Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fishing for Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are one of the most popular types of fish in the United States. You can easily write hundreds of different articles on bass fishing and I will continue to write about the different techniques that you can use to catch bass, but this article will cover the basics of bass fishing and how to catch them through the seasons.

In the spring, you will find these fish moving into the shallows to spawn. In lakes that have crappie, you will know that the bass spawn is coming just after the crappie spawn. Check the local fishing reports and talk to the bait shops to see what's going on with the fishing in your area. If the crappie are spawning, it's about that time to get ready for largemouth bass. While the crappie are spawning, bass will be in pre-spawn and you can catch them in deeper water near the typical spawning grounds. Try fishing deeper water off of points, deeper channels near shallow water. If you remember where the good spawning areas were the previous year, try fishing the deep water that is near these great spawning sites.

Once the spawning begins, you will start seeing bass cruising all along the shorelines and starting to make beds. Some fish will be very picky and others will strike vigorously. The bass that are cruising will usually take a live worm, minnow or leech as well as a variety of lures that mimic these baits. Plastic worms are very effective, small spinners work and many anglers prefer throwing jigs and spinnerbaits. Since you can see these fish, many anglers spend way too much on the inactive fish. Here's a tip to save you some time. Most bass fishermen prefer using lures and if you are in a tournament, you don't have the option of using live bait. If you are willing to use some live bait, get some lively leeches and keep them in the boat. Fish with your preferred fishing lure and if you see bass along the shallows and they won't take your lure, put a live leech on a hook and flip it out there. Don't use a weight. Let the leech free fall and you will get so many more strikes. If the bass that you see doesn't show an interest in your live leech, move on and find more active bass.

You are not going to want to move on, but do it anyways. Go look for the active fish. There will be lots of them protecting their beds and they will usually hit your lure right away. What I like to do is mark my gps with the spots that have less active fish and I will come back to them later, sometimes even at night.

In the summer, bass fishing gets tougher, but you will still be able to catch some fish shallow. There will always be some largemouth bass in shallow water around some type of cover such as docks, weeds, etc. In the summer, many of the bigger bass will be deeper. Try fishing the deep weed edges for more success. My favorite deep water, summer lures are 11 inch plastic worms, deep-diving crankbaits and jigging spoons. If you can get out on the water early in the morning or late in the evening topwater lures work very well in 4 to 12 feet of water along weed edges and other types of cover.

During the fall, you can catch more bass in the shallows, but there will still be some fish deep. You will have the option of catching fish shallow or deep, which does give you some options. Try fishing shallow and deep to see where the best bite is coming from. In the fall, I prefer using big baits. I move away from worms in the fall and throw big spinnerbaits, big jigs, swimbaits and my personal favorite is a live chub in the 6 to 8 inch range. Go big or go home in the fall. I catch more 5 to 7 pound bass in the fall than the spring and I prefer very big baits.

The winter can be tough. If you live far enough south, fishing can be good, but up north it's time to sit inside and watch football or go ice fishing for perch, bluegill, crappie, walleye and pike.

To get more information, take a look at our largemouth bass fishing page.
Article provided by Kevin Sewell at Ultimate Fishing Site
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

12 Tips For Largemouth Bass Fishing

Enjoy fishing for those largemouth bass? Here are some largemouth bass fishing tips that should come in handy the next time you are ready to do a little angling.

(1) Worms or tubes bought in bulk could get smelly, even outside of the bag they're stored in. You should seal these worms in smaller vacuum sealer bags like those you purchase for food storage. Keeps the largemouth bass bait airtight and fresh, so they can be stored anywhere for any length of time.

(2) Fish seem to gain leverage with hard baits such as top waters, jerk baits or crank baits and can easily throw them. One solution to this is to add a split ring, putting it between the ring that is already there and the hook. This reduces the fish's leverage, which puts a greater number of fish in the live well.

(3) Begin a fishing excursion before you ever reach the water. Largemouth fishing tips include formulating a plan. After executing the plan for a few hours, decide how it's working and if it's not go to plan "B".

(4) Are those largemouths not cooperating? Switch to a bait you have confidence in.

(5) Change fishing spots, even if you have a favorite, be sure to try new spots often.

