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Bass Fishing Tips: Your Guide for Catching More Bass in All Seasons

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Bass fishing is arguably the biggest sport in fishing.

With tournaments worldwide, including large prizes and payouts, it is no wonder everyone has heard of “Bass Fishin’.”

Bass are territorial and aggressive fish. With a big strike and a big fight, bass are an adrenaline rush to catch.

Bass Fishing Tips Spotted Bass Caught
Get ready to catch more bass with these tips!

In this article, I am going to cover several bass fishing tips, where to find them, the best bass fishing set up to catch them, and much more.

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Where to Find Bass

Bass is a predatory fish, are often found around fallen logs, in the grass, and around boat docks. Bass are also found under low hanging limbs where they lay in wait for insects to drop into the water.

Some will even jump out of the water to grab insects still on a limb.

Bass Facts

Largemouth Bass Facts

Bass Fishing Tips Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass is an olive-green to greenish gray fish. It’s marked by a series of dark, sometimes black, blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank.

The upper jaw (maxilla) of a largemouth bass extends beyond the rear margin of the orbit.

The largemouth is the largest of the black basses, reaching a maximum recorded length of 29.5 in and a maximum unofficial weight of 25 pounds 1 ounce. Largemouth bass lives 16 years on average. In comparison to age, a female bass is larger than a male.

The juvenile largemouth bass consumes small bait fish, scuds, small shrimp, and insects.

Adults largemouth bass consume:

  • smaller fish (bluegill, banded killifish)
  • shad
  • snails
  • crawfish
  • frogs
  • snakes
  • salamanders
  • bats
  • small water birds
  • mammals
  • baby alligators.

In larger lakes and reservoirs, adult bass occupies deeper water than younger fish, and shift to a diet consisting almost entirely of smaller fish like shad, yellow perch, ciscoes, shiners, and sunfish.

Largemouth bass also consume younger members of larger fish species, such as

  • catfish
  • trout
  • walleye
  • white bass
  • striped bass
  • smaller black bass.

Prey items can be as large as 50% of the bass’s body length or larger.

Largemouth bass usually hangs around big patches of weeds and other shallow water covers. These fish are very capable of surviving in a wide variety of climates and waters. They are one of North America’s most tolerant fish.

Smallmouth Bass Facts

Bass Fishing Tips Smallmouth Bass
The smallmouth bass is another great bass to catch. Source

The smallmouth bass is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family.

One of the black basses, it is a popular game fish sought by anglers throughout the temperate zones of North America. It’s spread by stocking and illegal introductions to many cool water tributaries and lakes in Canada the United States.

The maximum recorded size is approximately 27 inches and 12 pounds.

The smallmouth bass is native to

  • the upper and middle Mississippi River basin
  • the Saint Lawrence River-Great Lakes system
  • Hudson Bay basin.

Its common names include:

  • smallmouth
  • bronzeback
  • brown bass
  • brownie
  • smallie
  • bronze bass
  • bareback bass.

Spotted Bass Facts

Bass Fishing Tips Spotted Bass

A convenient way to distinguish between a largemouth bass and a spotted bass is by the size of the mouth and a small toothy patch located on the tongue. A spotted bass will resemble a largemouth bass in coloration but will have a smaller mouth.

Spotted bass can reach a length of almost 25 in, reaching weights of up to 11 lb.

It can reach an age of at least seven years. It has rows of dark spots below the lateral line, which give it its common name.

It prefers cool and warm mountain streams and reservoirs with rocky bottoms. The spotted bass feeds on insects, crustaceans, frogs, annelid worms, and smaller fish.

Alabama spotted is prized as a gamefish and average size is much larger than the more common Kentucky spotted bass. The current record spotted bass, caught in Pine Flat Lake, California, weighed 10.27 lb.

When to Fish For Bass

For daytime, the bass is said to have photopic vision. At night and other low light conditions, the bass has a scotopic vision.

These two types of vision are different. What a bass sees at night is definitely not what it sees during the day.

So what does this mean?

The bass’ daytime vision has enhanced depth perception and color identification. In lower light conditions, the bass’ eyes take in more light for improved vision when its prey can’t see as well.

For this reason, the best time of day for bass fishing is dawn and dusk.

What to Look For When Fishing For Bass

Bass feed around fallen trees, boat docks, and low hanging limbs.

Grassy areas are another prime bass area. Bass will chase smaller fish into these grassy areas so they get trapped.

Bass Fishing Tips Bass Caught
What a great catch by Nicholas Erwin from the 28 Civil Engineering Squadron

When bass are very active in an area you can watch the water, especially along banks and see bass jumping to reach insects on low hanging limbs.

Since bass has keen eyesight during daylight hours, water clarity is a factor to take into consideration.

Lures should not only match the color clarity of the water, but also be as realistic in action.

Bass are opportunistic feeders so they will go after wounded prey more often than any other prey.

This makes spoons and topwater plugs a very good choice for bass fishing.

What Rigs Work Best For Bass Fishing?

