Largemouth Bass Fishing – Tackle, Lures, and Techniques

Largemouth bass fishing – tackle, lures, and techniques

The topic of this comprehensive post will be largemouth bass fishing. Largemouth bass are arguably the most popular freshwater game fish species. In this article, bass habits, locations, tackle, lures, and techniques will be covered.

largemouth bass fishing

Largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, are a carnivorous apex predator. They have an extremely diverse diet and thrive in a variety of environments. These are certainly two keys to their abundance and popularity. Largemouth bass are found in all of the lower 48 states, southern Canada, and even Hawaii. The proliferation of bass fishing tournaments the last few decades have certainly accounted for this surge in popularity.

Largemouth bass habits

Largemouth bass are ambush predators. This behavior alone is a major key in locating and catching fish. Largemouth bass have a very large and powerful tail and a huge mouth, thus the name. It prefers to lie in ambush and when prey gets too close, the bass flares it’s gills and inhales the helpless forage. This cover comes in many different forms, both natural and man made.

largemouth bass fishing in Florida

For the most part, largemouth bass prefer shallow, weedy lakes and rivers. They can be found in just about every type of aquatic vegetation at one time or another. Factors that dictate where they will be located are water temperature, sunlight, bottom composition, and availability of forage. Largemouth Bass thrive in a wide variety of warm water environments. This is certainly a key to their success, along with their varied diet.

Bass are caught in the smallest creeks up to huge impoundments and reservoirs. Largemouth bass can even tolerate some salinity and they thrive and brackish rivers all along the United States coastline. As long as the water is not too cold, anglers will find largemouth bass present. Man-made structures certainly attract largemouth bass as well.

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Many larger reservoirs were flooded in the mid-60s and early 70s. Much of the flooded timber that attracted bass has long since rotted away. The fish have adapted and in many of these lakes boat docks are the prime cover for largemouth bass. Many of these docks are located in deeper water, or with access to deeper water, which bass prefer. Bridges and rip-rap will attract and hold largemouth bass as well.

Largemouth bass fishing tackle

The discussion of largemouth bass fishing tackle can get very complicated. However, for the purposes of this article we will try to keep it simple. There are four basic types of fishing rods and reels; spin cast, spinning, conventional or bait casting, and fly. Spin casting tackle is fine for novice anglers and children fishing for bluegill and other small fish, but it really is not suitable for serious largemouth bass fishing. Fly fishing for largemouth bass is great fun and challenging, but is a bit of a specialized tactic.

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Best spinning rod and reel for largemouth bass fishing

Spinning tackle is the most widely used rod and reel outfit for anglers fishing across the world for both freshwater and saltwater species. It is versatile, durable, affordable, and easy to learn to use. Just a few years ago, most serious bass fisherman used conventional tackle. One look at a current bass fishing tournament on television will provide evidence of how popular spinning tackle has become, even among serious bass anglers.

Anglers can read more about bass fishing tackle and equipment

The increase in the popularity of spinning tackle has a lot to do with the advent of finesse fishing. This is an extremely effective technique for largemouth bass and other species. However, the lures used are very light. Spinning tackle is well-suited, much more so than bait casting tackle, to casting and fishing these very light baits.

largemouth bass fishing

There is no one spinning outfit that is best for all bass fishing situations. A 7 foot medium action rod with a fast tip paired with a 3000 series reel is an excellent all around combination. A rod such as this has plenty of backbone to fight a big fish while the limber tip gives anglers good casting distance and accuracy with light lures.

Best baitcasting rod and reel for largemouth bass fishing

Baitcasting, or conventional, tackle certainly has its place and bass fishing. A couple of the advantages of bait casting tackle are the power and line control. Anglers keep constant light pressure on the spool as it revolves with their thumb, allowing for very accurate distance control. Also, since the line comes straight on the spool and does not turn 90° as it does with spinning tackle, it provides more power. Most anglers largemouth bass fishing choose conventional tackle when flipping jigs and other soft plastic baits into heavy cover as well as when casting heavier plugs. Bait casting tackle works very well in conjunction with heavier lures. A 6 1/2 foot medium heavy rod with a matching reel will get the job done.

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fishing for largemouth bass

A quick note here needs to be inserted about bass fishing rods and reels. Advanced anglers will often have specifically designed rods and reels for certain types of fishing. These rod and reel combinations are custom designed to do a specific task. There are worm rods, spinnerbait rods, crankbait rods, etc. For anglers who can afford many different outfits, this is fine. However, this should not discourage anglers who can only afford a couple of outfits. Versatile spinning and bait casting rod and reel combinations such as the ones mentioned above will serve anglers well in a variety of fishing situations.

Best largemouth bass fishing line

power pro line

Anglers largemouth bass fishing have several choices when it comes to line. These basically break down into three categories; braided line, monofilament line, and hybrid or fluorocarbon line. Again, serious anglers will have rod and reel outfit set up with certain line types for certain situations. For most anglers, 20 to 40 pound braided line is an excellent all round choice. Those fishing in very clear water may opt for fluorocarbon or monofilament line.

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So, to button up the tackle conversation, two well thought out outfits will cover the vast majority of situations that a largemouth bass anglers will find himself or herself in. A medium spinning outfit spooled up with 14 pound fluorocarbon line and a heavier bait casting outfit spooled up with 30 pound braid is an excellent start.

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Seasonal migration of largemouth bass

It is very important to understand the seasonal migrations of largemouth bass in order to be successful. In the coldest months of the year, depending on the geographical location, bass will usually school in deeper water. This is usually done over some type of structure such as a river channel edge or the drop off on a point. Florida and the extreme south, this does not occur as drastically. top texas fish species

As the water warms up, bass will begin their pre-spawn migration. Bass will stage in areas of a few feet to several feet deep off of prime spawning spots. These are areas of preferably sandy bottom or even small gravel. Largemouth bass can be aggressive at this time and easier to catch. At a certain time, usually triggered by a full moon, fish move up and begin bedding. The male bass will use its tail to fan out a saucer-shaped nest. The female will then deposit the eggs and the male bass will fertilize them. Bass are not really interested in feeding at this point, however they will attack a lure in order to defend the nest. Fishing at this time takes a lot of patience, but the reward can be a trophy!

bass fishing with a worm

After the spawn is completed, the post spawn phase begins. This is an excellent time to fish for largemouth bass! They are usually hungry and aggressive after the period of guarding the nest where they really don’t feed much. Again, the transition areas just off of the flats as well as any cover on the flats can be productive spots.

Summer bass habits

In summer, largemouth bass will move to several different locations. In the south where a lot of the lakes are too shallow to really be cool, bass will find the heaviest cover with the most shade that has forage available. This usually includes docks and very thick vegetation. In larger lakes, largemouth bass will often move offshore to deeper water and stage up on point drop-offs and channel edges. This is particularly true in lakes that have good populations of shad and herring. This is a time of year when anglers will encounter schools of largemouth bass feeding on the surface even in quite deep water. The bass will trap the helpless bait fish against the surface of the water. This is an exciting situation for anglers bass fishing to encounter!

Bass fishing

As it cools off, largemouth bass will usually move back shallow and scatter out. In some bodies of water, this can be a difficult time to fish as bass can be anywhere. The back ends of creeks can be good as bait fish will often concentrate there. Bass will also relate to vertical structures such as sheer cliff walls and steep drop-offs. Some lakes “turn over”. This is when cooling water sinks through the water column down to the bottom. It can churn up bottom debris, turning the water dark or even black. This can be a difficult time to fish. As it gets colder, fish will revert to their winter locations and the cycle will start all over again. Obviously, every year is different when it comes to weather, water levels, and other factors which will determine largemouth bass locations.

Fishing for largemouth bass with artificial lures

While live bait can certainly be effective when largemouth bass fishing, the vast majority of anglers do so using artificial lures. Any angler new to the sport of bass fishing may be completely overwhelmed when walking down the aisles of his or her local tackle shop. Again, the goal here is to simplify and explain the choices anglers have when it comes to largemouth bass fishing lures.

Best 11 topwater plugs for freshwater fishing

Artificial lures break down into several categories. These are soft plastic baits, plugs, spinners, spinner baits, spoons, and jigs. Each of these major categories can be broken down into several subcategories as well.

The top 7 largemouth bass fishing lures are:

  • plastic worms

  • creature baits

  • plugs

  • spinners

  • spinnerbaits

  • spoons

  • jigs

Soft plastic largemouth bass fishing lures

Soft plastic baits have revolutionized largemouth bass fishing. They are available in every conceivable size, shape, and color. They look very lifelike and enticing in the water. Many are even scented, adding to their effectiveness.

Worms

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Plastic worms hit the market in the late 1960s, and bass fishing has never been the same. These early lures were very stiff, unlike the supple baits available today. While there are many different soft plastic styles to choose from, the simple plastic worm is still incredibly effective. They are available in a multitude of sizes, colors, and even styles.

zoom trick worm

Click to shop Amazon for Zoom Trick worms

One of Capt. Jim’s favorite plastic worms for largemouth bass fishing is the Zoom Trick worm. It is a slender worm that is 6 1/2 inches long. It can be rigged in any manner to be effective. Dark colors work well in darker or stained water, while clear or lighter colors work best in clear water. Green pumpkin is an excellent all round color.

senko

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The Yamamoto Senko is a fantastic and very popular soft plastic bait. It is kind of a bridge between a worm and a finesse bait. It is available and 4 inch models and 5 inch models in a wide variety of colors. It can be rigged a variety of ways, however is extremely effective in a finesse fishing situation.

Creature baits

creature bait

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There are a huge selection of creature baits available to anglers largemouth bass fishing. These can imitate salamanders, crayfish, and even critters that don’t exist. It really doesn’t matter if the bait resembles something natural, it is all about the undulating action and scent in the water. Most anglers opt for dark or natural colors. Black is an excellent all round color that will produce just about every situation.

Swim baits

die dapper

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Swimbaits are basically soft plastic versions of hard plugs. Most have some type of paddle or curly tail and imitate a bait fish swimming through the water. They can be rigged on a jig head, but are most often done so using a swim bait hook. These lures range in size from 3 inches up to even a foot or so. Capt. Jim likes the Bass Assassin line of baits.

Grubs and tubes

mister twister

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Grubs and tubes are also very effective soft plastic lures for largemouth bass fishing. These are most often effective when bass require a more subtle presentations. Mister Twister curly tail grubs hit the market in the late 70s and have been catching fish ever since. They are usually fished on a jig head and have an excellent action in the water. They can be used to imitate both bait fish and crustaceans. tube lure

Click to shop Amazon for Berkley tube baits

The Berkeley tube jig is a tube bait. This lure works very well when largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are staged in deeper water over structure. The separated tales of the tube jig undulate very naturally in the water, attracting game fish. It is best worked slowly, right on the bottom.

Rigging soft plastic baits

Soft plastic baits are very versatile and can be rigged and presented in a variety of manners. These include Texas rig, Carolina rig, wacky rig, swim bait hook, and drop shot rig. Each has situations where they are quite effective.

Texas rig

texas rigged worm

A Texas rigged soft plastic bait uses a specially designed hook. The bait is threaded on a quarter of an inch or so and the bait slides up the hook to the eye. The hook is then inserted into the body of the bait, making it weedless. Anglers usually use a sliding sinker to get the bait down in the water, though it can be used without weight as well.

Carolina rig

carolina rig

The Carolina rig usually combines a Texas rigged worm with a heavy sliding sinker. It is an extremely effective presentation that is usually used in deeper water. The running line slides through the sinker and is tied to a swivel. A leader connects the swivel to the worm hook. The leader is usually around 3 feet long. This rig allows the sinker to crawl along the bottom while the worm, usually a floating worm, suspends just a bit above the bottom.

Wacky rig

wacky rig

A wacky rigged worm looks almost silly. However, it is turned out to be an extremely effective and fairly easy to use bass fishing technique. The hook is inserted through the middle of the worm. Is then cast out and allowed to undulate naturally as it sinks through the water column. Most takes occur on the initial cast, though the worm can be hopped once or twice. Bass will often pick up the worm and run off with it, making it easy to detect a strike. It is often used in conjunction with a light jig head called a shaky head jig.

Swim bait hook

swim bait hook

Soft plastic baits can be rigged on a swim bait hook as well. These are specially designed hooks that look like a worm hook but with a weight molded in the bend of it. This results in a horizontal presentation. Some type of keeper near the eye of the hook allows the bait to be inserted and then the hook is buried in the bait Texas rig style. This is an extremely effective way to cover a lot of water with a soft plastic bait.

Drop shot rig

drop shot

The drop shot rig is a fairly recent technique developed by anglers fishing for finicky bass and deep, clear water. The rig consists of a special drop shot weight with a drop shot hook tide 12 inches to 18 inches above the weight. The hook is designed to stick straight out to the side. Some type of finesse bait is then knows hooked on. The rig is either cast out, but more often drop straight down, and worked with subtle movements of the rod tip. This rig keeps the bait suspended just off the bottom, in the strike zone of the largemouth bass.

Best plugs for largemouth bass fishing

fishing for largemouth bass

Plugs are hard bodied lures that are used to mimic baitfish or crayfish. Back in the day, they were hand carved from balsa wood. Most plugs today are made from plastic. Top water plugs float on the surface and spend all of their time there. Diving plugs float on the surface and dive down to the desired depth. This depth is determined by the size and shape of the lip on the plug. Anglers can purchase plugs that work the entire water column, from the surface down to over 20 feet deep.

Topwater plugs

Topwater plugs float on the surface the entire presentation. Some have a concave front that puts out a nice “pop” when twitched sharply. Others have propellers, either on the front or rear, which puts out a commotion. Some have neither of these and are just conical shaped, with the angler creating the action in the lure. These are called “walk the dog” baits. Color matters less for topwater plugs than it does for many other lures. Capt. Jim’s favorite popper is the venerable Arbogast Hula Popper.

hula popper

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Capt. Jim’s favorite propeller bait is the Rapala Skitter prop.

skitter prop

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  Capt. Jim’s favorite walk the dog bait is the Heddon Zara Spook.

zara spook

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Honorable mention goes to a new top water lure that has been productive the last few years. It is called the Whopper Plopper and is sort of a propeller bait, with a tail that puts out a lot of commotion when retrieved.

whopper plopper

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Jerkbaits

Rapala x rap

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There is a family of long, slender plugs that anglers call “jerkbaits”. Depending on the model purchased and the lip that it has, these jerk baits can work the water column from a few feet down as deep as 15 or even 20 feet. They have a very erratic action in the water. The bait is worked quite aggressively, with the angler using hard twitches followed by a pause. This causes the bait to jerked sharply and then hover there suspended. Capt. Jim’s favorite jerk bait is the Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait. White is an excellent all round color

Crankbaits

kvd crankbait

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Crankbaits are generally a bit rounder, shaped more like a shad or a bluegill. Like jerk baits, they are available and models that work from just a foot or two below the surface down to 20 feet or so. They are extremely effective in the summer when bass relate to schools of herring and shad. For that reason, lighter colors are generally the most productive. Crank baits can also be used to imitate crayfish. In those situations, darker colors work best. Capt. Jim’s favorite crankbaits are the Strike King KVD baits.

Spinners

mepps

Click to shop Amazon for Mepps Aglia spinner

Spinners are not nearly as popular for largemouth bass fishing as they once were. A spinner is a piece of wire with a body and a blade that rotates around it. Some type of hook, usually with a dressing, is at the rear. The lure is simply cast out, allowed to sink, and reeled in steadily. Spinners are still very popular for anglers fishing for trout. However, they still have a place in every bass anglers tackle box. This is especially true for those who fish in rivers. Capt. Jim’s favorite spinner for largemouth bass fishing is the Mepps Aglia.

Spinnerbaits

best small spinnerbait for bass fishing

Spinnerbaits are extremely effective and versatile largemouth bass fishing lures. They are also among the easiest for novice anglers to learn to use as they have a ton of built in action. A spinner bait is basically a wire frame it looks a bit like a safety pin. At the top of this is a blade or blades and on the bottom is some type of jig or hook. The line tie is in the center.

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Due to the design, spinner baits are quite weedless. They tend to bounce over and around and through logs and vegetation. Spinnerbaits are extremely effective when used in shallow water, however they can be slow down and “slow rolled “ in deeper water as well. While spinner baits really do not look like anything in the water, they put out flash, vibration, and color. These are all things that imitate wounded prey.

