Largemouth bass fishing is the most popular freshwater sport fish in the world. The largemouth bass is distributed across the world because of it’s great fishing. From the west side of the USA all the way over to Asian countries like Japan. Because of the amount of fishermen, both professional and recreational, that target largemouth bass, we know a lot about them, and there is a limitless amount of fishing gear released all the time for targeting bass. There is a large number of tournaments, both pro and non-pro, for largemouth bass fishing across the USA. Most of the fishing channels, magazines, and online resources are geared for bass fishing fans.
Bass Fishing Guides
There are many different fishing guides that offer guided fishing trips for bass, and pretty much any other fish that you may want to target. FishingBooker is a service of local guides that you can choose from and schedule your next guided fishing trip. Book A Bass Fishing Guide Today!
World Record Largemouth Bass
The two world record sized Largemouth Bass ever caught, as per the International Game Fish Association, yes two, there is actually a tie for the world record largemouth bass. They were caught in 1955 and 2009, and they both weighted 22 lb 4 oz. The first one is from Montgomery Lake, Georgia in the US, and the second one was from Lake Biwa, Shiga, Japan.
Largemouth Bass Fishing Seasons
One of the greatest things about this fish is that you can catch Largemouth Bass pretty much year round, on any day of the year, rain or shine, day or night. The only thing you need to know is where the fish are located during each season as their patterns change.
Best Lures for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Fishing For Largemouth Bass in the Spring
Spring time is one of the best times to fish for largemouth bass as they migrate close to shore for their annual spring spawning, which lasts several months once the temperatures begin to warm up. Spawning peaks around March or April in most places. As the fish that are regularly out in deeper water begin to move in close to shore for the spawn, this is one of the best times to have a shot at catching a real Lunker Bass, to give you a shot at some real trophy sized fish in a more confined area closer to shore. The bass will linger in structures throughout the day, such as vegetation, fallen trees, and docks. After the females lay their eggs into the nest fanned out by the males, the males will continue to guard the nests until the eggs hatch.
Largemouth Bass Spring Time Fishing Target Areas
•Shoreline Vegetation •Docks and Other Structures •On the Bass Spawning Beds
Fishing For Largemouth Bass Near Shoreline Vegetation
Largemouth bass love vegetation. It gives them shade, and good cover to hide in where they can stalk their prey such as bluegill, perch, and other sunfish that may swim by. They can also hide from predators. The best way to catch largemouth bass is to cast in front of the vegetation along the shoreline while walking the shoreline, or if in a fishing kayak or boat, to cast into the shoreline vegetation. You can your lures or bait towards the shoreline if you are on the water or along the shoreline if you are walking the bank. You can also cast a rubber frog, rubber lizard, or rubber worm in front of that vegetation, or out into the lily pads and vegetation using a weedless hook.
Fishing For Largemouth Bass Near Structures
Largemouth bass will also hide up under docks and other structures. You can cast into these areas, to try to coax them out as they will be lying in wait for bait fish to come by where they can pounce on them.
Fishing For Largemouth Bass on the Spawning Beds
The males will guard the nest after the females lay their eggs until the eggs hatch. Some anglers do not like to target the nests because when you pull the males out of the nest, the bluegill and other panfish will swoop in and eat the eggs. However, many anglers practice catch and release with bass, so releasing the male to go back and guard the nest will prevent this. It’s a choice each angler has to make for themselves. When the males guard the nest their main goal is to guard the eggs. They will hammer any baits or lures that you throw into the nest, but one of the more popular lures to use at this time is a rubber crayfish, as the crayfish regularly try to come into the nests to eat the eggs, and the males eliminate the threat immediately. Other baits that work well would be any natural predator to the eggs such as a rubber bluegill or other panfish. Live bluegill or other panfish would also work great in this instance, as the male will destroy the threat and hit it hard.
