6 Secrets for Catching More and Bigger Largemouth Bass
Posted on May 7, 2020
If you've been wondering how to boost your chances of landing a bass over 8-pounds, and catching more bass overall, these six tips will point you in the right direction.
- Study your target species. There is a difference between Northern strain largemouth and Florida strain largemouth. Florida strain bass is a distinct subspecies that are often referred to as the “super fish” because they grow faster and are less aggressive than Northern strain fish, making them more of a challenge to catch. They are also more affected by significant changes in temperature.
- Spend time on lakes and ponds that see less fishing pressure. Check the online database at Trophy Catch Florida to find out which types of waterways are producing the highest number of fish 8-pounds or over.
- Become an amateur meteorologist. Study the weather and barometric pressure to learn when optimal feeding periods are likely to happen. For example, just before a front moving through when the pressure is falling. Consider downsizing your presentations or using finesse techniques when water temperatures are several degrees above or below the largemouth's preferred feeding temperature range, which is between 65 and 80 degrees.
- Use a solunar calendar to plan your trips around the best fishing periods based on the lunar phase. A solunar calendar will rate each day of the month as average, good, better, or the best. You should also check the two major feeding periods and two minor fishing periods for each day of the month. If you are targeting trophy fish, be prepared to fish at night or during the early morning hours. Combine this information with the weather forecast to learn how to stack the odds of catching more and bigger fish in your favor.
- Plan to focus the bulk of your efforts during the months when the majority of bass are preparing to spawn. In South Florida, for example, this timeframe generally runs from late winter through spring. Florida strain bass usually prepare to spawn when water temperatures reach 62-75 degrees.
- Consider the best method for catching a trophy largemouth. Live baits, such as live wild golden shiners, will most often provide your best opportunity for big fish. One tip to remember when fishing with shiners is to hook them through the lips because you'll get more action out of your bait. Besides, bass tends to eat shiners head-first, so you'll also increase your chances of a good hook set.
Now that you know how to sway the odds of catching a trophy in your favor, pack up your tackle and get out on the water.
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater charter captain living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.