How to Catch a Bass

Three Methods:Picking the Right EquipmentChoosing When and Where to FishLearning Techniques to Catch Bass

Bass are one of the most popular game fish in North America. The largemouth bass is the most commonly looked for bass, but there are also other varieties such as the smallmouth, Choctaw, Guadalupe, spotted, stripped, and white bass. Whether you are gearing up for the start of fishing season in the spring or enjoying a late summer evening on the lake, there are some tips and tricks you can follow to help you catch some bass.[1]

Method 1
Picking the Right Equipment

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    Get the right lure. There are three major types of lures that are the best for catching bass. You can get crank baits, spinner baits, and plastic worms. They can all be used successfully no matter the location or the time of year. The main aspect of the lure you need to consider is the color you choose for them. You should have two of each lure for your tackle box, one in a natural color and one in a bright, vibrant color.
    • Crank bait are small lures that look like small, live fish. There are two three-point hooks on each lure, one under the belly and one at the tail. The lures also have a flat plastic area on the lip of the fish. Try the Jackall Boil Trigger and the Rapala Ultra Light Crank.
    • Spinner bait have two main parts. There is one arm that has large, curved pieces of metal called blades, and there can be one or multiple blades. The other arm is the same length with a hook on the end. The hook is sometimes covered in plastic wig that hides the hook or hooks. Try the Panther Martin or the Blue Fox Vibrax Spinner Minnow. The spinner arms can also be shaped like a fish, which can make it look similar to the crank fish. The difference is the crank fish has two three-pronged hooks and a lip while the spinner has one hook and blades.
    • Plastic worms look like large earthworms and have a hook embedded into them. The fish are hooked once they try to eat the worm, so they are effective but require a bit of patience.[2][3][4][5]
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    Use live bait. If you don't want to use lures, you can also fish using live bait. The most prominent types of live bait for bass are worms, minnows, and crawfish. Worms are easy to keep and carry around, and you can keep them in the refrigerator in dirt if you don't use all of what you bought on your first fishing trip. Minnows and crawfish are harder to handle because you have to keep them in a bucket with water while you fish. You can also frogs, salamanders, and insects.
    • The best kind of minnows for bass are shiner and the creek minnow variety.[6]
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    Pick a reel. There are two main types of reels used in bass fishing. You can use a spinning reel, which is also known as an open faced reel. You can also get a spin cast reel, which is also known as a closed face reel. The main difference between the two types is the level of expertise needed from the person fishing. The closed face reel is great for beginners and doesn't require any advanced moves. The spinning reel needs more dexterity to maneuver.
    • The spinning reel is a fixed spool with the line exposed. It is built to use 4 to 12 lb test line and can move the handle between the right and left sides. It allows easy casting but requires you to stop the line by hand. To do this, cast out your line. To stop the line, flip the metal lever over the top of the spool and hold the line with your finger.
    • The spin cast reel is rated for 4 to 12 lb test line but can take up to 20 lb. It is also simple to cast. You hold down the button on the front of the reel and release it as you cast your line. Once it gets to where you want the line to go, rotate the handle just a little to reengage the locking function on the reel.
    • The test line rating is the most weight that the line is tested for. The range of weights can be as small as a few pounds to upwards of 50 pounds.
    • Each reel has a rod of the same name that is used with it as well. If you are planning on catching larger bass, you need to get a rod with medium to medium light power. If you are just catching small bass, get a rod with light power. The power of a rod is its weight capacity and is usually written on the side of the rod. This measurement can be listed as a phrase such as light, medium, or medium light, or as a number between 1-10.[7][8][9][10]