(6) You should also be willing to study a lake map and consider the season and current weather conditions even if you are fishing on a very familiar lake. You may have missed a great fishing spot.

(7) Use a personal computer to discern lake levels, weather forecasts, and wind and wave conditions.

(8) Be willing to change your game plan. Pay attention to your instincts.

(9) Don't get ahead of yourself and set the hook as soon as you see the strike. You need to feel the fish.

(10) When the largemouth short strikes behind top water bait and you don't connect you should not give up. Cast a different bait very quickly.

(11) If you have been using larger lures and you have experienced only a few nonproductive bites it may be time to try something smaller.

(12) Remember to take into consideration the root system when fishing a stump. The root systems may hold more fish than the main part of the stump.

Now that you have these largemouth bass fishing tips, head for the water and bring in a big one.
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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Largemouth Bass Fishing Techniques - Early Spring Bass Fishing!

Spring is just around the corner. If you are like me you are anxious to get out and go bass fishing. This largemouth bass fishing techniques article will point out some tips and strategies for early spring bass fishing.

As warmer, spring weather approaches and the water temperature in your favorite fishing spot starts to rise there are or will be a lot of changes going on in the environment that bass live in. Algae will begin to bloom and weeds will start to grow again. As this change starts to take place bait fish, crayfish, aquatic insects, frogs, and all the critters that bass like to eat will move from their winter refuges to shallow water and come to life. When this happens the bass will follow and start cruising the shallow flats, bays, coves, and channels looking for food and spawning grounds.

Early spring is a great time to intercept these cruising bass in shallow water. Look for dark bottom flats, bays, coves, and channels on the north side of the lake or reservoir you are fishing on. The water usually warms up faster on the north side of the lake since it is exposed to more sun during this time of the year. Most of the bass in the lake will be looking for the warmest water available in early spring. Look for areas on shallow flats, bays, coves, or channels that have nice, green and growing weeds. Cast your lures along the insides of these weed lines or weed clumps. Target areas 0 to 6 feet deep.

Minnow or crayfish imitating jigs along with jerk baits or lipless crankbaits work well this time of year. Use smaller lures in early spring and try to "match the hatch." The bait fish and crayfish have not reached their full size yet so try downsizing your lures to give the bass a more natural presentation. This will also require you to downsize your line a size or two to give your lure the best action possible. Don't be afraid to let your lure go down into or graze the tops of the weeds. Try casting a jig or lipless crankbait out, let it sink to the bottom, and then pull it through or rip it out of the weeds, then let it sink to the bottom again, and repeat. This technique can provoke some pretty aggressive strikes during early spring.

Find the warmest water available, find some growing weeds in shallow water, downsize your lures and you will have found some valuable largemouth bass fishing techniques for catching early spring bass.

If you're interested in learning more largemouth bass fishing techniques please visit largemouth bass fishing techniques or
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Fly-Fishing for Largemouth Bass

When we speak of bass, we are talking about four main species in the U.S., all of which are taken regularly on fly rods. In my opinion, fly-fishing is the ultimate way to enjoy the sport. Nothing can equal the thrill of a Largemouth bass exploding from the water and smashing your fly, or a river Smallmouth making psychotic twists and turns in an attempt to throw your fly. Hooking a Stripped Bass on a fly rod is akin to battling a small submarine.

Equipment for Largemouth bass is basic. You will need a 6-8wt fly rod in the 8-9 foot lengths. I recommend a medium action graphite rod because you will need some backbone to exert pressure on a hooked bass near cover, and will need some bend in order to cast the larger bass flies. Your reel should have a disc drag. Largemouth bass do not make long runs, but they will put a lot of pressure on your equipment.
Largemouth bass tend to be lake and larger river fish. They do not particularly like current, and favor warm water. They are ambush predators, and will attack anything they think will fit in their mouth, from small nymphs to baby ducks, small mammals, frogs, and other fish. They are fearless and do not spook easily. They are not meticulous feeders.
Largemouth bass respond to noises in the water, and anything nearby that splashes, gurgles or pops will trigger an attack. In addition, movement can trigger attacks. Bass are not particularly color conscious so that is the last factor to consider in selecting a fly. Usually, anything with a good contrast to the background that they can see well is good enough. The main decision you have to make is to fish on top of the water, or sub-surface.

