Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Is there any other species?
dragon1
Pro Angler
Pro Angler
Posts: 8845
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO

Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by dragon1 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:46 pm

I realize we have had this topic posted at least a couple of times in the past...unfortunately some good info has died in the past TT crashes.

Here are my basic "rules of thumb"

- Fish earlier and later into the year.

- Fish deeper and bigger and slower.

- Fish earlier and later into the day.

- Fish waters known to hold bigger bass.

- Fish areas that you are scared to try, whether deep water, or heavy cover, or big structure.

- Make sure your "stuff" is ready to go...fresh line, sharp hooks, tuned/maintained rod & reels.

- Make yourself learn to PAY ATTENTION...details on the water, signs of life on it/in it, baitfish/forage/vegetation, sunlight angle, water temps in differing areas, etc.

Thanks for sharing.

User avatar
Cagey
Elite Angler
Elite Angler
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:12 pm

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by Cagey » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:09 pm

Hey Dragon, I agree with everything you just posted except for one part I'd like to make a comment on- you said fish earlier and fish later into the day...

I recall reading some years ago that the biggest bass are actually caught in mid day around say 1 to 2pm.

One of the greats was Doug Hannon, and even though he is gone, one of his successful students is still very much with us and still catching the monster bass here in Florida. They call him the Highlands Bass Angler Dave Douglas.

If you go to his website: http://highlandsbassangler.com/ he lays it out how he learned from Doug Hannon and is now perfecting his own spin-off methods producing huge bass for him.

When you visit his website, scroll down to the bottom of the page and watch his photo slide show. Amazing fish. Also notice the time of day he caught those big fish- all of them mid day. I don't recall seeing any low-light fish.

His rates are reasonable too, so I am planning on fishing with him sometime next year.

This might piss some people off, but one of the biggest bass I ever caught was a female on the bed I could see in the water. I slowly worked a weightless rubber worm into her bed and she immediately sucked it up and I caught her. Easy 8 to 10 pound fish. I let her go and she went right back to her bed and a few minutes later I caught her again! I think I pissed her off this time as I tried for a third time but she was not having anything to do with it. So I let her be, but it was fun for a few minutes, and I don't really consider that bass fishing. Sort of like cheating in a way. I much prefer those hard hits to subtle tugs.

dragon1
Pro Angler
Pro Angler
Posts: 8845
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by dragon1 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:09 pm

Yes, true...~11am to 2pm, is when the biggest bass are usually caught. And yes, on the recent poll of "greatest bass fishermen of all time", Doug Hannon, Larry Dahlberg and Old Man Joe (that intro'd me to bass fishing) were my picks. ;)

This said, fishing earlier and later into the day means more time on the water, and more water covered, and more times a bait can be presented. This year for me, my biggest of just over 6lbs (I believe she was bigger as I was shaking pretty hard and had cold fumbling hands when I scaled her on a Cabelas metal spring scale) came late into the day, about an hour before sunset and the other 4s - 5s were caught in late afternoon or during the last hour of light.

http://forums.tackletour.com/viewtopic. ... nk#p453896

http://forums.tackletour.com/viewtopic. ... n%27+right

http://forums.tackletour.com/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=56876 (the three bass in the pics in which I am wearing my Rolling Stones shirt was within the last 40 minutes of sunlight)

Here is a 6.75 caught on the 9th Anni of 9-11, literally within the last 30 min of sunlight at Quincy Resevoir. I had a beautiful article/post written under the title "The I'ZE have it", however it has been lost during one of the epic TT crashes since:

Image

My PB largie from the CalDelta in Stockton came around midday on a 3/4oz Chartreuse/black back/blue eye Bill Lewis Rattle Trap during the fall shad run, so it just depends, eh? But yeah, I remember the mid-day articles from several different mags indicating that is when the majority of big bass are caught.

toddmc
Pro Angler
Pro Angler
Posts: 1738
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:31 am

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by toddmc » Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:23 am

One of the biggest factors that is often not mentioned in the big fish discussion is the length of the cast. This is as important as any other factor in clear water. Bigger fish have an increased sense of awareness and experience that usually keeps you from getting close to them. Even the big fish (10 pounds plus) that I have caught during the spawn have required me to get as far away from the fish as possible. I did catch one 10 pounder during the spawn that I saw before she saw me because she was facing away from me. She bit on about a 30 foot cast with a tube. Your chances of catching that fish are extremely rare if the fish sees the angler or senses your awareness before the bait.
All of my fish over ten have come at the end of a long cast. That is one of the big reasons that swimbaits catch bigger fish. You can cast them farther. Every once in a while I get a big swimbait or reaction bait fish near the boat, but that fish is usually following your bait from a long distance and has tracked and narrowed its focus on your bait long before it gets to you.
I have a lot of spots where I have seen double digit fish before and I know that I need to make as long of a cast as possible to ever expect to catch the big fish that I have seen there. This strategy is important with any sized bait.

dragon1
Pro Angler
Pro Angler
Posts: 8845
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by dragon1 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:29 am

Excellent points....