Carolina rigs and Texas rigs are the best setups for bass fishing. Color and style of the lure depend on the watercolor and the color types of cover you will be fishing in.

Topwater plugs work great especially during warmer weather where water temperatures are warm.

Spoons and jigs are another good choices, especially on lakes and rivers where the chance of snagging is limited and for fall bass fishing.


The Ideal Bass Fishing Setup (Gear)

Most bass fishermen have varying ideas on that the best bass setup is. For some, it is topwater, jigs, and swimbaits. While others swear by Carolina rigs and other soft plastics.

Gear is another subject where bass fishermen have different preferences. Some prefer baitcasters, others prefer spinning reel.

Each work very well. It’s more of a preference than a rule.

Here are some great options to help get you started catching bass quick!

Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo by Shakespeare

Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo
  • Rod features 35% more graphite for lighter weight
  • Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides
  • Ugly Stik Clear Tip delivers extra strength...

Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo features:

  • 2 ball bearings plus one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing.
  • Machined aluminum ported spool suitable for mono or braid.
  • Lightweight graphite composite frame with double paddle aluminum handle. This makes it easy to control and reel.
  • Adjustable magnetic cast control from Ugly Tech.

Pros

  • The rod is not too stiff, has a good transfer of feel.
  • Very durable both rod and reel hold up well.
  • Works great for casting soft plastics.
  • The reel is smooth and casts a long distance with lighter test line.

Cons

  • Eyelets rod sections can be mismatched when purchased
  • Rod is not designed for powerful sets.
  • Being a baitcaster, can backlash.

See Prices >


KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod Reel Combo

KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod Reel Combos, Toray IM7 Graphite 2Pc Blanks, Fuji O-Ring Guides, Fuji Reel Seats, EVA Handles & Fighting Butt, Split Rear Handle Design, 6 Lengths & Actions
  • POWERFUL Toray IM7 Graphite Blanks - Sharky III...
  • PREMIUM - KastKing uses only premium Fuji guides...
  • COMFORT - Light Weight EVA Handles and Fighting...

The new KastKing Sharky III combo is an exceptional value and a true performance combo!

These rods are for serious anglers looking for an incredible rod and one a top reel ever packaged together. This makes it so easy to go fishing today.

KastKing starts with a high modulus, Toray IM7 rod blank in 6 lengths and actions.

The 6’6” medium action that is great for bass, trout or even panfish. You don’t need to go up higher than that unless you want more casting distance.

To complete the combo KastKing has included one of the best reels ever, the Sharky III. This smooth, 5.2:1 gear ratio, 10+1 ball bearing reel has a graphite frame and rotor, an aluminum spool and handle and has a powerful triple disc carbon drag.

This long and easy casting reel will become your favorite bass reel matching the rod length and weight.

The rod is 2 pc design to make travel easy and use premium EVA handles and fighting butt for all-day comfort.

Pros

  • Very well matched combo.
  • Reel handles braid very well.
  • Casts very smooth with any size bait.
  • Interchangeable handle.

Cons

  • Rod can break under moderate stress.
  • Can come with missing parts when ordered.
  • More on the expensive side.

See Prices >


Quantum Fishing Gen-X2 UL 3+1 Spin Combo

Quantum Fishing Gen-X2 UL 3+1 Spin Combo 602ml
  • 4 Bearing Drive System with Continuous...
  • Strong, Lightweight Composite Body
  • Anodized aluminum bail wire

The GENX-2 Combos feature a new high-modulus graphite rod with a sculptured split-grip EVA handle. It also has a lightweight Dynaflow aluminum oxide guides and a custom Quantum reel seat.

Other features include

  • 4 Bearing Drive System with Continuous Anti-Reverse
  • Strong, Lightweight Composite Body
  • Anodized aluminum bail wire
  • Long-Stroke Spool with Multi-Stack Drag
  • Solid Brass Pinion Gear and TRU-Balance Rotor

Pros

  • High quality for the price.
  • Pole holds up well to larger fish.
  • Reel cast smooth and far even with lighter baits.
  • Pole has good sensitivity.
  • Reversible handle.

Cons

  • Eyelets can come loose in a short amount of time.
  • Larger line sizes limit the smoothness of casting.
  • Does not do well on larger caches, can be difficult to get a good hook set.

See Prices >


Abu Garcia IKE Dude Spinning/Spincast Fishing Reel & Rod Combo

Sale
Abu Garcia Ike Dude Spinning/Spincast Fishing Reel & Rod Combo
  • Lightweight composite blank
  • Stainless steel cone and line guide
  • High-density EVA

The Ike Dude spinning combos offer cutting-edge design and precision performance for youth anglers.

The Ike Dude platform features quality components paired with aggressive cosmetics and is available in both spinning reel and spincast reel options.

Each is 2 pieces composite blank includes high-density EVA split grips for lightweight comfort and durability.

Other features include

  • 2 ball bearings
  • Lightweight graphite body and rotor
  • Aluminum spool
  • High-density EVA
  • Lightweight composite blank

Pros

  • Rod has good feel and sensitivity.
  • Reel holds up well to large fish.
  • Casts smaller size baits and lures well.
  • The handle is reversible.

