Let’s face it, bass fishing can be tough. The question every angler constantly asks his or herself is “How do I catch more big bass?” There isn’t a simple answer to that question, but there are many bass fishing tips that can increase your fish-catching odds. We compounded all of our bass fishing knowledge and put together this list of tried and true tips that are sure to make you a more successful bass angler.
Find Cover, Find Bass
The most important factor, and most relevant of all the bass fishing tips, is putting your lure where the fish are. To do that, you have to find cover on the body of water you are fishing. Cover comes in many different forms including rock, wood, boat docks, grass, lily pads, and a whole lot more. Bass love to hang around cover because it helps conceal them so they can easily ambush their prey. There are times when bass are roaming in open water, but they can be much harder to locate than fish holding on cover.
“Match the Hatch”
Bass are savages. Across the country bass have a very broad diet ranging from baitfish like shad and bluegill to much odder prey such as baby ducks. It’s important to “Match the Hatch” so that your lure imitates the type of forage that the bass in your local waters are feeding on. If bass are feeding on shad, throw a silver colored crankbait or swimbait. If small minnows are the main forage where you are fishing, a dropshot rig with a small plastic may be your best option.
Be a Versatile Angler
One of the worst downfalls for bass fisherman is being “one dimensional.” To prevent your bass fishing success from living and dying by one technique, you have to become a versatile angler. The best way to be a well-rounded angler is to fish at new places and to continually learn and practice new techniques. Fish bodies of water that are different from your home waters and force yourself to adapt to the fishing conditions there. If you are used to fishing dirty water with jigs and spinnerbaits, go to a lake with clear water and try to master the dropshot or a similar finesse tactic. Go outside of your bass fishing comfort zone and you will become a more versatile and better angler for it.
Understand How Weather Impacts Bass
Weather conditions can have a dramatic effect on bass behavior from day to day. Getting to know how bass behave under different weather conditions is vital to being a successful bass angler. On cloudy days bass tend to be much more active and willing to expose themselves to feed. Bass fishing tips can vary depending on how the weather varies. Opt for moving baits like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and topwater plugs on overcast days to draw big strikes from active bass. When the fishing weather gives you a shining sun, bass like to hold tight to cover and wait for meals to come to them. To catch these lazy bass on sunny days, go with a bottom bouncing bait like a jig or Texas rigged soft plastic. Flip and pitch your bait to the base of cover and be ready for a bass to hammer it.
Watch The Water Temperature
Depending on the time of year and location, water temperatures can vary drastically. Water temperature greatly affects the activity level and feeding patterns of bass. As a general rule of thumb it’s best to throw slower moving baits in cooler water temps and faster, more aggressive lures in warmer water. However, there are many techniques that will catch bass in warm and cool water, but always be mindful of the water temp because it may lead you to make a change that will put more fish in your boat!
Wind Can Be Your Friend When Bass Fishing
Days when the wind is gassing over 15mph can make fishing difficult and aggravating. Even though it can be tough to cast and hold boat position, never give up fishing on windy days (unless there is a tornado or hurricane of course). Wind will often stimulate bass and the bite will pick up. The water’s surface is also disturbed by wind, making it less likely for bass to become spooked by boat movement. So the next time you’re on the water and the wind starts gusting, don’t call it quits. Throw those other bass fishing tips out the window, start chucking a moving bait into the wind, and prepare to get smoked!
Become A Knot Tying Pro
Tying knots on the water can be a pain, and losing a fish because of a bad knot is even worse. To save precious fishing time and to land more fish, pick your favorite versatile knot and practice it until it’s second nature. How to tie fishing knots is one of the most sought after of all bass fishing tips on the internet, and for good reason. Simple knots like the Palomar and Clinch knots are great options for nearly every technique. There are plenty of great knot tying how-to videos and diagrams online to help you become a knot tying pro.
Do Your Research
We fish in an age where technology can be an angler’s best friend. Technology has revolutionized the way many anglers approach a day of fishing. Take advantage of services like Google Earth and Fishidy to get a better understanding of the places you will be fishing. You can identify key areas of a body of water that might hold fish and start to develop a plan for a day of fishing before you’ve even hit the water. When looking at lake or river maps online, try to identify points, creeks, ledges and other features where bass like to hang out. With enough reasearch, you'll soon be the one giving out the bass fishing tips instead of reading about them!
Don’t give up on an area or pattern too quickly. Sometimes the bite is tough and it is best to thoroughly fish an area in which you have confidence in, rather than running all over the lake like a chicken with its head cut off. So grab your go-to technique or lucky tackle and pick apart every piece of cover where a bass could be lurking. More often than not you will be rewarded with some key bites.
Updated August 3rd, 2021 at 8:58 AM CT