What are we fishing for again? The Target: �Bass� defined

Whatever the reason you had for picking up these pages, to learn more about fishing, and game fishing, specifically with an all-time angling favorite embedded in the aptly titled: The Definitive Guide to Tackle Bass Fishing, you are sure to find a quenching reprieve. Still your thirst for knowledge and any bass fishing pursuit, challenge or battle, you will or might face in your lifetime, right here. There is something for everyone in this book!

If your main interest, is improving your ability to catch Bass, increasing, (and maybe) even stacking the odds in your favor of succeeding time and again, every time, in this angling equation and any future expeditions you plan to undertake, then this book has something of value to offer you.

When you are on the hunt for Bass, knowing the basics is like the lifeblood of your strategy, bringing your chances alive with every cast!

ALSO, discover and develop YOUR OWN sportsman-like, angling style and character, while gradually building your appreciation and understanding of the great outdoors, as part of your fishing experience.

We present a practical approach to the intricacies and complexities involved in this popular sport. We hope that this is captured well by the short title: The Definitive Guide to Tackle Bass Fishing.

Our focus, approach, aims and goals are simple � the basis and premise even simpler: learn the basics, get them right, consistently, with skill and mastery, and they will eventually lead you to catching all the Bass you can possibly want or handle!

We prefer to get right to the topic and elements of our discussion � how to find and catch Bass! Basic yet detailed, the text is written in such a manner, that it can be put to use and work for you right away, without spending hours reading and wading through pages of information, you do not need.

Most published works and accomplished authors (many anglers themselves), depict Bass fishing as the ultimate angling experience and �The Bass� (predator-hunter itself), as tough-minded, unpredictable, with a strong survival instinct, great awareness, sensing/sensors, that make them the keen and effective hunters they are.

These fish benefit from natures� gifts of powerful sight, hearing, vast speed, maneuverability and even jumping action moves, that will have you catch (pardon the pun), your breath� with awe, excitement and expectation that is! All of this makes it possible for the Bass to live up to its name and reputation, as one of the �extremes� of the gaming fish populations and every angler�s dream catch!

Part of the Percichthyidae family (also sub-classified into the genus Morone � considered a separate unit or branch (white, yellow, striped), they are widely distributed in temperate and tropical waters, sub-species to be found in fresh and saltwater. There are also the Australian bass (Acquaria novemaculeate), European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

Their food of choice/feed and natural diet includes small fish, crustaceans, worms and insects � some anglers have also had great success with live-bait, like eels and even frogs.

Then there are the black bass, collectively referred to and including our prized target � called by some to be the most sporting species in North America � the Centrarchidae family. (Largemouth and smallmouth bass, redeye, spotted, striped, black bass, Suwannee, Quadalupee).

Artificial baits have proven useful to most anglers. Live baits are best, but these fish can be tempted, teased and lured to strike with artificial ones such as spinners, spoons, crank-baits, surface plugs and plastic worms � more on this a little later. Knowing which to choose (and WHY), use, switch to in certain conditions, and how to optimize this art of allure, is a key basic element for every aspiring or great angler alike.

These fishes are all active predators, warming to natural baits and artificial lures. Most anglers would suggest spinning or trolling for freshwater fishing for Bass (larger species) and spinning or fly-fishing for the smaller species. Saltwater enthusiasts might also consider surfcasting, trolling or up-tide fishing.

Fishing for and catching Bass, in various waters across the globe, has a proud history and tradition. Most of us are too glad to get dabbling in and form part of it, whether from boat, shore, rocks or rocks, rivers, streams, lakes or oceans. We like to tell our mighty tales and contemplate how to change and modify, adapt and or create new techniques, approaches to hook smallmouth, large-mouth, speckled, spotted, striped and black bass. To each of his own. You pick your favorite.

Knowing how to tell a smallmouth from a large-mouth bass, striped from spotted and so on, is a very basic skill most anglers master quickly. Looking specifically at size and physical features are good places to start. Train your eye to �spot the differences�, so to speak.

