Bass are extremely abundant in North America, making them the most popular gamefish in North America. Although they can be found almost everywhere, it does not mean that you will be catching a bunch of fish when you hit the water. Catching bass takes much more than just throwing your line out there and hoping a hungry fish comes along. As this article points out, catching bass fish comes down to proper technique. Therefore, I would like to share some of the best techniques that you should master in order to maximize your performance as a bass fisher.
You will want to let out enough line so that it is about even with the real, and keep your real open. Lower the rod tip towards the water, and with your free hand, grab hold of the lure and pull the line to add tension. In one, smooth motion let go of the lure while swinging your rod tip up. If done correctly, this combination should slingshot the bait towards your target. Make sure that you close the real as soon as the bait lands because bass tend to strike quickly.
Flipping can take a little more practice, but after you get the feel for it, you can really optimize your presentation and hit your target location much more accurately than you can by pitching. You will want to begin by letting out somewhere between 8-15 feet of line and then close your real. You should then grab the line between the reel and first rod guide, followed by an extension of your arm to the side as you pull on the line. As you raise the rod, the bait will now swing towards you. Use a pendulum motion to swing the bait to your desired location while feeding the line through your hand. Tighten up the remaining slack and prepare for a strike. Flipping may look a little awkward, but it is an effective way to drop on some shy bass.
Catching a bass with a surface lure can be a very exciting and fun experience. The sound of the lure, the sight of an approaching fish, and the big splash when a largemouth bass strikes will be sure to get anybody’s heart racing. Topwater lures are meant for hungry, active fish (unlike the pitching or flipping techniques). The lure is designed to attract attention with noise and dramatic movements. There are several different types of surface lures, including poppers, jitterbugs, and frogs. While some topwater lures are easy to control and work best at slow speeds, others can take much more technique. Check out the video below to learn more about the different techniques.
A crankbait defends entirely on reflex for a bass. The bass will not want to chase down the crankbait as they do for a surface lure, however, noise and presentation is still key to using a crankbait correctly. They cover a lot of water, both horizontally and vertically, at a variety of depths. This technique works best around solid objects, such as rocks, logs, and stumps. You want to think of crankbaits as a teasing lure: grab the fish’s attention by reeling quickly, then stopping and allowing the crankbait to slowly rise. You will then want to real up again and make another stop. This technique can really drive the bass crazy.
Check out Karl Kolonka fishing crankbaits on Extreme Angler TV here.
Spinner baits can be trickier because they can be harder to hook a fish successfully given the lure’s design. These baits, however, are great year-round and can produce results on any given day on any lake. But much like the crankbait, these work best around some solid structure. Retrieval should range between a slow to medium speed. There are several different ways to use this lure. For one of the more popular methods, allow the spinner bait to fall to the bottom near a drop off. As it hits bottom, real up the slack, then allow it to fall to the bottom again. The slower you real in, the deeper the bait tends to swim through the water. If you real in at a faster rate, make sure you do not breach the surface. If you hang out below the water, you will create a wake that some fish find irresistible.
This is probably the most simple technique for bass fishing and it is also the easiest to pick up. The hard part is figuring out what jerkbait to use and when you should use it. The lures come in a variety of shapes and sizes that swim at different depths. Regardless of the lure, however, the goal remains the same: you are trying to imitate a wounded fish. When you jerk the rod tip with a little twitch while you real in, it gives the impression that your jerkbait is not swimming at full health. The bass will love to go after that ‘easy meal.’
Dropshotting is a finesse form of fishing that will require a little more effort to rig up. If you have experience fishing with a plastic worm, then you should be able to quickly adapt to dropshotting. The length between the worm and sinker can range anywhere from a few inches up to a foot-and-a-half; the distance depends on how muddy the lake floor is and how high you want the bait suspended from the bottom. The key to this technique is making your bait dance.