How To Catch Bigger Bass
Bass fishing, in general, is relatively beginner-friendly and a great way to get newbies hooked on the sport. But this article is for those who are ready to take their skills to the next level and track down big bass consistently. It’s one thing to stumble upon a large bass once in a while, but the goal is to find bigger fish consistently and intentionally.
Catching big bass involves knowing where to look, which equipment to use, and how to find them in any body of water.
How To Catch Big Bass
Where To Find Big Fish
Bass anglers know to look for a fishing spot that provides all the things a bass would look for, such as structure, cover, vegetation, and baitfish. The same rule applies to the biggest bass in the fishery, except they generally will find their spot deeper or in a hard-to-reach area. Therefore, the main difference between catching big bass and a smaller bass is the water depth or strategy. To start, an angler’s best bet is to look around 10 feet in depth for the giant bass, but this can vary. Generally, the shallow fish are the smaller males, and the fish at the deepest parts are too lethargic to chase, so the perfect targets are the fish at about 8-12 for depths. An important note is that a big bass of ten pounds can also be found in the same spots or depths as two pounders; the difference, in this case, would be the equipment and strategy used.
Fish near vegetation, banks, and dams like normal but use a bigger lure that will mainly attract big bass since the small ones typically won’t mess with it.
Fish Difficult Spots
One of the best big bass fishing techniques is to simply look for the hard-to-reach spots. Duck under trees, go through bushes, and anything else in the way, whether on land or a boat, to reach spots likely holding a huge bass. Big largemouth bass tend to lurk the dirtiest looking sections of water rather than the clear open water.
Big bass drive many anglers crazy because they will hide out in the middle of thick cover, not along the edge like some one to two-pounders. Therefore, anglers can’t be afraid to cast deep into the thick cover and vegetation to hook a larger fish. Anglers should throw a slow-moving lure when casting into dense coverage.
Your next trophy bass is likely hiding in the heavy vegetation near the edge of the pond or lake where most anglers don’t dare to go.
Location and Water Depth
Although anglers may catch larger bass in deep water, they are also commonly caught in the shallower water of your small local pond. A weedy, mucky pond in the middle of nowhere is probably holding some quality largemouth bass. Underfished areas leave plenty of time for fish to grow large throughout the year; this means the exact water depth won’t always be crucial. Overall, when trying to catch giant bass in your home waters, the location is the last thing to change. The first things to adjust are equipment and strategy to get a bite. That being said, some fisheries have all the right stuff for largemouth bass to grow large in good numbers and make for excellent fishing vacation destinations.
Trophy Bass Fishing Equipment
When trying to catch big bass and only hooking small ones, the gear is likely too small. There are times when the bigger bass will strike smaller baits, but using big bass baits will produce more consistently. This is often because big largemouth bass are wise enough to know that they should only waste their energy on baitfish that are worth it; in other words, they don’t want to expend more energy than they will take in. Anglers need to have the right lure, reel, and line size if they plan on catching their next trophy.
Best lures to use to catch big bass: Topwater frogs, plastic worms, crankbaits, jigs
The same techniques apply to bigger bass as they do for the smaller fish; the only difference is a larger lure. Using a larger lure means you will scare away the smaller fish. The little bass will leave the big bait alone because they know they can’t match up with it. When finesse fishing, most anglers use smaller lures to avoid spooking the fish, but in this case, anglers should use a larger bait to spook the smaller fish and target the bigger bass.
When fishing the dense vegetation, anglers will want to use a topwater frog or Texas-rigged worm, which are weedless and won’t get caught or drag too much in the cover. Using a big jig or crankbait and dragging it is the most consistent way to catch big bass.
The general rule of thumb, use a larger lure to catch larger fish. Big fish want to get a full meal if they are going to use their energy.
Rods and Reels
Anglers will likely have a tough time landing a big largemouth bass on a spinning reel since they won’t be able to size up the line enough. For this reason, a casting rod and reel are recommended when targeting largemouth bass over five pounds. This rig allows for a larger line and a better drag. Though, it’s important to note that most snapped lines or a broken rod tip are caused by human error. Regardless of your setup, make sure your drag is set correctly and not panic when you feel a nice fish at the end of your line.
When targeting big bass, it’s best to use a heavier line; however, it’s essential not to aimlessly size up and use a line that will only lead to frustration. The best strategy is to focus on line quality and maintenance. In most cases, anglers shouldn’t need a line heavier than a 10lb test when fishing for bass. Most professional guides will recommend using a monofilament line since it has a bit of flex and makes for a better hookset. A proper hook set is essential when dealing with big largemouth bass. Braided lines will usually work too, but may have an issue with visibility since they are denser. In general, most anglers should try whatever they will be able to fish confidently.
Other Pro Tips
Fish During The Day
One of the most known statements when it comes to fishing is anglers should fish during the early morning or evening. But fishing during these times may not be the best strategy when targeting the big bass. Some of the best professional bass anglers suggest fishing near the middle of the day. This isn’t a proven habit but is a hunch that larger bass tend to strike during the day while the smaller fish are most active during the early morning and evening. Since every fishery can have different outcomes and fish feeding at different times of day, it’s best to sample any time that works for you to get a feel for the area.
Slow down Your Presentation
Largemouth bass are opportunistic feeders who will sit back and wait for the right opportunity to strike bait fish. Also, big bass are not as fast and are in control, meaning they don’t have to take every opportunity to feed that comes their way.
For best results, it’s best to stay away from fast-moving baits such as spinners and opt for more in control and slower lures such as crankbaits, frogs, and heavy jigs.
Slowing down your presentation allows the bass more time to feel out the situation. Using big baits with a slow presentation is a recipe for success that draws strikes from big fish. However, that doesn’t mean fast-moving lures won’t ever produce a reaction strike from a quality-sized bass.
Key Points To Land Your Biggest Bass
- Use larger lures and present them slower than usual. You’ll generally want to avoid spinnerbaits and swimbaits and go with topwater frogs, worms, crankbaits, or jigs.
- Anglers may have success in their usual spots using big baits and a slow presentation to attract the bigger fish in the area.
- Don’t be afraid to go in the hard-to-reach areas, thick vegetation spots, or murky-looking water.
Best Places To Catch Bigger Bass
3. Lake Fork
Lake Fork is the most known lake in Texas, and for a good reason. Records show that a majority of the top 50 biggest bass in Texas come from this lake. This is a great reservoir that provides a thriving habitat for bass to grow large.
2. Lake Okeechobee
The Big O is the most known big bass body of water and provides fishermen from around the world with a top-notch fishing experience throughout the year. The size of this lake can be overwhelming for those unfamiliar, but it is a place every bass fisherman should experience. The quality and quantity of fish produced here are legendary.
1. Lake Toho
Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida, offers some of the best trophy bass fishing in the country. This lake is known for its consistency and producing more big bass than any other fishing lake. According to Bassmaster magazine, Lake Toho is “the most consistent lake in the country for producing both numbers and size of largemouths.”
Florida-strain largemouth bass generally grow larger than their counterparts in the north. Check out the complete list of top Big Bass lakes in Florida for a fishing adventure of a lifetime.