They differ in size, markings and dorsal fins for example. Their upper jaws are different in length and their dorsal fins are not the same. The large-mouth has a spiny dorsal fin, highest in the middle portion, with almost a distinct �break�, right before the second set of dorsal fins start. For our friends the small mouth bass, these fins are flatter, first and second are connected, with distinct scales at the base of the second set of dorsal fins.

Apart from knowing and telling your fish species apart, by sights and or physical characteristics, there are some general advice we can propose right upfront. Experiencing, treading lightly and honoring nature, the great outdoors, abiding by the anglers� code (catch and release, licensing), environmental protection for generations of anglers (and women) to come, and the like are all vastly important in your angling endeavors.

Second, maintaining an overall alertness, what some call �reading the waters� (understanding the body of water, habitat to the fish, contour, depth, temperature, stratified levels etc.), being generally, as well as specifically �observant�, arming yourself with knowledge, skill and understanding of the fish, the species, the environment, and all other relevant factors to your fishing activity and undertakings � paramount for successful process and outcome.

Third, (and almost most importantly), remain adaptable, for change is a BIG part of this enjoyable outdoor activity. It is definitely not for the faint of heart or the impatient among us!



Knowing and Going Where the Bass Are

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Bass defined: A fighter, ever-elusive, choice game-fish, predator by nature and reputation, the one sought-after, prized hook, catch, reel-in and land, of many an aspiring angler.

How to catch Bass AND then catch more, larger bass, more often, in more places, with more consistency, having a pro-active plan and approach, stacking the odds in your favor to succeed, catching more fish and enjoying the process, is what this basic guide is all about.

The hunter becomes the hunted � learn how a small change in your paradigm, thinking and approach can lead to bass-angling success! Start thinking like the watery hunter, become and understand the bass as a hunter. Observe, learn, follow, study and use its natural habit, preferences, patterns, habits, prey and choice of food, in your angling-strategy, and you will have some interesting fish-tales to tell. (None of them tall tales of course, we hope!)� And yes, we may even learn something from the ones that get/got away!

So, without further ado, let us get our rods and reels going�

If you were told that, there is one particular species of fish that most would describe as tough-minded, smart, outwitting and elusively hard to catch, then it the Bass � in all its shapes, sizes, iterations and sub-classes.

It rings true, no matter what the context, body of water, special and or any situation or condition, regardless of secrets, tips, proven science, technique and intent in the world! Bass fishing is challenging and rewarding at the same time. To ensure hours of countless pleasure, follow the pointers (and add some of your own here too!) provided here, for The Definitive Guide to Tackle Bass Fishing and be ready to hook the next big one� repeatedly, and actually be able to ENJOY it too!

There are various aspects, working in combination in the art and science, sport and pursuit that is Bass Fishing! Strategy and synergy, contribute to eventual, and (we will argue), consistent and repeatable success. Equipment, site, lure and skill, dawn and or dusk, shallow or deep waters, fresh/salt water, from boat or shore � it does not matter! There are secrets and techniques for each of them.

Novices, beginners, seasonal and seasoned anglers alike, are all welcome to flip through these pages to discover some magical, sought-after truths about bass fishing! In the end, it is as much about the process, enjoyment, understanding and appreciation, as it is about the fish!

Become an observant, student of nature itself, the Bass� habits and patterns, whether using trolling, artificial and or live bait, fly-fishing, on ice, fresh and salt, deep and shallow waters, do so, using all to your advantage, as you undertake your own journey of the Bass!

Bass is by far the most widely distributed fish in North America � sometimes due to the convenience of our mobility and fast-paced society, geared for travel and transportation, Bass is within easy reach (for most within 1 days� travel at most), Large-mouths, Small-mouths, striped, spotted, black bass etc. all await.

Ever heard of a smart fish that makes calculated, in-the-moment decisions? One whose survival instinct is so strong, that it snatches and at other times totally ignores and hangs around seemingly uninterested, only to strike/bite when least expected!

