T Nation

Bass Fishing


I want to get better at bass fishing. Made some good progress with my skillset last year, and am looking to get better/more knowledgeable about angling and specifically fishing for bass. Does anyone have any good tips/suggested reading for this? I mean I try to pick up what I can from guys like Kevin Van Dam and Mike Iaconelli, but I think that perhaps I should start with some more basic stuff.



Fishing 2011 thread my brother.


Squats and milk?


billdanceoutdoors.com there is a great forum on that site, I learned a lot from them. Ready for some fishing.


Bill Dance is a great bass fisherman because he fishes tiny little private ponds that are choked with monster fish!


Find an online fishing forum based around your area. Now is a good time to start going for them as the temperature warms.


I can be your Yoda young padeewon. Best beginner books on serious angling:

Spoonplugging by Buck Perry - Old 1950's physics professor who invented a lure called a spoonplug, which is basically a flat, bent piece of shiny metal that ran at a consistent depth when trolled behind a boat. He tells you mainly to stop "beating the bank" and find offshore structure. Look at lures as tools to achieve the desired Depth/Speed presentation, how to look at a topo map and determine best spots, etc.

Doug Hannon's Big Bass Magic- The "Bass Professor" mainly talks about Florida lakes and their strain of bass. I see your location as Ohio so you mainly fish for smallmouth/northern strain largemouths which are usually easier to catch and less spooky. KNOW YOUR PREY. Meaning, learn about the largemouth species of fish. Temp, O2, Food,security,shelter tolerances, very very important. Its true, if you can think like a fish, you can catch them at any time,in any weather, anywhere.

Infishermans Largemouth Bass book is also good but probably a little too much information for you right now.

There is a last book that is the Holy Grail of bass fishing that I won't even mention, since it would just outright blow your mind if you tried to comprehend it.

Next, obligatory membership to B.A.S.S. with magazine subscription. Alot of fluff articles, advertisements but still has alot of solid "modern" techniques to keep you interested and in the loop. Just don't buy any of the BS hot looking lures. To learn to Bass fish from the ground up you need to concentrate on these techniques with these simple baits:

1 Weightless worm/fluke fishing

2 Texas/Carolina rigged fishing with a 5-7" soft plastic

3 Spinnerbait

4 Small crankbait/Rapala

Buy a few packs of 5-7" worms (I like Zoom products) in colors good for your area. Rule of thumb, if the water you fish is clear, go with natural looking colors. Can never go wrong with black/blue, watermelon seed, green pumpkin. I use cheap spinnerbaits, mainly H&H, like $1.50 apiece at Academy. Catches lots of fish. For Crankbaits, I like all Rapala products. Especially the original floating minnow in black/grey. I've caught so many fish on that lure its ridiculous.

Always remember the best teacher is being on the water so fish as much as you can, even if its a little dink pond down the street. The bass there will act the same as the bass in a 20k acre lake.

Good luck!


Good stuff from Odogg, I'll throw a few out there myself:

this site has awesome articles, as well as a great forum with solid posters that is even broken up into regions for easier use.

Largemouth Bass in the 1990's, edited by In-Fisherman staff, is a GREAT resource, well worth the money

"Spoonplugging" is a classic, as is "Lunker" by Bob Underwood. Use google to find cheap used copies of those books on eBAy, Amazon, or somewhere similar.

I typically fish out of a kayak, and I never did spring for a sonar or anything. This means I typically rely on structure that I can see coming out of the water such as logs, grasses, lily pads, or gravel/boulders.

I like to use Senko worms because they have a decent weight to them and so you can easily cast and control them without added weight. I like to rig them thus:

I like to work the edges of pads or weeds or brush by just dropping the worm in and letting it fall. Once it settles on the bottom you can work it back slowly like a jig or just reel it in and drop it someplace else. It's a little bit slower than burning a crankbait or spinnerbait around a lake, but it's simple, fun, and productive.

My number one favorite summer technique though is dragging a weedless frog around some lily pads. Try to cast out across the pads, and drag the frog back over, making some commotion as you go. When you get a hit, wait until you feel the weight of the fish before setting the hook and hauling 'er out.

I'll usually have two rods when I go out, and I'll equip the second one with a Senko the same color as the frog. If I miss the hookup with the frog, I immediately cast back to the same spot with the Senko, let if fall, and set the hook once I see the line tick. Simple, fun and it always work. Nothing compares to the thrill of hooking up with topwater lures, IMO.

Anyway, I hope you found this info useful. NOW GET OUT THERE AND CATCH SOME MUTHAFUCKIN FISH!!!


Saved me a bunch of typing, thanks! Those are my top three resources. I also keep a log and record each trip: date, time, season, sunny, cloudy, wind, air temp, water temp, water color, depth I fished at, where I got bit and what I was using. I fished tournaments for years. My logs from 10 years ago are just as reliable and valuable today as they were back then. It's all about figuring out the pattern.

I lived in Ohio till I was 18 and moved to TX. Been "BIG" bass fishing ever since. Good luck and enjoy the ride.


You, sir, are 100% correct when you surmise that I fish for largemouth bass. I should have been more specific. I am a science major, there is not such thing as too much information. That being said, I thing simplicity is always the best method. I am looking to get more into finesse fishing techniques and broadening my knowledge of bass fishing from simply worms and spinners and the like. Ill be sure to check out all the suggested materials and info.

I was looking at Mike Iaconelli's Finesse Fishing book. Thought it looked interesting. Also, I am looking at buying my first baitcaster. I currently, for the last 2 years, have been using my pflueger president xt/guide series im8, and a borrowed diawa/allstar baitcaster (not sure what model). Any suggestions as to products to look at? I really like pflueger and my buddy really enjoys the patriarch, but im not sure its worth all the dough he payed for it at this point since I still consider us novices.