Bass. Are there any fish more profoundly American? They are the most popular game fish in all of North America. Fishing for bass is easy, fun, and with the right bass fishing tips and tricks, it’s one of best ways to spend a weekend.
Bass are some of the most plentiful fish in our country, and compared to other game fish, they are also some of the easiest to catch. Still, it takes more than a loaded line thrown into a fishing hole to catch a trophy bass worthy of replacing that old “singing bass” hanging on your wall. If you want to consistently catch some good ones, there are a few techniques you need to master.
First, however, let’s look at the fish. There are predominantly two types of Bass–smallmouth and largemouth. Fishing for them requires a different approach and anglers need to know exactly what they are going after.
That’s One Big Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass are actually members of the sunfish family and are unique to fresh water areas. Also known as a Black Bass, it is a popular game fish throughout North America. It has spread through legal stocking and illegal introductions to many cool water tributaries in Canada and the USA.
Smallmouth bass can reach up to 27 inches and weigh, at most, 12 pounds. Most are significantly smaller. The smallmouth bass is native to the upper and middle Mississippi River, the Great Lakes system, and up into the Hudson Bay.
Unlike largemouth bass, smallmouth bass will cover a lot of water and do so without cover. This is even more apparent in warm weather when bait fish stay away from shore. They will also chase just about any bait around. They are much more aggressive and will often swim in fast current waters.
So for smallies, ditch the shoreline, get in a kayak or bass boat and head to the more open water. That means the best bass lures for smallmouth are going to be crankbaits, vibrating jigs, and spinnerbaits.
Fishing for Bass? Go big!
The most popular and well known gamefish in the United States is the large mouth bass. Weighing up to 25 pounds and measuring nearly 30 inches, these fish are known throughout North America as a truly great fishing experience.
They are the State Fish of Georgia, Mississippi, Indiana, Florida, and Alabama. That alone should attest to their popularity. If there was a prom queen for fish, it would be the largemouth bass.
Since they are so popular, Bass fishermen across the nation each have their own tips on bass fishing and tricks for catching the big ones. But what does it take to really be a bass-master?
First, you need to realize that unlike their smaller cousins, largemouth bass are slow, lazy, and like to stay in their beds. Kind of like a teenager on summer break. They scare easily and aren’t aggressive when it comes to taking bait. For these reasons, it’s become increasingly popular to fish in a kayak.
Kayak or Bass Boat? Lake Bass actually care.
Bass fishing takes patience and skill. Articles on how to bass fish go into great detail on angles and timing to keep from scaring the fish, but it’s not as hard as it sounds. Basically, be quiet.
Kayaks offer a smooth, nearly silent movement that make them ideal for the solitary angler. Unlike a bass boat, you can’t fit four guys with three coolers of beer. Still, if you’re out on your own, fishing from a kayak is a great way to go.
Stay hidden and cast from an angle into the beds, then let your line sink and work it in place. Large mouth are unlikely to chase, remember they are lazy, but they will suck in a line that’s tantalizingly close. In many cases, you can see the fish hiding in reeds and work your line directly to it.
Still, don’t rule out a god boat. There’s a reason they are popular and made specifically for catching bass. You can quickly get across a large lake and then idle a quiet motor to get you into an ideal position.
Not to mention, the bass boat accessories and amenities are second to none. There’s plenty of space for gear, multiple rigs, several people, depth finders…the list just goes on.
While it takes more work to transport and care for, a good boat is sound investment, and a necessity for those who are considering entering a bass fishing tournament. Such tournaments are known for moving quickly from place to place, and a kayak just can’t keep up.
Bass Fillets, online for only $60 a pound!
Sure you can go online and order some bass filets, but there’s no fun in that and, with the right sales and discounts, it can come out to be a whole lot cheaper in the long run.
Since bass are the belles of the ball, there is a tremendous amount of equipment out there for sale, and a lot of equipment means a lot of competition for your hard-earned fishing dollars. That’s good news for you.
Fishing sweepstakes are common, as are gear and fishing tackle box giveaways. Grab a copy of Bassmaster Magazine and you will find it chock-full of fishing promotions, many of them aimed directly at the lovers of big bass. Fishing for bass is one of the most popular sports in the USA.
In addition, don’t be afraid to ask. I remember working at a sporting goods store and while it wasn’t advertised, if you purchased a new spool of line and wanted it run onto your reel, well, we were happy to do so. Purchasing new fishing tackle boxes , line, hooks, lures, and a rod? Ask if the store has any promotions running and let them know you’re fishing for bass.
Heck, ask them to throw in a new tackle box from the displays so you can haul all the gear to the lake. You’d be surprised how many stores will part with a $40 tackle box to make you happy. Especially since it only costs them about $8. If inshore saltwater fishing is for you, we’ve got you covered.
Want to checkout more bass fishing tips? Check out Bassmaster for some great bass strategies and techniques, too!
Look for the sales, the fishing giveaways, the fishing sweepstakes, anything you can to keep some green in your pocket when you head out to put some fish on the line. Just as in fishing for bass, you have to know your angles.