Well, that would be typical of our finned, scaly (pardon the pun), fish-friend, the �Bass�. For the purposes of this book, this species is and takes centre-stage �this is deliberate and intentional. Bass fishing is about exactly that the fish, The Bass. Tenacious, unpredictable and a challenge to most of us.

Various scientists have proven that Bass almost �calculate� the amount of energy it will take them to go after the prey vs. the return. If this be true and verified, what are the implications for us anglers of promise? OUTSMARTING THEM of course! It is all in the basics, the strategies, battle plan, allure, tease and techniques we choose to use in this process. This will dictate and determine our success.




Chapter 1 - The Basics of Bass Fishing

(Return to Contents)

Most, if not all of the so-called �insider� secrets, tips and stories to tell of big hauls of Bass, all revolve, around a very simple basic rule � understanding the fish, (their life-cycles, feeding preferences, habits and patterns, habit and menu of choice, their nature, their relationship with the broader eco-system and position on the food-chain, timing it right. Also heeding your surroundings, your equipment (tools), having to know how and basics under your belt and finally optimizing (every!) opportunity�

In effect, you are going about, creating the most favorable angling process and outcome you can muster!

Bass fishing is a passion, a science and an art form upon itself. It appeals to young and old, attracts anglers from all walks of life and both sides of the professional and amateur spectrum.

One key to bass fishing is what we can easily refer to as, �predictable behavior�. Habits, patterns, life cycles, the natural rhythm that is life and nature � also applies to fish. This means that Bass exist within this natural reality. If you can capitalize on understanding it better, you will increase your chances of successful hooks/bites.

Seeking protective cover, foraging amongst rocks, stumps, weeds, at times on the prowl hunting for prey, other times just �lunching� around casually, all seem to be part of The Bass feeding rituals and repertoire. Taking advantage and considering this when starting out and every time casting will benefit you greatly.

Another is �competitive advantage�, The Bass has an �airtight sac� (breathing bladder), that is inflatable, which enables it to swim and thrive at different levels. A powerful tail helps with speed, agility and maneuverability. It can reach great depths.

Other factors like water clarity, time of day, subdued sunlight, water displacement and vibration sensing, noise sensitivity, all add to this fish� cunning and ensuring that you scrutinize these clues, will increase your odds of hooking your next big one.

Unlocking for example how The Bass senses and prefers color and shade in the moment, can always also help anglers increase their effectiveness. The choice and type of lure, colors and movement, bait etc. can all contribute meaningfully to your attempts.

Where the fish are� everyone will have an answer or at least their opinion/experience on what/where/when, even science. Nevertheless, sometimes it is as simple as understanding the habitat and those that live and thrive in it, to better interact with and enjoy fishing in it � a type of exploring the depths, so to speak. For example: the temperature of the water and available oxygen, dictate moving patterns and disbursement of fish species. Feeding habits and preferences are distinct, falling more on the �looking alive� or live bait. Some quote smallmouth bass, as showing preference for crawfish and using that as a �sign� of where these critters will be found, on the hunt for their favorite snack! Looking at stomach content of fish you have caught and kept (not part of the catch and release protocol/requirements), hold hidden clues about food of preference �whitefish, crawfish and others.

Having self-confidence, aptitude AND the right attitude when fishing for Bass is crucial. In this battle to outwit your opponent, you will need every tool and trick at your disposal to make a successful catch. Never get discouraged, feel beaten or worse quit for the yield has been slim to none at all � those days happen to every angler. Nature beats to its own drum, you have to discover and enjoy the rhythm you are so intricately part of.

Practice makes perfect � there is no silver bullet, quick-fish method for $9.99, that can guarantee you bites and more bass all the time, anytime. It DOES take hard work and commitment, persistence and rigor from the angler. There is more than a routine at stake and play here. Some days will be predictably better than others. No matter what the conditions, process and outcome, on the day, put it all down to experience and lessons learned. Log and learn, share and grow, in your own understanding, confidence and toolkit, as an avid bass angler.

