Freshwater fishing for large Bass in the United States is consistently similar all across the country. The fish are the same wherever you go and they all feed on basically the same things. But if you’re like me and just like to go fishing without having to get into the rocket science of the hobby, read on for some tips that have worked well for me over the years. Take this knowledge and apply it to what you know about your environment.
I like to use a bait-casting type rod setup for almost every type of fishing I do. My rig is a medium heavy 7-foot rod and I run 14 to 17 lb test on it. I mostly fish for bass, but have found that I can fish for pike, musky, catfish, walleye, steelhead, and a lots of others with this rod setup. If you don’t like them or don’t know how to use one, I suggest taking some time to learn. Though a medium action spinning real has its time and place, I will pick up my bait caster over a spinning rod 9 times out of 10. For the way that I fish, the fast retrieve on the bait casting reel works best for me and the lures I use.
First let’s look at the three main phases you need to know about fish. Pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn. Simply put, these are the times when the fish are getting ready to lay their eggs, laying their eggs, or finished laying them. Pre-spawn in the spring is a great time to fish for bass. They are hungry from the winter and trying to fatten up for the spawn. Two of the best baits I have found to use during this time are the rubber lizard and the spinner bait. The lizard is a favorite food of the bass and it is also one of their worst enemies when it comes to their eggs. So not only do they love to eat them, they hate them too.
The spinner bait also works well during this time of the year. Throw it close to anything you see in the water. Make noise by banging it off everything you see. Bass are attracted to noise in the water and will attack things just because they annoy them. The spawn is up next and I tend to leave the fish alone during this time. It’s only a week or two at most and the fishing is usually tough then. Besides that, it puts a lot of stress on the fish when they are about to lay their eggs and afterwards due to the fact that everything in the water is trying to eat the eggs.
Finally the post-spawn comes along and all those hungry bass are ready to eat. It has warmed up outside by now and the fish are very active. Now the top water aspect of bass fishing comes alive. This is a great time of the year to fish and my favorite bait here is simple – the buzz bait. It’s colorful and loud and the bass just tear it up. I fish with this bait from spring to fall and do well with it almost every time I use it. Fish in heavy cover and anywhere you think a fish could hide. They will come from all over for this bait.