How do I catch bass?

Bass fishing has quickly become one of the most popular sport fish to angle for in the United States. They are located in every area of the country and can be found in ponds, lakes and rivers. There are more bass fishing tournaments than for any other type of fish in the fresh and saltwater category. Not only are bass fun to catch, they are also a great tasting pan fish. With a few different species, anglers want to know how to catch them so they can maximize their day on the water and have fun with their family.

The following are some tips that can answer the question, how do I catch bass?

* Equipment – The first thing you need is good equipment. The good news is that you do not need to spend a fortune on a rod and a reel to bring in some good sized bass. You can purchase bass set ups that come with a rod, reel and some basic tackle as well as monofilament line. There are also small toy fishing kits for children that are decent but not the best choice. Your children can have more success if they use a smaller version of the adults set ups. If they hook a good sized bass on a toy, the reel cannot handle the weight and even with the help of mom or dad, they may lose their fish because of the lack of quality in the “toy” fishing pole and reel.
Spend a few extra dollars and get them a good kit so they do not suffer the disappointment of losing a fish and breaking their fishing gear.

* Tackle – There are many different types of tackle that you can use to catch bass. Ask ten anglers what they find the most effective and you get ten different answers. This is because of the diversity of types that are available. A good rule of thumb is to use tackle that mimic the natural foods of the bass in the area that you are fishing. If you do not know this, you can ask at the local bait shop and even other anglers in the area. Some basic tackle that is effective are spoons, crankbaits, plastic worms and weighted head jigs. You need to have metal leaders that the fish cannot bit through. These come in many different lengths and diameters and are metal thread that is enclosed in plastic to protect the fisherman’s hands. The leader is used directly above the hook and is tied to the main line of the reel. Those who like to fly fish can also use a wide variety of flies to catch bass when they are feeding at the top of the water.

* Bait – Those who do not have the money to spend on a wide variety of lures can always choose to use live baits which are just as effective. There are the purists who never use live bait and who would not recommend them. But for a family who wants to get out and start fishing, this is a great option and allows for a more cost effective day bonding with each other. Bass of all types respond to a wide variety of baits. All of the following can be used with a bobber and do not need any weights added. This is great for beginners and children because the bobber allows them to know when a fish has taken their bait.

Some basics that are always effective are minnows, crawfish, chubs and nightcrawlers. When fishing with minnows, you can hook them through the mouth or behind the dorsal fin. The crawfish should be on the hook just behind the head of the crawfish where the back meets it. You can also tie them on the hook using line. Grubs and worms can be hooked through the top feeding it through so that there is a bit dangling off for the fish to see.
For the kids, use smaller baits so they can catch smaller fish on their own. The larger the bait that is used, the larger fish that can be caught and the children may not be able to bring in a big one on their own.

Fishing for bass is a fun sport that people of any age can take part in and be successful. It is a great way for the family to spend some quality time together. There are very few anglers who do not remember the first fish they ever caught and there is nothing like the excitement on a child’s face when they land their very first fish. Make sure you have all the proper equipment and that you are using baits and lures that are natural prey for the bass and you can have a successful day on the lake with your family and friends.


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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