Another key trick is actually NO TRICK AT ALL � we call it an �acquired skill�. It takes more of that hard work we mentioned before! Exact, fixed casting, requires target-precision practice, improving your ability to place the lure exactly where you would want it to be � let us call it �hitting the mark�. This is another crucial tactic and technique you can practice in the park or your living room � try using plugs and get better every time at consistently hitting your �target� (and nothing else we hope!).

Becoming and being a proactive participant in the context and environment (and process), you are in, knowing when to move on, change something and or quit for the time-being (postponing the hunt or resting when required, planning your strategy for the next trip out), is what it is all about as well!

Habitual creatures of comfort, The Bass (as a species), are not so much different than modern man. Bearing this in mind will help you too as an angler. We like what we like, when and how we like it and normally want it on time, when it is there and ready, be safe, enjoy life and we crave comfort � food, shelter and well-being! Does this sound a lot different from our own needs and requirements? Not really! Well, that is one way of leveling the playing field. Understanding the basic necessities and niceties for these watery �creatures�, holds clues and advantage, for any and every angler.

Stimulus, pattern, routine, habit � predictors and hints � the ace up your sleeve when nothing else works! Learn and develop skills, to �read� (quickly at a glance, observe and make a judgment), know instinctively what will come happen, next and why � figure out the pattern, stick with it and exploit it to your advantage and angling success. Meet the Bass where they are, in what they do, cater to their needs and you will be surprised at what meets you in the waters below!

Familiarity with the Bass� favorite places to hang around is critical to success: Bottoms, stumps, trees , logs, weeds and plants, contours, structures, travel-routes, creeks, shallows/deeper passages, coves, channels, bluffs, banks and shorelines � all can be repetitive clues on habitual, predictable behavior of the bass. Most of the �experts� came about their knowledge through reading, studying habits of their catch, in very similar fashion than what you are undertaking. Every time you get to know your fishy friends a little better, until you know instinctively where they will be and where their favorite spots are. Knowing and going where the fish are becomes demystified, but even more exciting, for it is now more than a hunch or random chance � it is a planned encounter where the watery predator, hunter par excellence, becomes the hunted!


Tools Of The Trade:

Tackle, Boats, Accessories, Lures And Baits (All About Plastics, Spinners, Crank And Others- Top-Water And Specialty Lures)

Having the right equipment, knowing how to best use it, when and how, (also how not to use it and what it is not suitable for), can all help you in your bass fishing adventure.

The basics regarding rods, reels, line, hooks, weights, bobbers, sinkers, lures, sensors and other equipment (hats, vests, nets, scents, scissors etc.), gives you an appreciation for having the right tools for the task(s) at hand.

As a highly participatory and engaging sport, Bass fishing is simply almost unparalleled in the vast amount of styles and tools to use. From quiet streams, tranquil lakes to open sea and rushing rivers � there is something for everyone.

If you are looking for quick tips on the right equipment, most suited to your purpose and the techniques to master to catch bass in any conditions, might this next section enlighten and inspire you, as you delve right into the �utilities of the fishing trade�. Some tools of the bass fishing trade, we will be focusing on are:

Rods, Reels, Lines and Hooks

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Tackle: Lures and Bait � live � artificial and, or, BUT YET�

Limited space does not permit large comparative explanations or ramblings on the merit of some tools above certain others. These debates are well known and well published in existing literature. We take a more practical approach and look at what you will actually need to hook your next big one, besides random chance and luck! We like to point out that picking the right equipment means a lot of different thing to different people. Each angler has his/her own interpretation of what that means, varying skill level, physical characteristics and strengths/weaknesses, so we will not profess knowing what is right for you. What we do offer are mere suggestions on which tools will stack the odds in your favor and help you enjoy preparing, rigging, baiting/hooking, retrieving and landing YOUR next BIG ONE! Ensuring that is does not join the droves of �the ones that got away�!

Even as you explore your surroundings and the wonder of fish species and their life cycles, patterns and behavior, experimenting, hands-on with your equipment and what is available to anglers today, is part of the exciting world of Bass fishing. From fish-finders, temperature gauges, sensors and more advanced technologies, to the art of preparing your lines and hooks, choosing the lures/bait most suited to your circumstance and purpose and more, adds to the excitement and enjoyment of the activity. Preparing yourself with knowledge on these, will boost your confidence and practicing often, will pay off in the long run as your expertise, exposure and angling mastery grows.