The classic bass fly for top water is the Deer-Hair Popper. They can be purchased at most stores carrying fly gear, or tied yourself. There are many different variations and color combinations, and they all work. My favorite is a white and red one, because I can see it well on the water. Next, there are many types of foam bugs, frogs and cork poppers available, and again, they all work. Some are the size of small birds and can be difficult to cast in a breeze, so keep that in mind.
For sub-surface action, the two best flies are the weighted Wooly Booger in black, brown, olive or any combination, and the Clouser Minnow in colors to match the local baitfish. If I could only have two flies to fish with, these would be it. They catch anything that swims in both fresh and salt water, anywhere in the world! No fly box should be without a good supply of these two flies. My next choice is the incredible Hard-Hackle Worm, invented by Richard Komar of Plano, Tx. This is the fly anglers version of a plastic worm, except it works better. Purple and black are my best colors. On this fly, you cast it near cover and just let it float for a bit, then softly twitch it, and it will begin to sink slowly.
Give it an extra twitch every so often, and Hang-On! Bass hit this fly very viciously! Another fly I like for Largemouth is another of Mr. Komars creations, the Texas Bullfrog. Both patterns are very successful. Other good patterns are the Dahlberg Diver, and various leech patterns.

Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best bass fishing information possible. Get more information on fly fishing for bass here:
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spring Time Bass Tactics

Spring is spawning season for those Black Bass we love to catch. It's time to get aggressive and fish those shallow waters and fill that frying pan. This is the time of year that the male Bass will move into shallow waters to prepare the nests for the females. They are claiming their territory for nesting and spawning activities. Concentrate your fishing efforts around those willow trees, dead logs and weed beds. This is where the nests will be built. During this time of year one should concentrate on the northwest areas of ponds and lakes. The sun is shifting to the southern hemisphere and will warm these portions of a body of water first. This will always provide better fishing this time of year. Pay close attention to the warming temperatures during this time of year. The warming waters are the main ingredient that triggers the spawning activity.

Remember that the females are not far behind the males. The male Bass will not let the females up to the nesting area until they are completed. Those females are waiting five to ten yards away from the nesting areas, in deeper waters. They like to position themselves close to rocks or small drop offs. Maneuver your boats fifteen to twenty yards away from the bedding areas so you can fish for the males and the waiting females. If you are bank fishing, try not to make a lot of noise or movement. Fish feel the vibrations when you walk along the bank, thus retreating to deeper waters. Pick a good spot and fish that spot from one side, all the way around to the other, making good long casts every time. I personally keep my casts as parralell to the shore as I can. The more area you cover, the better your chances of success.

Use those bright colored lures in clear water, the darker the water, the less bright the lure. I've always had good production with frogs and buzz baits early in the morning and late in the evening. During the late morning and early afternoons I throw crawdad colored jigs or crank baits. You can never go wrong with spinners or plastic worms. Live bait always delivers. Take care of those minnows and they will perform much better for you.
Get those rods dusted off and grab your fishing gear, it's time to head for that favorite fishing hole. Load the family up and let them have that experience of a lifetime. Whatever you do enjoy the beautiful outdoors God has blessed us with.

Jim Newcomb
Jim "Duckie" Newcomb, president of ShellShocked Outdoors,, he is an outdoorsman with 45 years of personal experience in hunting, fishing and the great outdoors. He is an accomplished and respected waterfowl hunter along with guiding upland bird hunting adventures. He has trained thousands of gun dogs throughout his career. He is the host of an outdoor radio show and a respected outdoors writer and editor. His company does a lot of product testing for manufacturers of outdoor products.
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Smallmouth Bass Fishing - Early Spring Smallies!

 Catching smallmouth bass in ice-cold winter patterns is a tough chore as these guys seem to go comatose during the winter season. However, as spring approaches, smallmouth will begin to sense the changing sun angle and warming water temperatures. They start to resurrect themselves from their winter slumber and start shifting their bodies and moving. Smallmouth bass fishing in early spring is all about how, when, and where to locate the fish.

