Bass Fishing Techniques That I Have Used
Take it From an Old Pro
I have been a bass fisherman for around fifty years. During that time I have fished from a boat and off the bank or peer, and caught about as many big bass. I take a small pouch with me that I keep my favorite lures in. They are a few spinner baits, a spoon, a few plastic worms in blue and black, and a top water minnow look-a-like, as well as a few small bell shaped sinkers. I bring along a good landing net and two boxes with me, that I usually leave within a few yards of where I'm fishing. In the boxes are bass lures and in one will be my bait fishing supplies, that I may or may not be using on a particular day. I bring along a wire mesh fish keeper and a few stringers just in case I catch a few good ones. I wear a vest with a bunch of handy pockets in which I keep all sorts of extras, and I'm never without anything that I need, except on a few occasions when I get skunked and don't catch a thing.
I have landed a few very big bass from a bass boat, but in all truth, I prefer fishing from a peer or a bank in the right spot and under the right weather conditions. Most of my article will be for"Dry Ground Fishermen". I have found that just before a cold front in spring or summer is a good time to go after bass. I think that all fish, including minnows that most feed on, are all active at these times. Watch the weather reports and you will be tipped off about this time. Early Fall and Spring have always been the most productive for me in bass fishing and my landing big bass. Early in the mornings and late evenings have always been the best times to fish and most of my big bucket mouths have been caught then. About thirty minutes after sunup and thirty minutes before sun down, are my best times in a day at the lake, where I may be fishing. For boat fishermen, the mouth of a creek that enters a lake, has been a good bet for active biting bass. Bass like feeding near the shore line early and that's where I want to be.I also watch for large schools of minnows near the surface and feeding activity that may be going on at these times. I cast a spinner or a spoon as close to these feeding fish when this occurs , and I have often caught good bass, as the feeding fish strike into the schools of minnows. Bass also like cover,like stumps and stick-ups, and this is where the minnows are too.
I keep three rod and reels with me in the spinning types, loaded with ten pound test line in monofilament, and each one has a different bait on it. I always bring a live bait container with a few dozen three inch minnows. On one of my poles will be a spinning lure, on another will be a plastic bait with a lead weight positioned abut 6 or eight inches above it, and on the line. On my other pole will be a live minnow that I will be using with a float, positioned about three feet above the offering, and in a fixed position, or clamped with pliers. My minnows will be about three inches in length, and hooked just under the dorsal fins. I walk a bank and cast my plastic bait out about sixty feet from the bank. I cast my minnow about fifty feet and in another direction away from my other baits. I then lay my poles down and pick up a spinner bait pole and begin casting in rapid fire along the banks and out about sixty or more feet into the lake. I repeat this combination, usually allowing my live bait offering a chance to sit undisturbed for a while, and while I am casting my plastic bait and spinning lure.
If I connect on a bass several times on a particular lure. then I switch one of my other poles to the same rig. I may try a few poppers on top water early in morning and late in the evening as well. I know that when I get a hit on a top water lure, that the fish may be hitting on top or close to the top and this is where my next casts will be placed. If I am fishing in deep water, I allow a count of ten and then begin reeling in with a series of quick twitches in the pole tip ,and then pausing about every two minutes to allow the plastic bait to sink back into the depths where the fish may ambush it. I have had an occasion when I had a fish on with the spinner and one on with a plastic bait, the scenario in which heart attacks are made, I try to allow the plastic- hit to roll on, while I try to land the spinner- lure hooked fish.
If fish are hitting live minnows, I stop what I'm doing and fish exclusively with the minnows. I may load on up, on another of my poles, usually the spinner bait pole, and begin to use it as a live bait pole. I like to keep a plastic bait out at all times because this is the bait that I have the greatest success on and caught most of my really big bass. I may switch to a lizard bait in plastic, especially in early Spring. Most of the time I use a black or blue worm with a red or white tip. I have fished in Spring and Fall when the bass were hitting spoons and spinners and it was like wild fire. Just about every cast produces a strike, and I have had several blessed mornings like this over the years. Water temperature, weather and especially highs and lows, all effect bass fishing. A wise fisherman just has to get out and experience what are the best times for each one. I have caught many nice fish in heavy wind and muddy waters during the spring. Usually right after a heavy rain, the bass seem to turn-off in bites, and often it will be the next day when they may return in hitting lures, or feeding. Usually insects are washed into the water in large quantities and bottom silt is stirred up at this time.
Because it is mid day, don't think that you can't get good hits on bass. I have caught several nice ones at this time and it all has to do with when the bite turns on with the big mouths. Usually cooler temps and early fishing times, are the best signals for the best bass fishing of the year. Some bass fishermen swear by skirted spinner baits and a wide assortment of plastic offerings. There are many deep diving lures than can be productive in deeper water and I have connected on several good fish using these lures. My three lures, of a spinner bait, plastic worm, and live minnow, have always been the best combination for me, and I guess I will continue using this unless something comes along that changes my mind. Just use what works for you, and you can't go wrong. Happy fishing, and don't be surprised if you see me out with my three poles, most any day now.