When it comes to equipment, the opinions are many and far between. Your condition, circumstance, purpose and goal will all figure into the final choice (oh, yes and do not forget the ever-present budget and affordability)!

Spinning or bait casting with artificial lures, fly-fishing, trolling with live-baits, are all options available to you, with specialist tools on hand to assist you make the most of it. Typically a 5.5 to 7 feet rod (spinning or bait casting), with a matching reel with six to ten pound line, fast taper, single action reel would serve you well. Weed-less hooks are a lifesaver in very dense cover or weeds.

Angling techniques and tackle keep refining, developing and almost takes on a life of its own for every angler. There is not really a one-size-fits-all approach. This personalized relationship with your equipment, might mean a basic rod to start with and then adding a couple for your different excursions and expeditions � your Bass journey has just started. Modern tackle and methods, traditional or innovative, technology-driven and enabled � whatever you�re fancy or preference � there is something for every taste and budget.

It is an ancient sport, pursued by many, with echoes of early hunters and anglers living off the land. Getting in touch with that timeline through hands-on activity, like bass fishing is very rewarding. Most beginners might be overwhelmed by the selection of equipment available on the market today. Knowing what to pick/buy, how and when to (best) apply, use it correctly, to maximize your chances of catching your next big one is key.

Good quality tackle is important � it needs to be adequate for whatever nature throws your way. You will need to build your arsenal of knowledge and equipment over time, to respond best to some of the challenges at hand. Good appropriate baits and lures and how to use them effectively, in combination, in quick succession to ensure bites, are other key components, as is importance of preparing, presenting well, accurate casting, hooking (sharpening the hooks and turning them up slightly for example to ensure that the fish stay on your hook as you reel them in), as well as retrieving and landing of the fish.

An excellent source for beginners on all things tackle-related, equipment, fish species, tools and techniques, is to be found in The Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia of Fishing: The complete guide to the fish, tackle and techniques of fresh and saltwater angling. Our intent and purpose here is not to restate the listed facts found here. Avid and serious anglers are readers and thirst knowledge that will increase their odds of success. This source we recommend for young and old! (There are also some other references listed at the end of this text, if you choose to pursue more facts and or crave deeper insights into the art and science of Bass fishing).

All we will say is that having expensive or the right equipment is not a guarantee that you will land the next big one! In fishing, there are no real guarantees. This is a �contract� and activity between you and nature. Exploring and getting you to the point where you know the feel, function and embedded strengths and weaknesses of your equipment, is the real way to wisdom. For most trail and error, practice and persistence are the roads to follow to becoming well-versed and experienced anglers.

Realizing the equipments full potential, will take time and practice. Bear in mind, that sophistication in equipment will develop in parallel to your own mastery and skill-refinement.

Your intended style of fishing (from boat or shore, shallow or deep (or both) will dictate the most appropriate choice for tackle (reel and rod, line � thickness and weight), line, hooks, baits and lures, weights, sinkers, leaders and more.

Whether you are a salt-water fanatic that enjoys shore, beach, boat or big-game fishing or a freshwater guru, preferring lure, bait, pole and or fly fishing, there are rod, reels, line, hooks, leaders, links, bait, and landing tackle just right for you.

Basic angling techniques are relatively easy to master, yet conquering and refining all the subtleties and intricate moves and maneuvers, exploring the secrets (discovered or yet to be unearthed), of in this case bass fishing (which has so many iterations and settings), will take a lifetime of pleasure and defeat!

Practice and enjoy bass fishing, according to your own niche and style, preference and location of choice � in a word - YOUR �specialty�. It is a very personalized and individualized pursuit and passion. Always remember, that there is a wide array of variety and enjoyment on offer, by different kinds of fishing, locations, baits and lures etc., to keep angling interesting and a growing sport � it is contagious and pervasive � once let in, it is hard to let go! You are hooked and being reeled in by this sport and hobby before you know it.

