Almost every type of gear available can catch bass. Bait-casting and spinning equipment are popular choices. Make sure the gear you choose is easy to use and you are comfortable using it.
Many anglers use spinning reels to cast lighter lures into or under habitat. Bait-casting reels work well to cast lures into precise locations or flip, pitch and cast lures into tight spots in exact habitats. Bait-casters can cast long distances, but it takes some practice to perfect the landing of a lure or bait to avoid getting a backlash. Many bait-casters have braking systems to help stop the spool. You can use several different fishing poles with bait-casting or spinning reels; pick one that works best with the type of lures you will be fishing.
Monofilament line has several uses, but it can stretch. Braided line is a great choice for topwater, spinnerbaits and jigs. It doesn’t stretch and has great scratch resistance. Fluorocarbon line works well in clear water along with deep diving crankbait fishing since it sinks and doesn’t float like monofilament and braided line.
Bass are opportunistic foragers which prey on the most abundant and vulnerable food. Fish, crayfish, large aquatic and terrestrial insects, frogs, worms and even small mammals and birds have been found in bass stomachs.
Always keep natural bait active and moving. Largemouth bass rarely search for dead food from the bottom like some fishes. They gladly take nightcrawlers throughout the year. Use only enough weight on the line to sink the crawler to the bottom then move it with very slow and easy jerks. Try fishing crayfish, live minnows and frogs in a similar manner near structure and cover; constant movement is the key to success.
Artificial lures come in many shapes, sizes and color combinations. Use natural color lures that match colors fish usually see when fishing clear to lightly stained water. Pick lures with smaller and thinner blades when using spinnerbaits, in-line spinners, buzz baits, umbrella rigs and spoon baits. Choose a crankbait or jerk bait with a smaller bill.
Brighter, more vibrant colored lures are needed to lure bass to bite when the water is stained or turbid. Select a lure with larger blades that make more vibration under the water’s surface. If the water is very turbid, bass must use the vibration and noise a lure makes to find it. The wider the bill, the more vibration crankbaits or jerk baits will make while traveling through the water.
Many different set ups such as the Carolina rig, Texas rig, Florida rig, wacky style and drop shots can be rigged with any soft plastic bait. Soft plastic baits can slow down and catch fish that short strike a crankbait, spinnerbait or other type of “hard bait.” If the fish are tired, use very subtle baits. Baits can have lots of motion and noise when fish are active.