Fishing For Largemouth Bass in the Summer
In the summer months, the water gets much warmer, and the largemouth bass behavior changes, and they become more active, and spend a lot of their time feeding. Bass can be caught all day, and all night. Many anglers switch to fishing for bass at night because it’s cooler at night, which is more comfortable to fish in. The fish feed all night long. The biggest bass of the lake will be deep offshore during most of the day, where the water temperature is more stable, and they can find plenty of bait fish to eat. The big fish will venture closer to shore in the early morning hours when the water is nice and cool to eat bluegill and other panfish. The smaller bass typically stay closer to shore during the day. Most of the fish are typically found in the northwest corner of the lake due to certain light conditions that occur during the summer.
Largemouth Bass Fishing Summer Time Target Areas
•Deep Water - Most of the Day •Shallow Water - Early Morning Hours
Fishing For Largemouth Bass Offshore
With the water temperatures rising in the summer, the largest bass will be found in deeper water. The best way to target these deep water bass would be to troll a live minnow, or imitation minnow type stickbaits lure, deep divers, or a rubber imitation minnow at a slow pace.
Fishing For Largemouth Bass Close to Shore
Early in the morning it is best time to target these large bass close to shore with a good topwater plug like a zara spook, or any other lure that you can use the walk the dog technique with to get the attention of these hungry bass. Rubber worms, lizards, crayfish, live minnows, and imitation minnows also work well. You can also use flies to target the bass in the shallow water as well.
Fishing For Largemouth Bass in the Fall
You can find Largemouth Bass in the shallow waters in the early fall. As the water temperatures being to drop and get below 80 F the bass need to eat a lot. The shallow waters contain the most food. The fish will gorge on crayfish, minnows, and bugs during this time. As the temperature drop even further, they will move back out into deeper waters.
Largemouth Bass Fishing Fall Time Target Areas
•Deep Water - Most of the Day •Shallow Water - Early Morning Hours
Fishing For Largemouth Bass Offshore In The Fall
As the season turns to fall, the fish will be spending more and more time offshore in deeper water, except for the little guys that will stay closer to shore in more protected areas. Typical deep water methods will work the best, including trolling with live minnows, or a deep diving lure. You can also slip a large bullet weight on the line with a rubber worm to get them deeper where the fish are hiding.
Fishing For Largemouth Bass Close to Shore In The Fall
During the fall, the larger fish will be found close to shore in the early mornings. As the weather continues to get cooler, the fish will be moving more into the deeper waters, leaving the smaller fish near the shore. You can cast weedless lures, rubber worms, or live bait with a bobber or float near the shoreline around vegetation, docks, or other structures.
Fishing For Largemouth Bass in the Winter
Less fishermen target Largemouth Bass in the winter. You can land some big bass during the winter. The winter brings bad weather and winds, that make it harder to fish, but if you can brave the weather you can be highly rewarded with some big Lunker Bass. Bass are very lethargic and slow moving during the winter, so you have to adjust your fishing techniques accordingly. The best way to target a slow lethargic fish is to use a slow lethargic bait. Retrieve your lures slower, troll your baits slower, it’s time to slow things down and add some additional patience to your day of fishing. During the winter, for the most part, the bass stay in deeper waters throughout the day.
Largemouth Bass Fishing Winter Time Target Areas
•Deep Water, Deep Structure - Most of the Day •Shallow Water - On Warmer Afternoons
Fishing For Largemouth Bass In Deeper Water In The Winter
Largemouth bass will change their feeding patterns as the water temperatures drop to 62 degrees. Bass can be found in underwater structure in deeper water. Crankbaits in crayfish patterns retrieved slowly with periodic stops, will work well. Rubber lizards on a wide gap weighted weedless 1/8 ounce hook will entice the bass to strike. You should use subtle jerks and watch your line for the same coming back which represents a fish strike. Set the hook quickly in the winter, do not delay the hook set as you would in the summer months.