For most anglers, technique (and choice of equipment) is dictated by the species sought, established practice, conditions and more. Mostly artificial lures are suggested and accepted for freshwater predatory fishing. Some prefer live bait; others have success with hard baits like artificial rats and plastic worms are another favorite.

Whether you are fishing from the banks, boat or float tube, most would suggest you use a six to six and a half foot (1.8 -2m) medium, heavy-push-button, spinning or bait-casting rod and reel combination, with strong line (10-pound). If you are fishing in weeds, heavy cover, thick, slop, grassy wetlands, swamps, etc. a heavier line (braided), will serve you better/best. Hook sizes typically recommended around a # 4 live-bait hook, sharpened and turned up slightly (say around 10%), this is done to ensure that the fish stayed �hooked� and gives you a �fighting� chance to reel it in and land it successfully. A weed-less, # 5 hook can also serve you well in these conditions. Large-mouth bass can be caught at any depth, using live baits, throughout most the year (even ice fishing)! Sharp hooks are the key.

Weights and sinkers are another element you must consider, especially in dark, cloudy waters and or when fishing deep water specifically. There are also specialty sinkers, with rattles these days to entice the fish even more. They are very sensitive to sounds, noise and vibrations in the water � so anything you can do to create that allure, tease and temptation is great to bear in mind. Do everything you can to trigger their feeding response and ensure a strike/bite!

Also, remember, fish are a lot like us � on hot, humid days, they look for shelter, food and comfort. These are their handout and feeding ground (no different than us, wanting to sit under an umbrella, or in front on the TV, in an air-conditioned environment, trying to stay cool and enjoy our snack-foods!).

Knowing and considering these habits, will help you catch more fish. Look for the lily pads, think cover, giving them shade from the sun. Find the right depth, structure and hide-away (they normally look for cover, like any other predator) and their lighting-fast speed enabled them to cover water/ground quickly and really strike/attack/hit their �prey�.

Weedy, shallow bays, hard-bottom flats, rocks, trees and or other structures, creeks, channels, deeper waters, drops, bluffs and more can all be part of their moving patterns and habitat, where they look for food. They also like being close to access point to deeper water. More later on their preferred spots and how to optimize these patterns.

Examples of luring techniques and how the right equipment can help you:

Surface, Top-water and or Buzz baits: Acting almost like a spinner bait, but with a flat blade that enables it to surface with speed, this is a popular choice for many a bass enthusiast... It attracts the attention of the bass, by creating a disturbance along the surface like a minnow, triggering their basic feeding instincts and hunter impulse to strike. Rewarding you with a handsome catch!

Carolina Rig: this can easily be described as simply a variation of the standard, so-called �Texas Rig� (see below), great for use with plastic worms or other soft bait. Most expert bass anglers suggest using a heavier weight like 1/2 -1oz or more. Slide the weight onto the line, follow with three plastic beads, a barrel swivel, and a leader line (somewhat smaller than the main line).What this allows the bass angler to do is to get the bait to �drop down� to the floor with speed and is especially recommended for fishing deep waters. The movement of the leader allows the bait to swim and rise above the bottom, and fall slowly down. For most beginners this is easy to do and practice and is very versatile to get your routine rigging and tackle skills to improve.

Crank bait: mostly refers to lures, which is usually made from a variety of materials, including hard plastic or wood. With an added feature of a diving lip on the front (simulating effectively the movements of natural prey, wobbling, diving and swimming actions), entices the bass to strike. The rule of thumb, normally is that the larger the lip, the deeper it can dive. Enhancements like rattles are also good for certain conditions.

Jerk baits: A seasoned favorite amongst bass anglers, for top-water, as well as suspended bass fishing. Longer minnow-shaped plugs, available in lots of different sizes and colors. As a surface, top-water bait with a slight twitch-and-stop type of retrieve, or even as a more slow-and-steady retrieves underwater. Another option is to use suspending jerk baits that typically dive deeper, jerking it, almost teasing and tempting the bass to come up and bite right at it.

