Bass Fishing Tips: 9 Basics All Anglers Need To Know
Bass fishing tips can vary depending on time of year and weather conditions. Here are 9 every angler can use right now to catch more fish all day long!
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Hey, folks. Glenn May here with BassResource.com and today, I want to talk to you about the basics of bass fishing. Basically, the nine things you need to know to become a better angler. And I tell you what guys, if you've been fishing for a while, listen up because there's some tips here that are going to help you out as well.
Starting off with number one, if you can find the cover, you'll find the bass. The most important factor and most relevant of all bass fishing is putting your lure where the fish are. Now, to do that, I know that sounds kind of obvious, but to do that, you have to find the cover on the body of water you're fishing. Cover can be thought of things that are not part of the bottom contour or the bottom structure. These are things that come in, you know, so many different forms such as rock, wood, boat docks, grass, lily pads, hydrilla, milfoil, and a whole lot more. Bass love to hang around this cover because it attracts baitfish and insects and other aquatic creatures that the bass feed upon. It also helps conceal them so they can easily ambush their prey. There are times when bass are roaming around in open water, don't get me wrong, but they can be really hard to catch when they're out there doing that. If you can find those fish that are in cover, they're going to be easier to catch and you'll catch more.
Okay. Now, the second basic that you need to know is to match the hatch. Bass are opportunistic predators. Across the country, bass have a very broad diet ranging from baitfish like shad and bluegill and perch to some really bizarre things such as baby ducks, frogs, and mice. It's important to match the hatch so that your lure imitates the type of forage that the bass is eating in your local waters. If bass are feeding on shad, then throw a silver-colored crankbait or swimbait. If small minnows are the main forage where you're fishing, then drop shot with a small plastic bait might be your best option. If they are eating crawdads, then fish jigs or tubes, and so on and so forth. Find out what is the main forage base on that lake, and then find a bait that closely resembles it.
So, the next basic you need to know is to be a versatile angler. One of the worst downfalls for bass anglers is being one dimensional. To prevent your bass fishing success from living and dying by one technique, you gotta become versatile. The best way to be a well-rounded angler is to fish at new places and to continually learn and practice new techniques. Fish bodies of water that are different from your home waters, for example, and force yourself to adapt to the fishing conditions on that lake. Or, let's say, if you're used to fishing dirty water with jigs and spinnerbaits, go to a lake with clear water and try to master the drop shot or some other finesse technique on that lake. Or if you fish primarily with just spinning gears. Hey, leave it at home. Try fishing an entire day, an entire day, not a couple hours, guys, an entire day with only baitcasting gear. Force yourself to do this stuff. Go outside of your comfort zone and learn these new techniques and you'll become a much more versatile and better angler because of it. Because now, whatever the conditions are that are thrown at you, you'll be able to adapt to it and be able to catch more fish.
The next thing you need to learn about in bass fishing is how the weather affects bass. Now, weather conditions can have a dramatic effect on bass behavior from day to day. Getting to know how bass behave under different weather conditions is vital to being a successful angler. Bass tactics can vary depending on how the weather varies. So, for example, you might want to use moving baits like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and topwater on an overcast day to draw big strikes from active bass. When the fishing weather gives you a shining sun, bass like to hold tight to cover or under docks or in shaded areas to wait for meals to come by them. So, to catch these lazy bass on sunny days, you got to go with something a little bit slower. Go with, say, a bottom bouncing bait like a jig or a Texas rig soft plastic or you might want to flip and pitch your bait to the bass at cover and hold on tight and get ready for those fish to hammer it.
The next thing about bass fishing that you got to know, is you have to watch the water temperature. Depending on the time of year and location, water temperatures can vary drastically on the same body of water. Water temperature greatly affects the activity level and feeding patterns of bass and as a general rule of thumb, it's best to throw slower moving baits in cooler water temps and faster more aggressive lures in warmer water. Often, it's more important to note the trend in temperature change than the actual temperature it is. So, for example, a 10-degree swing of temperature within a week has a much greater impact on bass behavior and the positioning, than whether or not it's, say, 64-degree water temperature today. So, pay close attention to that and that's really going to help you understand how bass behave in their environment.
So, the next basic you need to know is that wind can be your friend when bass fishing. Now, I'd be the first to tell you that days when the wind is blowing over 15 miles an hour, it can make fishing really difficult and frustrating. Even though it can be tough to cast and hold the boat in the right position, never give up on windy days, unless, of course, it's, you know, not safe. You don't want to be in hurricane, you know, conditions. Now wind will often stimulate bass and the bite will pick up. The water surface will be disturbed by the wind, which helps break up the water penetration, helps conceal you, helps conceal the baits, makes them look more natural. And also, if the wind is choppy, maybe you have some white caps out there, it oxygenates the water, it stirs up that entire food chain, making the bass more aggressive, and the less likely for bass to become spooked by boat movement. So, the next time the wind starts gusting and blowing, put down those slow moving baits and grab the faster moving baits like spinnerbaits and crankbaits, and hold on tight because those bass will annihilate them.
So, guys, the next thing you got to master is knot tying. Tying knots on the water can be a pain and losing a fish because of a bad knot is even worse. To save precious fishing time and to land more fish, pick your favorite versatile knot and practice it over, and over, and over, until it's second nature. You guys can do this at home when it's stormy outside or during the winter months when it's freezing out, you got snow, you know, when the weather just isn't good, just something you can practice off the water. How to tie fishing knots is one of the most sought after of all bass fishing tips on the internet and videos, for example. Simple knots like Uni knot, the San Diego Jam knot and the Palomar knot, they're great options for nearly every bass fishing technique. There are plenty of great knot videos that you can find online to help you become a knot tying pro. Look them up, learn how to use them and get them down pat, so when you're on the water you're not wasting any time and you're tying great knots.
All right. So, the next thing you need to learn, I know it's going to be kind of tough, but you guys, you need to do your research and do your homework. Today we fish in an age where technology can be an angler's best friend. Technology has revolutionized the way many anglers approach a day of fishing. They take advantage of services like Google Earth, of course, BassResource.com, and others to get a better understanding of the places that you'll be fishing. You can identify key areas of a body of water that might hold fish and start to develop a plan for the day for fishing before you even get on the water. You actually can look at fishing reports and figure out what's going on. When you're looking at lake or river maps online, you can identify points, creeks, ledges and many other features where bass like to hang out. You can mark them up, you can find them on your GPS when you're sitting in the garage. With enough research, your day on the water will be much more productive because you spent some time doing some research and doing your homework before you got out on the water.
All right. And lastly, the one basic that you really got to get down for bass fishing is to be persistent. Don't give up on an area or pattern too quickly. Sometimes the bite is tough and it's best to thoroughly fish an area in which you have confidence in, rather than running all over the lake like a chicken with its head cut off. If the bite is slow then resist the urge to move around and change lures frequently. Instead, slow down, pick apart every piece of cover where the bass could be lurking, and really focus on your casting accuracy. Just methodically progress through every holding spot where a bass might be. And above all, keep a positive attitude and assume your next cast is going to result in a bite. More often than you think, you're going to get rewarded with some key bites and maybe even a bass of a lifetime. So, guys, the key thing is to just be positive. That is a lure in your brain that you cannot buy. And confidence is everything in bass fishing. So, just maintain that positive attitude and you can end up catching more fish. Well, I hope those tips help. For more tips and tricks like these, visit BassResource.com.