Fishing For Largemouth Bass Close to Shore In The Winter
On warmer afternoons you can try top water lures in the shallows. Frog imitation lures work good in the winter months. Use hard pops, with longer than normal stops, before a slow and steady retrieve. A good rule of thumb with topwater pops is to watch the rings in the water disappear before your retrieve. Many times a strike happens while those rings are rippling.
Tackle for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Largemouth Bass fishing is the biggest recreational fishery in the USA. There is more fishing tackle on the market for bass, and more shelf space dedicated to bass fishing in pretty much any store that carries fishing tackle. That is good news for us fishermen as there is a lot to choose from. Though the large selection makes it hard to choose just the right gear and tackle that you want to buy. A good rule of thumb is to focus your attention around a medium size that can hold ten to twenty pound test line to allow you the excitement of catching the little guys, and be able to catch the big guys as well.
Line and Leaders for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Largemouth Bass fishermen spend a lot of time on the water mastering the skill of catching good numbers of big bass. Fishing line choice is an important one, and the market is flooded with lines of every price range. It’s hard to choose the right one. Bass don’t have any sizable teeth or line cutting features on their body, so that makes the choice easier in that you simply need to find the right size line to handle the weight and fight of the fish you typically catch. Just make sure if you go low on pound test that you don’t forget to adjust your drag so that your line won’t break on a good fighting big bass.
Fishing Lines for Largemouth Bass Fishing
There are three main types of fishing line materials used for fishing for Largemouth Bass. There is monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided line. We will discuss the pros and cons of each type below.
Fishing Line Types for Largemouth Bass Fishing
•Monofilament •Fluorocarbon •Braided Line
Monofilament Line for Largemouth Bass Fishing
For most types of fishing, monofilament is typically the line of choice. Monofilament fishing line is cheaper than other types of fishing line, and the most widely used. Monofilament makes a good choice because it stretches, is virtually invisible under water if you buy the right kind. Monofilament floats more than other line types, which makes your line site on top of the water to help you detect strikes. Monofilament is not as invisible as fluorocarbon lines, but you can find good monofilament fishing line that is virtually invisible. Monofilament can get little nicks in the line, and feel rough and break a little easier at these nicks and rough spots, so it’s important to rub your fingers up and down your line, and be sure to cut off any line that doesn’t feel perfectly smooth. I usually cut off eight to ten feet of my line, to ensure the line that was going through my pole and tied to the lure are gone when I start a new trip. The stretch in monofilament line decreases the hook setting power for those long distance hook sets.
Fluorocarbon Line for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Many bass fishermen prefer fluorocarbon line as it is virtually invisible underwater. It’s a bit pricey, so some anglers will use regular monofilament line, or braided line, as their main line, but use fluorocarbon as their leader, so that the part of the line that the fish see is virtually invisible. In this instance, I prefer a two feet leader or more. Fortunately bass do not have sharp teeth, or sharp parts on their bodies, so you don’t have to have a high pound test leader. Anywhere from ten to twenty pound is sufficient for largemouth bass fishing.
Braided Line for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Braided line is a good choice for strong durable line that has a smaller diameter than other lines. Braided line has no stretch to it at all, which is a benefit when setting the hook from large distances like when you are long lining behind a boat trolling. Braided line has a thinner diameter than monofilament or fluorocarbon lines, which makes it easier to cast farther distances. This is a great benefit for casting any type of lure, as you can cover more ground with each cast, increasing your chances of catching a big Largemouth Bass. The big draw back is that the pound test will be higher, and when you get a good snag it is harder to break and you may be fighting it for a while. Another draw back is if you are fishing on a boat with several fishermen, and you are the only one using braid. As soon as someone with monofilament or fluorocarbon line gets a big fish on, or a snag, and if it hits a braided line, it will cut the monofilament or fluorocarbon almost immediately. So you have to be cognizant as to what type of line others will be using.
Rods and Reels for Largemouth Bass Fishing
There are two main types of rod and reel setups for largemouth bass fishing. Spinning, and baitcasting which is also known as conventional. When looking for a good fishing reels, besides quality and type, a larger gear ratio is ideal. Gear ration refers to how many times the spool will turn with one full turn of the reel handle. A medium sized reel capable of holding 10 pound test line is perfect for most bass fishing techniques. For rods, you really need to think about the length of the rod and the action of the rod so that you have a nimble enough rod to feel the bite and feel the fight, but heavy enough to pull in those big lunker bass. Typically a Medium or Medium Heavy rod will be ideal for most situations.
Rod and Reel Types for Largemouth Bass Fishing
•Spinning Rod and Reel•Low Profile Baitcasting•Fly Fishing Rod and Reel
Spinning Rods and Reels for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Spinning tackle is widely used by most fishermen. They are the easiest to learn and use. Spinning rods and reels are perfect for largemouth bass fishing. A good spinning rod for largemouth bass fishing is six foot to seven foot with medium action. Most largemouth bass fishing is done with lures that vary quite a bit. When using rubber worms, small jigs, and top-water lures, you might want to go with a good fast action rod that has a softer tip to allow you to work the lure better with more sensitivity. When you fish with deep spoons or lures that dive, you would want to go with a rod that has medium action.
Baitcasting Rods and Reels for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Low profile baitcasting rods and reels, also known as conventional, are designed for catching big lunker bass. If you have caught a bass over five pounds, you know that they pull hard and put up a big fight. Many times, when you hook up with a big bass near vegetation or structures in the water, the fish will pull you right into it and get you tangled up which can results in a lost fish. The reel on a baitcasting rod actually sits on top of the rod, rather than below like on a spinning reel, and the line is spooled parallel to the rod, giving you much more leverage for pulling those big lunkers out from structures. The other benefits to baitcasting tackle are their longer casting abilities and greater accuracy, two important things when trying to hit a certain area from afar.
Fly Fishing Rods for Largemouth Bass
A good quality 8 or 9 weight fly rod with a stiff backbone and fast action tip is great for catching Largemouth bass. Though you won’t typically be catching ten pound bass when fishing with a fly rod since the larger bass are typically pretty deep, where your fly won’t get to, but when they come into the shallower water they are fair game! A fly rod will allow you to get a far cast, and cast some pretty large flies to entice the bass to strike!
Fishing Rod Action Rating for Largemouth Bass
The action rating of a fishing rod is determined by where the rod flexes along the blank or backbone of the rod. A faster action rod will flex mostly near the tip of the rod. A moderate action rod will flex mostly near the middle of the blank, and a slower action rod will flex down into the butt of the rod above the reel. Most bass lures will do well with a fast action rod for greater sensitivity to allow you to finesse your lures.
Bait Fishing for Largemouth Bass
Best Live Bait for Fishing for Largemouth Bass
The best bait for fishing for largemouth bass is to use live bait. Bass will usually eat anything that comes by them, but they do have a preference for a natural live bait. Fishing with shiner minnows, worms, panfish, bluegill, crayfish, frogs, lizards, and shad minnows are all a sure bet to enticing those big Lunker bass to strike. Baitfish that come from the body of water that they are in will increase your chances as it will look more natural to them since they regularly see and eat these baits. You can choose to buy your minnows, but that can get expensive. You can also choose to use a tiny hook and a small piece of bait, bread, or tiny piece of donut to catch all the minnows you can use. It is fun too. You can also use a minnow trap with bait, bread, or a donut as bait as well. I typically throw out my minnow net and go out fishing with lures and check my trap every half hour until I have enough minnows to use for the day.
Largemouth bass are mostly targeted with artificial lures. Bass are large and aggressive. They really like to chase down any prey that swims by their stalking hangout. They will also hit a lure if it irritates them and makes them angry.
