Bass Fishing Lake JosephI was on the lake for less than an hour and was working my Rapala Skitter Pop across the surface in 30 feet of water. I had heard beforehand that “ drop shotting is definitely the way to go on Lake Joe”. My choice of a topwater lure to entice these deep may have been the last choice for many anglers … but I knew from past experiences in similar lakes… the rewards can be remarkable. 12/11
Late Fall St. Francis Smallmouth When an email from Frank Ramsay popped into my inbox inviting me to spend a day pre-fishing with him on Lake St. Francis, a stretch of the St. Lawrence River sectioned off by a series of shipping locks, I was quick to reply with an affirmative. Frank is a well known B.A.S.S. competitor and a regular top 10% finisher in the Berkley B1 fall Bass tournament. 11/11
Bucktail Jigs for Cold Weather Green-Backed Bass Toss some fur when the water cools for fantastic fall time bassin’…. As the month of ghosts and goblins descends upon us, determining what trick or treat to toss for scary-sized bass becomes definite food for thought. Cooling water and shorter days signifies a change in largemouth bass behaviour. 10/11
Spoon Some Largies If spoons are the old time players in the game of fishing, flutter spoons are certainly the new kids on the block. Originally designed and developed to target Lake Forks’ offshore Texas bass, the flutter spoon has become a hot commodity over the last few years. Tournament wins on Fork and other deep-water ledge lakes are to thank for that, and the success of the lure has made manufacturers and anglers take notice. 09/11
Fall’s Monsters.For years I was a diehard deep weed line angler for big fall largemouth bass. I would fish until the end of November, searching for the greenest weeds in the lake. Some days were unbelievable, where you would catch 25 – 30, 3 pound plus buckets, other days you would get 10 or 15. I swore I had the greatest thing going, that is, until I was invited to fish smallmouth bass in November
Finding Weedline Largemouth BassFishing for Largemouth Bass on deep weed lines is a very rewarding way fish and there are days that can yield dozens of largemouth well into the 3 pound mark, and other days were there is nothing less than 4 pounds being brought to the boat. These bass are healthy, strong and very, very hungry but the key to unlocking this potential hot bed of bass activity is figuring out the pattern for the day.
When Smallies Go Cray-ZeeSmallmouth bass are considered by many to be near if not atop the pound for pound list of scrappiest freshwater fish. Anyone who’s battled a big smallie knows what I’m talking about and for those who haven’t I suggest you get out there and give it a try. There are plenty of smallmouth producing waters across the province, many with large numbers of big fish.
Downsizing Tactics for Smallmouth BassHaving trouble getting smallmouth to smack offerings. Sometimes the only way to get fussy fish to bite is by downsizing. Here are some tips on this simple but often ignored technique.
Lure Selection for Largemouth Bass in the Weeds.When trying to trick a Largemouth Bass in vegetation bait selection can be a very important ingredient to a successful day on the water. There are several options available to the weed line angler, however the first and best advice I can give it to slow down. Forget all the baits that are horizontal, and focus on vertical, especially during or after cold fronts or on bright sunny days. This is not to say that you can’t catch them on a jerkbait or a spinnerbait, however, your odds are just that much better fishing slow and vertical.
Soft-Jerkbait Tactics for Deep Water Smallmouth BassIf you haven’t tried using soft-plastic jerkbaits for deep-water smallmouth bass, you’re missing out on a deadly tactic. It might seem unorthodox to work a bait running a foot below the surface in deep water, but it works. To survive, smallies need to be aware of their environment and for them to skyrocket 20 feet to hit a vulnerable baitfish frequently happens on many lakes – soft-jerkbaits are one way to capitalize on this trend.
Giant Early Season Smallmouth Bass Summer is finally here and for many Ontario fishermen and women this means a trip to their favourite bass hot spot. There are many different styles of bass fisherman, whether you are a seasoned tournament angler or the weekend warrior that fishes around the cottage, smallmouth fishing can become a complete addiction. Smallmouth bass have often been referred to as the hardest fighting freshwater fish pound for pound.
Shallow-Running Cranks for Weed-Relating LargemouthWeeds are one of the most important types of cover in largemouth bass fishing. Many anglers have become conditioned to toss Texas-rigged plastics, flipping jigs, topwater frogs and spinnerbaits around weeds because they’ll not foul easily on stalks and leaves. These lures will work well, but sometimes shallow-running crankbaits deliver better catches around weeds. If you’re not tossing crankbaits around weeds, you’re missing out on a big-fish producer
Spring Smallmouth in New York on Lake ErieWhen and where: Lake Erie on the US side is open all year for bass fishing but by the first Saturday in May the fish and the lake will be ready for action. There are 3 main places to launch that will get you within 5-15 miles of the best fishing grounds as well.
