The net is something that we all forget from time to time and it can make a difference when catching that trophy bass of a lifetime. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten prepared for a trip with rods, reels, lures, food, clothing, water, and maps and gotten all the way to the lake only to realize that I forgot my net because I did not think the whole trip through. One good remedy for this is to put a smaller version in your vehicle so, if you do forget your net at home, you have a backup ready to go. This also helps with other essentials such as fishing line, water, and food. It’s always good to have a few backup supplies close to where you are.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about what kind of net to use. ]if I’m in the boat I prefer using the Frabill Power Stow Net. I like it for three main reasons: the hoop and handle are very light and strong, you get a net depth of 24″which is great for those monster bass, and finally I love the black tangle-free micro netting which is lure-safe and very durable. Having a net that is very light and very large is key, especially when you’re fishing by yourself and have to net a very heavy bass with one arm. Having a frame and handle that will help you keep control of the situation is very important too. A good-sized handle I like is about 24″-30″ long. The micro netting is awesome and very convenient. Once you land that bass and get it in the boat, if your lure pops out of the bass’ mouth it will not get caught in the net like with the fabric style nets. It is very important to get your bass back into some water as soon as possible and if one hook is stuck in his mouth and another in the net, that’s not going to help you accomplish that. If you’ve ever watched any of my videos on catching bass while in a bass boat, you’ll always notice the net handle is always just behind my right foot (if you’re left-handed you’ll want it behind your left foot). I always try to have it in the ready position and I have a routine of setting the hook, getting control, and then I go for the net and get it in the landing-ready position. This is something that works for me but you might have to find your own way to work it into your bass landing routine in your boat. The key is to always have it handy and upfront. When shore fishing, I don’t use a net 80% of the time unless it’s maybe Spring and I’m sight fishing a monster bass and then I might have a net. But, if I’m in a rental boat, I have my net and once again it’s always very close where I can reach it with my right hand.
When I was young I got one new spinning reel a year, normally around Christmas, and I had to make it last for the year. This was really hard to accomplish with as much fishing as I did growing up. Most of the time I was catfishing and you could catch some nice cats up to 15lbs that really put a hurting on your tackle. My reel drags were cheap and always got smoked so I would have to tighten them down to where there was no drag at all. Then I’d turn the anti-reverse off if I hooked a big fish and it made a run for it. So, by accident, I learned the power of back reeling a spinning reel.
If you watch a spinning reel’s spool while fighting a strong fish, you’ll notice that there are times the line is going out a lot faster than the drag setting and the line is stretching. This is not good, especially if you are using light line. The idea is to use your rod the way it was built to be used and that is to keep it between 10:00 to 12:00 o’clock. This always allows you to keep pressure on the fish and keep the hook set in the fish’s mouth and bottom line to be in control.
By setting your reel’s drag to a firm setting for the pound line you have on the reel, turning your anti-reverse off, and keeping your rod at the right angle, you are now in control. If that fish makes a really fast charge, you just keep the rod in position and simply back reel and slowly start to forward reel.
It takes times to master this technique, but when fishing lighter lines you will land more fish and not strees your line to the maximum limit.
Back when I was much younger, if I needed to repair a soft plastic lure I had two choices: if it was a tear I could heat it with a match and weld it back together, which was not always easy to do, or I could heat some plastic and fill or patch the lure. At first I used Super Glue because with it’s secret ingredient, an acrylic resin called cyanocrylate, it bonded instantly. I found that I had to make a smooth, oil-free surface to make a good bond and with soft plastic lures which have a lot of oil in them that could be very hard to do. Fortunately, over the last ten years, a few companies have discovered better ways to make incredible glues that will work on our soft plastic lures. One of them is Mend-it, which is my favorite, because you simply apply wherever needed and hold it in place for a few seconds to let it cure. It gives you a super strong bond which is almost better than new. I glue tails and fins on soft plastic swimbaits all the time and rarely have any issues. When using these newer glues, you need to get the cap on the bottle as soon as possible to keep the glue at full strength. Leaving the cap off will eventually compromise the glue’s strength and it will eventually dry out. Another thing that is key is to storing your glue and getting a longer shelf life is keeping it in a dark, cool place. Sunlight or hot air temperature will heat the bottle up and also compromise the glue. Be careful when using these glues to not get the glue in contact with your skin. If you do, some companies make a glue nuetralizer to help if this happens.
