Bass Fishing for Beginners: Tips to Get Ahead of the Pack

By Debbie Hanson

Aug 01, 2017

Get simple bass fishing tips for beginners. Find out what gear to use, which baits are best, top places to start beginner bass fishing with friends, family. 

You've heard that there are some great freshwater fishing spots within a few miles from where you live, so you're ready to take a crash course in bass fishing for beginners. Don't worry because your "homework" is super fun, and you can use a simple study guide to earn yourself an A+. Follow these six suggestions to start your entry-level course in bass fishing 101.

1.    Learn about bass behavior


If you want to score a high grade in beginner bass fishing, start out by learning about the habits and behavior of the species. A good foundation of knowledge regarding which senses largemouth bass rely on most to feed, how they relate to structure, and at which water temperature range they tend to feed most heavily (upper 60 to 80-degree range) will get you started off on the right foot.

2.    Know the fishing regulations that apply to bass in your state

Know the fishing regulations that apply to bass in your state. Learning these regulations is an important part of bass fishing for beginners, so read a copy of your state freshwater fishing regulations to learn about any tackle or gear restrictions, fishing seasons, bag limits, size limits, or special laws regarding certain state waterways. 

3.    Use a rod and reel that you're comfortable with

You don't have to use a baitcasting reel to catch bass if you've never used one before. If you are comfortable with a spinning reel, just use your spinning reel until you get more experience. A medium action 6.5 foot to 7 foot spinning combo will work just fine for beginners. Build your confidence level by using gear that you are comfortable with. There will be plenty of time to learn how to fish with a baitcaster later!

4.    Try using soft plastic stick baits

As a beginner, if you want to learn how to fish for bass using artificial bait, try using soft plastic stick baits. Stick baits are one of the easiest and most effective artificial baits you can use for largemouth bass. Bring along two or three different colors to use, and rig them on a 2/0 or 3/0 offset worm hook. If you aren't getting any strikes on the first color you try, switch up the color of your bait to see if it makes a difference. 

5.    Start out with small local lakes and ponds

Because largemouth bass are one of the most widely distributed game fish in the U.S., almost every American angler can catch this species within just a short drive from home. Find a small local lake or pond that's quick and easy for you to access. You're more likely to fish more often, get more practice, experience more success, and stick with it if you start fishing at a spot that's convenient. Once you have a solid understanding of how bass feed and which types of spots are likely to hold fish, you can graduate to larger and more challenging waterways. 

6.    Practice proper catch and release

The only way to score an A+ in bass fishing for beginners is to know and practice proper catch and release. The highest grade in beginner bass fishing is awarded to those who not only know how to catch bass, but to those who also know how to safely release them. When you use proper catch and release techniques, you are doing your part to help ensure that our fish populations continue to thrive for years to come.

Now that you know about six bass tips that will put you at the top of the class, get your freshwater fishing license and head to your local pond. The bass are waiting!
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.