Bass Commandments But as with any technique, there are countless ways to improve upon the end result, mainly through refinements and the changing of old ways. The following list of commandments offer an excellent starting point for this coming season – and hopefully provides the guidance to bring you more and bigger bass for 2009
Pulling Largies Through the Ice Catching largemouth bass through the hardened surface of northern Ontario lakes is an exercise in fun, thrills and excitement. While most ice angler’s turn to panfish or walleye to whet their appetite, those that are searching for line-peeling pulls and hefty weights need look no further than old greenback himself. Understanding locational factors and on-ice techniques will get you into the thick of things, while also creating a never-ending bass season for those willing to give it a try. You gotta love that!
Shake Your Way to More Bass The “shaky head” phenomenon has walloped the bass angling community by storm, garnering this finesse-style of fishing plenty of water time. Although the technique is still in its infancy, the doors it can open (especially when targeting those hard-to-catch bass,) make the application a must-have for this upcoming season.
Soft-Stickbait Tips for Smallmouth Bass There’s nothing fancy in the design of a soft-plastic stickbait, but its fish-catching ability is far from ordinary. On days when finesse tactics are what’s catching fish, a Senko or similar style stickbait is one of a handful of lures I’ll rely on to coax smallies into biting. Here are some tips on fishing the simple but effective soft plastics known as stickbaits.
Wake Up Some Bass Wake baits are taking the bass movement by storm, and for good reason. These tantalizing cranks give new meaning to the term “topwatering,” and provide a niche factor for garnering strikes when other baits fail to make the grade. Come and uncover the wake craze – its one bait worth doing a background check on.
Spinnerbaits Tricks for Largemouth Spinnerbaits put plenty of largies in my boat each season. A tried-and-true lure, they sometime produce catches for me on days when nothing else delivers. Much has been written about using these baits, in this piece I want to share four of my best spinnerbait strategies for landing more bucketmouths.
Smallmouth Vertical Jigging Tips There are certain days when a vertical jigging approach is the best way to catch the most and biggest smallmouth bass in a lake. In this article I’ll share some tips to improve your success for this effective presentation. Whether you use tubes, drop-shot rigs or spoons, practicing your vertical presentation tactics during summer will ensure you’re ready to catch fat, football sized bronze backs come autumn.
Fooling the Largemouth of Fall Hunting trophy largemouth can be one heck of an addictive sport. The pursuit demands patience, stamina, and the utmost in determination. And although wading through two and three-pounders is fun unto itself – it is sliding your net under that rare giant of a fish that truly makes this obsession worthwhile.
Make a Change this Bass Season With the season scant weeks away, an excitement is building for those that have a profound love for bass. I myself make no excuse for my affinity to these green and brown fish – a specie that can tug, tussle and splash with the best of them. But how many of us are in a rut when it comes to chasing this pugnacious adversary? For those that throw the same bait, to the same patch of pads, with that same ten-year-old spinning combo, then this fishing makeover is tailor-made for you.
Toad Rigging Tactics When conditions are right, I like nothing more than catching largemouth bass on soft-plastic top water baits. Whether you like hollow-bodied frogs or the slimmer profile of toads (also called swimming frogs), both are outstanding baits. In this article, I’ll cover some tips for rigging and fishing toads to put more largemouth bass in your boat this season.
Cold Fronts & Deep Weedlines for Largemouth Cold fronts will challenge your angling skills. This is mainly because fronts send most fish into a negative mood, and largemouth bass are no exception. To successfully fool largies, you need to learn to recognize what stage of a front you’re fishing and match your presentation accordingly. In most cases, fishing deep water is the best strategy once a front has passed.
Shad-Feeding Smallmouth Tactics When shad school up in the summer over open, deep water areas, smallmouth bass won’t be far behind. For anglers who may wonder, “Why aren’t the smallies in the rocky shallows?” In many lakes I fish, the answer is often that the bronzebacks are chasing schools of shad. You can catch these roaming smallies with a variety of baits. Here’s how.
Trolling for Offshore Smallies I first stumbled upon deep-water bass trolling in 2002, while fishing at a friend’s cottage on a lake west of Ottawa, Ontario. It was early fall and the foliage was beginning its colourful transformation, a sure sign smallmouth would be putting on the feedbag. After scouring the shoreline for most of the morning with little to show for our efforts, we decided it was time for a change of pace.
