Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to Catch Big Smallmouth Bass -Part 1

Hello Folks,

I thought I would share with you some of my techniques for catching big smallmouth bass. I have been fortunate to catch quite a few Citation Bass (20+ inch) over the past years and I am going to try to put into words how I go about doing so.

I believe that the most important thing to know about catching big bass is to know whether or not big bass actually live in the waters that you are fishing. How does one know this? Well, research, word of mouth, and time spent on the water.

Begin your research by joining smallmouth bass fishing sites. By doing so, you will have access to a plethora of information regarding gear, tackle, techniques, and locations.

You may not get exact locations, but you will certainly learn whether a certain body of water holds big smallmouth bass by the reports given by members.

There are a lot of outstanding smallmouth anglers associated with these sites who spend an awful lot of time on the water searching and catching behemoth smallies.

Learn to share with these anglers and you will be pleasantly surprised how much information some are willing to offer you in private PMs (Personal Mail).

Some sites even have a following of guides and pros who visit and share their valuable knowledge.


Eastern Pa. Fishing Reports

Research also includes learning about fishing gear, tackle, and techniques that are associated with catching larger fish. I am a firm believer that if you give any lure long enough time, it will eventually catch a fish. But I can guarantee that there are certain lures that catch big smallies more often than others.

Certain gear and tackle is associated with big fish. For example, almost every big fish I have caught in Southern States have been on soft plastics and topwaters. I'm not exactly sure why, but I would venture to guess, like in most cases, it has to do with the forage available on those particular waterways.

Learn what gear is used by those who are big fish catchers. For example, rods are extremely important depending on which lures you have chosen to use. I personally stay pretty much between a 6'6" and a 7' 2" rod. Power and tip action all depends on which lures I am tossing. When I'm in open water, I can certainly get a farther cast with a longer rod. A smaller rod gives me much better control. I do use other rods from time to time, but these are a start.

A decent reel will allow for smoother cast and and retrievals. I am not a rich man who spends hundreds of dollars on rods and reels. But what I do own is decent gear in a moderate price range.

If you get the opportunity to attend seminars put on by pros and/or guides, go for it! I attended a ton of Bassmaster Universities (Sponsored By HACC) until they ended in 2007. I learned so much information regarding seasonal bass behavior, electronics, fishing techniques, etc. and it will all remain with me until the day I die. This hole has now been filled by The Bass University with Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek.

Our local tackle shop, Susquehanna Fishing Tackle, offers seminars throughout the year on various topics. Possibly, your local shops also offer seminars. If not, don't be shy. Ask them if they would consider it. Most tackle shop owners know a large group of very good anglers who may be willing to share knowledge with fellow anglers.

I have centered myself around very good anglers who are willing to share and trust in one another with information through "word of mouth." This is a very touchy area since information shared this way is usually old information and owned by friends. Knowing that circumstances on the water change day to day and sometime,s hour to hour, I use this information only as a starting point in building my own patterns. I am also willing to reciprocate by sharing like information with these angling friends.

You will learn in time, who you can and cannot trust. As a school counselor, I often discussed trust with my students. In order to build trust, it takes time and experiences with an individual. One hundred good experiences can be ruined in a heart beat by one bad experience. To rebuild that trust will once again take time and more positive experiences, if you are willing to go there again. Don't be foolish!

I also keep in mind that some anglers are much better at certain techniques than myself. Whenever I have an opportunity to learn from these folks by fishing with them, I take full advantage of the situation. I am always willing to learn about a different lure or technique that will enhance my repertoire.

If someone is catching fish and I'm struggling, I do not feel out of place by asking them if they have any extras for me to use. I will also ask if I am fishing them correctly. I am not stubborn!

But I am also willing to accept a "no" answer. It doesn't hurt to ask. :)

There is no substitute for "Time Spent On Water". All the research, knowledge of waterways, and techniques mean absolutely nothing unless you can transfer it to the water.

Granted, some have more available time to spend on the water than others. Family and job obligations may limit your time to fish. That is why all the above is even more important to do.

Unfortunate events led to my early retirement, but it open up an opportunity for me to spend more time fishing and sharing my adventures with all of you what I learn almost on a daily basis.

I hope that the above makes sense and helps guide you towards opportunities in catching Big Smallmouth in the future.

I will share some of my Big Bass lures the next time.

Take care,