Agreed on the long and accurate casts (includes water entry of the lure, as in thumbing down the end of the cast), and angle of cast + retrieve + overall stealth.

Thanks for sharing.

User avatar
Cagey
Elite Angler
Elite Angler
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:12 pm

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by Cagey » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:49 am

The large female I saw on the bed was right next to shore. I was on foot. I could literally stick my rod tip into the water and tap her on her head and she sat there. She was not afraid of me. I caught her twice in like 5 minutes, but she would not bite that third time.

Another huge bass I caught was in a small connecting creek between two lakes. I saw the fish pushing water around in less than one foot of water and I cast directly in front of that fish and it was instant hook up. Maybe a six or seven pound bass. It had to turn sideways in the water to try and flap its way out of that shallow water and made it real easy for me to reel in. That fish did not even know I was there.

Sideways in the water flapping with all it had to get back to deeper water for protection, the tail sweeps of that bass would literally blow a hole in the 10 inch deep water all the way to the bottom to the point where some of the flapping was in nothing but air until the water could rush back in only to be flapped out again until I could reach down and grab the fish. And I had to be on foot in there running down that creek to get that fish. Some places it was only ankle deep.

One of the big bass experiences I had when I was in college and I fished with crap rods and reels from K-mart and old ten pound frayed mono happened when a larger lake had dried up to just the deep holes. It was so bad the water was below the water plants line and I could walk all the way around the hole high and dry! The big bass were down in that hole!

I cast a rubber worm with no weight onto the shore 90 degrees from my point. I was at 9 o'clock position and cast up on shore at the 12 noon spot and bumped it into the water nice and slowly and bam! A small bass about 14 inches long and 1.25 pounds sucked it up and I played that fish out over deeper water. It fought to swim right back up to the very edge of where the water met land. No place to hide. No cover to protect smaller fish from bigger fish.

Just a hole, water and fish! Like monkeys in a barrel.

I was just playing that bass not really realizing what I was doing. I was teasing the big ones with all my action and noise up above them.

I dragged that fish back out over open deep water a second time and it fought again to get right back into the area where water meets land as its only protection hoping it can swim to a spot where the big ones could not get to them in shallow water- that was its only protection in that hole.

I dragged that fish back out over open water one more time and bam! A big bass hit that smaller bass and ate it and my line went straight down to the bottom like it had a anchor on it.

My knees were shaking.

I tried with every thing my k-mart abu garcia pistol grip rod and zebco 33 reel had with old frayed line on it to bring that monster bass to the surface but it was not happening. My line eventually just kind of let go and that was the end of that big bass experience, but I can tell you it was a life changing experience that caused me to immediately evaluate the situation and learn from it.

I have no idea how big that bass was. No idea at all. Never saw it. It hit so fast and so hard and all of it was under water all I saw was the swooshing of the hit and my line just went straight down to the bottom.

Today, if that happened again, that bass is mine!

Here in Florida I have not seen the scared bass like I read described sometimes.

I recall one time I was shiner fishing and had just put a shiner on a hook and laid the rod down and put the shiner in the water right at the edge of the lake at my feet. In seconds a big bass came plowing in to suck it up and try and run off with my shiner and rod and reel. I had to grab it to save it! All I had to do was lift up on my rod and there was a bass flapping in the wind hanging off it.

I was on shore making all kinds of noise in the tackle box or something clearly visible, toes almost in the water and the bass could not have cared less. It wanted that shiner and nothing else mattered. And it got it. And I got the bass without casting and without reeling anything in. It was probably as surprised as I was.

I use to snorkle in spring fed rivers around here. I would carry a jar of live shiners with me sometimes and when under water I would see a big bass lumbering around and I would swim over near it and pull out a shiner and hold it by the tail and point it at the bass and turn it loose and I guess you know what happened next. The bass would usually suck it right up.

When I turned the shiner loose after pointing it at the bass, the shiner was like throwing a dart. As soon as I turned the tail loose and it could swim it went straight at the bass like a dart.

For me, I catch big bass right in front of me that do not show any fear of me.
Last edited by Cagey on Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

dragon1
Pro Angler
Pro Angler
Posts: 8845
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by dragon1 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:36 am

Lol...great memories and stories man! I also sported a mullet, sexy days dude! :lol:

FWIW, the Series One originals were great rods...and still have a following. ;)

barrys
Elite Angler
Elite Angler
Posts: 428
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:13 pm

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by barrys » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:34 am

Moon phase for me is Super important however I realize we all work and you go fishing when you can. I fish alone 90% of the time and there is a reason ....... "Be Quiet".

dragon1
Pro Angler
Pro Angler
Posts: 8845
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by dragon1 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:06 am

barrys wrote:Moon phase for me is Super important however I realize we all work and you go fishing when you can. I fish alone 90% of the time and there is a reason ....... "Be Quiet".
Indeed...while to a certain extent, our speaking voice penetrating the water can be a fish wife's tale...STEALTH is indeed an important component.

