Big bass secrets for the kayak angler
There are specific techniques, lures, approaches and elements that consistently catch big bass. Surprisingly some of the same fishing factors cross over to multiple species but remain unrecognized. Trolling, fishing crankbaits or soft plastics, the needs of several different species all are but a few examples of proven aspects that intersect. When you develop your own system, the more of these techniques you incorporate and consistently apply, the more likely it becomes that you will experience multiple catches of trophy size bass. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Make a house call – The easier you make it for fish to eat, the less energy they expend the larger they get. Doing close quarters battle with bass requires stout equipment. If you wait for bass to come to you it’s a less likely situation. Going to the fish (pitching and flipping) requires more of you and less of the fish. This does increase the odds of presenting your lures to monster fish. They do not get bigger chasing their food sources long distances.
- Ninja stealth mode- the silent approach. For years I have been a martial arts practitioner. One of the basic tenants of many physical activities is the ability to blend in and incorporate a silent approach. Bass are both predator and potentially prey. Loud noises, shadows cast over their position, anything that sends a negative sensory message all put fish on high alert. When bass become wary they will move to heavy cover, secondary offshore objects, move off shore, and go nocturnal or shutdown. Small paddle adjustments with my Bending Branches Angler Pro Carbon and slow drifts into the prospective area super effective. Couple this with the silent entry of your lure form the pitching / flipping techniques and you are building your own personal BIG bass system. My own take on approach, when I’m working any artificial bait I try to visualize that predator bass inspecting my lure as it swims by, I stay alert and on point so I don’t miss the strike, because it may be one of a handful that I get to that day.
- Random action – To consistently catch heavyweight bass with artificial baits consider this, any lure that has random action is the most likely to be effective. Bass never catch on to the quiet, random motion baits. Most large fish have more than likely seen a multitude of baits and been caught many times. Bass will snub baits overloaded with extreme attracting qualities. Not to say bass won’t ever strike large, loud, brightly colored, mechanical motion lures. The most likely scenario would be defending the nest or at night. Day in day out lures that achieve random action AND speed imparted by each individual angler will catch the behemoth bass. This explains why two anglers fishing the same bait in the same area on the same equipment experience different results. Retrieve speed is ion mu opinion the least considered and the most important aspect of catching a trophy.
- Object of our attention- Largemouth bass are object oriented creatures. I, because of my experiences and past success gravitate to submerged weeds and wood. Eric Jackson elaborates: “A good example is throwing to a big fallen tree, with a nice drop off nearby four or five times and trying different lures on it. Then, finding a very small fallen tree, i might skip that and move to the next really promising looking spot. Finally, I don't trust the advice of others to find the big fish so much that I don't try a variety depths, lures, and locations”. The best cover serves at least three of the bass four basic needs, maybe all four if located near deep water. * see previously posted. My opinion matches Jacksons’, while many anglers like inordinate amounts of cover (more is better) I prefer to find an area where the same type of cover exists in smaller numbers. For example in a cove where there are 100 flooded trees, I would seek out a similar size cove with a dozen trees. The hundred tress probably have 20 bass on them the ten trees would likely have eight bass on them. You cut your search time and can cover water faster.
- Bass-tronomy - Simply stated the moon matters. If you don’t buy into the moon / big bass theory do a little research. World record catches in fresh and salt water many times reflect the catches occurring in close proximity to a major moon phase, new or full. In one year I religiously logged my fishing trips and big bass catches. My logbook shows out of 26 bass topping the five pound mark (up to a nine pounder) 25 of the fish were caught three days before or after a new or full moon. The one fish that wasn’t was one day off. Think those were isolated incidents? Study your own results. Fish as often as you can but when given the chance center your trips around major moon phases. Many hatches take place on the moons. Hatches in profusion create feeding binges throughout nature.
- Seeing red – Red is a triggering color for predatory fish like bass and others. If your bait doesn’t have any red on it add it with a marker or red nail polish or paint. The addition of a red hook to the front of your crankbaits will surprise you with the number of fish caught on the red hook. For years the color purple for plastic worms was easily the most popular. What colors combine to make purple? Blue and RED.
- Match the Hatch – Trout anglers promote the “match the hatch” concept. This is why they tie their own flies. They can walk the shoreline of the stream they fish, roll over rocks and wade to see what natural forage is available. As bass chasers we SHOULD NOT match the hatch. Common sense and logic will tell you why. If a bass of any size has to chase a meal the same distance why would it choose the smaller food source? The other factor is that in a school of three inch shad, any fish expending the same amount of energy will see and choose the six inch version. Make your offering standout and look real and the fish will do the rest. Bass love crawfish and gain a pound for every five pounds of crawfish they eat. They eat more shad and baitfish because they are more available and are their primary source of food.
Trophy hunting bass anglers have a different mindset. You’ll begin to look at your tackle boxes, rods, reels, line and other accessories with a changed perspective. In many cases you are fishing for a few bites. The payoff is a braggin’ size bass. Tournament anglers are notorious for saying that they are fishing for five now you’re fishing for A FIVE. Please reread parts one thru three and use the information presented to paddle your way to that bass of a lifetime and then release that fish to thrill another angler.