Bass Fishing: the Beginner’s Guide
Nowadays, bass fishing is widely spread all around the world. It has become popular in the United States, Southern Europe (particularly Spain and Italy), Japan, and Australia. However, many anglers still question how to fish this strong and competitive species. This guide is useful to get an idea about the bass fishing world.
- When to fish
- Where to fish
Largemouth bass has a dark green scale with a black line crossing all the body from head to tail. The average weight is about 1kg and the length is nearly 30 - 40 centimeters. The biggest largemouth bass ever caught was about 10 kilograms.
The largemouth bass adapted to pretty unpretentious life conditions. Unlike other species, It can live almost anywhere. Bass prefers calm and silent waters, where it can hide in underwater vegetation. The best locations for bass fishing are ponds, swamps, lakes, and reservoirs. Rivers and torrents are good as well, but the flowing water is usually too cold for bass. For example, a large river with a slow stream matches well for bass fishing, while a rapid mountain river is not the right spot.
When to fish
Bass is a thermophilic species, which means that it is more active in warmer waters. So, the best seasons to catch bass are late spring (starting from mid-April), summer, and early autumn (up to the last days of October).
The spawning period usually starts in April, when water is heating up to 18 degrees, and ends in June - July. At this moment, the bass is feeding up very hard to provide energy for reproduction, and for this reason, it hits everything that is more or less edible. Fish school up in shallow water, the warmest part of lakes and rivers, and bigger ones also tend to go up from the deep.
Where to fish
Once you are at the spot, it's time to take a look around. Every species likely stays where the food does not lack. Bass is a predator: its nutrition consists of various invertebrates and insects. Bugs, worms, flies, mosquitos are the main food. The bigger can also catch some whitebaits. Thus, the favorite bass positions are in proximity of the trees sagging over the water, where the insects may fall. Fallen trees are also good because they create perfect hides for waiting for prey. For the same reasons, various pierces and docks are nice positions.
During the summertime, fish tend to change their position during the day. In the early morning and late evening, when the sun is under and temperatures are lower, it is easier to find trophy fish closer to the coast. It is the time when fish hunt insects that might have fallen in the water. In the noon, the bass is hiding from the sun in dark spots and at the bottom where the water is colder.
Bass fishing is a good fishing style for beginners since it is quite simple and does not require a very complicated inventory.
- Fishing rod: For the start, some medium action 1.8 - 2.1 meters spinning rod would be good. Once you get some experience, you can try some lighter action rods, which are more flexible at the top and allow you to play much better with the lure. But pay attention when you are fishing with a flexible rod - it is more fragile than a heavier one. It can be a problem when you catch a big fish or if you hook some tree or grass in water.
- Reel: 2500 - 3000 reels fit nicely as they are strong enough and not too heavy at the same time.
- Line: I recommend using the 0.16 - 0.20 mm. nylon or fluorocarbon line because these types of lines are not as rigid as braided lines. Also, the braided line is much more visible in the water, which could trouble the fish and it wouldn't consider your bait.
- Baits: The best baits for bass fishing are generally light and ultralight weight:
- Soft baits: they look very natural and have a unique play due to their plastic body. It is the most popular type of bait used in bass fishing. Use them with light 1-5 gr. heads.
- Little crankbaits(up to 2 - 3 inches) are good to catch some big fish.
- Size 0 - 2 spoon lures could be a nice solution for bigger waters
- Topwater baits (e.g minnows)
- A nice top-water fly will work out if there are many insects over the water surface.
There are no strict rules for the play. Remember only that you should act your lure like an alive prey.
- Start with the simplest technique - monotonous play. Just roll your reel without any extra movement.
- If the tactic does not work, it is time to change the play. Little stops can attract the fish’s attention.
- Another efficient tactic is imitating a weak and dying fish: pull the line slowly and pitch the rod top.
- Adapt your play to the weather conditions as well. On sunny days, the bass is active, whereas during cloudy days it tends to be passive. Passive fish will not attack a very energetic prey: the bait will be simply annoying to the fish.
- Throw your lure in various places - the fish might move around.
As you can see, the bass fishing basics are simple. But bass fishing does not limit only to these essential rules. It is a large topic with a huge community. Bass fishing events are organized in many countries of the world. Keep learning, practicing and you will have success.