On the first place, bass fishing has gained popularity in the last few years. The bass lives in both freshwater and saltwater and some avid bass anglers characterize it as the king of the fish. However, this ‘’tricky’’ fish is strong and clever and cannot be caught easily.
After searching some blogs, we realized that many fishers have questions about the fishing methods of the bass. Consequently, we took to heart all these queries and decided to write this ultimate bass fishing guide with many useful tips and tricks.
If you have the right gear, you are ready, to begin with, bass fishing!
A Few Words About that Beautiful Fish
There are many bass species like the Australian bass, Japanese Bass or Largemouth Bass. However, the most popular in the US is the largemouth and smallmouth bass. You can find them in ponds, lakes, shallow waters and in places where the lake meets a river.
Furthermore, bass feed on small fish like shads and minnows, worms and sometimes frogs and little birds. They can reach the weight of 15kg, and they can live both in murky and clear waters.
As far as the saltwater bass is concerned, it lives close to rocks, coastlines, and ports where it hunts for small fish. This ambush predator fish can reach the weight of 20 kg, and during the first life years, it lives in groups. Later, it starts to hunt alone.
Moreover, estuaries and seamounts are some places where you can fish for bass, but most anglers fish them close to the shoreline.
Bass Fishing Techniques
The main bass fishing technique is spinning because fishing lures are the most productive lures for bass. However, you can use the bait casting technique with a bobber and have equally successful results. On the other hand, we are not excluding the match-fishing technique with a waggler float or trolling.
Another good fishing technique that only a few people in the world know is the long-line fishing technique with live annular seabreams.
After the ‘’bait’’ section, you can read about every technique one by one.
Freshwater Bass Bait
Cast nets and common nets are used to catch little shads and minnows which are perfect baits for bass. Others use worms or maggots.
As far as artificial lures are concerned, crank baits, jerk baits and spinnerbaits (with a flashy blade) work excellent due to the perfect floatation and motion. These fishing lures imitate real wounded fish which is an easy prey for bass.
Tip 1#: If you are going to use spinnerbaits in murky waters, you should get one with a Colorado blade that will attract bass. Colorado blades are big and create noticeable ripples. However, willow blades are good for clear waters.
Tip 2#: Additionally, spoons are also considered to be a very effective lure for bass. It is a simple construction (imagine the round part of a common tablespoon) with two little holes. We recommend these for sunny days due to the light reflection they create.
Saltwater Bass Bait
The most suitable live bait are gray mullets, sardines and or Mediterranean sand smelts which you can catch with a cast or fishing net. Other live baits are black gobies or annular seabreams which you can catch with bottom fishing in shallow waters.
Fishing lures are also used for the saltwater bass but only jerk baits.
Tip: Prefer a ‘’broken-back’’ jerk bait with a long lip (bib). They have a natural, eye-catching motion.
Pursuing bass by spinning in lakes with lush vegetation is the best method. The main concern is not where to fish, but which bait to use. We recommend light color jerk baits, swimbaits or crankbaits. If you are fishing in rushy areas, it would be good to use spinnerbaits or plastic worms.
The best fishing hours are during the dawn and dusk with the first or last sunbeams.
Furthermore, there are two fishing methods, the steady retrieve, and the jerk-pull retrieve.
The best saltwater spinning locations are beaches, shorelines and estuaries and the fishing hours are the same like freshwater spinning. The fishing lures should be 9-15 cm jerkbaits similar to a gray mullet.
Equally important is the fishing gear. Accordingly, you can read about the best rod for bass in our article ‘’Best Bass Fishing Rod’’. Moreover, the reel should be N.3000 loaded with N.030 braided line which is very durable and non-elastic.
Fluorocarbon line is another solution if you want that your line stays invisible in the water.
Casting with Live bait
In this case, the only difference is the bait. You will use minnows, shads, and worms for the lake and Mediterranean sand smelts and sardines for seas and oceans. Keep in mind that you have to insert the hook just behind the dorsal fin, so you do not hurt the fish.
You can use a bubble float or bobber if you want to keep the bait close to the water surface. The best fishing hours are during the night and evening.
Furthermore, you can go casting for bass close to the coast, beach or ports.
The casting rod has an action weight of 80-150 g mounted on an N. 5000 reel with 0.40 braided line.
The bottom water columns are the most suitable for match-fishing. Fishing with larvae and worms during the sunrise will give you a big trophy bass. For saltwater match-fishing, you will need ‘’pitting’’ worms, fish pieces or live shrimps.
Additionally, you should take a rod with action weight 6-14gr attached on an N. 2000 reel. Obviously, you will need a waggler. We recommend an 8+4gr waggler for this purpose.
Maybe it is the most productive bass fishing method if you are going to use a boat. Only crankbaits and jerk baits have the right and realistic floatation if you will move with the slowest speed possible. The best locations are close to the coastline.
The rig is very simple. You can just use a 5m fluorocarbon leader. You should also take into consideration that you will have to use a 50gr egg sinker. The appropriate trolling speed is 2.5 miles/hour.
Also, the trolling rod is 5-10 lbs. With an N.4000 reel.
Tip: Many people avoid using fishing rods. If you are one of them, you can just use a handline (look at the picture). Trolling does not imply long distance casts.
The long-line fishing technique is a main long fishing line with many leaders with hooks. For the construction of the rig you will need a main fishing line N.060, N.040 leaders and N.4 straight point hooks. The distance between the leader lines should basically be 3m.
Moreover you should store it in a washtub which has a circumferential cork ring in order to insert the multiple hooks. The long-line bait is annular seabream or goby. While you are throwing the rig in the water you have to attach a sinker after the seventh or ninth hook.
The best locations for that technique are rocky or sandy bottoms with a depth of 15-20m. It is very important to follow the exact fishing hours which are 1 hour before sunrise or dawn. Do not forget to attach a fishing buoy at the ends and middle of the main line.
After all that you have to leave the rig for 3 hours in the water before collecting it.
Tip: Try to fish in a position so you are not with your face against the wind.
It is… Bass Time!
Hopefully, this article and the ‘’Best Bass Fishing Rod’’ article were able to reveal some secrets of the bass fishing world. Whether you are a beginner or experienced angler, bass fishing is really interesting.
Undoubtedly, bass is both exciting to fish and excellent to eat. You can accompany this dish with a good white wine and we are sure that it will be an unforgettable gastronomic experience.
Thank you for reading