How to Catch River Bass

The three major species of black bass are found in all of the lower 48 States of the USA, and are, "pound for pound, the gamest fish that swims." They are easy to catch on artificial lures in rivers and streams across the country, making them a good fish to start with.


  1. Image titled Catch River Bass Step 1
    Buy a medium action 6-6 spinning rod with a reel capable of holding 140 yards (128.0 m) of 8 pond test monofilament or fluorocarbon line. This combination works well for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass.
  2. Image titled Catch River Bass Step 2
    Purchase some lures. The most effective lures for smallmouth and spotted bass are tube jigs, small crankbaits, topwaters, and stickworms. Largemouth prefer big ribbon tail worms, big crankbaits, and skirted jigs.
  3. Image titled Catch River Bass Step 3
    Find a river nearby and determine if it has bass in it. Ask someone at your local outdoor store. When you get to the river, start by casting a tube jig or stick worm under cover, like overhanging branches. Also try casting behind rocks and logs.
  4. Image titled Catch River Bass Step 4
    When the line feels heavy, move off against the current, or your rod starts jerking; set the hook by yanking your rod back forcefully. If the fish stays on, keep steady pressure towards the bank on your rod.
  5. Image titled Catch River Bass Step 5
    When you pull it close, determine if it is best to grab it by the lower jaw or lift your rod to swing it up. Swinging the fish is a better method for anything but the largest fish.
  6. Image titled Catch River Bass Step 6
    Once the bass is no longer in the water, grab it by the lower lip firmly and remove the hook. You caught a bass! Take a few quick pictures and carefully release him into the water.


  • Enjoy your catch with friend and family.
  • Always wear a life jacket when fishing and inform family members of your departure and return times.
  • Always use barbless offset hooks for soft plastic lures other than tube jigs. On tube jigs use a barbless jig weighing 1/8-1/4 oz. Make sure to buy a range of bullet sinkers weighing 1/16-1/4 oz.

Article Info

Categories: Fishing