Over the last year or so we have picked up a few basic tips and pearls of wisdom from various sources such as internet sites, magazines, various DVDs, and fellow bass anglers. Some of these tips have proven valuable and others completely fruitless. So here we have listed 5 simple ‘RULES’ which one should always abide by when bass fishing, which have definitely helped us on the water and have contributed to the landing of more fish such as the one above, caught at Bass ‘o Mania near Bronkhorstspruit in the Gauteng region. (I will post the contact details of B ‘o M later this week). Our 5 rules are:
1. Always fish in and around Structure. This is by far the most important rule. Fishing into open water will not be successful unless there is underwater structure which you cannot see. Structure consists of: sunken logs, rocky out crops, reeds, thick floating grass beds, sunken objects such as man-made building structures, and so on. Structure such as this provides bass with cover where they will lie in ambush waiting for their unsuspecting prey to swim by.
2. Vary the size and colour of your lures according to the water colour! We have found that in stained, discoloured waters that darker, larger soft plastic lures are more productive. Our favourite colours in these situations are June Bug (dark purple like colours) and black. These darker colours seem to be more visible to the fish in murky water. Remember in stained waters fish don’t rely heavily on their eyesight when feeding and the larger lures generate more vibration as you fish them through the water. Also try to find lures with more paddles and tails as these will also give off stronger vibration. Our favourite is the Zoom Brush Hog. In clear water it is advisable to use natural coloured baits such as watermelon, and green pumpkin. You can also size down your lures in this situation as less vibration is necessary and large lures can prove to be intimidating to some bass. Below we have ‘The Bass Bugger’ Shaun Taylor with his first fish which he caught free lining a Zoom Baby Brush Hog (black) in slightly stained water.
3. If the fish are not biting don’t be afraid to size down or even up on your lures. Even in Stained waters we have noticed a substantial increase in bites after changing to smaller lures. Similarly we have noticed an improvement in bites when sizing up on our lures. In these cases the fish are obviously just interested in expending little amounts of energy on large worth while morsels. Chop and change to see what the fish want in that particular dam or on that particular day.
4. Also important is changing lure types. It all depends on the primary food source at the dam that you are fishing. For instance if you notice schools of small fish in the water try a lure that resembles these bait fish such as flukes, minnows and Rapalas. Otherwise try creature baits such as plastic lizards, Worms, horny toads, or Brush Hogs. Again you need to experiment to find out what the fish want and the only way to do so is to change your lures regularly!
5. Fish with confidence. Believe me it makes all the difference. If you do not have confidence in the lure you are fishing then you are guaranteed not to catch. Remember you want your lure to move like living prey through the water. If you are confident then you are focused and if you are focused then your lure action will be second to none!
Now write these rules down, get out there and catch some fish!