Jump to content
JWall14

Getting experience and becoming better

Recommended Posts

I am a new high school bass angler and have all the gear I need but have only caught a few bass. Usually I only catch about 1 or none per outing. I fish from the bank. I frequently fish maple lake, ponds, and hidden lake in north eastern Illinois. How can I get to the point where I am consistently catching many bass each time?

 

Also how do you guys figure out what to throw and where to fish them?

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trial and error, fish as much as you can, with someone who is experienced if possible. Nobody learns how to catch them overnight, it takes years of practice. Read, watch how to videos (legit videos, not some random yahoo with a Go-Pro), and probably most important of all, fish where there's fish. I don't know the lakes you're fishing, but if they have poor populations, you're going to have a big uphill climb ahead of you. 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Trial and error, fish as much as you can, with someone who is experienced if possible. Nobody learns how to catch them overnight, it takes years of practice. Read, watch how to videos (legit videos, not some random yahoo with a Go-Pro), and probably most important of all, fish where there's fish. I don't know the lakes you're fishing, but if they have poor populations, you're going to have a big uphill climb ahead of you. 

Best advise!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pick up some good books on bass behavior, and fishing for them. Watch good quality videos- there are some good ones available on this site.  Buy a practice plug, set up some targets in your yard and practice accurate casting to and past you targets. Also ask questions on this forum.  Many good fisherman on this site who are glad to help. Good luck, and have fun.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something that has helped me out when watching videos is to key in on hands.  It seems that everybodys definition of twitch, jerk, rip, hop, or drag maybe different than yours. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mobasser do you have any book recommendations?

 

Thanks guys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's really a lot of them out there! Most of my books are older. Maybe some others can give you some tips on this.What type of water are you fishing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ponds and small lakes (less than 80 acres)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard! Can't say it much better than @Bluebasser86.

 

Good luck!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bluebasser always has good advise, and there’s quite a few other members on here who give consistently thoughtful input as well. One place I’ve found a lot of experienced fisherman who love to share info are local tackle shops. Try picking the brains of some of the old heads who work at the more Mom and pop type of establishments. Not only are they thrilled to have someone to talk with, they plain know what’s up 🤙!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does your high school have a bass fishing club?  Are there any clubs near you that you could join?  Experience is the best teacher but getting experience with an accomplished angler is invaluable.  

 

When end all else fails, throw a senko.😉

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Trial and error, fish as much as you can, with someone who is experienced if possible.

 

Ya can't catch fish if your lure aint wet!

 

Books & videos are nice for learning techniques, the rest comes from actually fishing.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

J, this is long but it is worth printing and framing and hanging on your wall next to your desk.

So here we go.

 

Keep a log of every outing.

 

Note the sample fishing log under "Tools" in the green bar at the top of this page.

 

Make copies; date and time each; complete as detailed as you can for every outing; and put them in a three ring binder for each body of water you fish.

 

Go into greater detail  with these forms, that is...add the footage off the bank where you got the strike; the depth of your bait when you got hit; snags and where they are; and any other details you want add.

 

Then, map each body of water by walking around it and making a diagram. Use your spinning rig with light braided line (6 or 8 pound test), a tungsten weight (half or one-ounce to keep it on the bottom) and cast every five feet or so to feel what is on the bottom. You can also use the "fan" pattern to feel the bottom, casting left to right and then right to left in one foot segments. Add (draw) all data to your map. Braid + tungsten = excellent feedback on what is on the bottom.

 

And if you get snagged, great! That is what you want to do. You want to get snagged as that is where some structure is located and where the bass will hold. So don't get angry that you lost your $50 tungsten weight. Just cut the line and put on another one and keep at it.

 

You do not fish when you do your mapping. Your goal is to map the body of water where you fish as best you can. And that is the goal for the day or week until your mapping is completed. Yes, it will be difficult not to give into the urge to fish, but you will learn so much as to what is on the bottom that you had no idea was there.

 

Always wear polarized sunglasses when fishing and mapping.

 

Always walk about 50-feet from the bank when you move to a new location when fishing.

 

Be a phantom. No noise or vibrations when moving along the bank. Float like a butterfly. Keep the noise and vibrations when you move from place to place as low as possible. You will be surprised as to how many bass you can startle by walking 5 to 10 feet off the bank, causing them to take off.

 

Never throw your shadow onto the water unless you have no option.

 

If you can see the bottom or any fish in the water, they can see you. If they see you, they will scatter. If you see them first, drop a wacky Senko or a finesse worm within five feet of them, with a quiet water entry, and odds are they will hit it. Remember, they are aggressive animals that are inquisitive, too.

 

Wear dark colored pants, shirts and caps. Bright yellows, whites, pinks, greens and the like will be seen easily by the fish. Be a phantom. Think "quiet." Be like in class when the teacher asks a question that no body has any idea of what the teacher is talking about and you sink down in your desk.

 

Watch where you walk so you don't step on anything and get it angry.

 

As for forage. Try to determine if the basic forage is bluegills, bream, crappie, minnows, or  crawfish.

 

Now, for part 2....how do we figure out what to throw, in no specific order:

1. Gut feelings. From experience and your fishing logs information. Plus any information you get from others who have fished the same waters.

2. First, you throw to the top water level using top waters, be they buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers, Sammy's, RICO's/poppers, spooks, frogs, or an unweighted trick worm, usually pink or white in color.

