Successful largemouth bass fishing requires changing your tactics, technique and tackle, based on the time of day, year and conditions during your outing. Using lures that help you fill your creel when fishing in reservoirs may have you ordering pizza for dinner if you use them in a river or creek. Understanding how, when and where largemouth bass congregate, and how to best lure them onto your line will help you reel in the big one.
Largemouth bass haunt different locales, depending on the weather
During warm weather, largemouth bass will swim closer to the surface, where the water is warmer, due to the heat from the sun. During the winter, the surface layer of a body of water is coldest, so bass will swim deeper, 10 feet or lower. Cast your lines accordingly. During a light to moderate rain, bass become active feeding, coming to the surface and patrolling the shores for insects and bugs that wash into bodies of water. Rain clouds decrease sunlight, so bass are more likely to leave the protection of weeds.
Time of Day is Key
While bass prefer warmer water, they also prefer to keep out of direct sunlight, when possible. During the daylight hours when the sun is shining with full force, bass will head into the weeds to seek out shade, so cast your line there. During warmer weather, in early morning and beginning at dusk, bass will be near the surface, out in the open, so try your luck there.
Using The Right Lures
When fishing in the weeds, you’ll want a less delicate lure you can pull through entanglements. For weed fishing, use a plastic worm, metal spoon lures, lizards, tube baits and leeches. For open water fishing, use crank bait and spinners which can get fouled in weeds, due to their larger size and extra hooks.
During cold weather, use live bait, if possible. Bass are more likely to strike live bait at this time, and frogs, crayfish, minnows, worms and leeches work well, especially in clear water. If you prefer non-live bait, use smaller lures, which resemble the small bits of food bass are able to find at lower lake levels. Use soft, plastic lures, and split shot or jig head type rig, retrieving your line slowly.
During warm weather, when you’ll be fishing closer to the surface, so use floating or diving plugs and spinnerbaits. If you aren’t interested in investing too much in your fishing gear, buy spinnerbaits which can also be used at lower depths.