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Bass Fishing Basics

Bass fishing can be a great experience for beginners and seasoned anglers alike. For a successful day on the water, master these basic bass fishing tips and techniques.

Bass Fishing Regulations

When you set out to fish for bass, be sure to familiarize yourself with regulations that govern the sport. For starters, the fishing season for bass varies by state, and in some states, like Rhode Island, there is no closed season.

Size limits

Certain locations have minimum size limits for bass fishing, as well as maximums for the amount you can catch per day. And keep in mind that these size and catch limits may be different based on the various species of bass. In Kentucky, for instance, there’s a daily limit of 15 for rock bass and six for largemouth bass.

Get a proper fishing license

You’ll also want to make sure you have the proper fishing license before setting out. Even recreational, first-time anglers may be required to have a license. In Massachusetts, anyone 15 or older has to get a license before casting, while in Oregon, youth aged 12 and up need a license to fish. To purchase a license, check with the state’s Fish & Wildlife Department or local retail establishments. They can usually be obtained by phone, online or in person.

Following these tips should minimize, if not eliminate, your risk for illegal activity so that you can focus on your fishing without worry.

Bass Behavior

Just like any target species, understanding the factors that influence bass behavior is essential to mastering how to catch bass. One of the biggest impacts on the fish is the water temperature. Bass prefer warmer water, and the rise in temperature stimulates their appetite as well. But that doesn’t mean they like it hot. So if you’re fishing for bass in the summer months, they may actually be hunting for cooler water.

Weather

It’s also valuable to learn how the weather can affect bass. Bass tend to shy away from the high sun and will seek shelter like a structure instead. In low light conditions, bass will be much more active and away from their hiding spots, making cloudy days or early morning or evening the best time to fish of bass.

Fishing maps

One of the best ways to find bass is to leverage today’s available technology. Websites and fishfinders can help you pinpoint areas in a body of water that hold bass. Even fishing maps can hold the keys to their location by marking places like ledges where they like to congregate.

Bass Fishing Lures

One reason why bass are such a popular for beginners learning how to fish has to do with their appetites. Simply put, bass are not picky eaters. They will go after almost anything they can, although they do have some preferences: crayfish and bluegill are universally hunted by bass.

Jig

When it comes to lures, the most common and arguably effective type is a jig. There are various options when it comes to jigs depending on the environment in which you’re fishing. For instance, a punch jig can be used in thick vegetation because it’s heavier. Another good option for areas with weeks or grassy cover are casting jigs, since their sleek design is intended to penetrate.

Topwater lure

For an action-packed day, you may want to try a topwater lure. A walking bait is one of the more popular types because of its versatility. While not novel, poppers are also a good choice, especially if you’re trying to lure a bass out from under cover. Another favorite lure among bass anglers is the buzzbait.

Plastic worms

Even though they’re not the most exciting, if you want to try your hand at plastics, go for a worm! Any bass, anywhere, will strike a finesse worm. You may want to try a rubber worm as well. Plastic crawlers are also a good way to mimic the bass’ popular forage species.

Spinnerbaits

Spinnerbaits are also very effective and can cover a large amount of water in a short period of time. Similar to crankbaits, they are suitable for nearly any condition. By stocking up on any of these lures, you’re sure to have a productive day on the water!