Soft Bait Lures for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Largemouth bass really love soft bait lures. The best and most effective lure in my experience has been a rubber worm. Typically a black worm, or a black worm with a chartreuse tip, work best for me. Usually in the six or seven inch size. I prefer the berkley power worm with a weedless hook. Other colors, brands, and styles will work. Rubber lizards, crayfish, imitation minnows, there are so many amazing styles. They are cheap enough to buy a few styles and colors to give them a try. I like to cast out into the vegetation, along the shoreline, and up under over hanging branches to entice the bass to bite. If a little extra weight is needed I will use a jig head with a rubber tail, and bounce it off of the bottom as I reel it in. The added noise and commotion can irritate the bass to attack and it’s fish on!
Hard Bait Lures for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Hard bait lures that look like little swimming bait fish are great lures for largemouth bass. There are deep diving lures, stickbaits, top water lures, and lures that will swim just below the surface. The best styles look like bait fish, crayfish, frogs, and so many other styles. It’s good to experiment and find what works best for your particular water. I prefer lures that have silver, chartreuse, blues, and reds on the lure. White works pretty well too as it is similar to a shad, which is a natural prey to many of the waters you will find bass in.
Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are probably the second most common lure people think of when they think bass, and include one or more than a few small blades attached and swinging from the top. The lure is noisly as heck and create quite a wake as they are retrieved on or very near the surface. They are almost a topwater lure but deserve a class of their own.
Topwater Lures for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Topwater lures are made to make a commotion on the surface of the water to get the attention of the big lunker bass lurking just below the surface stalking prey. Sometimes they strike to feed, and sometimes the commotion makes them mad and they attack it. Topwater lures are great when you see bass jumping and feeding. Pay attention to what’s jumping though, sometimes it’s a cove full of carp and boy is that a hot mess. Cast your topwater lure, let it sit there until the rings disappear from the land, and pull it in a little or jerk it and pop it, and let the rings disappear again. Many strikes happen just after the commotion of the lure and you are waiting to make it pop or move again.
Flies for Largemouth Bass Fishing
Fly fishing for largemouth is a lot of fun. Fly fishing gear is usually more light weight and you can really feel the fight of these large bass. Bass like larger than normal fly fishing flies. Look for flies that are larger than an inch in size, and look similar to anything that could be flying in the area. Bass will bite the flies seconds after it hits if there’s one in that area, be ready for great top water jumps from these bass when they are feeding on the top.
Having Fun With Largemouth Bass Fishing
Largemouth bass fishing is where it all started for me. I grew up by a small lake within walking distance and I fished there nearly every day as a kid. I continued bass fishing into my adulthood, and it really brings me back to my childhood when I get into the bass in the shallows and pull in a lot of bass. My old tricks and techniques still work to this day. My best go to methods for bass fishing are live bluegill, or other minnows, rubber worms, and crankbaits. I have the most fun with rubber worms and minnows though, with a good monofilament line. I cast out, and my slack line floats out over the water, I lift my rod to pull my worm up off the bottom, reel in a few feet of line, and let my slack line just float out there on the water. You will watch a twitch of the line and you know what’s coming. Then the twitch gets bigger, the slack starts tightening, and Wham! It’s fish on! Nothing gets the adrenaline going like that, each and every time. Get out there on the water, teach a kid the joy of largemouth bass fishing, and have fun! Tight Lines, and thank you friend for being a part of our online family.
SMALLMOUTH BASS FISHING
Fishing for Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass fishing is one of the most popular activities for anglers. The smallmouth bass has a much smaller mouth than the largemouth bass, which is where it’s name comes from, and the nickname smallie. However, they can get as large in size as the largemouth bass. Smallmouth bass can be found in many places throughout the USA. Get your gear, throw on your sunglasses, grab your fishing kayak, and target this remarkable fish for a great day of fishing on the water.
Largest Smallmouth Bass Ever Caught
The world record sized Smallmouth Bass ever caught, as per the International Game Fish Association, was caught in 1955 at Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee, CA and it weighed in at 11 lb 15 oz.
