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When I think back on all my years of bass fishing there is always one image that sticks out in my mind and that is the image of a bass getting its head above the water and tossing my lure into the air. It’s happened so many times to me I have lost count. Even when I’m prepared for it I’ve had some bass charge towards the boat faster than I can reel up the slack and then come up and shake their head and toss my lure out. I guess it’s all just part of the battle and you’ve got to be prepared if you want win by landing the bass.

Jumping Bass Pic - ©MikeLongOutdoorsIn the picture above you can see a large bass getting it’s head and most of its body out of the water and attempting to shake my lure out.

Jumping Bass 10 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Jumping Bass 11 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Jumping Bass 13 - ©MikeLongOutdoors The three pictures above show a bass jumping completely jumping out of the water and not on this jump, but the next jump spit my swimbait out. Why does this happen? Water is much denser than air, so if a bass can shake its head back and forth underwater two times per second it probably can easily double if not triple that same head shaking ability above the water making it that much harder to keep the fishing line tight and the hook set in the bass’ mouth. Another factor is the weight of the bait, the heavier the bait the easier a bass can use that added weight to its advantage and toss the heavier lure from its mouth when above the water.

Hodges 9lb swimmer fish 1 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsOne technique that I practice after a hook set is keeping the rod tip close to the water and sometimes burying it into the water. At 6′-4″ this is not an easy task for a tall guy unless I’m using a long fishing pole.

Hodges 9lb swimmer fish 2 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThere are many times where I will get down to one knee and keep my rod as close to the water as possible. This really helps when I see my line coming out of the water towards the bass that is about to jump, I can easily bury the rod tip down into the water reel faster and hopefully slow down, or prevent the bass from jumping out of the water. The primary goal is to always keep the line tight and control the bass. We joke about this “tight lines” but it is no joke when your fighting a monster bass and it gets some slack line on you by getting its head out the water and shaking it. So thinking it through while battling the bass and staying very calm will help prepare you for what an angry bass might do while the fight is on.

Jumping Bass 6 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Jumping Bass 7 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsAnother technique I try to practice if the situation allows it is to fight a large bass by keeping the line tight and letting it go through any underwater weed, or submerged grass. I have found two things while doing this; one if I can get some underwater grass, or weed on the bass’ face and blind it some it seems to trick the bass that is safe and slows its swimming surges and gives me a chance to land the beast. Two if I can get some underwater grass and weeds on my line the added weight helps to slow the bass down in the water  and also slow down the head shakes when the bass tries to jump.

So next time your on the water keep the line tight and control the bass and you’ll be wearing a big ole smile on your face.

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

One comment on “Techniques to Help Land a Jumping Bass

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Phil Griffin on May 15, 2013 1:42 am

Great tip Mike! I lost a big bass last Sunday that shook my buzz bait. It was in two feet of water around stumps and timber. Once it came up and started shaking my bait went flying. Thanks for the tip and keep up the great work you are doing on your website its great!!!

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