At the end of winter, smallies may still be reluctant to move shallow. As the water temperature nears the mid 40's most smallies will remain in deep water, but will begin moving towards shallow water without making much of a depth change. They will follow off shore drop-off contours and move to where the deep water is closest to the shore. Look for inside turns along the break that are close to shore during this time and focus your efforts there. Smallmouth bass holding in these area's can be coaxed into biting, however, the water is still cold and deep so stick to slow, subtle baits and dangle them in front of the fish.

As the water temperature approaches the high 40's to low 50's, the fish will sporadically begin to move into shallower water between 6 and 10 feet deep. Fish will move in a few at a time and start cruising the shallow flats in search of an easy meal. Look for sand and rocks. Crayfish will begin spawning during this time of the year and we all know that crayfish are like candy to a smallmouth. Tube jigs or any crayfish imitating lures dragged on the bottom will work during this time.
When the water temperature gets into the mid 50's smallmouth bass start to become very aggressive. Most all of the fish will be in shallow water at this time and will be actively pursuing forage and looking for spawning area's. Focus your efforts on water that is 3 to 6 feet deep. This is the time when smallmouth bass fishing can be phenomenal. Minnow imitating jerkbaits, crankbaits, and jigs, as well as crayfish imitating jigs will all work well during this time.

Early spring is a great time to get out and do some smallmouth bass fishing. However, it is not always easy to catch up with them in this season. Observation, patience and experimentation are required to learn how, when, and where to locate and catch smallies in early spring. Once you figure this out, you could be in for a bronzeback bonanza.
To learn how to catch bass visit smallmouth bass fishing.
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Effective Fly Patterns for Smallmouth Bass

Pound for pound, it's hard to beat the scrappy smallmouth bass on the fly rod for fun. Although many anglers target only trout while fly fishing, the smallmouth bass is also a favorite and can be readily caught using a variety of fly pattern imitations.

The smallmouth bass can be found in a variety of waters including rivers and lakes. Although generally speaking, bass are often thought of as a "warm water" species, the smallmouth is found throughout many of the northern US States and far into Eastern and Central Canada. It is just as at home in rivers as it is in lakes. Even in some rivers, it can grow to four and five pounds and a smallmouth of this size will put up a terrific battle!

Although many bass fly anglers know how much fun it can be to use large top water flies including poppers, these are not the only patterns that smallmouth bass will attack. Bass are like other fish in that they have a wide variety of food sources and will prey upon nymphs, leeches, hatching insects, chironomids, crayfish, and smaller fish. They can be quite greedy and it's not uncommon to hook and land a bass that not only has your fly in it's mouth, but perhaps a small minnow that it hadn't gotten around to swallowing before taking your fly.

In rivers, smallmouth bass will take the same nymph patterns that brown trout will. If you're targeting these voracious fish, be sure to experiment with common nymphs such as Bead Head Hare's Nymph, Turkey Tail Nymph, and Ian James' very effective Muncher Nymph. On one particular fast flowing river under a waterfall, Monte Smith's Midnight Blue pattern was fished all day and took several dozen smallmouth bass.

Just like trout, smallmouth bass can have a heavy reliance upon chironomids for their diet. Fished in the same way when targeting rainbow trout in stillwaters, fly patterns that imitate chironomids such as epoxy buzzers (another Ian James pattern, the Brass Ass, comes to mind) should be experimented with. If you fish chironomids too fast, you may discover the bass following your fly, seemingly curious about it but reluctant to take it. If you notice this behavior, slow down your retrieve considerably!

Leeches are another favorite food of this scrappy fish. There are times when nothing but a big fat juicy looking leech pattern will provoke a strike from the smallmouth. While black is an excellent colour, be sure to try others such as the Viva Zonker.

Smallmouth bass enjoy a meal of crayfish and there are quite a few fly patterns that effectively copy this crustacean. Uncle Joe's Crayfish is one such pattern that will invoke the wrath of a hungry smallmouth looking for a substantial meal.

Just like many other species of fish, smallmouth bass are a lot of fun when using the fly rod, whether fishing rivers or lakes. If this is one of your favorite species, be sure to learn as much as you can about a variety of fly fishing techniques in order to increase your chances of fishing success!
If you enjoy smallmouth bass fly fishing, you may enjoy tying up a wide variety of fly patterns in order to target them more effectively. You may even find that you will become as passionate about fly tying as fly fishing!
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