User avatar
jakob1010
Angler
Angler
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:08 am
Location: Central Indiana
Contact:

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by jakob1010 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:53 am

Good 10 part series here: http://www.bassmaster.com/tips/mike-lon ... -your-life
I really enjoy all of the BASS master series online.

Eric Walsh
Elite Angler
Elite Angler
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:26 am
Location: NW Pennsylvania

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by Eric Walsh » Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:43 am

Many good points here! If I could be given the perfect opportunity each time I chose to 'wet a line', it would be
when the barometer was low just before stormy weather. Something magical happens in that brief moment of
opportunity - seems like the lake just comes alive. I'm getting pretty excited just talking about it. :lol:

User avatar
uljersey
Platinum Angler
Platinum Angler
Posts: 1289
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:39 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by uljersey » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:14 am

Eric Walsh wrote:Many good points here! If I could be given the perfect opportunity each time I chose to 'wet a line', it would be
when the barometer was low just before stormy weather. Something magical happens in that brief moment of
opportunity - seems like the lake just comes alive. I'm getting pretty excited just talking about it. :lol:
Yep. There are no written in stone fishing scenarios, but this is one that's pretty close. I can remember several of them vividly, it's as if you could do no wrong. Then like someone flipping a switch - poof - it's over.

dragon1
Pro Angler
Pro Angler
Posts: 8845
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by dragon1 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:21 am

uljersey wrote:
Eric Walsh wrote:Many good points here! If I could be given the perfect opportunity each time I chose to 'wet a line', it would be
when the barometer was low just before stormy weather. Something magical happens in that brief moment of
opportunity - seems like the lake just comes alive. I'm getting pretty excited just talking about it. :lol:
Yep. There are no written in stone fishing scenarios, but this is one that's pretty close. I can remember several of them vividly, it's as if you could do no wrong. Then like someone flipping a switch - poof - it's over.
Especially first one right after a season change like winter to spring to summer, etc., and especially before/after the spawn...lightning, tornadoes, hail aside -"I'M THERE!" :big grin:

toddmc
Pro Angler
Pro Angler
Posts: 1738
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:31 am

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by toddmc » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:50 am

dragon1 wrote:
uljersey wrote:
Eric Walsh wrote:Many good points here! If I could be given the perfect opportunity each time I chose to 'wet a line', it would be
when the barometer was low just before stormy weather. Something magical happens in that brief moment of
opportunity - seems like the lake just comes alive. I'm getting pretty excited just talking about it. :lol:
Yep. There are no written in stone fishing scenarios, but this is one that's pretty close. I can remember several of them vividly, it's as if you could do no wrong. Then like someone flipping a switch - poof - it's over.
Especially first one right after a season change like winter to spring to summer, etc., and especially before/after the spawn...lightning, tornadoes, hail aside -"I'M THERE!" :big grin:
This really is a magical time. All of my limits over 30 pounds have come during this type of time. We had it a few days ago here in SoCal. I also posted this link on another thread http://www.bassfan.com/news_article.asp ... MJ790fF__E, but I knew some big limits were going to be caught during this storm because the fish get going early here in mild SoCal as soon as the days start to get longer and the trout are being regularly stocked. A storm usually ignites them and those that brave the storm will often be rewarded with greatness.

dragon1
Pro Angler
Pro Angler
Posts: 8845
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO

Re: Share your basics for trophy bass fishing.

Post by dragon1 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:14 pm

toddmc wrote:
dragon1 wrote:
uljersey wrote:
Eric Walsh wrote:Many good points here! If I could be given the perfect opportunity each time I chose to 'wet a line', it would be
when the barometer was low just before stormy weather. Something magical happens in that brief moment of
opportunity - seems like the lake just comes alive. I'm getting pretty excited just talking about it. :lol:
Yep. There are no written in stone fishing scenarios, but this is one that's pretty close. I can remember several of them vividly, it's as if you could do no wrong. Then like someone flipping a switch - poof - it's over.
Especially first one right after a season change like winter to spring to summer, etc., and especially before/after the spawn...lightning, tornadoes, hail aside -"I'M THERE!" :big grin:
This really is a magical time. All of my limits over 30 pounds have come during this type of time. We had it a few days ago here in SoCal. I also posted this link on another thread http://www.bassfan.com/news_article.asp ... MJ790fF__E, but I knew some big limits were going to be caught during this storm because the fish get going early here in mild SoCal as soon as the days start to get longer and the trout are being regularly stocked. A storm usually ignites them and those that brave the storm will often be rewarded with greatness.
Holy $H!T man!!! Friggin' awesome work dudes! :big grin:

Post Reply