Where to Fish For Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass are widely found in the west and mid west of the USA. Anglers can find smallmouth bass around the northern end of the Mississippi River and along the Great Lakes. In California, as an example, many of the lakes in the state have a healthy population of smallmouth bass. Folsom lake is a prime lake in my area that has a good number of smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and largemouth bass. You can find smallmouth in the basins of the Hudson Bay in Canada, Lake Powell, and Lake Tahoe for more great lakes to fish. California has a great fishery for black bass including smallmouth bass. The trophy fish in California are predominately found in Northern California. The key to finding smallmouth bass is to look for areas where the conditions are warm and the water has a slight to mid current. It’s easier to catch smallmouth where they are most likely to spawn. They tend to swim at depths of about 20 to 30 feet, although they will migrate closer to the water surface when the water gets warmer. Spawning typically takes place at the 20 to 30 feet deep level as this is a depth that the bass can still see well, anything deeper can get too dark and difficult for them to see through. Look for Smallmouth where they are likely to spawn Look for slightly warmer water with a current Target areas where creeks or rivers come into the main lake Target depth is usually 20 to 30 ft deep It’s a good idea to target a narrow section of the lake to find smallmouth bass. You can also use a fishfinder to find them to target them as well. Smallmouth like to hang where there is current so that their prey will come to them. The water will pick up the food as it moves along. Look for the mouth of rivers or creeks where water is coming into the main lake. The regular motion of water makes it easier for you to spot the smallmouth bass as well.
Best Times for Fishing For Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass can be targeted any time of the year. They are more active and easier to target them if you go smallmouth bass fishing during the spring and summer seasons. The spring and summer seasons are a time when smallmouth are more active. As the water temperature rises, their metabolism increases, and they become more active. These highly active fish will have more interest in your bait or lure as well. As the weather gets colder, the fish are less active, and they migrate to the deepest parts of the water when the temperatures get below 60 degrees. At this point they will also go into a mild state of hibernation and will remain this way until the waters begin to warm up again.
Fish For Smallmouth Bass during late Spring and Summer
Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass
When the water warms up in the summer and fall, the smallmouth bass will be closer to the surface, which will make it possible for fly fishing. Fly fishing is fun for smallmouth because of their size. They are larger than most other fish in the area. Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass can be done during the Summer Months
Smallmouth Bass Fishing Gear
It’s important to have good quality gear on hand that won’t break or fail when you are catching big smallmouth. You will need a quality rod and reel, as well as the right bait or lure to attract them.
Best Rods for Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Your rod must be heavy enough to support the weight of a smallmouth bass, but still provide a lot of action to feel the fish fight. In most cases, the rod should be around seven feet long. This allows you to cast your line out a little further to get your bait out further from your boat. The rating for the rod should be medium to be strong enough to hold the weight yet still light enough to give you lots of action in the rod tip to feel the bite and to feel the fight of the fish. The best rod and reel combo for smallmouth bass is a spinning rod and reel combo, or a low profile baitcast rod and reel combo. Smallmouth Bass fishing rods should be a medium action rod A rod length of about seven feet will give you the extra casting distance needed
Best Reels for Smallmouth Bass Fishing
A good reel for fishing for smallmouth would be one that is rated for around twelve pound test line. Spinning reels work great and are easy to use, but the low profile baitcast reels are the best choice for smallmouth bass fishing for many anglers. A good reel rated for around 12 pound test line is the best choice
Smallmouth Bass Fishing with Kayaks and Boats
Though you can walk the shoreline to target smallmouth bass, the best bet is to use a boat or fishing kayak to cover more areas, and have the ability to use a fishfinder to locate the fish as well. A simple kayak that is around seven to ten feet in length will give you the extra control to whip in and out of tight spots, and the small footprint will present less shade over the water to frighten the fish out of biting. A good boat for full control and more comfortable seating is a good option as well. Fishing Kayaks are a great way to swoop in and target smallmouth bass
Smallmouth Bass Bait Tips
Smallmouth bass are not finicky eaters, and finding baits to entice them to bite is an easy task. Mini Crawlers, crayfish, lizards, and minnows are a good live bait for targeting smallmouth bass.
