5 Big Bass Fishing Tips for Beginners
The thrill of hunting down big bass is nearly as exciting as actually catching a large bucket mouth. Although a novice angler will occasionally haul in a trophy, there are several things an angler can do to increase his odds dramatically. Knowing where to look for the hogs, what they’re feeding on and being prepared when the big moment arrives are all skills the pros use in every tournament and can also be learned by the novice. The following suggestions should help you on your way to catching the bass you daydream about.
1- Rod and Reel
You don’t need the most expensive rod and reel on the market. Even if someone gave you a top of the line outfit, you probably wouldn’t know how to best use it. Stick with good quality gear that you feel comfortable with. If bait casters give you a hard time, stick with spinning gear. Fishing should be fun, not frustrating. I do suggest you go with the lightest weight rod and reel you can afford, as fatigue can be a real factor during a full day of tossing baits.
2- Terminal Tackle
Terminal tackle is the term used to describe equipment between the pole and the angler. This includes line and hooks. The variety of lines on the market today can be over-whelming and prices range from cheap to unbelievably expensive. Find the middle ground, produced by a trusted company and you should be fine. You’ll want to fish with the lightest line possible, but keep in mind your going after big bass now and you don’t want to lose a trophy because your line broke.
Quality hooks are sold by many manufacturers and most are head and shoulders above the quality that was once available. Be sure to buy good, sharp hooks. Keep a hook sharpener in your tackle box at all times. Sharp = hooked.
3- Match the Hatch
Matching the hatch is generally used in the world of fly fishing, but is just as important in any type of angling. If the big boys are chasing shad in the shallows, this isn’t time to work on your worm fishing. Pull out the best shad imitator in your box and toss it toward shore. Try different retrieves until you find you’re also matching the speed of the natural action. No luck? Switch to the next bait and started flingin’. Swim baits generally appeal to the shad-devouring bass and getting into the middle of a shad-attack is about as much fun as any angler can handle.
4- Know Your Seasons
Bass spawn in the spring, sitting on nests ridiculously close to shore. Whether you’re fishing from a boat or from shore, there’s a good chance of actually sight-fishing a big female that is guarding her nest. Although they’re sometimes hard to induce, if you pester the bass with just the right bait, there’s a chance of hooking a fat, egg-stuffed largemouth. Be sure to release all bass back to their nests to allow the spawning to complete.
Summer, winter and fall fishing require their own techniques, as the bass adapt to weather, temperatures and feeding patterns.
Big bass are big because they haven’t been eaten – by humans, larger predator fish or land based critters. By the time a bass reaches 5 pounds or more, they have a finely developed sense of survival and a big-bass hunter needs to pay attention to the scenario they find themselves in. Big bass have seen that worm in your tackle box and that spinner-bait too. In fact, a big bass has had so many types of lures swim by them; you’d better have something better up your sleeve to even get a double take from the wary fish.
Big bass have the best hiding places. Like most species, bass employ a pecking-order when it comes to prime real estate. The big ones like to hang out in the best cover and are therefore the hardest ones to locate and cast to. Keep this in mind when looking for a place to toss your bait. If you’re going to be a successful big bass fisherman, get used to losing equipment. Throwing into the heavy weeds and under low-hanging branches results in many snagged lines and lost lures. It also results in pulling in the largest bass.
The tips listed above will be useful as you spend time on the water chasing the elusive trophy bass. Nothing, however, can substitute for time spent on the water, trying new techniques and learning the habits of large bass.