Ten Tips For Flipping and Pitching If there are two techniques that have accounted for more and bigger largemouth in my boat over the years, they have to be flipping and pitching. Not only are these short-string tactics both finesse and heavy-handed, they are also a ton of fun to perfect and execute
Largies on Rocks – The Flipping Jig Solution Largemouth bass and green vegetation have become a unanimous equation for locating and catching fish. Toss in some docks, laydowns and slop, and the basics of the bassin’ game are seemingly covered. Or are they?
Biking For Bass It had been a stressful day and I wanted to unwind outside and be near water. I didn’t have enough time to take my boat and go fishing, so I opted for the next best thing. I grabbed a few lures, strapped my fishing rod to my bike, and peddled to a few shoreline fishing spots along a bike path
Deep-Water Jigging for Smallies The fall colours were in full effect, dotting the shoreline on a crisp, October morning. I was fishing for deep-water smallmouth around rocks and boulders in 20-30 feet of water. I jiggled my tube jig along, paused, and then felt a slight tick. I set the hook and the fight began. The three pound smallie bulldogged for a few minutes, but eventually got in net range and was landed. After the hook was popped out, the chunky specimen swam away strongly after being released.
Scoring Big Bass with Football JigsThe variety of jigs available at a tackle shop can be mind-numbing to anglers. Although their differences may appear trivial, jig heads are designed for specific fishing situations. The football jig is a bait that’s often overlooked, but deadly on bass. Here’s some advice on why and when you need to fish them.
Setting Your Sights on a Trophy Everything in life seems to garner respect for being big. Big cars, big houses and of course, big wallets. The same can be said for fishing, where average-sized fish get nary a raised brow, yet oversized monsters are akin to hitting the lottery jackpot.
Season-Ending Largies As the days grow shorter and the leaves take on their colourful hues, an anticipation and excitement begins to build, of which I have waited all summer for – – – fall time bassin’. This end-of-season pilgrimage to my favourite largemouth haunts is the highlight of the season for me. At no other time of the year can I experience waterways that are void of boats, jet skies and tubers, but bursting with rod-busting bucketmouths, with nary another angler in sight. Keep the boat going until the ghouls come out in October, and I can guarantee some of the biggest and most plentiful bass you have ever reckoned with.
Soft-Plastics For Bass You don’t always need to flip pockets in heavy weeds to catch bass. In fact, one of my preferred options for uprooting largemouth from heavy cover is throwing soft-plastic topwaters. These baits can be rigged to be virtually weedless and their soft bodies make them more lifelike to bass than hard-plastic baits. Although flipping can be fun, there’s nothing like a bucketmouth exploding at the surface, separating lilly pads and sending slop flying.
The Ten Commandments of Topwatering The art of angling is built upon many different techniques and methods in order to catch fish. From tossing a crank, hopping a tube, or burning a spinnerbait, the options are wide open for the intuitive rod slinger. For those searching out heart-stopping action and high-energy thrills, however, tempting fish on the surface is a hands down winner, if only for the visual aspect of boiling water and the crashing of fish. Here are ten tips to get the most out of your topwater experience.
Work The Flats for Wandering Largemouth Flat fishing for largemouth bass can produce predictable and exciting action for anglers searching for fruitful days on the water. Not only do flats hold tremendous numbers of fish, they also hold a large number of trophies, hidden from prying eyes throughout this great expanse of “nothingness.” Learning when to hit the flats, and what to use, will be your greatest strength when it comes to limiting out on the water with this tried and true technique.
Tweak Your Jig and Pig for Optimum Results The jig and pig is a classic bait that catches a ton of largemouth bass. It offers the angler versatility because it can be used with so many different techniques and tactics….from flippin’ to pitchin’ and docks to slop. They’ve accounted for many of my biggest largemouth over the years, and are the only bait I turn to when a tournament win is on the line
Boat Control is Vital When Playing the Bassin’ Game Before you fire off that fateful cast in search of the next trophy bass, have you considered the position of your boat? The majority of anglers neglect to realize that boat position, and how you work your rig can play an important part in the success you achieve. Although it will ultimately be up to you to put the fish in the boat, your approach before and during each cast is a crucial link in the game of catching bass.