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Spinnerbaits are available and many different colors and sizes. A tandem blade spinner bait in the 3/8 ounce or 1/2 ounce size in chartreuse and white is an excellent all round lure. Anglers can even add their favorite soft plastic trailer to add more bulk to the lure. Capt. Jim’s favorite is the Terminator spinner bait. Buzz baits are a variation of a spinner bait with the exception that it spends the entire time on the surface. The shape of the blade is a bit different, it is more like a propeller. The angler begins to retrieve as soon as the lure lands in the bait puts out a rhythmic gurgle as it moves across the surface of the water. It works best in shallow water and is a very exciting way to fish as strikes can be explosive!

Spoons

sprite spoon

Spoons are very simple artificial lures that have been around a long time. They basically consist of a curved piece of metal, usually in a chrome or gold finish, along with a hook at the rear. Spoons are heavy and can be cast a long distance, making them an excellent bait for searching for fish. They can also be used in a vertical presentation when largemouth bass are schooled up over deep water structure. Capt. Jim’s favorite casting spoon is the Johnson Sprite spoon.

Click to shop Amazon for Johnson Silver Minnow and Sprite spoons

Perhaps the most effective spoon used when largemouth bass fishing is the weedless spoon. This is a spoon that rides with the hook up and usually has a weed guard, resulting in a bait that will not hang up very easily in the weeds. It works very well when fished through and around lily pad beds as well as other aquatic vegetation. Anglers will often add a soft plastic trailer onto the hook to add bulk. The number one weedless spoon by far is the Johnson Silver Minnow in the 3/4 ounce size in the gold finish.

Bass fishing jigs

Booyah jig

Jigs are most likely the first fishing lure created by man. A jig is basically a hook with a weight molded in near the eye. This weight gives the jig both casting distance and gives the lure its distinctive action. Some type of dressing or body is then added to the hook to provide bulk, color, and action. Anglers can use a bare jig head and add his or her favorite soft plastic trailer. This can be a swim bait, curly tail grub, or even a plastic worm. The jig provides a handy and clever device which combines the hook and the weight all in one tidy unit. These work very well in open water.

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Modern largemouth bass fishing jigs have the molded jig head, a stout hook, and usually a rubber body skirt. This is an extremely effective lure for flipping around heavy cover. Anglers often attach their favorite soft plastic creature bait to add more bulk and vibration to the lure. Capt. Jim’s favorite largemouth bass fishing jig is the Booyah jig.

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Largemouth bass fishing with live bait

best bass lure

While most anglers fish for largemouth bass using lures, live bait is certainly productive as well. Nightcrawlers and minnows or shiners are the two most popular live baits. In fact, in Florida, most trophy bass are landed by anglers using live a wild shiners. It is just impossible to duplicate the action and scent of a frightened shiner when a largemouth bass approaches it.

Shiners and live minnows are effective largemouth bass baits throughout the country. They are readily available at most serious bait and tackle shops. In shallow water they are fished under a float while in deeper water they are used in conjunction with a drop shot or other bottom fishing rig. In states where it is legal, small bluegill and panfish can be fantastic live baits for largemouth bass. However, be sure to check local regulations.

best live bait for freshwater fishing

Nightcrawlers are another very effective live bait for largemouth bass and just about every other freshwater species. In fact, if there is one downside to using nightcrawlers, it is at other fish will interrupt the bass fishing. For many anglers, this is a welcome distraction! Nightcrawlers work very well when fished simply on a hook and allowed to undulate in the water. In deeper water, they can be used with a drop shot rig or Carolina rig.

live bait fishing

Crayfish are an extremely effective live bait for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. However, they can be a bit more complicated to use. Very few bait shops sell crayfish and once purchased or caught, they are bit more difficult to use. However, some anglers consider them to be worth the trouble.

Largemouth bass fishing tournaments

There is little doubt that bass tournaments are responsible for many of the innovations within the sport. Following are three pieces by female tournament bass anglers, sharing their experiences.

Oklahoma bass fishing Tips and Techniques

This article on women bass fishing  shares some awesome Oklahoma tips. Oklahoma offers anglers excellent opportunities to catch not only largemouth bass, but smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and striped bass. Largemouth bass is king in Oklahoma, just as it is throughout the rest of the country. Anglers fishing tournaments target them over the smallmouth and spotted bass, simply because they are generally heavier. However, having the option to target the other species on a tough day is nice.

Meleah Meadows lives in Norman, Oklahoma, and knows her state waters well. Meleah is a bass tournament angler, having fished in several B.A.S.S. Qualifying and ABA events. She is a well-rounded angler and is generous enough to share her knowledge and experience on Oklahoma bass fishing with us here today.

Oklahoma bass fishing tackle

Bass anglers need several different outfits in order to be successful in Oklahoma, and everywhere else. A 7′ medium action baitcaster with 12 pound braid is great for crankbaits and jerkbaits. Medium and heavy baitcasting outfits with braid or flourocarbon line work well for flipping docks and heavy cover, along with working Carolina rigs in deep water. A spinning rod with 10 pound flourocarbon line works well with lighter baits such as a shaky head. Meleah prefers to use Falcon or G. Loomis rods with a Shimano reel.

The best piece of advice Meleah gives to anglers bass fishing in Oklahoma waters is to be adaptable to the ever-changing conditions. It is not unheard of for a morning to be below freezing then warm up to the mid 80’s. This year in particular was challenging. The unpredictable weather made it difficult to develop reliable patterns. Spots that were productive one day were a muddy mess the next. Speaking of water color, Meleah prefers moderately stained water as it prefers a little camouflage for the line and bait. Oklahoma has a lot of red dirt. This can turn the water the color of chocolate milk. Some anglers like it dirty but it can make fishing tough as it is difficult for bass to locate forage.   Fishing in clear water brings it’s own challenges. Lighter line and tackle may be required. Anglers using braid will have to add a flourocarbon leader to make their offering less visible to the fish. Most Oklahoma lakes are stained, with Tenkiller and Lake Murray being the exceptions.

Oklahoma bass fishing tips; winter

Winter bass fishing in Oklahoma can certainly be challenging. Anglers will catch fewer bass, but the ones they do catch are usually nice ones. Weather will test any angler’s determination and resolve. It gets cold! Bass are cold blooded, which means their body temperature will be the same as the water temperature. Bass do not need to eat much or often when their metabolism is so slow.   Anglers targeting Oklahoma bass in the winter need to scale down their baits and fish SLOW! And by slow, that means painfully slow.

Generally, jigs and jerkbaits will produce some fish. Bass will school up in deep water on the submerged river channel edges, especially with cover. Sometimes these fish will suspend and can be tough to catch. Several sunny days may warm up the shallows enough for fish to move up on and feed a bit. Anglers still need to fish extremely slowly. However, persistent anglers can be rewarded with some quality fish this time of year. And, they will have the water all to themselves!

Oklahoma bass fishing in spring

Spring: spring will find the bass moving up shallow in preparation for their annual spawning. Meleah prefers a spinnerbait for spring Oklahoma bass fishing, especially for pre-spawn fish. It allows her to cover a lot of water relatively quickly. It is also a very versatile lure. Her favorite spinnerbait is manufactured by War Eagle. Her second choice, and first choice when seeking a trophy bass, is a swimbait. This lure is worked slowly, usually with a steady retrieve.

 

A swimbait does not cover as much water as a spinnerbait, but it will tempt larger fish. A 6 inch bait works well, but anglers seeking a trophy bass will use a bait as long as 10 inches. Meleah prefers to toss a swimbait on an Owner flashy spinner.   Soft plastic baits certainly produce for Oklahoma bass anglers. This is particularly true when fish are located or up on the beds. A Texas rigged plastic worm or creature bait slowly worked through the shallows will produce fish. Other productive baits are a wacky rig or a fluke, either weighted or unweighted.

Summertime Oklahoma bass fishing tips

Summer bass fishing can be challenging. Water temperatures will rise up, approaching 80 degrees. While bass move deep, Oklahoma lakes stratify. At times, there simply is not enough oxygen in the deeper water. When this occurs, the best spots are docks and brush piles in water 8 feet deep to 20 feet deep are usually the best spots to fish. Dusk, dawn, and night are the best times to avoid the heat and catch fish.   Meleah has a two-pronged approach when Oklahoma bass fishing in summertime. She likes to fish a Carolina rig deep.

River channel edges and bends with cover are prime spots. Anglers will encounter large schools of spotted bass at this time of year. Locating one of these schools of spots in deep water can result in fast action! The other pattern Meleah employs in the summer is to flip a soft plastic bait or jig under a dock or some shoreline shade in deeper water. Docks in 10 feet to 15 feet of water are ideal. The further back under the dock the bait can be presented, the better chance for a bite. Top baits are spinnerbaits and tubes.