A bass uses all five major senses and the lateral line system. In this article I’m going to talk a bit about how bass use their sight to help with their survival in their underwater world.
Two groups of light-sensitive cells known as rods and cones, much like we have as humans, help the bass to see colors much like we do. At night or during low-light conditions, the rod cells are primarily used and during the day the cone cells are primarily used.
The bass eye is constructed in a way that its large round lens protrudes through each pupil. This protrusion provides the bass with a wide field of view. The negative side of this is that it prevents the pupil from closing and opening. If the ambient light is intense, the pupil is stuck wide open. As humans we can control how much light comes in with our pupils. If there is too much light then the pupil constricts and, when light levels are low, our pupils open to let more light in so we can operate comfortably under a wide range of light conditions. So for the bass, who has no eyelids or can’t open or close its pupils, it must adjust to whatever light there is to be comfortable. To compensate, it means they might go deeper down into the water where its darker and use mud lines or the shades of structures (under docks, rocks, plants, etc.) to feel safe and have good visibility. The clear waters of Southern California, where very clear water sometimes 30′-40′ visibility, pushes the bass to depths of 40′-60′ during the intense mid-day sun. This is due to the clear water absorbing light and allowing it to go to much deeper depths. As it gets stained, dirty, or algae blooms, the water does not allow light to penetrate as deep. Therefore, the bass can adjust to shallow water much more comfortably.
All colors are filtered out by even pure water, but some colors, such as red, are more strongly filtered than others. In waters that contain amounts of algae and sources of chlorophyll both the blue and red ends of the light spectrum are more strongly absorbed leaving primarily yellows and greens. These waters at times can have a greenish look. In waters that are very stained or muddy often appear reddish, while little light of any wavelength is allowed to pass through, the blues and greens are absorbed more than the reds. In trying to understand how to choose a color for a lure you must first understand the environment that the bass lives in first. This means that understanding light absorbtion in water is a must in your home work.
Bass have photopic vision which is normal vision during the day and scotopic vision which is the ability to see in reduced illumination (as in moonlight). These two types of vision are dramatically different. What a bass sees at night is not what he sees during the day. When a bass changes from scotopic vision to photopic vision and vise versa it can take quite some time; anywhere from 20-30 minutes. This is one of the reasons why after dusk, when it first becomes dark, that the bite slows down; the bass needs some time to adjust her vision. One cool thing about when it’s dusk is that the bass and schooling prey switch to scotopic vision. Here is when the bass has a huge advantage over the prey which have primarily a cone-dominant eye system which is better for daylight use. They are at a slight disadvantage in seeing the bass while the bass’ eyes adjust in scotopic vision. He knows he has this small window where the prey is blind which leads to that epic evening bite we hear about all the time or experience for ourselves.
When bass are using eyesight to hunt quickly, they disregard anything that has no movement at all as a non-living. Other senses may detect life, but if the bass sees no movement it may just keep moving onto the next target. As it matures into an adult, it may recognize prey shapes and give them a longer look. Giving it a close inspection and using another sense will surely detect life.
Looking for bass fishing tips? Many wonder where to start in the bass fishing world. One of the first questions you must ask yourself is what do you want from the sport. Do you want to be a tournament bass fisherman, a trophy bass chaser, a weekend warrior, or just have a good time?
If tournament fishing is what you want you need to join a local bass club in your area and pay attention and learn from the club members. From there move up to local team tournaments and your final goal should be the Pro status. Not everyone has got what it takes to fish tounaments so don’t get to discouraged. If that’s not your niche, there are also small “turkey shoot” style derbies put on for very little money that might be right up your alley.
If you think you’re that guy or gal who can catch the next trophy bass in your area then you have the fever I have. This means you pay attention to detail, keep very good notes about all bass catches, weather, and lake conditions. In addition, you understand how to make a spread sheet to refer back to and find productive trophy bass water. Chasing the monster bass in your area can be very time consuming with very little reward and you most likely find yourself often wondering, “Why am I sitting here all day for no bass bites?” Hunting for the trophy bass is not for everyone because it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and patience. For me, these are all worth it when I hook the big bass.
While searching for trophy bass is definitely my passion, I find myself having the most fun with the sport of bass fishing by just being able to enjoy the outdoors and have a good friend to talk with sharing some bass catching memories. This is where most of us in the sport fit right in. We can all buy lures, tie them on, and throw them in the water knowing this is where and what we should be doing. It call comes down to having a wonderful time in the great outdoors.