June 08, 2020 8 min read

Bonus Video at The End of This Article "ALL ABOUT BASS"

Believe it or not, competitive fishing is the fourth most popular sport in the United States. And about a third of those anglers are hunting for bass.

Now, it goes without saying that you don't have to be a world-class competitor angler in order to take part in the joys of fishing for bass. All you really need is access to a body of water and a desire to learn how to fish for bass.

While it might seem intimidating to the uninitiated, fishing for bass is actually pretty simple and fun once you get the hang of it. So continue reading and we'll walk you through everything you need to know.


The first thing that new anglers tend to think about is the equipment that they're going to need and how much it's going to cost them to start fishing. Thankfully, you don't actually need much in order to start.

The items that you are going to need to include are:

  • Fishing line
  • Hooks
  • Reel and rod (separate or combined)
  • Live bait or lures
  • Fishing net

And that's it. With just these items, you'll have everything you need to start fishing immediately. The cost to get started is going to depend on how much you spend on the reel and rod, which can range greatly in price.

Now, let's look further into these pieces of equipment.

Rod and Reel

Other than trying to decide where to fish, the most difficult decision you're going to have to make is what rod and reel combination you'll choose as a beginner. There are many, many different options, but the most important thing to understand is the difference between a spinning reel and a baitcaster.

The spinning reel is a great choice for novice anglers because they are easy to use. Spinning reels are also great for catching bass specifically because they can manage lightweight lures so well. And this is extremely important to do when fishing for bass.

Spinning reels also have an open spool where the line is exposed. These reels are located at the bottom of the rod which makes them easy to handle.

Unlike the spinning reel, the reel for the baitcaster sits on top of the rod instead of at the bottom. These reels also have a closed spool and only a small part of the line is exposed.

Baitcasters are also prone to "backlash," which is when the fishing line gets tangled and can cause a mess for the user. For experienced anglers who want to do some saltwater fishing, baitcasters are the way to go.

When it comes to choosing a rod, you want to pick one that also comes with a reel, if you're a beginner. When you purchase them together, they already come assembled and you know that they're going to work well together.

Fishing Line

After you're got your rod and reel, it's now time to decide what kind of line you're going to use. There are three main types of fishing lines that you should know about - braided, fluorocarbon, and monofilament.

Monofilament is the best choice for bass fishing, especially for beginners. It comes in a variety of different colors and strengths, is fairly inexpensive, and is also stretchy.

Monofilament is preferred by beginners because it spools evenly and resists abrasion, so you won't have to worry about having a loose line.

Unlike monofilament, fluorocarbon fishing line is usually used as a leader because it's invisible underwater. The leader is the part of the line that's closest to the lure and it helps to stop the bass from seeing the fishing line.

Some anglers like to use fluorocarbon as the mainline, but beginners shouldn't worry about that.

Braided fishing lines are great because they're twice as strong as monofilament and also cast a lot further because of their added weight. Also, when working with a braided line, you don't have to worry about it getting twisted and it works wonderfully with spinning reels.

However, braided lines aren't recommended for beginners because they are fairly visible underwater. Also, due to their weight, it can be hard to achieve the finesse style of fishing beginners need for bass fishing.

As someone who is new to bass fishing, you should mainly focus on technique instead of trying to catch the biggest fish possible.

Fishing Lures

Now that you've got your rod and reel lined up with a monofilament line, it's time to find the perfect lure. When it comes to finding the right lure, here are some helpful tips:

  • Bright lures work best during the warm months
  • Bright lures should be used when the water is dirty in order to improve visibility
  • Use smaller lures during the cold months and bigger baits during the warm months
  • Bass are naturally combative, so it's best to use noisy lures

Three popular types of lures for beginners are crankbaits, soft plastic worms, and spinnerbaits.

Spinnerbaits are noise because they come with a blade that vibrates when the lure moves through the water. Not only does this cause a big commotion but spinnerbaits also do a good job of reflecting light, which makes them especially useful on sunny days.

The best way to get attention from a bass is to aggravate it, and that's why spinnerbaits are so great.

Standard plastic worms are also great lure choices. These lures are easy to manage and they have a wonderful presentation in the water.

Just make sure that you hook them well. Otherwise, you'll end up spending a lot of money as you keep replacing them.