Cons

  • Rod can break under the moderate strain.
  • Pole is short.
  • Inside spincast can collapse in the reel.
  • The line can get snagged around the hook holder.
  • Can come without a line.

See Prices >


Zebco Baitcast Combo (Size 100, Right)

Zebco Baitcast Combo, Size 100, Right
  • Graphite frame and side cover, aluminum spool
  • 6.1:1 gear ratio, 3 bearing System
  • Continuous anti-reverse

The propel reel will go far in satisfying consumer requests for an affordable Zebco baitcasting combo.

Other features include

  • Continuous anti-reverse clutch lightweight graphite frame
  • Built-in hook keeper
  • Aluminum Spool
  • 3 bearings (2 + clutch)
  • Magnetic cast control
  • Right and left-hand retrieve
  • Lightweight graphite frame and side covers
  • Sensitive graphite composite rod
  • Disc drag system
  • split-grip cork reel specifications: technique: baitcasting – reel size: 100 – gear ratio: 6.1: 1 –
  • bearings: 3 bearings (2 + clutch) – max drag: 15 lbs
  • Braid Capacity (yards/lbs): 170/30 – mono capacity (yards/lbs): 120/14
  • Anti-reverse: continuous – retrieve rate: 23″
  • Reel handle position: right/left
  • Rod specifications: – length: 6’6″ – number of pieces: 2 – power: medium-heavy – blank material: graphite composite – handle material: split-grip cork
  • Number of guides: 6 + tip.

Pros

  • High quality for the price.
  • Reel has very good action.
  • Pole has a good feel.
  • Easy to use for a baitcaster.

Cons

  • Can come with line uninstalled.
  • Can arrive with parts missing.
  • Being a baitcaster, can backlash.

See Prices >


Pflueger Trion Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

Pflueger P6635M2CBO Trion Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
  • Reliable fishing rod and reel combo delivers...
  • Durable yet lightweight construction with...
  • Ultra-smooth operation with 7 stainless steel ball...

The Pflueger Trion spinning reels & combos are the workhouse of the Pflueger product line-up.

Performance & quality only seen in reels twice its price.

Other features include

  • 7 Bearing System.
  • Corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings
  • Aluminum Spool
  • I-M6 Graphite
  • Mid-modulus graphite blank construction, lightweight sensitivity
  • Stainless Steel Guides – Strong and corrosion resistant guide system

Pros

  • Spinning Reel casts very smooth.
  • Reel holds up well to larger fish.
  • Ultra lightweight.
  • Very accurate, great for fishing tight spots.

Cons

  • Fishing Rod can break under the moderate strain.
  • Can come with top line guide missing.
  • Poor packaging for shipping can cause the combo to arrive damaged.
  • More on the expensive side.

See Prices >


Bass Fishing Final Thoughts

Bass fishing is a very addictive sport/past time. Even the smallest bass can put up a big fight that few other freshwater fish can match.

Out of the best bass fishing rigs we have reviewed, the Pflueger Trion Fishing Reel and Rod Combo get the highest marks. Although it is more expensive, you definitely get ‘more bang for your buck.”

With fall bass fishing upon us, it is time to gear up and go out and catch more bass!


Bass Fishing FAQ

Q: How to catch bass?

A:

  • Bass fish facing the wind, bass always swim with the current.
  • Red fools bass, when in doubt about lure color, use a red.
  • Bass fish shallow in the spring and deeper in cooler water temps.
  • “Skip” your bait.
  • Bass fish before a storm, bass are more active.
  • Aggravate bass, Bass by nature are always in a bad mood. Use this to your advantage, even a bass that is not hungry will usually strike.

Q: What do bass eat?

A: The simple answer to this question is, just about anything. Bass are a predatory fish they will go after anything that will fit in their mouth. Bass have even been known to attack prey much larger than themselves.

Q: How to catch largemouth bass?

A: There are a variety of ways to catch largemouth bass. Since bass are predatory fish they will strike just about any style lure. When in doubt what to use the trusty worm almost always works.

Q: What bait to use for bass?

A: Worms, swimbaits, spoons and, topwater lures are the usual “go to baits” for bass.

Q: What do largemouth bass eat?

A: Like their smallmouth counterparts, largemouth bass will eat just about anything.

Q: What hook size for bass?

A: 2/0 and 3/0 is the most used hook size.

Q; When to fish for bass?

A: Bass have keen eyesight during the day, for this reason, dawn and dusk fishing are excellent times. Before a storm is another prime time for bass fishing.

Q: How to bass fish from the shore?

A: When fishing from the shore (bank) look for “debris” in the water such as fallen logs, brush, and grass, these are prime areas for bass.

Note any low hanging limbs that you can snag on while casting overhand.

Q: What kind of lure to use for bass?

A: Soft plastics are some of the best bass lures. Worms on a Carolina or Texas rig are a good choice.

Q: What is the best bait to catch largemouth bass?

A: Topwater, worms, swimbaits, and spoons are all good choices for largemouth bass.

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