How to Catch Bass
Catching largemouth bass in ponds, lakes, rivers, or reservoirs can be easier than you might think. If you read and remember these basic bass fishing tips, you can be reeling in America's favorite freshwater game fish before you know it.
Locate Largemouth Bass Habitat
If you want to learn how to catch bass, the first thing you need to know is how to locate the ideal habitat for this warm water fish species. Largemouth bass prefer shallower areas of freshwater ponds, lakes, reservoirs, and slow-moving rivers that have some type of cover in the form of vegetation, brush, trees, or structure.
One of the key largemouth bass fishing tips to remember is that you will most often find these fish close to cover. Regardless of whether you are fishing from the shoreline or from a boat, try to locate any submerged trees, vegetation, docks, bridges, or changes in bottom depth. Just as when learning how to fish for any other species, finding spots that offer cover or structure is a good first step.
Choose Your Bait or Lure Wisely
Once you have found a freshwater fishing spot that has cover, take a close look at the water conditions and pay close attention to any baitfish or forage you see. For example, if the water is clear and you notice schools of shad swimming near a boat dock or a crayfish crawling along the bottom, you have valuable clues as to what may be the best bait for bass in that area.
Always try to choose a bait or lure that mimics the type of prey that the bass are likely to be feeding on in the waterway where you plan to fish.
- Spoons and crankbaits are made to imitate shad, shiners, or other types of baitfish. One of the most useful tips for catching bass in cloudy or muddy water is to try a rattling crankbait that will create vibrations in the water. When the water visibility is low, bass can sense vibrations from rattling lures or baits using their lateral line and you may get more strikes.
- Soft plastic crayfish, frogs, and lizards are creature baits that are made to mimic these types of prey. These types of soft plastic baits can often be rigged so that they are weedless, which makes it easier for to fish around vegetation.
While there are a variety of artificial lures and baits you can use, don't forget that natural baits are often the best option if you are fishing with kids or beginners.
Getting Bass to Bite
Once you have selected the type of freshwater bait or lure you think will work best given the type of prey and water conditions, you can make a decision on which retrieval technique to try and select the best rod and reel to use. Technique simply refers to the type of action or motion you give your bait or lure as you reel your line back in to retrieve it.
If you happen to see bass chasing baitfish near the surface of the water or actively swimming around structure, they may be feeding aggressively. In this situation, you can try to use larger baits or lures and experiment by retrieving them at a quicker pace. On the other hand, if you don't see any signs of bass swimming or chasing bait, they could be holding near the bottom and a slow presentation or smaller bait might be required to elicit a strike.
The most important of all the bass fishing tips is to have fun and enjoy the process of experimenting. The more time you spend on the water, the more you will understand about selecting the best baits and using techniques that will help increase the numbers of bass you catch. Learn what is the best time to fish for bass in the day and time of the year.