Bass fishing, or professional bass fishing, is quickly rising in status as a popular sport. If you’re interested in bass fishing or even fishing as a pro, you might be unsure of how to get to the league you want. But just like any sport, becoming a better bass fisherman takes practice and dedication.
Tips and Techniques
If you’re serious about becoming a better bass fisherman, there are hundreds of ways for you to do it. For now, here are 15 tips and techniques you can use to refine your cast and hone your ability.
1. Be Willing to Learn
You might think willingness is a noticeable trait that doesn’t bear mentioning. However, far too many fishermen only want to get better without taking the time to do so. As if, for instance, improving their technique could happen immediately after reading a helpful blogging tip.
But instantaneous gain doesn’t happen when you’re trying to learn a new sport, especially bass fishing. Being open to advice and learning from your mistakes can take you much farther.
Willingness to adapt and try new things can help you experience what works best in any situation and how you can handle it.
2. Talk to Other Fishermen
Other bass fishers will have experiences different from yours, especially if you’re fairly new to the bass fishing game. You can learn from what other fishermen have to say and how they approach a particular problem.
More experienced fishermen will also have concrete opinions on the gear you use. Magazines and websites can give you suggestions, but having someone explain to your face a rod’s features or benefits is often more tangible.
Speaking to your fellow bass fishermen in person or online in forums can teach you the best techniques to try out on the water. You can also learn what not to do from fishermen’s disaster stories and remember their warning when you’re in a similar situation.
3. Review Videos/Youtube Posts
There’s a difference between being told what to do and being shown what to do. If you can see how another angler casts, you’ll have an easier time learning how to copy it. Visualization is a huge part of any sport, and bass fishing is no different.
Videos or Youtube channels that describe different techniques, show different bait, and talk about various weather conditions can give you more to go off than a simple list on a page. Especially if you’re a visual learner, videos can really help your technique.
You can also pay attention to the comments and see if they agree or disagree with the content. If they have a reason for disagreeing, try to find out if it makes sense within the context. If it does, you’ve learned more from both the video and others who are watching it.
4. Read Articles
Just like talking to your peers or watching videos, reading can increase your knowledge of the sport. If you have a subscription to a fishing magazine or similar, you can gain insider tips without worrying about where this content came from.
Magazine articles are usually curated by fishermen who know what they’re talking about, so they are often more trustworthy than Youtube or your next-door neighbor.
Articles also have plenty of tips and tricks that a video might not cover and can take up less of your time than an hour-long fishing tutorial.
5. Practice What You’ve Learned
Take time out of your day, or week, or month, to practice the good techniques. Learning muscle repetition, especially as a beginner, can help you cast that perfect line in any environment.
Of course, the more you fish and the more you catch, the more experience you’ll gain. The more you know, the more you can tell what you need to work on and how to do it.
6. Tie Knots
Part of practicing is improving your knots for tying lines and bait. Practicing your knot tying is an easy thing to do, no matter where you are. You can tie knots at home, at work, or on the water.
Once you’ve committed your favorite knots to memory, it’s necessary to keep practicing when you’re out fishing, too.
Out on the water is an entirely different experience than sitting alone in your basement, so learning to tie a perfect fisherman’s knot in the wind and rain is a particular feat that will help you become a better bass fisherman.
7. Don’t Give in to Routine
Although practice does make perfect, it’s essential to practice everywhere and with any equipment possible. Switch up your fishing spots, your lures, your rods.
That way you can gain experience in all kinds of climates with all sorts of fishing equipment, which will make you like a fishing encyclopedia.
Routine is just another word for superstition. Don’t get superstitious. Fishing is full of coincidences and unlikely luck swings. Having a more considerable skillset with various tools and fishing holes will beat coincidence and help you reel in more fish.
8. Provoke the Bass
Making your lure move like an eccentric, drunken fly can provoke a fish into biting. If you’ve been out for hours and know there’s bass all around you, they might not be interested in your lure because they’re not hungry.
Even if they’re not in the mood for some food, a bass will still take a nab at a lure. Fish nip at their fellow swimmers when they get annoyed, the same as any other animal. If you provoke a bass with your lure, you can goad it into taking a bite, and therefore making it easier to hook it.
9. Make Use of Rainy Days
Any time of day where the light is dimmer, like the dawn, sunset, or cloudy skies, is to your advantage. Bass are predator fish, meaning they rely on poor light conditions for camouflage when hunting prey. In dimmer light, the bass will be more likely to take a chance on your lure so you can reel it in.
Bass can’t quickly tell in dark water if they’re tracking a fish or a lure, so if you keep a brightly colored or even fluorescent bait in your bag, now’s the time to bring it out. The brightness will attract a bass more efficiently and increase the chance that the fish will assume the lure is food.
10. Don’t Reel Too Fast
Reeling slowly means you’re not fighting a bass into the boat. The trick is to find a balance between letting the line go slack and reeling as fast as you can.
When you let the line go slack, you run the risk of losing your bass altogether. A slackline is easier for a fish to spit out, so make sure there’s constant tension as you reel in your fish.
11. Make Use of Your Equipment
Multi-lure rigs or wireless fish finders can make catching bass a breeze. If you don’t have the time to put in multiple hours of practice, consider buying equipment that can pick up the slack.
If you’re a competitive bass fisherman, multi-lures are probably not for you. Many competitions have rules against using them, and learning to become a master on your own merit is better for bragging rights anyway.
12. Study Bass Habits
The more you know about bass, the easier it will be to catch them. Studying bass behaviors and patterns in the water will help you decide what kinds of lures to use and when to get out on the water.
Knowing how bass react when finding a potential meal or why they would reject your lure could be the key to discovering how best to catch them. Studying bass can help you cover all the bases to know what they like and exactly what to give them.
13. Enter Tournaments
Signing up for a bass fishing tournament can give you an entirely new perspective and can allow you to meet professional anglers. If you join as a co-angler on another fisherman’s boat, you don’t have to worry about bringing in your own or paying a hefty fee.
Plus, you can learn tips from your lead angler.
14. Hire a Guide
Hiring a guide is a simple way to get a professional’s opinion all to yourself. If you learned how to fish on your own or through friends, you might not have access to all the information you could.
A guide can spend time teaching you all the tricks of the trade without the pressure of being in a tournament. They can also give you visuals and hands-on learning immediately, something you can’t get watching videos or talking with other anglers in a bar.
Guides can also give you specifics about techniques, which is always worthwhile.
15. Take Notes
If you’re serious about becoming a better bass fisherman, taking notes on everything you learn will help you remember the crucial bits, just like studying for a test. Taking notes can help you keep track of where you fish and what your reactions are.