Women Bass Fishing, Tournament Tips

Women Bass Fishing, Tournament Tips from Meleah, Katie, and Stacy

Women Bass Fishing, Tournament Tips is an article combining some great bass fishing tips, tackle, and techniques. It features three women that fish competitive bass tournaments, Meleah, Katie, and Stacy. They are different ages and in Oklahoma, Florida, and California. Enjoy their journies and stories along with the great bass fishing information!

Oklahoma bass fishing Tips and Techniques

This articleon 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.

Women bass fishing, catching Florida winter bass

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.

Fishing Lady Katie Jackson

Katie Jackson is our Fishing Ladies 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

Follow Kate on Instagram

“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.

Women bass fishing tips

“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.

women bass fishing in Florida

“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.

In Conclusion, this article on our Fishing Ladies catching Florida winter bass should help anglers catch more fish during spawn and beyond.

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

Follow Stacy on IG and Fishbrain

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 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.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *