Bass Fishing FeverBass Fishing Fever Once you hook into your first quality bass, you're done for. But read this article before you starting buying a ton of gear.
I am writing this article more towards the Jr. Bass Anglers as well as the young adults that have been bitten by the bug. You must know the one I'm talking about, right? It's the one thing that gives a person what they call "Bass Fever", (don't worry, it's nothing like the Beaver Fever that one would get from drinking contaminated spring water.) When I say that this article is geared more towards the younger generation, believe me, the middle-aged and the more matured (slightly older) generation of anglers already know what I'm talking about, because they have already been bitten some time ago.
Let's face it, once you hook into your first quality bass, you're done for. Yep! Now it's all over for many of the other things in your life because you have been bitten by the bug, and for most of the ones that are bitten, it seems like the "Bass Fever" just gets worse and keeps on spreading.
Let me tell you a little story on how I got "bitten by the bug" many years ago. Back in the early seventies while serving my Country in the U.S. Navy I had a very good friend that had asked me one weekend if I would like to go fishing with him and his brother over the weekend. Now, being a part time (about a twice a year) "Worm, Hook & Bobber" angler, I didn't even know much about what a bass was and hadn't the foggiest on how to catch one so I said, "sure, I'd love to go." Well that weekend my life as a twice-a-year-angler had changed me forever.
Jim, who was the friend that asked me to go, told me not to bring anything but myself. So I showed up at his home (which was very close to the California Delta) on Saturday morning ready to go sit and bob worms for fish. Boy, was I wrong! When we got to the delta, he launched his boat, which was an older wooden boat that must have been made during World War I, and we jumped in the boat and went up river a bit. A few minutes later, Jim stopped the boat and dropped his anchor, and there we sat for a moment.
I picked up a rod and reel that he had loaned me, asking him where the bobbers, hooks, and worms were. He started to smile at me and told me that he forgot to stop and buy (live) worms on the way to the river. I really didn't know what to think now because that's the only way I had ever fished before. Then, Jim reached in a leather bag, pulls out a tackle box, and opens it up.
I was puzzled now, because as I was looking in his tackle box all I saw were some hooks, sinkers, and a few bags of these purple rubber worms (for you older anglers, these were some of the first artificial worms that were made by Tom Mann called Jelly Worms.) Jim told me to hand him my rod so he could set it up for me, so I just kept my eyes glued on what the heck he was doing. Next, Jim hands me the rod with the Jelly Worm (Texas Rigged) and tells me to cast it over by a bunch of lily pads that were about 20 yards from us.
After I made my cast (like bobber fishing) I set my rod down and immediately Jim told me to pick it up and to hold it slightly, keeping the slack out of the line, so I did. Then, all of a sudden something grabbed my line and my pole bent way over. My line was peeling off my reel (shoot, I didn't even know how to set a drag back in those days), so Jim reaches over and tightens my drag and tells me not to give it any slack. Well the rest is history! A whopping five and a half pound largemouth bass. From then on I went every chance I could, and yes! I definitely now had "Bass Fever."
Now decades later, I own and operate a 3-Day "On-Water" Bass Fishing School and bass charter service, am a co-host on radio and TV shows, teach seminars, fish bass tournaments (when I have the time), and write articles for magazines and over 200 outdoor internet sites. With all this exposure, I get many e-mails and phone calls. I would say that the biggest percentage of these e-mails and calls (about 70%) come from the ages ranged from around 12 years old to about 35 years young. These anglers call me to either sign up for my school, charter service, or for information on just about every topic you can imagine when it comes to bass fishing. Once in a while, I'll get a few questions non-related to angling, but mostly anglers seeking information to help them understand more about this great sport, and I'm talking, men, women, boys, and girls. The "Bass Fever" has bitten so many people that now bass fishing is considered to be America's # 1 freshwater sport. It is literally a multi-billion dollar industry because it's addicting!
Here I will answer some of the most important questions that I continually get asked by you folks, so here goes.
The number one question I get asked about is equipment such as, what kind of boats to buy, rods, reels, line, electronics, hard baits, plastic baits, hooks, weights, colors, fish formulas (or as some refer to as attractants), containers, and on, and on, and on. Would you like to guess what the next topic asked would be? You got it right!!!! "How the heck do I use this stuff?????" and then questions about water and weather conditions, how to locate fish, what baits are the best to use, and so on. You know what really kind of bothers me, are the anglers that think that they have to go out and spend a years' worth of wages to get started or step up to a novice level in bass angling or even up to pro status.
Now, please pay attention to what I say to those of you who think they have to buy everything that looks good without the funds to do it. If I had a mentor, instructor, or anybody to help me get started (other than Jim, who unfortunately got transferred shortly after my trip with him), I could have saved so much money over the next several years I could have bought a brand new car or truck - because I started buying everything that looked good. I JUST DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO OR BUY FOR BASS FISHING for a long period of time because nobody would help me. Back in those days, bass fishing was just getting started and the anglers who fished for bass back then wouldn't share anything as far as information!
Here are some simple rules you could go by that may help you remedy the problems that I had suffered through years ago.
- Don't buy everything on the shelf that looks good! There are a handful of baits that will work anywhere in the nation. Face it, bass are bass and pretty much act the same anywhere you go. It's just knowing how to use and present the baits.
- Learn as much as you can by reading, but try to find an experienced angler who is willing to share his information with you.
- Check around and talk to anglers for information. I found that most, (I said most) bass anglers are great people and would love to share information about the sport of bass fishing with others.
- Enroll in a bass fishing school if at all possible. Not just mine, but there are others that teach bass fishing in a few different parts of this great nation.
- Always think of safety while on the water, and be courteous to others!
- Shop around for the best quality equipment for the money you can afford.
I hope that this will give you a better understanding about bass fishing in general. If you want a career in the bass fishing industry, be prepared for many ups and downs, but if you put your mind to anything and work hard for it, it usually happens. In my 3-Day Bass Fishing School I teach on baits that can be used just about anywhere and under most conditions. I teach different presentations on various baits, and try to squeeze over 30 years of knowledge in just 3 short days.
Until next time! Take Care & God Bless!
Grow your fishing skills and improve your angling effectiveness.
Subscribe to the free weekly BassResource newsletter.