Four tips on black bass fishing

Largemouths and Smallmouths can have similar coloration, and markings, depending on where they came from. And their habitats can overlap. The way to identity the species is to look at where the mouth corners end. If the mouth extends beyond the eye, it is a Largemouth. If it only comes to mid-eye, it is a Smallmouth.

Both Largemouths, and Smallmouths put up a tremendous fight when hooked. Some will go deep and slug it out in the depths, with wild evasive manuevers, and even trying to wrap the line around obstacles. Other times, they will shoot out of the water like an out-of-control Polaris missile, repeatedly, and perform acrobatics that would make any trout proud.

One trick to entice moody Largemouths, and to a lesser extent, Smallmouths, is to hook a live worm through the center, ‘wacky’ style, and then hook a minnow right behind it, on the same hook, so that the worm extends out on both sides of the minnow. It looks like the minnow grabbed a worm, and is trying to swallow it. This drives predators insane, because they think they can get two meals for the price of one.

Another trick, that works on almost all predators, is to rig a live baitfish, worm, or crawfish under a bobber. Then, with another rod, cast a small spinner, jig or crankbait out beyond the bobber, and reel it in quickly just past the bobber. To the bass, it appears that another fish is about to chomp the tidbit they have been watching. Nothing enrages a bass more. The strikes will be particularly vicious.

When fishing with a minnow, sometimes it helps to take a pair of fingernail clippers, and clip the lower lobe of the minnow’s tailfin. This makes it swim with a wounded motion that can drive bass crazy.

Another way to entice finicky bass is to rig a soft plastic minnow-bait, or jig about 2′ underneath a top-water ‘Chugger” or ‘Popper’. As you work the top water, the noise draws bass in, and it appears that an unwary smallfry is tracking the lure underwater. Sometimes the bass will try to beat the minnow to the punch and engulf the Popper, and other times, they will attack the jig for having the audacity to try to steal it’s supper. And sometimes, you can double up, and catch a bass on each one at the same time.

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Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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