Large traditional flies that are around two inches in length will work great for fly fishing for smallmouth bass during the warmer months of the year when they are closer to the surface. The flies should also sink in the water, and you can use a small weight to make the fly sink down deeper into the water. Flies should be two inches in length Flies should sink deeper into the water. Small weight can be added to get the fly to sink deeper.
Smallmouth Bass Fishing Lures
Lures work great for smallmouth bass. The lure should look like a bait fish that is local to the waters you are fishing to attract smallmouth bass. The ideal length for a good smallmouth bass fishing lure is around four to six inches. This should be enough for the smallie to handle without being too big for them to want to bite. It’s a good idea to add a fish attractant scent like garlic to your lures as well to eliminate any human scent and to add a scent that will attract the smallmouth bass. Reflective lures will make your lures easier for smallmouth bass to spot, and this will simulate the naturally bright scales that many smaller bait fish have. Spinners are another great option that can help you cover more water. Any lure with a fast jerking motion will work great. Stickbaits, spinners and blades, rubber worms, rubber lizards, spinnerbaits, buzz baits, bass jigs, crankbaits, swimbaits, jerkbaits, soft bait lures, and imitation minnows are all a sure bet for enticing smallmouth bass to bite your lure.
Avoid these Mistakes While Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Avoid fishing for smallmouth bass at night. The evening hours are when smallmouth bass will move down into the deepest parts of the water, and they will not be active. Don’t fish directly into a current. Target smallmouth bass in areas outside the current where the water is moving, but is not too strong. Avoid using lures that are too heavy, typically a good smallmouth bass lure is less than one ounce in weight, and six inches or less in length. Avoid fishing for smallmouth bass at night Target smallmouth on the edge of the current where it is not as strong Use lures that are one ounce or less Use lures that are six inches or shorter See you out on the water. Fish On!
SPOTTED BASS FISHING
Fishing for Spotted Bass
Spotted bass can be found throughout the southeast, mid-Atlantic, and even in some western states where they have planted for recreational sport fishing. They are a fun fish to catch in lakes and streams. The spotted bass looks similar to the largemouth bass, but it acts more like a smallmouth bass in where it likes to spend it’s time, and it’s feeding habits. In this spotlight for Spotted Bass fishing, we describe what you need to know in order to locate and target these Spotted Bass.
World Record Spotted Bass
The biggest world record sized Spotted Bass ever caught, as per the International Game Fish Association, was caught in California, at Pine Flat Lake, in 2001, and it weighed in at 10 lb 4 oz. Weight - 10 lb 4 oz Location - Pine Flat Lake, California, USA Catch Date - 21-Apr-2001
When To Fish For Spotted Bass
You can catch spotted bass pretty much year round, especially when you are targeting them in deep lakes or reservoirs. There are a few things that help to locate where they are hiding during the different seasons. In the spring, the mature spotted bass will come into the shallow areas of the lake to spawn and during this time you can fish them by sight fishing them, or seeing them and then targeting them. During the summer and fall months they tend to go deeper where they can find cooler stable water and plenty of shad and other bait fish to chow down on. In the winter months they are in search of warmer water where they will be in deeper water, but will move into the shallow water during the days when the sun heats the water. Spring Months: Shallow Water Summer Months: Deep Water Fall Months: Deep Water Winter Months: Mostly Deep Water, Sunny Warmer Days Shallow Water
Where to Fish For Spotted Bass
Spotted bass typically hang out in areas with lots of structure, and they also like areas with current. It’s a good idea to look for rock piles, seawalls, bridge pilings, fallen trees, and bushes growing in the water. The structures can be deep or shallow, allowing you to target these areas during the seasons as mentioned in the section above. As for the current, they like a light but steady flow of water where they can stalk their prey behind the structure. Pay particular attention to areas where currents flow around structure such as big rocks or bridge pilings, and you are sure to find some good spotted bass action. Structure - Rock Piles, Fallen Trees, Bushes, SeaWalls, Bridge Pilings Current - Light but Steady Flow