Jigs: Some have described these trusted tackle as �lead head and hook with dressing�. Their �added� features could take the shape of rubber or plastic skirts, soft plastic baits for bodies, instead of skirts. Most bass experts combine them with a frog, or plastic bait as a �follower� (plastic worm, crawfish).

Lipless Crank bait: mostly referring to sinking-type lures, made from plastic, sometimes with many rattles inside for noise, vibrations and causing disturbances underwater.

Poppers: Top water lures that carry long-range punch. Retrieve with these kinds of lures are fast, jerky or move in one spot for duration of time. Can be quite effective if you trying to figure out �where the fish are�.

Soft Jerk bait: these can be used to great effect in the same manner as a regular jerk bait, but can be dropped to the bottom quite successfully as well to tease out our deep-water predator, swimming around for food and feast.

Spinner baits: another simulator of movement and prey on the go. It is very similar to a jig, but with a blade that runs above the hook, and spins to imitate a bass favorite as well: fish.

Texas Rig: this is considered and named specifically for standard rigging with a plastic worm. Use a sliding weight, usually bullet shaped, and a hook sufficient for the size worm you have chosen. Sharpen the hook and stick the point of the hook directly into the worm head, bring it out the side about 1/8 - 3/16" below the entry, thread it again. Rotate the hook around so the point is facing the worm's body. Lay it over the side to see where it should enter in order to hang straight. Position the work straight onto the hook if it is hanging. NOTE: if the worm is twisted, your line and action will pay the price and it will be less effective.

Walking- the-dog: this is an angling technique that usually requires some time to master, but beginners should not shy away from trying it, for it is quite effective with bass. Casting over a relatively long distance, allow the bait to sit for a brief period of time, take up the slack, and with your rod tip pointed at the water, give it a jerk to the side, then immediately move it backward and reel in any slack, then jerk again, and repeat all the way back.

More or less a darting from side-to-side. You are in effect simulating the prey�s elusive movements, enticing the hunter to follow, stalk and hit! This might be your ace up your sleeve for hooking YOUR NEXT BIG ONE.

Slip-bobbers, rigged with a � ounce plastic jig, live bait like minnow, night-crawler or leech at its tip and of course, all on a sharpened hook

Jiggling, lightly shaking, presenting this close to any emerging weeds or brush, underwater logs, trees, stumps or cover, may prove successful.

Remember that fish are constantly on the move while feeding. The timing of day, amount of sunlight, temperature of the water and more all features into the angling equation.

Bobber-rigs or jigs are popular and quite successful too. Slip-sinkers, Carolina (drop-shot rig) works well too.

Free-line fishing in shallow waters may yield many a bass angler quite the haul. Casting a plain hook with live bait and feed the line to the bait, allowing it to �swim� naturally will attract some certain attention.

Other experts would recommend if you are in the so-called watery salad, weeds or heavy slop, cover and jungles underwater, to go heavier is the key. 20 lb line the minimum and heavy-action, sturdy bait-casting rod and reel combos with long, straight handles to provide you with leverage to reel your BIG ONES in!

Floating jig-heads, with slip-sinker rig, with 2-3 foot leader have proven to be useful too, especially when kept close to the bottom, watching not to get snagged in the process. Weed-less hooks can help you retrieve live-bait and or that hooked fish, through very think underbrush.

Again, understanding what bass actually eat, where and when, will help you with choosing and presenting the most effective, appropriate and tempting bait (whether live or artificial). Drawing on the natural diet of the fish, can assist you in improving your baits and lures appearance, strategy, tactics and eventual success.

Bass, as a predator will be looking for certain shapes colors and familiar movement. Plastic worms and crawfish are popular choices. Part of the reason bass is such a popular species to be fishing for, is they are notorious for hitting hard, biting solid and strong pulling or fighting � a strong game fish to be sure. They are known to put up a good fight.

