The sport of bass fishing has become very popular over the last 10 years with television shows on ESPN and Versus displaying the top fishermen in their NASCAR like apparel. Prizes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars are not uncommon for the top professionals but the key to their success is often time spent on the water using proven techniques.
A successful bass fisherman adapts to the changing seasons as well as to different patterns on a wide variety of lakes. The summer finds many bass anglers probing the shallows in the early morning light targeting stands of vegetation, timber or manmade structure. As the sun rises the successful angler must move with the fish and that often means moving the boat to deeper structure such as creek channels, submerged timber and deep underwater humps and drop-offs. The proper selection of fishing gear in both scenarios is a must in order to catch their limits of bass. Shallow early morning fish strike topwater baits, Texas rigged worms and spinnerbaits while deep late morning early afternoon fish will likely hit worms on a Carolina rig or deep water crankbaits.
In the fall, the largemouth bass often feed on large shad schools and can be found at medium depths of 6 to 12 foot deep. Deep diving crankbaits and even topwaters can often provoke fish to strike.
The spring is the mating season for the bass. Pro fishermen seek sandy bottoms with available structure in the 2-4 foot range as the ideal depth. Fish can often be seen fanning their beds and a good pair of polarized glasses is a must to be able to sight fish. Tube lures, lizards and worms are often the ticket to catching the bass of a lifetime.
The winter is perhaps the toughest season to catch bass since the largemouth is cold blooded and their activity is proportional to the water temperature. Pros often downsize their baits and rely heavily on jigs, tubes and small finesse worms on a drop shot. A slight tick of the line maybe all that is felt on a winter bite and the successful angler must set the hook fast and hard.
Follow the major patterns for the seasons and with any luck you will be doing more catching with less fishing.