Oklahoma bass fishing, fall strategies

Meleah loves fall bass fishing! As the water cools, the bass move up and are in the mood to feed. She enjoys power fishing in water around 3 feet deep or shallower with a Jackhammer Chatterbait. A shallow diving crankbait such as a Lucky Craft or Rapala works well, too. Meleah uses a medium action rod and light line to maximize the fun. However, she keeps a heavy outfit with a jig tied on when it is time to slow down.   Rip Rap near bridges is an excellent spot to target fall bass in Oklahoma. The rocks hold crawfish and bait fish, which in turn attracts the game fish.

Topwater baits such as Whopper Ploppers, frogs, and buzzbaits are great fun first thing in the morning! Other productive fall spots include flats and coves. Oklahoma largemouth bass anglers have many options when choosing a place to fish. Meleah’s favorite lakes are Texoma, Tenkiller, and Murray. Other productive bass lakes include Grand and Eufaula.

Oklahoma smallmouth bass

Smallmouth bass: Oklahoma smallmouth bass are most often targeted in the eastern Oklahoma Ozark and Ouachita stream systems. Smallies prefer clear, running water with a gravel bottom. Stream smallmouth bass are a lot like trout. They take up ambush spots in the current, places where they can dart out and grab their prey while expending as little energy as possible.

Eddies behind rocks, heads of pools and rapids, and deep holes in outside bends are all top spots. Baits that imitate crawfish such as olive, orange, rootbeer, and black jigs along with small crankbaits work well. Live nightcrawlers, minnows, and crayfish will certainly produce as well. Smallmouth bass are found in Oklahoma lakes as well. The best lakes to target them are Grand, Tenkiller, Murray, Eufaula, Texoma and Broken Bow. Smallmouth in lakes prefer similar habitat to spotted bass. Steep, rocky shorelines, points that drop off, and rip rap are prime spots for smallmmouth bass. Oklahoma offers anglers some world class river smallmouth bass fishing! The top spots include the Mountain Fork River, Illinois River, Glover River, Blue River, Little River, Baron Fork Creek, Arkansas River, Lee Creek, Kiamichi River, and Spavinaw Creek.

Oklahoma spotted bass

Spotted Bass: Oklahoma spotted bass prefer cleaner water than largemouth bass. They are mostly found in these types of waters in Eastern Oklahoma. Spotted bass also prefer more current than largemouth bass and are often found in streams and small rivers. Crayfish make up the majority of their diet, so rocky bottoms and shorelines are prime spots.

Spotted bass will often be found schooled up in deep water. Smaller finesse baits work well on a drop shot or Carolina rig. Spotted bass are a great “backup plan” for anglers in tournaments having a tough time on largemouth bass. The best Oklahoma spotted bass lakes are Tenkiller and Texoma.

Oklahoma striped bass

Striped bass: striped bass and hybrids (a striped bass white bass cross breed) are a bit different in habit than the other bass species. Stripers are an open water fish. While they do relate to structure such as river channel edges and drop offs, they mostly feed on shad and other bait fish in open water. Striped bass fishing is also excellent in the tailwaters of several dams. Lake Eufaula, Texoma, and Murray are great spots. Striped bass require running water to spawn. Several state records were landed in these types of tailwater fisheries.

Striped bass can be taken using a variety of techniques. Trolling with lures or live bait is efficient when they are schooled up in deep water. Striped bass will move shallow to feed in cooler weather and are often incidental catches by largemouth and smallmouth bass anglers. As stated above, rivers are excellent spots to target striped bass. In conclusion, hopefully this article on Oklahoma bass fishing tips provided some great information that will help both resident and visiting anglers enjoy success! Anglers visiting Oklahoma can find current fishing regulations on state site.

Winter largemouth bass fishing in Florida

This article will focus on women bass fishing features Katie catching Florida winter bass. Largemouth bass spawn in Florida in winter. Sight fishing produces some of the largest bass of the year.

women bass fishing

Largemouth bass are the most popular fish in the country. They are targeted by millions of anglers in every state in the lower 48. The Florida strain of largemouth bass grow the largest of all bass. These fish have been transplanted in Texas, California, and other states. Many anglers from all over the world travel to Florida in winter in search of atrophy bass!

“Winter” is a relative term, especially when discussing Florida. The northern part of the state experiences seasonal changes. The southern part of Florida experiences cold fronts but still stays pretty nice for most of the year. The “calendar” is a bit different in different parts of the state. However, just about every part of Florida offers anglers the chance to catch a trophy bass in winter.

Tournament angler Katie Jackson

Katie Jackson is our north Florida bass expert. She is an accomplished tournament angler and is a bass fishing guide at an exclusive resort in north Florida. She is generous enough to share her knowledge and experience with us in this article.

women bass fishing, tournament tips

Follow Katie on YouTube

“I grew up in north central Florida. I started fishing as a child. On the weekends we would go out to the flats in the Gulf of Mexico and see what we can catch. Or, we would go to the Santa Fe and Suwannee River for large mouth bass, pan fish and our local Suwannee bass.

“I started fishing tournaments around 2010 and qualified for the 2013 FLW BFL All American, being only the second woman to ever qualify. I’ve been a bass fishing guide at Bienville Plantation in White Springs for a few years and I’m their only female fishing guide. I love traveling to new places, fishing unknown waters and exploring the outdoors. My sponsors are Lew’s, TightlinesUV, FishBomb scent, BienvillePlantation, Popticals, Eco-Popper.

Florida tournament bass fishing

“Florida strain bass are pretty particular when it comes to cold fronts during the winter months here in Florida. As the water starts to cool in November and December, the shad are moving. I scan areas using my electronics to find balls of bait and determine what depths they are at.

Catching Florida winter bass, baits

Then, I like to use hard jerk baits and my favorite swim bait, Tightlines UVSow Belly Swimmer. It has a built in skirt which flares while pausing a retrieve (That’s when they tend to grab it). These baits tend to stay in the strike zone to entice more bites. Sometimes a lipless and regular crank bait will call them out. and my big fish tip? I tend to catch bigger bass when the pockets or creek mouths I’m fishing are near deeper water.

“In South Florida, the bass start to spawn in November. As soon the water gets into the 60’s, start looking for some beds. Sometimes they can even spawn 2 times a year!

Florida bass bedding seasons

Where I’m located, in Northern Florida, bass beds begin to become visible in December with peak bedding in about Feb-March depending on how the weather is going. Which usually means an extreme cold front just in time for guiding or weekend tournaments. But that’s the outdoors! Fingers crossed that Mother Nature decides to play along.

“I love bedding season! Sight fishing is so much fun! I fish a lot of clear water and it’s exciting to be able to see all of the bass, even if I can’t get them to bite. This time of year I also get great footage using my Eco-Popper (top water fishing lure that has a built in HD camera). It’s real time footage, so it helps me scout the water for beds and get cool video to share with my friends and sponsors. Plus, it catches fish!

“Another technique that is very effective this time of year is a drop shot. Again, I use a Tightlines UV bait or at least spray Bait Bomb UV scent on it because it looks more natural and the bass can be skittish in the shallow, clear water. My other “go to” techniques is a lighter weighted Petey Rig (better for darker water where you can cast and drag through beds) and wacky rig pitching to beds. Remember to be as quiet as you can and watch your shadows.

Catching Florida winter bass, best lakes

“At Bienville Plantation in White Springs Florida, where I guide, one lake we have has over 1k miles of shore line. Here I find bass beds tucked along the banks under branches and on humps in the middle of big pools. The excitement on clients faces (usually not fishermen) when they experience sight fishing for the first time is contagious! That’s one (of many things) I love about fishing.

“My top 3 lakes to fish in Florida are Lake Toho, Lake Harris and Okeechobee. They have some of the biggest bass I’ve ever seen and you just never know when that big one will be tugging on the line. I’m always eager to see what weights come to the scales during tournaments. Heavy hitters here in Florida make for some great competition.

I love being out on the water. Fishing for fun, guiding or competing in tournaments,the day is sure to be an adventure. I never truly know what may happen or what I will see but I will find out!”

Lake Toho

West Lake Tohopekaliga,better known as Lake Toho, is located adjacent to the City of Kissimmee in central Florida. This 18,810-acre lake is well known throughout the angling community for producing excellent fishing for numbers of bass as well as trophy largemouth bass.

Most anglers target trophy bass in the winter and early spring on Lake Toho. Live golden shiners are very popular in fairly easy for the novice angler to use. A live shiner fished under a float near vegetation and hydrilla will do well. The above-mentioned artificial lures catch plenty of bass, two

The most reliable spot for bass fishing on Lake Toho are North Steer Beach, Lanier Point, Little Grassy Island and Goblet’s Cove. Shingle Creek and St. Cloud Canal(C-31) are good spots when we’ve had a little rain and water is flowing through. There are also eight artificial fish attractors that have been placed in the deeper part of the lake. These are good spots to try during the summer. Five boat ramps, to fish camps, and a marina offer anglers access to the lake.

Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee, or the“Big O” as it is affectionately called, is Florida’s largest lake. It is also the second largest lake in the continental United States. Lake Okeechobee sits in the south central part of the state. It basically creates the Everglades. It is a large, weedy, shallow body of water that offers excellent bass fishing all year long.

Anglers fishing Lake Okeechobee use multiple techniques successfully. Artificial lures are favored by many as they allow anglers to cover the water and eliminate unproductive spots. The combination of dense weeds in open water leaves anglers a choice of baits they like to cast for bass. Anglers can choose to use live golden shiners as well.

Lake Okeechobee is huge and can be intimidating. A great starting point is the area on the west central side of the lake near Lakeport. Reliable spots on Lake Okeechobee are South Bay, the Shoal, Monkey Box, Harney Pond and the North Shore. Public boat ramps and marinas are available at several locations on the lake.

Lake Harris

Lake Harris is 8 miles long, 6 miles wide, and is located in central Florida in Lake County. It is roughly 15,000 acres. It averages 10 feet deep with a 2230 feet trough along the southern shore. The lake has abundant aquatic vegetation such as Kissimmee grass, reeds, pads, grass, and cattails. Most of the productive areas with vegetation are and 5 feet of water or less.

The top spots to catch largemouth bass and Lake Harris are Helena Run, Lake Denham, the entrance to the Palatlaka River, Springs in underwater humps in Yalaha, long island, Green Cove, and the mouth of the Dead River. Shallow, weedy areas are best and winter and spring while the deeper offshore humps and channels are better in the heat of summer.

Women bass fishing, Joining a Bass Club, by Stacy Barawed

I still remember the first time I’d heard about the Folsom Bass Team.  In the fall of 2017, I noticed a flyer hanging in the communal kitchen of our office building; I can’t recall the exact verbiage, but it must have read something like, “Ever thought of joining a bass club?” or “Do you enjoy fishing?” or “Hey girl, are you looking for a new way to spend your money?”  Whatever it was, it sure caught my eye. women bass fishing, tournament tips

A couple of weeks later, I received a private message through Fishbrain, which is largely regarded as “Instagram for anglers”.  The message was from Michael Allen, a fellow tenant, Fishbrainer, and tournament angler who thought the club might be a great way for me to expand my horizons and meet some like-minded individuals.  At the time, I had only been fishing for about a year, and only in ponds and very small lakes.   What could I possibly contribute to a club?  A source of ridicule and laughter?  I politely (hopefully) declined and didn’t give it another thought for months.
 
Once Spring rolled around and I was having more success, I thought about the club again.  Our building managers throw a Cinco de Mayo festival each year for their tenants, so I messaged Michael to find out if he’d be there.  He said yes, and we ended up chatting about fishing and the club for nearly an hour, getting sunburned while shoving down complimentary street tacos and margaritas.

First meeting

I attended my first monthly club meeting as his guest that following June, and felt welcomed almost immediately.  Meetings are held at a Round Table Pizza on the west side of Folsom – more specifically, in the back of that restaurant inside a large banquet room emblazoned with Dallas Cowboys signage.  Not strange at all for California, right? Club business was discussed before an awards presentation was held for the previous month’s tournament.
The winners took turns summarizing their experiences on the water, from weather to boating mishaps to baits and lures they had used (that is, if they chose to reveal them).  Trophies and checks were distributed, handshakes were exchanged, and photos were snapped.  Lots of pizza was consumed.  It was all so exciting!   We didn’t have a guest speaker that month, so we moved right into the drawing for the July tournament to be held at Lake Amador.
 
The process sealed the deal for me: I learned that the club hosts monthly team tournaments, matching boaters and non-boaters through a random draw.  I didn’t need to own a boat!  Plus, the random draw helps to level the playing field as members’ skills run the gamut from beginner (me) to folks who’ve been fishing for over fifty years (not me).

Competitive fishing

And with that, I began my foray into competitive fishing…sort of.  With only two regular tournaments left in the season (which runs October to September), along with the final Tournament of Champions, I wasn’t about to enter the mix this late and cost someone points and possibly their Angler of the Year title.  But, I still attended the meetings so I could get to know my fellow club members a little better and congratulate those who had done well (or not) throughout the season.
At our club meeting on Wednesday, October 3rd, I officially threw my hat into the ring to fish my first bass tournament at Lake Berryessa.  I paid my club dues for the 2018-2019 season, filled out my entry slip, and paid my tournament fee. Then came the drawing.  It turned out that there were more non-boaters than boaters signed up this time – one too many, to be exact.  And since I was the low (wo)man on the totem pole, I was the first and only alternate.
 
I could be called to fill in if any other non-boater had to cancel – and unfortunately, this could happen any time between the drawing and the Friday preceding the tournament!  I had to be ready to substitute in at any moment. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to wait long.  During the drive home, I received a text from Jerry “BassKing” Lawler, our club’s Tournament Director. “Stacy, we have a boater for you.”
 

My first fishing experience, by Stacy Barawed

People often ask me how I began bass fishing.  For most of my life, I haven’t been the “outdoorsy” type by any means; with the exception of school-sponsored Science Camp, I’ve never spent the night surrounded by nature, nor have I shown much interest in any activity that might get my clothes dirty.  However, all of that changed a couple of summers ago.
 
For a few weeks, my family had toyed with the idea of gathering together for a day of fishing.  My stepdad had fished all of his life on the California Delta, my boyfriend fished with his father on occasion growing up, and my brother was just getting into the sport. We decided to meet up at a park close to my home in Northern California on Sunday, July 16, 2016. And so it began. If memory serves me correctly, I was far more interested in the pink box of donuts my mom had brought with her rather than the actual act of fishing.   It was a mild and picturesque July morning and I was relaxed and comfortable in my tube top and flip flops.
 
My mom and sister-in-law settled beneath the shade of an enormous oak tree, taking turns checking our progress and keeping an eye on my 6-year-old niece, who was chasing geese and ducks. I sat down on a soft patch of grass, threw my line in, propped up my fishing pole between my legs, and dove into an apple fritter…and maybe a maple bar as well. I’m not quite sure what I expected to happen next.  After all, I’d never caught a fish before!  So I just waited.  And waited.  And WAITED.  No luck.
 
The only person catching anything was my stepdad, who had commandeered the only small dock on the pond.  He remained very quiet and didn’t move much unless he was reeling in his line or casting it out.  Was that the secret?  I wasn’t sure, but every 15 minutes or so he’d be showing off his catch. Eventually the bite died down; and since we’d depleted our donut supply, it was time to grab a quick sushi lunch (obviously) before heading to our next spot.
 
By the time we wrapped up lunch, the sun was blazing.  July in Sacramento can be oppressively warm, so we headed to a small collection of lakes nestled within a quiet neighborhood with big trees that would provide some relief from the sun.  Here, I was determined to catch a fish.  Again, my stepdad was on a roll, hooking bluegill and baby bass with minimal effort.  In the meantime, it was getting hotter and hotter.  I threw my hair into a ponytail and planted myself in an area with some weeds and grass because “that’s where the fish hang out”.  Because worms were dirty (ick!), I somehow convinced someone to put one on my hook for me.
 
I threw my line in, gave my pole a little wiggle, and then felt…something. I watched my line move away from me, and I froze.  What now? “Set the hook!” my boyfriend screeched.  I gave my pole a quick yank, and felt an immediate fight on the other end.  “It’s a good one!” I exclaimed, thrilled and super eager to see what felt like a 5-pound dumbbell on the other end of my line.  Carefully, I reeled it in to avoid breaking my line – after all, this was my first fish!  I didn’t want to ruin the moment!  At this point, my entire family was watching. The fish took a quick turn and diverted into the weeds, and I was afraid my line would get tangled – or worse – snap.
 
My boyfriend stepped into the weeds to save it, and his smile slowly drained from his face.  I hadn’t snagged a “good one” at all, or even a fish for that matter – just a poor, unsuspecting turtle.  Even worse, the hook was set so far back into its shell that we couldn’t even remove it for fear of injuring the turtle.  We cut the line and let the little guy free and watched him swim away with a hook inside him.   Follow Stacy on Instagram By that time, temperatures were close to 100 degrees so we called it a day. After this fateful Sunday, my interest in fishing could have gone one of two ways: I could have given up completely, having nothing to brag about after 6 hours (besides a really great tan), or I could have resolved to keep trying.
 
Luckily, I’m not a quitter.  Millions of people catch fish, so why couldn’t I?   What was my stepdad doing that I wasn’t doing?   These thoughts that were swirling inside my head, coupled with my competitive nature and the elation I felt when I hooked that turtle, were enough to convince me to go home and begin my lifelong journey to learn everything I could about the sport.
 
Without a doubt, I’ve learned a lot since that afternoon.  YouTube videos, magazines, trade shows, and chatting with fellow fishermen on social media platforms like Fishbrain, Instagram, and Facebook have helped me improve my skills immensely.  I’ve even joined my local bass club – and with fellow members who have fished for 30, 40, or even more than 50 years, there are several lifetimes of information for me to soak up.  With all of these resources at my fingertips, I can’t wait to see what unfolds during the next two years!   But first: a donut run.
 
In conclusion, this article on largemouth bass fishing will simplify the tackle and techniques and result in anglers being more successful!

 

 

Best 13 Bass Lures for Pond fishing

Best 13 Bass Fishing Lures in Ponds

This article will list the best 13 bass lures for pond fishing. Ponds require a slight change in tactics. While the same basic styles of lures produce, successful anglers scale down their offerings a bit. Bass are usually a bit spookier in smaller waters. Lighter baits result in a more delicate and quiet presentation.

Florida bass fishing

Here are the best 13 bass fishing lures in ponds;

  • 4” Yamamoto Senko
  • Johnson Beetlespin
  • Arbogast Hula Popper
  • Mister Twister grub
  • Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait
  • Johnson Silver Minnow
  • Heddon Tiny Torpedo
  • Worden’s Rooster Tail
  • Z-Man Chatter bait
  • Booyah Buzzbait
  • 7” Zoom Trick Worm
  • Live Target frog
  • Strike King KVD 1.5 Squarebill crankbait

best 13 bass lures for pond fishing

Most bass fishing lures fall into three categories; soft plastics, plugs, and bladed baits. All of these are well represented in the list of best pond fishing lures for bass. Where possible, both color and size will be offered. However, there really is not one color or size that fits every application. The list does include proven, established pond baits.

One rule of thumb regarding color that holds up is as follows. Light colors such as white, light green, and silver work well in clear water. Dark colors such as black, dark green, and purple do well in dark waters. Hot pink will be seen in very muddy water. Chartreuse is an excellent all round color that produces in most situations.

pond fishing for bass

Anglers can read a comprehensive article on the best bass fishing lures for beginners here.

1)  4″ green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko

senko

Click to shop Amazon for Senko lures

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The Yamamoto Senko in 4” length and green pumpkin pattern is a terrific bait. It is number one on the list of the best 13 bass lures for pond fishing. Plastic worms have been catching bass is the 1960s. They have come a long way since then. The Senko is a very soft and supple bait with a ton of action. The 4 inch model in green pumpkin is an excellent all round size and color pattern.

Bass fishing

This bait can be rigged in several ways, just as any other plastic worm. It is in the family of what most anglers would call a finesse bait. The Senko does not have a lot of built in action, nor does it need. It works best when naturally moving in the water. One very popular method is to rig it wacky style. With this rig the hook goes through the middle and the bait undulates as it drifts through the water column. The Senko can also be rigged weedless Texas style or on a jig head

2)  1/4 ounce black Johnson Beetlespin

beetle spin

Click to shop Amazon for Beetle Spin lures

The Johnson Beetlespin is an excellent pond fishing lure for bass. It is smaller than a lot of other spinnerbaits, once again keeping true to the downsize theory of pond fishing. It is a simple spinner bait with a single Colorado blade and a small grub body. The 1/4 ounce size with a silver blade and black grub is an excellent combination. Dark colors seem to work best.

best bass fishing lures

This lure is very easy to work. It is simply cast out, allowed to sink to the desired depth, then reeled back in using a steady retrieve. The angler really does not need to give it any action. The flash and vibration of the blade along with the bulk of the grub body is all that is required. It is relatively weedless works great when knocked up against stumps and pulled over top of submerged vegetation.

3)  Fred Arbogast Hula Popper

hula popper

Click to shop Amazon for Hula Popper lures

The Hula Popper is a legendary top water bait. It is number three on the list of best 13 bass lures for pond fishing. This lure floats on the surface and has a concave face and rubber legs trailing behind. When twitched sharply, the face digs into the water, producing a popping sound. Meanwhile, the rubber legs dance seductively on the surface. This is an excellent lure early and late in the day around weed edges and other cover.

best pond fishing lures

The Hula Popper comes in one size. While there are a few color patterns, color really does not matter that much when it comes to top water baits. Frog is a good all-around pattern. One mistake some anglers make is fishing the bait too quickly. As the bait sits there motionless, rubber legs undulating very subtly, it will drive bass nuts and they will strike it.

4)  3″ chartreuse Mister Twister grub

mister twister

Click to shop Amazon for Mister Twister lures

Mister Twister lures hit the fishing scene in the late 1970s. The action produced by the simple design of the curly tail was incredible! It is number four on the list of the best 13 bass lures for pond fishing. It comes in different sizes and many different colors. The 3 inch size in chartreuse on a 1/8 ounce jig head is an excellent combination for catching bass in ponds.

pond fishing tips

These lures can be worked in a variety of ways. The simplest and easiest is to simply cast it out and retrieve it back in slow and steady. It is fished very similar to a swim bait. The tail will put out plenty of vibration. Anglers can also work it back in a hopping motion near the bottom or over the top of weed beds. Finally, it can be crawled very slowly across the bottom. Lighter colors such as chartreuse and white imitate bait fish, while darker colors such as green and brown mimic crayfish and other crustaceans.

5)  #8 Silver/black Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait

Rapala x rap

Click to shop Amazon for Rapala X-Raps

The Rapala X-Rap is a hard body plug in the family of baits known as jerk baits. They get this name by the erratic manner in which they are retrieved. This bait floats on the surface at rest, then dives down to to 3 feet upon retrieve. It is an excellent bait to use when bass are active and feeding. This is a modern version of the famous Rapala Floating Minnow.

The best retrieve when using an X Rap is a hard twitch followed by a pause. The lure is cast out and the line is reeled tight. The angler then twitches the rod tip sharply once or twice then points the rod tip right at the bait. This will put slack in the line which will allow the lure to hang there motionless. This simulates a wounded and helpless bait fish and will draw strikes from a largemouth bass.

6)  1/4 ounce gold Johnson Silver Minnow spoon

silver minnow

Click to shop Amazon for Johnson Silver Minnow spoons

The Johnson Silver Minnow spoon has been around a very long time. It is a weedless spoon that rides with the hook up and has a weed guard. It is virtually weedless, though will get loaded up with snotty type weeds. Most anglers opt for the1/4 ounce model in gold finish. It has a lot of flash and vibration.

largemouth bass fishing in creeks

This is an excellent bait to use in lily pad fields, which many ponds have. It can be worked on top of the pads, then allowed to flutter down in the holes. It also works well with a steady retrieve through and over other types of vegetation. Many anglers add a soft plastic trailer for more action and a larger profile.

7)  Heddon Tiny Torpedo

tiny torpedo

Click to shop Amazon for Tiny Torpedo lures

The Heddon Tiny Torpedo in another topwater bait. It is quite a bit smaller than most other surface plugs. A propeller on the rear provides a lot of splash and commotion. It has a cone shaped face. This is another old-school bait that still produces to this day. It is an undersized bait, perfect for pond fishing.

The Tiny Torpedo is very easy to use sand has a lot of built in action. The lure is cast out neat structure or a weed line and allowed to settle. It is then twitched sharply. The propeller will dig into the water, attracting the attention of a bass. This is repeated several times, then reeled back in. The bait is usually not worked all the way back in.

8)  1/4 ounce Worden’s Original Roostetail

rooster tail

Click to shop Amazon for Rooster Tail spinners

The Original Worden’s Rooster tail is an inline spinner. While these are very popular with trout and panfish anglers, many bass fishermen overlook it. It is number 8 on the list of best 13 bass lures for pond fishing. After all, largemouth bass are really just big sunfish! Rooster tails come in a wide variety of colors and many sizes. Bright colors seem to work best.

bass fishing lures

One great thing about this lure is how easy it is to use. All that is required is for it to be cast out and reeled in, usually the slower the better. The blade will spin and flash at very low speeds. It is an excellent, subtle bait for pond fishing for bass. It will grab every weed it comes close to, though, and is a better choice in fairly open water.

9)  3/8 ounce Z Man Chatterbait

chatterbait

Click to shop Amazon for Z Man Chatterbait lures

The Z man Chatterbait is a relative newcomer to the fishing world. It sort of combines a jig and a spinnerbait in one compact lure. Many anglers refer to them as “bladed jigs”. The blade in the front puts out a steady vibration. Darker colors seem to work best. The smaller size works well when bass fishing in ponds.

This lure is very easy to use. It is simple cast out and reeled back in. A steady, moderate retrieve usually works best. It is excellent around and over weeds and submerged grass. It will load up in very heavy vegetation.

10)  1/4 ounce Booyah Buzz Bait

buzz bait

Click to shop Amazon for Booyah buzz bait lures

Buzzbaits are odd looking lures. However, they are very effective bass fishing pond lures. Buzz baits are excellent “search” baits that allow anglers to cover a lot of water. They run on the surface, blades churning. The commotion aggravates or excites bass into hitting it. For whatever reason, they also tend to catch larger fish.

Buzzbaits are extremely easy to use. They are cast out and as soon as they hit the water, the retrieve is started. It is important to determine the best speed that puts out the right gurgling sound. Bites are very exciting! They are best fished over vegetation. Chartreuse/white is a good color choice.

11)  7″ Zoom Trick Worm

zoom trick worm

Click to shop Amazon for Zoom Trick worms

The Zoom Trick worm is a larger bait. However, it is worked in a slow, subtle manner, it really is a kind of finesse bait. It is 7 inches long. black/red glitter is a great all round color for pond fishing. Most anglers pond fishing for bass fish it with little or no weight.

Anglers can rig the Trick work several different ways. Swimming it with a weedless or open hook through open water works well. The bait can be rigged weedless on a light swimbait hook as well. In both presentations, very slowly swimming the worm works best. Finally, it can be rigged Texas style and crawled on the bottom.

12)  Livetarget Frog

livetarget frog

Click to shop Amazon for LiveTarget frog lures

Every angler bass fishing in ponds needs a frog in his or her tackle box. The Livetarget frog is an excellent bait to use. Frog fishing has become popular of late, and for good reason. These baits work on top of vegetation and algae blooms and draw some terrific strikes.

The Livetarget Frog is worked on the surface. This is usually done on or over some type of aquatic vegetation. The bait is weedless and can be slithered onto and over most minor obstructions. The bass will miss it often, but that just adds to the excitement!

13)  Strike King KVD 1.5 Square bill crankbait

kvd crankbait

Click to shop Amazon for KVD squarebill crankbaits

Last, but certainly not least, on the list of best 13 bass lures for pond fishing is the Strike King KVS 1.5 square bill crankbait. This is a terrific bait in larger ponds that have shad. It also mimics bluegill and other panfish. The bait had a wide profile and the bill gives it a unique wobble and action.

This bait is the most effective when worked in fairly open water and around fallen trees. Knocking the bait off a tree limb and allowing it float up is an extremely effective retrieve. It can also be worked along shorelines and weed edges.

Bonus; Fly fishing for pond bass

fly fishing for bass

Ponds are excellent waters to fly fish for bass. In most cases, a popper is the best choice and is great fun to fish. This is an excellent opportunity for anglers new to fly fishing to give it a try. Long casts are not required and the entry level tackle is not expensive.

Anglers fly fishing for largemouth bass in ponds will do well with an 8wt outfit with a floating line. Shorter leaders, 6 feet or so, will help when cast large wind resistant bugs and poppers.

Click the link to read this article by Capt Jim on fly fishing for bass

The technique is pretty straightforward. The popper is cast out to the edge of cover or vegetation. It is allowed to settle then the bug is sharply twitched. This will produce a disturbance that will attract bass to the fly. Subsurface flies such as a Clouser Minnow can be used as well.

In conclusion, this article on the best 13 bass lures for pond fishing will help anglers catch more fish in smaller waters.

13 Essential Largemouth Bass Fishing Lures

13 Essential Largemouth Bass Fishing Lures

This post will list the 13 essential largemouth bass fishing lures. Choosing the best bass fishing lures can be very confusing. There are so many available on the market and most are hyped as the latest and greatest. It can be particularly daunting for novice bass anglers. In this article, the top artificial lures for bass will be listed, along with tips on how to fish them!

florida bass fishing

In order to make it as simple as possible, colors and sizes will be included where practical. However, there is no one size or color to fit every bass fishing situation. Lure size should be matched to the available forage, where possible. If bass are feeding on 2 inch shad, a six-inch jerk bait may not be as effective. And of course, the opposite is true as well.

The best 13 bass fishing lures for beginners are;
  • 5” green pumpkin Senko
  • ¼ ounce black Beetlespin
  • #10 white Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait
  • ½ ounce gold Johnson Silver Minnow
  • 3/8 ounce Z-man Chatterbait
  • 3/8 ounce Boohay blue/black jig
  • ½ ounce chrome/blue back Rat-L-trap
  • 3/8 ounce Strike King KVD chartreuse spinnerbait
  • Bass Assassin Die Dapper swim bait
  • Rapala frog pattern Skitter Pop
  • Booyah 3/8 ounce chartreuse buzzbait
  • Live Target Hollow Body frog
  • Strike King KVD Sexy Shad 1.5 squarebill crankbait

best bass lure

There is an old rule of thumb when it comes to color that works pretty well. Light colors such as white, silver, and pearl work well in clear water. Darker colors such as black, purple, and dark green work best in dark water. Bright colors such as hot pink show up best in dirty or stained water. Chartreuse is a great all round color and just about every condition.

Anglers can read more about freshwater fishing tackle and lures here.

1)  Green Pumpkin 5″ Senko

senko

 

Number one on the list of the 13 essential largemouth bass fishing lures is the 5 inch Senko worm in the green pumpkin color. If most bass anglers had to choose one lure to fish with the rest of their lives, many would choose a plastic worm. And for good reason. They can be worked in a variety of presentations throughout the water column.

The 5 inch green pumpkin Senko is a terrific bait! It is very supple and lifelike in the water. These baits are not quite as durable as some others, as they are a tad softer. However, this really is one of the keys to their effectiveness. Like most baits, they come in a myriad of colors and several sizes. However, novice anglers will do well with the green pumpkin color.

best largemouth bass fishing lure

These baits can be rigged just as any other plastic worm can be. One very popular method these days is to rigged it wacky worm style. With this rig the hook is placed right through the center of the bait. Most hits occur on the fall as it undulate seductively through the water column. These baits are also extremely effective when fished on a Carolina rig in deeper water. In heavy cover, a Texas rig is the best choice.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Senkos

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2)  1/4 ounce black Johnson Beetlespin

beetle spin

The Johnson Beetlespin has been around a long time and is number two on the list of 13 essential largemouth bass fishing lures. It is a very basic spinnerbait with a single Colorado blade and a small grub body. Anglers often overlook Beetlespins, and that is a mistake. The smaller versions are extremely effective on bluegill and other panfish. Since largemouth bass are really just a large sunfish, the larger Beetlespins work well on them,too.

While these lures come in many different sizes and colors, the quarter ounce version in black is the best all round size and color for novice bass anglers. This bait is a tad smaller than many other largemouth bass lures. It is an excellent choice when the fish are a bit finicky. It is also a productive bait in smaller ponds, creeks, and rivers.

bass fishing

Beetlespins are very easy to use. That is one of the things that makes it a great choice for beginners. In most cases, the best presentation is a slow steady retrieve. Anglers should cast the lure out, allow it to sink and just simply reel it back in moving it just fast enough to spin the blades. The lure will do the work itself. Spinner baits are practically weedless as well.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for black Beetlespin lures

3)  #10 Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait

13 essentail largemouth bass fsihing lures

The Rapala X-Rap is third on the list of the 13 essential largemouth bass fishing lures. It is in the family of lures known as “jerk baits”. These are hard body plugs that float at rest and then dive down below the surface when retrieved. They have a very erratic side-to-side motion that puts out a lot of flash and vibration.

fishing with jerkbaits

There are many different jerk baits on the market to choose from. Rapala lures have been around for a very long time and are proven baits for a wide variety of species. While it is difficult to pick one color to cover every fishing application, white is a great all round choice. This lure realistically mimics the bait fish that bass feed on.

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These baits are excellent for covering a lot of water and targeting aggressive largemouth bass. The lure is cast out towards shoreline structure or over submerged structure such as humps or channel edges. The lure is reeled quickly to get it down to the depth and then twitched sharply. The angler then points the rod tip right at the lure. This is very important! The slack line causes the bait to hang there motionless, seemingly helpless. This is often what triggers the strike.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Rapala X-Raps

4)  1/2 ounce gold Johnson Silver Minnow spoon

silver minnow

The Johnson Silver minnow is another proven bass fishing lure that is been around a long time. It is number four on the list of 13 essential largemouth bass fishing lures. This bait is a weedless spoon. Spoons are basically curved pieces of metal with a hook in the. With the Silver Minnow, the hook rides up and has a weed guard, making the lure fairly weedless.

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This lure is mostly used when targeting bass in shallow weed beds. The spoon will slither between blades of grass. It can also be fished on top of lily pads and then allowed to flutter down in the open holes. While the lure is termed “Silver Minnow”, most anglers opt for the gold finish. It works very well and a variety of water conditions, but particularly in stained or tannin colored water. The 1/2 ounce size is the best all round choice.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Silver Minnow spoons

5)  3/8 ounce original Z Man chartreuse Chatterbait

chatterbait

The original Chatterbait is a relative newcomer to the bass fishing scene. It is number five on the list of 13 essential largemouth bass fishing lures for beginners. There are couple attributes of this lure that make it especially desirable for novice anglers. It has great built in action and is very easy to use. Also, it is quite weedless and is very effective when used around submerged vegetation.

top 13 freshwater fishing plugs

Chatter baits are a bit of a combination between a spinner bait and a jig. It has a jig style hook and trailer with a blade in the front. The blade puts off vibration which is earn this style of bait its nickname, a vibrating jig. This lure is extremely effective when fished over and through submerged grass. It has a single hook which makes for a good hookup ratio and also for easy release. A 1/4 ounce chartreuse Chatterbait in the chartreuse color is a good choice for many waters.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Chatterbaits

6)  1/2 ounce Booyah blue/black jig

Booyah jig

Bass style jigs are extremely effective lures. As with most lures, they come in a myriad of sizes, shapes, and colors. 3/8 and 1/4 ounce jigs in dark colors such as brown and black are the most versatile. Most of these jigs have built-in weed guards as a are primarily fished in heavy cover. The Booyah jig has all of these attributes.

Unlike the previously listed lures, jigs really have very little built in action. The action must be provided by the angler. This does make it a bit more difficult for novice anglers. However, anyone serious about bass fishing will want to master fishing with a jig. They are a versatile bait which can be fished around shallow water cover as well as over points and ledges in deeper water.

Oklahoma spotted bass

Many anglers associate jigs with flipping. This is a technique where the angler sits fairly close to shoreline cover and flips the jig either through surface weeds or in openings of the weeds. The lure is then jig subtly in hopes of a strike. This is a technique that produces large fish. Heavy tackle is required in this application. Jigs are also effective when bounced on the bottom over drop-offs, points, and channel edges with cover.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Booyah jigs

7)  1/2 ounce Rattle trap

rat-l-trap

The Bill Lewis Rattletrap is a terrific bass fishing lure and is an excellent choice for novice anglers as it has a ton of built in action. The bait puts out vibration, flash, and rattle as it moves through the water. The 1/2 ounce size in the chrome body with a blue back is a proven lure. It closely mimics a shad, which is primary prey of a largemouth bass.

13 essential largemouth basss fishing lures

One of the best attributes of this lure is how easy it is to use. It is simply cast out, allowed to sink to the desired depth then reeled back in using a fairly brisk retrieve. Anglers will feel the vibration and actually hear the lure rattling in the water. Strikes are unmistakable as bass usually hit it aggressively. Other species such as pike and walleye will take one as well.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Rat-L-Trap lures

8)  3/8 ounce Strike King KVD spinnerbait

kvd spinnerbait

 

The Strike King KVD spinnerbait is number eight on the list of 13 essential largemouth bass fishing lures. Like many other baits on this list, this lure has a lot of built in action, making it an excellent choice for bass anglers of all skill levels. It has tandem blades and a rubber skirt body. Spinner baits cast a long way, put out flash and vibration, and are relatively weedless.

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Most anglers associate spinner bait fishing with shallow water cover. For the most part, this is a fair assessment. Spinner baits work very well when worked around and through shoreline cover. The bait can be worked just over the top of submerged weeds and is extremely effective when it is allowed to bump into submerged trees and other cover. Most strikes are fairly aggressive and easy for the novice angler to detect. The single wide gap hook results in an excellent hookup ratio and easy release.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Strike King spinnerbaits

9)  Bass Assassin Die Dapper swimbait

die dapper

The Bass Assassin Die Dapper swim bait is next on the list of top bass fishing lures. It is a soft plastic bait that has excellent action due to the large paddle tail. It can be fished on a special swim bait hook as well as on a jig head. The swim bait hook works best when hooking the bait weedless around cover while the jig head is a better choice in open water.

bass fishing in Florida

This bait is fairly easy to fish as well. Anglers simply cast the torch shoreline cover, allow it to sink, and then slowly and steadily reel it back in towards the boat. Many anglers call this “slow rolling” a bait. Strikes are not always easy to detect and when a bite does occur anglers must set the hook firmly. Unlike some of the other lures on this list, the bass will not hook itself.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Die Dapper swim baits

10)  Rapala Frog pattern Skitter Pop

largemouth bass fishing lures

The Rapala Skitter Pop is a top water plug. That means that it floats and spends all of its time on the surface of the water. The lure has a concave face and it and this provides the action. When the rod tip is twitched sharply, the lure digs in and produces a loud popping sound. This simulates both feeding and wounded bait fish and will attract a hungry largemouth bass. The frog pattern is an excellent all round choice for bass.

Top water plugs are a lot of fun and fairly easy to fish since the strike is visual. One mistake some novice anglers make is working the lure too quickly. It should be allowed to sit for several seconds or longer in between pops. It is amazing how often the bass will hit it as it sits motionless. Also, anglers need to wait until they feel the weight of the fish before setting the hook. Anglers who set the hook when they see the strike as opposed to feeling it will usually end out with the lure flying back towards them.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Rapala Skitter Pop lures

11)  Booyah 1/2 ounce chartreuse/white buzzbait

buzz bait

Buzzbaits are odd looking lures that are also worked on the surface. As with many others on this list, it is extremely easy to use. The bait is simply cast out and reel back in on the surface. When properly done, the lure parts out a rhythmic gurgling sound that will draw fish up from the bottom. It is usually used around shallow water cover.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Booyah buzzbaits

12)  Zoom Trick Worm

zoom trick worm

Plastic worms are among the most popular and effective of all largemouth bass fishing lures. There are many varieties for anglers to choose from. The Zoom Trick worm is an economical lure that is available in a wide variety of colors. Most anglers rig them Texas style, but they also produce when fished in a Carolina rig or wacky rigged. Green pumpkin is a great all-round color.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Zoom Trick worms

13)  Kevin Van Dam 1.5 Sexy Shad Squarebill crankbait

largemouth bass lures

The Kevin Van Dam Square Bill crankbait is last, but certainly not least, on the list of the essential largemouth bass fishing lures. It is a must-have bait in any situation where largemouth bass are feeding on shad. The wide profile and wobble realistically mimic a wounded bait fish. It is fairly easy for novice anglers to use as the strikes are easy to detect.

Like most lures, the Square Bill is most often work around shallow cover. It dies down around 4 feet deep. Anglers will work it parallel to weed edges, over submerge beds, and around submerge cover. Bouncing it off of the submerged trees is an extremely effective technique. Anglers do need to be careful of the razor-sharp treble hooks.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for KVD squarebill crankbaits

In conclusion, this article on the 13 essential largemouth bass fishing lures will help anglers new to the sport choose the best baits and achieve more success!