuss all belong to the black bass family. They are all similar, but have some distinct differences. These fish are the most popular gamefish in North America- and for a good reason. These fish are well known for their fighting ability and are found in still and moving waters throughout North America. Bass are cold blooded creatures meaning that their appetite is controlled by the temperature of the water. At higher temperatures bass tend to be stimulated and more aggressive. They also tend to travel together and are considered schooling fish. This is important for anglers because it usually means once they found one bass there will be plenty of others around. Bass are carnivores by nature and attack anything it deems as food if it comes near it. They like to hang out in rocky areas and lay low while waiting for their food to come in striking distance.
Difference Between Small Mouth And Large Mouth Bass
Well the obvious difference is the appearance of the fish. A small mouth bass is called a small mouth because it has a much small mouth. A largemouth bass has a jawline that will extend past its eye making it easy to identify. Other than the obvious difference, there are also a few subtle differences between the two. They both can grow to be around 5 lbs- but in general largemouth bass tend to grow a little bigger. Large mouths hang out in still waters like ponds as oppose to smallies who prefer moving waters. This is a key point for anglers. If you’re fishing smallmouth try and find an area where the fish can hang out (like a rock bed) that has a current that can wash bait fish and prey in towards the bass. If you’re fishing largemouth look for still water with little current.
Bass Fishing Tips and How to Catch
So here is the section that probably brought you here in the first place. But be sure to read the rest of the article as catching trophy bass isn’t as easy as throwing on the right lure-there are many more factors that come into play. Below are some key tips that will help improve you bass game:
Spring prespawn and fall tend to be the best times to land bass. Their metabolisms are revved up and they are overly aggressive at these times so be sure to head out on the water around these seasons.
Just find one and you’ll be set. Once you find areas where bass congregate your good to go. Bass school together and can often be found in the same holes over and over. Find your bass spots and be sure to mark them on your GPS.
Use shiny lures if it’s sunny out. The sun will reflect of lures such as spinners and this will grab the attention of bass. Bass are relatively lazy fish so getting their attention is key.
Cover more water. Bass are usually pretty aggressive and if you put bait in front of them 90% of the time they’ll take it. Troll to cover large areas or cast and retrieve. I usually troll smaller fatter crank baits over rocky beds until I find areas where bass congregate.
Troll a floater over the weed beds. This technique works well on those warm summer days when bass are hiding out in the weed beds from the sun.
Use a tube jig tipped with a piece of a real worm. This is a secret lure of mine that seems to work amazing all season long. You can adjust what jig weight you use according to the water depth.
Best Bass Lures and Bait
Bass are not picky eaters. They will pretty much go for anything you have in the box. Usually bigger lures produce bigger fish so keep that in mind. Below are some of the key lures that are known to produce bass time after time.
Plastics + Jigs
Real worms + Jigs
Crankbaits- especially colorful fatter ones
Jointed crankbaits-great for fishing over rocks and weeds