Want to know a fun fact about bass before we give you bass fishing tips on how to catch them? They’re the only animal which grows in size between the time they’re caught and the time the fisherman describes them to his friends! Just like every compound bow hunter wants to take down that first huge doe, every fisherman wants to hook the biggest bass possible.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a relative beginner just learning to fish, or a seasoned veteran that’s used augers in some some of the coldest ice fishing plots on the globe, you can still reel in a big catch.
Our guide below was created to show all bass fishing beginners how to catch big bass by providing basic bass fishing tips – and, we promise, that’s no “fish story.”
There are three main areas you’ll want to focus on:
- What Equipment to Use
- Where to Find Big Bass
- How to Hook and Reel Them
What Equipment to Use
If you’re just starting out, there’s good news. You don’t need to spend a lot of money buying anything new or high-end. In fact, the rule of thumb here is to use the equipment you’re already comfortable with. Most – if not all – of your existing equipment will work just fine while you’re learning.
If you’re comfortable with spinning gear, stick with that instead of switching over to bait casters. If you find you enjoy bass fishing, you can always upgrade your equipment later. Right now, whatever equipment you have will probably work while you’re learning.
You do want the lightest weight rod and reel you can afford. Casting lines all day long can quickly become tiring. A lightweight rod lets you toss baits while minimizing fatigue. Bigger isn’t always better. Besides, you want to fight with the bass a bit when he bites on your line – and that fight is half the fun!
You can learn a lot by using a lightweight rod in order to hook a one-pound bass. This will help you become familiar with how a bass fights, move and otherwise reacts on a hook. Gaining experience hooking the smaller-sized bass will help you when you start hooking the larger ones.
Pay some attention to the manufacturer of your gear. A trusted, big-name brand is often a better choice. They’ll typically offer better customer service and return policies.
Don’t worry much about buying the top-of-the-line equipment, however. Only buy whatever you can comfortably afford. Most big brands have mid-range gear which won’t break your budget.
Where to Find Big Bass
Are you ready to think like a fish? Bass fishing is a lot like hide and seek. If you know where the bass like to hide, you can easily find them. Check out these types of locations:
- Boat docks where Fishing Kayaks are stored
- Areas where rocks become sand
- Areas where weeds become hydrilla
Seasons matter, too. Bass spawn in the spring. They build their nests pretty close to shore. If you’re lucky, you might be able to even sight-fish a female guarding her nest. With the right bait, you can pester and then hook an egg-stuffed largemouth. In this case, you do want to release the bass so she can return to her nest and compete spawning.
Of course, bass are in the waters all year long. Their behaviors change based on seasonal factors such as weather, temperature and feeding patterns. You can use these behavior patterns to your advantage.
Beginners probably want to avoid larger bodies of water such as big lakes. Small ponds are a better practice ground. In a small pond:
- Potential hiding spots are easier to spot
- Sight fishing is generally easier
- Choppy waters are often less of a concern
- You won’t need communication devices if you are on two separate boats
Big mouth bass aren’t big by chance. They’re big because they’re managed to avoid being eaten by humans, large fish and other predators. Any large bass (generally over five pounds) will have finely developed survival instincts. You’re going to have to out-smart them.
Bass have a pecking order. This means the biggest bass get the best spots in the lake. For a bass, the best spot is the one with the most cover.
Casting into deep cover does have downsides. Namely, you’re going to lose some equipment now and again and these spots are usually not all that accessible by kayak, twin/tandem kayak or canoe fishers.
Usually you need at least a skiff or a boat that will allow you to get more leverage during your fishing attempts.
Throwing into weeds, low branches and other fauna increases the chances of snagged lines and lost lures. This is just a part of bass fishing. The good news is the reward can outweigh the risk. By throwing into these covered areas, you increase your changes of hooking the biggest bass.
How to Hook and Reel Largemouth Bass
Terminal tackle is the equipment between pole and angler. Two important pieces here are the line and the hook. While the variety of options available for both can be overwhelming, picking the right equipment is actually pretty simple.
You’ll want to lightest line possible. This doesn’t mean you’ll want the lightest line on the market. Rather, you’ll want the lightest line which won’t break under the stress of a big bass.
Line breakage is a common problem among beginners, so be aware. You’ll probably end up experimenting with line strength as you learn.
You’ll also want your hooks to be sharp. Many people buy a hook sharpener which they keep in their tackle box. Remember: The sharper the hook, the easier the fishing.
Types of Bait
There are many different types of bait you can use when fishing for Bass. There are crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastic worms and live bait. Let’s look at some of the better synthetic baits out there on the market today.
Crankbaits are another popular part of bait. You’ll probably want both a shallow and a deep diver. Many bass fishers select at least two colors for each. We recommend covering all your bases with:
- Natural-looking baitfish
- Shocker bright
With crankbait, you want to vary the reeling speed while also raising and lowering the pole. Your specific approach will depend on the type of water. Bass in calm water will typically respond to a steady retrieve, while bass in choppy waters seem to prefer a more irregular retrieve.
These are suitable for basically all conditions. Spinnerbaits have a lot of variety, so we recommend selecting a few natural types and a few shocking types. Many fishers find success with gold bladed spinnerbait.
You’ll want titanium spinnerbait because those big bass will likely break anything weaker. When reeling the lure in, keep it just below the surface of the water. When a bass takes your lure, you have to act quickly. Bass will spit out a lure once they realize it’s not actual food.
3. Plastic Worms
Bass love worms and plastic worms are a clean, easy alternative to real ones. Natural colors are a popular choice. Also, most people prefer a wide worm. After casting, you’ll want to try for irregular, distressed movements. Hopefully, this will fool the fish.
Fishing with worms – both real and plastic – requires patience. But you’ll likely want to bring worms along, even if you don’t think you’ll use them. On some days, it seems bass won’t bite at anything except worms. Since they don’t take up much space, it’s usually better to bring some plastic worms along just in case you need them.
Once the bass bites the worm, avoid taking any immediate action. Only strike when the bass starts to swim away. Fishing with worms takes practice but when worms work, they tend to work really well.
General Tips and Tricks for Catching Big Bass:
Of course, there’s no one way to catch a fish. Finding the most effective lure for the waters is part of the fun found in fishing. Never be afraid to experiment with different lures and retrieval styles. Here are some general tips:
Casting over and over in the same area is often an effective strategy. If you have a strong suspicion bass are nearby, try casting frequently. Sometimes the bass will become bothered by the lures and attack them.
You’ll want to make your lures “swim” as naturally as possible. When the lures look real, bass are likely to follow. Bringing life to a lure can be frustrating at first but you’ll get it with practice. Done correctly, you can really attract the big bass.
Lure colors can help attract bass. Brightly colored lures tend to work well in muddy waters. Natural colors are often an effective choice for clear water. Bring a variety of lures so you can change tactics throughout the day as necessary.
Bumping lures is another options, but be careful. If you purposefully bump a lure against underwater objects the lure can become stuck and lost. If you’re going to practice bumping, use lures you don’t mind potentially losing.
Final Thoughts on How to Catch Big Bass
There’s one important rule to always remember: Have fun! Many beginning bass fishers become so involved in doing everything correctly that they become stressed and overwhelmed.
There is a lot of equipment and concepts to understand at first. But as long as you remember to enjoy the process, you’ll learn quickly. Before you know it, you’ll hook bass five pounds and larger and be the one giving out bass fishing tips to your friends. And that’s something worth bragging about!