Spotted Bass Fishing Gear
The average large spotted bass will reach about ten pounds, but they do like to hang out in structures that can pull your lure behind. You need to keep this in mind when you are thinking about whether to use light line and small baits, or stronger line that will enable you to pull these fish out from those structures without breaking your line. Light Line, Small Baits, Less Structures Heavy Line, Larger Baits, More Structures
Spinning Fishing Tackle for Spotted Bass
Most anglers prefer to use a spinning rod and reel due to how easy they are to use, but also because there are some definite advantages when it comes to fishing for spotted bass. Spinning combos are good for working small lures with finesse to make your lure come alive, and entice the fish to bite. With a spinning rod it is easier to flip the small baits up under fallen trees or over hanging vegetation and tight structures to get to where the fish are hiding. Spinning Tackle to work small lures with finesse to make your lure come alive
Baitcasting Tackle for Fishing For Spotted Bass
Another more commonly used term for conventional tackle is baitcasting tackle. Baitcasting tackle is easier to use with live bait and small lures. Though spinning tackle works better for working small lures with finesse, baitcasting tackle makes it a bit harder to do so. Baitcasting tackle has a big advantage over spinning tackle in that it gives you greater leverage over fish. It allows you to rip the fish right out of the structures and heavy cover where spinning tackle may fail and cause you to lose the fish. When you master the casting techniques needed for using baitcasting tackle, you will be able to cast further than spinning tackle. A nicely matched low profile baitcasting rod and reel combo is a great choice. Baitcasting Tackle for more leverage to rip the fish right out of structures and heavy cover
Lines and Leader for Spotted Bass Fishing
Fishing line is all about personal preference. Many anglers like to choose a lighter line so that it is more invisible to fish, but if your line is not strong enough to get the fish in and pull the fish out of structure, then you will catch less fish, and you may just lose that lunker of a lifetime. It’s happened to me. With advancements in fishing line technology, you can have the best of both worlds by buying good quality line that is designed to be invisible to fish. For spotted bass you should go with 6 to 10 pound test, and my recommendation is to head towards the top end of that range. You can always take it easy in pulling in any fish by setting your drag to ensure that you won’t break your line by the weight and fight of the fish, but the drag will do nothing for you as your line gets hit on some structure. I used 10 pound fishing line myself as I have lost a ten plus pounder in my early years of fishing and it’s just not something I want to happen again. I rarely break my line on a fish because I use good quality line and ten pound test to lessen the risk from structure breaks. You can spend the extra money and get fluorocarbon which is invisible to fish, or use a good quality Monofilament line, or a low diameter high pound test braided line, and add a thirty foot leader of fluorocarbon leader to tie your lure to, in order to still have the line invisible to fish. Braided line does work great in water with current as the lower diameter line will have less resistance and movement caused by the current. I like to use a good quality monofilament line so I have the stretch in my line. Fluorocarbon Line for invisibility - Leader or Full Spool Braided line for Strength, and less pull in current, with Fluorocarbon Leader High Quality Monofilament with invisible qualities
Baits and Lures for Spotted Bass Fishing
When thinking about what baits or lures to use for spotted bass, it’s important to think about what would look like natural prey to the fish. For most lakes, a shad type lure will be natural to the lake, and spotted bass will hit them hard. Many of the stickbait type lures work great. Other good choices would be rubber crayfish, rubber worms, real worms, and live minnows. A diving plug is also a good choice. When fishing around rocks when the fish are near the bottom the crayfish style lures or rubber worms would work best to be able to drop the lures down into the rocks or other structure where they are hiding and be able to slip the lure back out. Live Bait - Live Minnows, Live Worms Lures - Stickbaits, baitfish imitations, rubber worms, crayfish, diving plugsAbout The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Bass Fishing Experience Awaits!