Method 2
Choosing When and Where to Fish

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    Fish during the pre-spawn. The best time of year for bass is the pre-spawn.This is the time of year when the fish are waking up from winter inactivity to start the mating cycle. It begins with the water temperature starts to rise to 55 or 60 degrees and the females and males start to come up in the waters and interact with one another. Since they have been mostly dormant during the colder months, they are really aggressive and angry this time of year. This time period falls around early spring and lasts the whole season.
    • During this time, you can catch bass closer to the shore and closer to the surface.
    • You can bass in any season, but they are really active during the spring months.
    • If you catch a female during this period, make sure you let her go so she can nest and populate the body of water with more bass.[11][12]
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    Use a map. Find a map of the body of water where you plan to fish. The maps will show you the depths of the different areas of the water and any drop offs under the surface of the water. Bass like the lurk near the bottom in non-peak seasons, so having a map of the depths of the body of water you are fishing in can help you find the bass. It can also help you find underwater structures where the bass might like to hide.
    • Most bodies of water have a map available online from either the state or local natural resources website.[13]
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    Start at the right time of day. The best times of day to catch a bass are the early hours of the morning and the last hours of the day. Try to get to your fishing spot about an hour before sunrise or an hour before sunset because the bass bite more at these times when the sun isn't too high overhead. If you happen to fish during the middle of the day, look for the bass in shaded areas away from direct sunlight. They avoid areas of extreme light and heat.
    • You can get bass to bite in the afternoon in open water if it is cloudy or if the water is muddy enough to shield the sun.[14][15]
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    Fish near areas of cover. Bass like to be near objects, vegetation, or obstructions in the water, such as a stump or tree that has fallen into the water. It can be near boat docks or bridge posts. Cast around low hanging tree limbs and in large patches of weeds as well because bass like the constant cover provided by these places in the water.
    • Be careful when you cast around these kinds of objects since you might get your lures or hooks stuck on them. If you do, you could lose your lure or have to re-hook your line. The risk is worth it because sizable bass are in these areas.[16][17][18]

Method 3
Learning Techniques to Catch Bass

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    Catch bass with crank bait. Crank bait attract bass because the lures look like injured, weak fish in the water, which causes the bass to strike. To use the crank bait, put your lure on your line. Cast your pole out into the lake or river near a structure and let the lure sink to the bottom. Once you feel the line settle, pull back on your rod and start to reel in your line. As you pull back your rod, you will feel the lure dive into the water, which will cause resistance on your pole. Level out your pole again and stop reeling your line. This will allow your lure to rise in the water. Repeat until your lure reaches the surface. Then, cast out again and repeat.
    • Once you feel a bass tug on your lure, gently pull back on the pole. This will tug the hook into the bass's lip, which is called setting the hook. Once you do this, you can reel in your bass.
    • If you are fishing in a calm body of water such as a lake or pond, use steady, even pulls and reels with the bait. If the water is choppy or moving such as a river or on a windy day, switch back and forth between pulling and reeling fast and slow.
    • You can also try to make the movements seem as realistic as possible. You want to bass to think that the lure is a real fish.[19][20][21]
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    Nab bass with spinner bait. The method for using spinner bait is similar to the crank bait. The difference is that when you pull back your pole, you don't have to reel in your line. Pull it back to make it dive in the water, then slowly let your pole back down. This will make the lure move back up in the water, make the blades emit noise, and upset the water around the lure. The bright, spinning blades on these lures attract the attention of the bass and pulls the bass to your lure because the movement annoys them.
    • This method can be more difficult because it is harder to hook your fish because the bass often bite at the blades instead of the hook. This causes it to take more time to actually hook a bass.[22][23][24]
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    Get bass with plastic worms. This lure is much simpler than the other lures to fish with. Put the plastic worm on your line, cast out your line, and let the worm sink to the bottom. Instead of pulling your rod around, you can simply reel your line back in at various speeds. Since real worms aren't jumpy, there is no need to jerk your reel like you did with the other lures.
    • You should put a weight into your worm so it sinks to the bottom once you cast it. Otherwise, it will stay too close to the top of the water and not attract the bass.[25]
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    Hook bass with live bait. The best technique for live bait is to constantly move around your line. The bait you put on your hook is dead or mostly dead, but bass are extremely attracted to live prey. To mimic the live fish, worm, or frog, you should constantly move around your line. This can be through reeling it in or slightly moving your pole back and forth to make it look like the bait is moving around naturally.[26]

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Categories: Fishing