There’s nothing more exciting than the sight of a giant bass rolling on the surface as she tries to shake your lure. It’s such an intoxicating feeling there is a contingent of bass anglers focused specifically on targeting giants, something they’ve gotten down to a science.
We chatted with several known big-bass specialists, and got you the answers you need to increase your chances of landing a trophy this season.
It doesn’t matter whether a trophy in your area is a 4 pounder or a 14 pounder, they will be at their seasonal heaviest in the weeks leading up to the spawn. Big-bass records show that the vast majority of trophies are caught in the pre-spawn period, from January through May depending on your location.
Time of day can also be important, as big fish don’t get big by being stupid. Hit the water at dawn, dusk, and even at night to increase your chances at a wall-hanger.
You can’t catch a trophy if it doesn’t swim in the lake you are fishing, so choose your fishing locations with that in mind. Study tournament results and internet message boards, and ask around at local tackle shops to determine where the best big-fish waters are in your area.
Another good rule of thumb when looking for places to trophy hunt is to think really big or really small. Bigger lakes have more cover, structure, and forage available, and are thus capable of producing multiple trophy bass.
Really small means places like farm ponds, golf courses, and private lakes. They are often under fished and can grow small numbers of giant bass. Consider that in 2014, there were 598 “citation” largemouth bass reported to Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Of those 598, 278 of them (46%) were caught out of private ponds.
Big bass are apex predators, so you need to target them with baits they are accustomed to eating. You’ll probably see more trophy bass chasing 6-8 inch shad than 1 inch pin minnows. To capitalize, throw consistent big-fish producers like swimbaits in the 6-9 inch range, big jigs, topwaters, and frogs.
What’s the biggest bass you’ve caught?
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