(NOTE: When throwing unweighted trick worms on a spinning setup, put a curve in the bait to make it move like a snake. Also, if you want, you can purchase a #1 or #2 cork stopper (Joann Fabrics has them or a wine shop), cut it's tip into a small 1/4-inch section, use a  nail to make a hole in it for your 6 to 8 pound monofilament line, and put it in the front of the trick worm using a bobber stopper to keep the cork in place. This will help keep the trick worm on to top of the water. Way old pros trick dating back to the 60's and 70's. Of course, I was told this as I am only 29 years old and never have seen it used much these days. Keep it a secret so the other guys won't know about it.)

3. Then throw to the middle water level with spinnerbaits, spy baits, jerkbaits, 1.5 square billed crankbaits, lipless-crankbaits, Chatterbaits, flukes, tubes, swimming jigs, toads and other baits  of your selection using those colors you believe will mimic the forage in the water. (NOTE: Sexy Shad is always a winner)

4. When the top and middle water columns efforts fail, you go to the bottom column, with the understanding that your mapping will show you where the underwater structure is located. You throw your wacky rigged Senkos/stick baits, trick worms or Swamp Crawlers on shaky heads (Provider shaky head jig heads are fantastic), drop shots, Texas rigged finesse worms, lizards, creature baits, Biffle Bugs, Ned Rigs and anything you have for bottom fishing. Use spinning gear as you are now in the world of finesse fishing for bottom exploitation. And consider using a 1/0 or 2/0 weedless hook to avoid snags as best you can. Mustad and Eagle Claw have some good ones.

5. Use scent. It is a confidence builder. MegaStrike is very good. Any scent of your choice is good.

6. Use a lime colored Spike-It dip or JJ's Magic for the tails of your plastics. Lime can work better than yellow but keep that to yourself, too. You do not need much color on the worm or plastic. About a quarter of an inch will do on its tail.

7. Throw to a target about 10 to 12 times. 99 out of 100 times nothing will happen. But that 100th time you could nail your personal best. In other words, don't throw to a target once or twice and give up. As Woo Daves says, throw into the kitchen, then the front room, then the bedroom, then the den. Hit the target a few times.

8.  Plant your own brush piles. Throw in dead bushes and Christmas trees. Don't walk into the water to do this. Put some weight on their stumps to keep them in place and throw them into the water. They will be fish attractors in the future. Map their locations, too.

9. As for plastic's colors, here are three basic colors you need: Watermelon for clear water; Green Pumpkin for stained water; Junebug for all water clarities. You can expand to watermelon red or green pumpkin with black flakes, or any colors that you wish or that work. Just keep a log as to the water conditions and water temperature for each color you use and its outcome.

10. Weight. No, not your weight, the bait's weight. Learn how each plastic feels while on the bottom. If it feels "different" or "heavier" you SET THE HOOK.

11. Put a dollar in a Pat O'Brien's hurricane glass every time you set the hook and nothing is there. You will have a great college fund started for girls and parties. (Check out the Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Glass on the Internet and get one)

 

Remember, it is you against those little green monsters with brains the size of a pea and you usually lose. You are entering their world where they can see, feel and hear better than you can. All you can do is hold a finger on your line and try to figure out what is going on in the water. The bass have the advantage and all you can do is fish, fish, fish and fish some more and make notes, notes and notes so you will know what works and what doesn't under specific weather, wind, sun, cloudy, water clarity and water temperature conditions.

 

And always keep an eye on your line. If the line stops after you cast it but not far enough to hit bottom, SET THE HOOK.  If you feel the "tap tap" (other than for a frog) you SET THE HOOK. If you see your line starting to move from left to right or right to left, you give them two or three seconds, reel in the slack, and you SET THE HOOK. If the bait feels heavier than normal, you SET THE HOOK.

 

So take a week and map the areas; start your fishing logs; and experiment.

 

And in the immortal words of one of our great leaders of the century, Ike, "Never Give Up!!!!"

 

Good luck. Have a great summer. And go out and nail some of those little green monsters who are now laughing at you. :)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Thanks guys this is a ton of great information!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch the videos on here.  Read everything.  Try a plastic worm and learn to feel it.  Good luck.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What burbs?  I was intimidated at first but I figured what do I have to lose and went fishing at a pond that I had no clue if there were fish.  There were fish.  Lol.  Once you know there is fish, try different lures and you can get an idea of what works, and doesn't.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fish three ponds around the claridon hills/hinsdale area and sometimes fish south in palos in all those preserves. 

 

 

THANKS A TON!!!

 

I just fished two ponds near me and produced 3 bass(2-1lbs, 1-2lbs)! I mainly fished a Texas rigged ribbon tail worm. 

 

My question is this:

I found a male (12-14in) that seemed to be on a bed(??) so I cast to him about 30 times and he never bit. I also saw a BIG female nearby that seemed to be with him. She was at least 18in! I got so excited but she also never took my worm! Does anyone know why? Were they just not hungry or something else.

 

Thanks again for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably a spawning pair or at least getting ready to spawn.  Bass for the most part shut down during the spawn and to get them to bite, you have to put your bait directly on their bed or nest.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just keep fishing. I have been doing this for more than 20 years and I learn something new every time I go out. I doubt anyone of any age would disagree and we all get the occasional skunking.

 

Time on the water = practicing your craft.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing rods

    fishing rods


    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    bass fish

    fishing poles

    Truck Caps

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×