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Spinners or spoons are artificial baits that are specifically designed for the purpose of tantalizing the fish. It is meant to provoke, make a strike irresistible, calling on the fish natural instinct to feed and or defend. It optimizes your chances of securing strikes. Rotation, color, skirts, fluttering action (Lil� hustler spoiler is a favorite of many bass anglers) all work together to simulate movement and prey on the move.

Spoons act/move in a fishlike manner in the water, trolled behind boats they are typically very effective and can also be cast and retrieved. Plugs are made of various materials, designed specifically to float, dive below the surface or sink when reeling them back or in. They simulate surface disturbance and entice fish with propellers or plastic skirts that move and flutter in the water.

Artificial lures can be utilized alone or in combination with live or natural baits. The size and type of lure will depend on the species, location and style of fishing you prefer, choose to pursue. (For example trolling, spinning, and fly-fishing).

For bass fishing particularly, a couple of suggestions are to bear in mind that enticing the predators from below, takes skill, practice and patience. For matted weed-beds and sloppy pitches, you might have to tickle the surface a bit. When fishing in shallow waters, lures cast out fast and retrieved slowly shaking it along, might trigger a response. It is all in the tease and promise to the fish that look for signs of movement in the water.

Having a handy pair of Polaroid sunglasses are a MUST! Keep on moving the bait around and play with the presentation � it is an art, acquired skill that gets better over time. When casting the bait out, try not to spook the fish, remembering that they are sensitive to sound/noise, movement and vibrations.

Plastic worms work well (around 10�). Being adaptable, switching baits, different color etc., using a strong Texas rig for example, hooking up a worm near the bottom of the hook, sliding it onto the shank, popping it through, with a � ounce weight might be all you need!

Having a second rod set up and ready to go or fishing with a buddy that can help you to respond quickly (as the fish are always on the move) and when they are ready to hit, you are prepared for them! Others suggest using braided line that is stronger than mono (for when fishing in weedy areas), with no stretch that can minimize entanglement and optimize your chances of retrieval through think weeds and cover.

Stiff rods that can withstand the �fight� bass can typically put up are another base-requirement for bass fishing enthusiasts. Protecting your rods with rod wraps, to avoid dings and scrapes can also maximize not only its efficiency, but keep your angling investment in good condition! Shaking and popping along bait/lures, create a situation that lets the fish think the �prey� is getting away.

However, the right equipment, bait, hooks and location is not enough! Some basic angling techniques are required, setting up your rod and reel, knowing the basics about tying knots for joining line to tackle, forming loops and more.

Tying a secure knot is the main thing here, as every one could pose a �weakness�, which you do not need, when you have the BIG ONE hooked! Some suggest before tightening a knot, to wet it with some water and trim all edges and loose ends, to avoid snag/drag.

Gulp-sinking minnows cast out fast and far, allowing to let it fall and dangle, quiver down, with lots of slack, might prove just what the fish ordered!

Tube-jigs, gulp-tubes that are scented, are other options. The soft, natural-chewy substance, tricks the fish, into not wanting to let go and have another chew, thus increasing your odds of landing it safely.

Top-water baits with rattles are another all-time favorite, with slack in the line, walking-the-dog (flipping) makes for an enticing presentation for the fish.

Having a spinner-bait with some red in it, simulates blood or wounded prey to our underwater predator, triggering yet again their natural instincts and feeding response, increasing your odds of getting a bite, hit or strike.

Whether you find yourself in a jet-boat or flat-bottom bass boat, shore, rocks, beach, cliff, stream, river, stream, lake, reservoir, or other body of water, strong rods, hot hands, good tackle, appropriate preparation, the right bait and presentation, accurate casting, where you know the fish might be/move/feed naturally, fishing for structure and pattern, keeping an eye on surroundings and conditions, can all make those fleeting moments of anticipation and elation at first strike momentous!

The fights, flights, flips, turns and jumps, attacks and hard hits, struggles, retrieval and landing of bass, is what keeps us coming back!

Let us now turn to take a look at what other considerations, plan of attack, angling techniques, secrets, mistakes and specialty circumstances, can teach us about the enjoyable art and activity, that is bass fishing!