Sorting Through the Spinnerbaits for Bass Spinnerbaits and largemouth bass go together like bread and butter. Although they have been on the tackle shelves for a long time, the effectiveness and efficiency of these baits make them a top choice for bass anglers all over North America. But where do you start when it comes to choosing the right spinnerbait for the job at hand? Follow these simple techniques and learn to turn this simple bait into a deadly bass machine
Knock on Docks for Bruiser Bass Finding bass on any given lake can often be a challenging task. With so many places to occupy in a body of water, anglers may spend more time looking for fish than actually fishing for them
Fall Bass When Zeke and I launched the boat on Crooked Nose Bay a flock of Canada Geese lazily watched the launching operation before their next leg south to their winter nesting grounds. It is time for autumn bass angling.
Largemouth By The Light Of The Moon Working the nightshift in search of big bucketmouths can be a profitable and exciting endeavour for those anglers looking for a new twist in the bassin’ game. Fishing under the moon comes with its own set of rules and techniques because once the sun sets, you really are smack down in the middle of the largemouth’s playing field. Come and explore the graveyard shift and discover all the action that you’ve been missing.
Crank Up That Next Smallie Crankbaits have a universal appeal when it comes to luring in smallmouth bass. Whether they represent a baitfish or crawdad to the opportunistic bass, the end result is always the same – another bass in the boat. Although crankbaits come in hundreds of styles and shapes, a select few can get the job done right when applied correctly. Utilize these tips and tricks the next time you hit the water, and have fun cranking in bass after bass.
Seven Tricks for Improving Your Bassin’ Results Bass fishing is a game of highs and lows. Going from banner days on the water to empty live wells the next is a fact of life when chasing these challenging adversaries. There are, however, a number of tricks that can improve and elevate your bassin’ game to the next level. Test these out on your next trip to the lake and watch your success jump in leaps and bounds.
Twitching Your Way to a Bass Bonanza Cast. Twitch, twitch, twitch….pause. Fish on! Throwing twitchbaits to bass can lead to some exciting days on the water – and some big bass to boot. Twitchbaits mimic the natural look and action of a baitfish to a T, and therein lies the reason for their incredible fish-catching abilities. Try your hand at the following “twitch tactics,” and reap the rewards that the bass gods will shine down on you.
Spicing Up for Autumn Appetites The next best venue is an established outside weedline, but only one that materializes off a large weed flat. Additionally, my top weedlines setup next to major drop-offs and incorporate a few weeded fingers. And as far as weed composition goes, nothing outshines deep coontail. Unlike cabbage and milfoil, coontail holds its characteristics – baitfish sanctuary, oxygen, shade, etc. – throughout the fall.
Toss the Versatile ‘Flipping Jig’ for More and Bigger Bass The flipping jig, or jig-and-pig as it is commonly called, is one of the simplest looking baits on the market that routinely accounts for huge stringers of bass year after year. For the majority of anglers, throwing the bait to the odd dock or tree is the extent of its usage. For those in the know, however, the sky is the limit when it comes to where and how to throw this versatile lure. Learn the ins and outs of the ‘jig-and-pig,’ and watch your catch rate grow in leaps and bounds
Bass & Slop Soon the shorelines and shallow sections of small bays and coves will fill with slop and weeds. Don’t avoid them because they seem so thick. This is the under water forest for bass. The bass moves through the slop like a deer hunter through the forest. Slop in shallow weed choked flats can hold some big bass.
Timely Tactics for ‘Negative-Mood’ Largemouth Nothing can frustrate an angler more than targeting largemouth bass that are in a definite finicky mode. The more lures you throw at them, the more they seem to turn up their noses and silently mock your futile efforts. If fronts, dog days of summer or pressured fish are bringing you down, try these proven tactics in order to put more largemouth in the boat during these “tough times.”
Vertical Jigging for Suspended Smallies Retrieving baits and lures in a horizontal fashion is one of the most commonly utilized and effective techniques in fishing today. There are times, however, when a vertical approach may be your best bet when dealing with certain situations. Smallmouth that suspend in open water is one key period where vertical jigging a lure will outshine and out produce any other methods on the market.
Football Jigs for Bass Bass have been eating football – “roller” – jigs for years. In fact, the lures gained tremendous popularity in the early 90’s, but have since lost some identity. These days, most guys lump bass jigs together, labeling them ‘jigs & pigs’, not paying much attention to specific designs.
The Basic Lures for Lunker Largemouth For those anglers that have caught a severe case of the “bassin’ bug,” deciding on what lures and baits to choose can be a complicated and difficult decision. Breaking down the collection of baits into five significant and productive types will help all those new to bass fishing get a better handle on what to throw a largemouth’s way. Stock your tackle box up with each of the following lures and watch how simplified the bassin’ game can be and how your success rate will seemingly skyrocket.