Want to learn the latest bass fishing tips and techniques?  Well you’ve come to the right place.  Check out these great how to fishing tips from our team of bass fishing pros.  These tactics and techniques will teach you how to fish for bass with the best of them.

 

Winter Thaws Shallow Bass

Many people relate ice out to the spring, but there are times throughout the winter when lakes and ponds will freeze over and then ice out repeatedly. If you like pond hoping, finding open water can sometimes tell you exactly where the bass are in the winter. I big misconception about bass is that the go deep in the winter and stay deep until the spring. That is not always the case. These types of conditions offer anglers the opportunity to catch bass that will gravitate towards slightly warmer (or warming) water. Many times rain can cause a lake or pond to partially thaw and rain brings food via run off. Worms get washed out of the ground and even into the water when it rains. In turn, bass will move into the shallow water to take advantage of an easy meal. You can take advantage of this opportunity too. Try searching for ponds that are thawing out from a warming trend and especially right after it rains during the winter.

Vertical Jigging

One of the best times of year to fish vertically is by far during the winter. When the water starts dropping below 50 degrees and you’re looking to target the bass that are wintering deep, there’s two lures that really come into play. A blade bait (like a Silver Buddy or Sonar) and a Rapala Jigging Rap. One of the biggest mistakes people make with a blade bait is that they move the bait too far off the bottom. It’s usually a game of inches, not feet. Smaller movements tend to get a better reaction from wintering bass. There’s an expression called “burping the blade” and all it means is to just lift your rod tip up until you feel the bait vibrate like a burp and the stop and feel it back down to the bottom. Many strikes come on the drop so pay attention to your line. If it stops before you stop it, set the hook.

The Jigging Rap is such a great tool because it will actually swim off to the side when you let it fall. I know a lot of ice fishermen who like to use a Jigging Rap through the ice for that reason. A lure drifting towards the face of a bass will often invoke a reaction strike and that’s what makes a Jigging Rap such and effective tool when fishing vertically.

Off Structure Bass - 360 Imaging

Everyone likes to share tips about targeting bass in the heat of the summer.  It's no secret that bass love to get around deep water structure like humps and ledges.  When venturing out to these areas, pay attention to your electronics.  If you have side imaging or structure scan look for schools of baitfish and bass that may be using the open water off the sides of these structures.  After you’ve worked the structure itself, try positioning your boat on top of the high spot and cast a deep diving crankbait or a swimbait out into the open water and bring it back towards the shallower high spot.  Many times you can draw bass in from the open water that you might have been overlooking.  For the most effective way to capitalize on this technique, a humminbird 360 can show you exactly where these bass are in relationship to your boat.  Not only where they are, but also where they are moving as they chase open water baitfish.  It takes the guess work out of where to cast.

Slow Rolling Swimbaits

Once the weed starts really dying off in the fall, search for the last remaining areas that hold a good outside weed edge.  This is a great time to find big smallmouth and largemouth cruising along these areas.  Try paralleling the deep outside weed edge with a big swimbait like the Keitech Fat 4.8” rigged on a 1/2 football head jig.  On a 7’ bait casting rod with 15 pound test fluorocarbon, you can cast this bait a long way and cover a lot of water.  You want to use a very slow and steady retrieve… just barely turn the reel handle.  You want to keep in contact with the bottom as much as possible.  Hold on, because they hit this rig so hard they knock the paint off the jig head!

Downsize in Tough Conditions

If the fishing is tough, and a few nonproductive bites have come onsome larger lures, then downsize. For example, if there are a fewstrikes on a 3’ or 4 1/2”, but nothing in the boat, try going to a 2”or 2 1/2”. The same holds for other lures.

Confidence Is The Key

I encounter anglers, all over, who think that pros rely upon some deep, dark secrets for catching bass on the tournament circuit. Well, there are no magic potions or quick-fixes for catching bass, but there are systems and methods that we use to consistently catch fish.  Because we're on the water so often and fish such a variety of water, we're confronted with a new challenge nearly every tournament. Through these experiences, we've learned to adapt quickly to water conditions and the mood of the fish. In most cases, we still work within traditional systems and methods. But paying close attention to details is what enables us to refine our fishing efficiency. This has helped me be successful, and it's an aspect that will help you improve as well.

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Fishing in a crowd: What do I do?

With the amount of fishing pressure today, someone must really use ever trick in the bag to catch fish.

Weekend tournaments are popping up all over the country with a lot of mixed fillings. Some guys welcome the new circuits while others just mumble with discuss. While everyone cannot take time off work to fish through the week, the weekend angler must incorporate a method for catching fish in a crowd.

First of all, find out where the fishing pressure is the greatest, you can eliminate a lot of water with this first task. Second, learn the seasonal patterns on your home waters, ask questions, study maps and devise a game plan before you get to the lake. Third, find out what most of the fish are biting and try something just a little bit different. You may downsize and try the finesse approach, but don't be afraid to do the opposite. Going bigger may be the key to catching those fish.

So the next time your caught in a crowd, get in there and rub some elbows.

River System Topwater Fishing

A lot of myths are commonly associated with topwater fishing. We've all heard that the technique is just something you do in early morning or late afternoon hours. Or they only work in the spring or fall. Or that, because of increasing fishing pressure, bass simply aren't fooled by topwaters like they once were. Forget these myths.

A topwater can pay off for you if you give it the chance and put the typical misconceptions out of your mind. Topwater baits can be dynamite during all hours of the day and are more versatile than most realize. I agree that early, late, spring, and fall are the prime times for the surface lure. But anglers who believe this is the only time are really limiting their ability to catch bass.

Rivers are excellent for topwater fishing because in this swift environment bass live in less than 5 feet of water. When fishing current with a topwater plug there are a few things to think about. The position of the fish and the angle in which the current will move your bait. Always through 3 feet or farther past your target, so you won't spook the fish, and move the bait with the current as close to the target as possible. Lures of choice are the Zara Spook Jr., Spitting Image, Cotton Cordell's Crazy Shad, and the Tiny Torpedo.

So the next time you're on a river system and the bite is slow, tie on that old topwater plug. You'll be surprised.

Take A Time Out

When you are fishing and simply can not catch any bass, try giving yourself a five minute time out. Often, we get caught up in making good casts to good looking spots and become too mechanical. Sit down and don't cast for a few minutes. Take a break, drink a warm or cold beverage and eat a snack. Look around you, see if there are any tell-tale signs of surface activity, if not, the fish are probably not feeding on or near the surface. What is the wildlife doing, are their numerous birds flying around and singing. This can aften be a sign as to good or poor fishing. If there is a lot of wildlife activity then the fish are most likely actiove as well. Maybe you've been dragging a worm rig when you should have been ripping a crankbait. If there is little or no activity, maybe you're fishing too fast and need to alter your retreive. How is the water color? Are you using a color combination condusive to that water color? Maybe a color change is all that's needed. Try larger or smaller lures, speed up, slow down, make some adjustments. Now get off your duff and catch those bass. Good luck!

Putting The Red In

Soft plastic jerk bait fishing can be a deadly technique. However, adding a flash of red can double its effectiveness. I like using a 4/0 or 5/0 Daiichi Bleeding Bait Copperhead hook, on a shad, pearl or white Gambler Stud or Mann's Shadow. The lure acts like a crippled bait fish, while the flash of red from the hook provides the look of gills or blood from an injury. This helps stir up a quicker predatory action towards the lure.

Dock Talk

When pre-fishing for tournaments insulate your self from "Dock Talk", it is almost always old news and you are more likely to be stuck with a "red herring" and not a Bass.