So I’m talking to someone I just met at social function recently and the subject of Fishing comes up. This guy says, “oh I don’t like fishing” and I say “why not?”. He then says “well it’s so boring and I never catch anything – isn’t’ it all luck anyway?” I have had this same conversation with many people many times and it always makes me laugh. I don’t think he ever really got started.
Fishing for Bass has changed so much in the last 20 years and I am always trying to learn about the latest new things. Rods, reels, line, tackle, swimbaits, structure scan, and all the different fish catching techniques available today are enough to intimidate anyone that’s “new” to Bass fishing. So if you don’t embrace what is current and learn about it you may have the same experience as the guy I met. I started with 1 rod, a small box, and no boat. I walked the bank at Otay and Hodges with my friends and fished a purple 6in Mann’s Jelly worm. I caught a ton of fish. I would go to the tackle shop and talk to the guys that worked there. I read magazines. I watched fishing shows. Then I got another rod and learned how to fish a shad rap crankbait. I caught more fish. Then I got a boat and eventually joined a Bass club. The rest is history. So if you’re “new” where do you start?
1. Rod, Reel, and Line – get yourself 1 spinning rod/reel and 1 casting rod/reel. 7ft. Medium action. You can use 6 or 8 lb test line on the spinning rod and 8-12 lb test line on the casting. You can use just about every Bass fishing lure made (except for giant swimbaits) with these 2 setups. The important thing is to match the lure size and method of fishing with the right rod and size line.
2. Plastic Worms – will catch fish ALL year round. You MUST learn drop shotting, texas rig, and carolina rig plastic worm fishing techniques. If you do you won’t ever say “I never catch anything”. Just ask my 4 year old daughter.
3. Seasons – Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Understand what a Bass does in these times of the year. This is very important. Learn this and when you get to the lake you will know to fish shallow or deep, what structure to fish, and what baits to use. It will become automatic and so will your success.
4. Structure – If you’re going to catch Bass you need to fish the structure they live in. Grass, rocks, brush, and tulles. People often simply fish in the wrong place. There is a lot of “dead water”. Fish in and around the right structure and you’ll find productive water. You’ll get snagged and break off but it’s ok….that’s where the Bass live and that’s where you’ll catch em.
5. A Favorite Lake – Pick a lake and fish it often. When you go to the same lake time after time you’ll learn quickly about the bass that live there. You’ll fish better and gain confidence as you “figure out the bite”. This will help you be successful at other lakes.
I will be talking about these topics and others this Sunday at the Fisherman’s Outpost Open House.
Today I fish with really good fishermen. We fish against each other in tournaments and I learn something new every time. I also Guide on our local lakes. I still read magazines. I still talk to the guys at the tackle shop and watch fishing on TV. I had a Guide trip the other day and the client said “wow this sure does take a lot of skill”…and I said, “nah it’s all luck”. We had a good laugh. Now is a really good time to get out and fish for Bass. March and April are the best so get out there and get STARTED!