There are also crankbaits, which are lures that look like real baitfish. They have a lip on the front, which is what makes the presentation and noise in the water.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to crankbaits is that they can vary greatly in size. So make sure you don't get one that's too small or too big.

When to Go Bass Fishing

Now that you've got all your gear together, it's time to head and find yourself some bass. But before you leave your house, it's important to remember that bass are cold-blooded. This means that their body temperature changes with the outside temperature.

That means that the temperature of the water can't be too cold or too hot. It needs to be just right. So when you go out looking for bass, you only want to go out when there are ideal temperature conditions.

So what are these ideal conditions? During the winter and fall, you want to fish midday. But in summer and spring, you either want to fish during the late evening or early morning. Fishing midday in summer would be too hot and fishing too early or late in winter will be too cold.

Going out at these suggested times will help you catch the bass during their feeding hours, which is exactly what you want.

Where to Fish for Bass

One of the most important words to keep in mind when fishing for bass is "shoreline." If you go fishing from the shore, you're going to want to cast parallel to the shore. This is so that you can keep your lure close yet still get some distance behind the cast.

If you go kayak bass fishing, then you want to run the kayak about forty feet from the shore and cast towards it.

No matter how you go fishing, you want to keep the shoreline in mind. Remember, bass have predators that they're trying to avoid. And those big predators mainly hang out in the middle of the lake, not at the shore.

And the shore is where all of the docks, stumps, and vegetation are, and that's where bass like to hide.

Bass Fishing Techniques

When you're just starting out, don't get too concerned about complicated casting techniques. You really just want to focus on the sidearm and overhand.

When it comes to casting your spinning rod, here are the steps to throw your spinner for the first time:

  1. Have your fishing rod at waist level with the lure hanging about one foot from the tip of the rod
  2. Use your forefinger to grab the line and open the while also holding the line
  3. At a slight angle, pull the tip of the rod back over your dominant shoulder
  4. Point the tip where you want the lure to go and bring your rod forward
  5. After the lure hits the water, close the bail and start to retrieve the line

Now that we understand how to cast, let's go over some helpful tips for catching bass.

All About Bass Habitat & Behavior Video

Bass Fishing Tips

The first tip you should know is to go towards the cover. If you're able to find the cover, you'll find the bass too. Bass love to hide out in docks, wood, stumps, and anything else that doesn't blend in with the environment around you.

You also want to match what the bass eat. For example, if the bass in your area eat minnows and shad, then you're going to want to use a swimbait to mimic that.

Another helpful tip is that bass love to eat fish that are easy prey. This means fish that are injured. With this thinking, consider using a red-colored lure as that might trick the bass into thinking it's an injured fish.

You also should keep the weather in mind. Match your lure to the weather. Also, know that dry weather means shallow water fishing and rainy weather means deeper waters.

Lastly, remember that you yourself can affect how well you do. You could end up casting shadows and disturbing the water. And if you scare the bass, you won't catch any.

An Example Bass Fishing Day

By now, you should have the tools you need in order to start a long and fruitful angling hobby. Before you go on your first fishing expedition, it's important that you know what to expect. That's why we've devised this example day to give you a better sense of how a typical fishing day might go.

  • 5:30 am – Wake up
  • 6:00 am – Gather all of the equipment and also a hat
  • 7:00 am – Arrive at the lake and spend the next few hours looking for bass and angling
  • 11:00 am – Lunch
  • 1:00 pm – Now, it’s time to change up the strategy and switch to a Jig or Drop Shot for the next two hours before packing it in.

Obviously, your actual day is going to depend on what the specific conditions are. If it's in the middle of the summer and 90 degrees at 7 am, you'll probably want to get out to the lake even earlier if you can.

However, if it's March and it's only 40 degrees by 9 am, you might want to save your peak fishing for midday.

The Importance of Knowing How to Fish for Bass

Bass fishing is an exciting and fun hobby that can help you unwind after a long week and connect with nature. But until you actually learn how to fish for bass, you'll never actually have the tools to go out and do it. And even though it might seem intimidating at first, hopefully, it all seems more manageable now after reading the above article.

Just make sure that you have all of the necessary gear and go out in the optimal conditions. If you do that, there's no reason you should have a successful and exciting experience every time.

Are you looking for handy info before you get started? Check out our fishing tips to learn more!

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