Bass Fishing Hacks
Simple Hacks and Tips to Help You Catch More Bass
Do you use weights for bass fishing?
The quick answer to this question is a resounding yes. You definitely use weights for bass fishing in many different fishing scenarios that you will encounter out on the water. Weights are a great addition to soft plastic lures and live bait fishing techniques for bass.
I am a fishing guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been catching bass for more than forty years in the canals, ponds and lakes all around Florida. In the article below, I will cover the various applications when you should use weights to maximize your bass fishing results.
Watch the video below and catch more bass with a Carolina rig or a Texas rig.
How do you use weights for bass fishing with a Carolina rig?
In my opinion, the Carolina rig for bass fishing is one of the best ways to incorporate weights into your fishing techniques. The Carolina rig works great because it allows you plastic worm, crayfish, lizard or whatever you are using to float above the bottom.
Where I fish there is usually a whole bunch of gunk on the bottom. There is a lot of weed and algae so to keep your presentation clean you need to keep your hook and lure above the bottom. Most worms, lizards and crayfish come with salt impregnated within the plastics.
There are two main reasons for this. The first one is that salt is lighter than fresh water so the lure will float. The second reason that the soft plastics are usually impregnated with salt is because bass love the stuff. They will hold onto a salt impregnated lure a little longer. This gives you a little longer to feel the bite and set the hook.
Where do you put the weights on a Carolina rig?
The length of the leader from the hook to the weight depends upon your personal preferences, the fishing conditions and how picky the bass are being. There are some Carolina rig bass fishermen that swear by a leader that is 3 or 4 feet long. A long leader like that will make it much harder for you to cast your rig.
You will have to go with a larger rod than normal if you want to cast long leaders. You might need an eight foot rod length if you want to use longer leader lengths with your Carolina rigs.
I personally use about a 24 inch leader between the hook and the weight on my rigs. That works best for me and my circumstances. You might want to experiment with different lengths based on your preferences and fishing conditions.
How do you use weights for bass fishing with a Texas rig?
The Texas rig is probably the most common way that bass fishermen use weights with their soft plastic lures. It is a super simple rig to set up and use and it works very well for catching bass. You just put a bullet weight on your line before you tie the hook one. It is really a no brainer fishing technique.
You can even use a Texas rig with a heavy weight as a punch jig. A punch jig is just a heavy jig for punching through thick weed mats or vegetation of some sort to get at the bass underneath.
All that you have to do to turn your Texas rig into a punch jig is add a much heavier weight than normal and secure it in place above your lure. You might normally use a 1/8 ounce weight for Texas rigging but you will need a 3/4 to 2 ounce weight to punch through the heavy stuff.
A smaller bait is a good idea too. The crayfish is my go to for punching through the heavy stuff. The smaller profile causes less friction with the vegetation and allows it to slide right on through it to those monster swamp donkeys that are lurking underneath.
I like to use a wooden toothpick to secure the weight to right above the fishing knot. You can buy hooks that have the weights already attached if you want to but the toothpick works just fine in most circumstances. Jam the point into the bottom of the weight where it meets the fishing line and bust off the tip.
Do the same thing on the top of the weight too. The wood will absorb the surrounding water and they will swell up and lock the weight in place.
Watch the video below and catch more largemouth bass from shore.
Are tungsten weights better for bass fishing than lead weights?
The quick answer to this question is oh yeah! For most circumstances they definitely are. They are about half of the size of a lead weight that weighs the same about. This allows you to have a much smaller profile for your baits. This is especially good when you are using your Texas rigged crayfish as a punch bait.
The tungsten weight is smaller but heavier at the same time. That is exactly what you want when you are fishing in thick vegetation.
Tungsten is more dense and harder than lead is too. This lets you feel the bottom better when you are using a Texas or a Carolina rig. You will be able to tell if you are fishing on sand or pebbles or rock slabs…….. or anything else you might be fishing over.
Tungsten will allow you to learn a new area very quickly. You can figure out the underwater topography without having a fancy fish finder. This is possible with a lead weight too but the tungsten lets you feel the bottom better.
Sounds great so what is the bad news? The bad news is that tungsten is a hell of a lot more rare than lead. In other words, tungsten weights are very expensive. They are worth the money in a lot of circumstances but lead will work just fine too.
How do you use weights for bass fishing with a drop shot rig?
Drop shot rigs are a bass fishing technique that has the hook positioned above the weight. The hook is suspended from 15 to 36 inches above the weight. This depends upon where you think the bass are. If you think they are one foot off of the bottom, then move the hook to one foot from the weight. If you think that they bass are at 24 inches, then move the hook 24 inches above the weight.
Drop shot bass fishing is considered a finesse technique and uses smaller baits and worms usually. You might use a 4 or 5 inch worm instead of 7 or 8 inch worms like you normally would.
This hooks for the drop shot rigs are usually smaller too. A 1/0 hook is the preferred hook size for most drop shot bass fishermen.
How do you use weights for bass fishing with live baits?
There are lots of ways to catch bass with live baits. You can put the bait under a cork; you can free line them; or use a weight to keep the baits on the bottom. A nice bluegill or shiner on the bottom is a great way to catch some huge bass.
Check your local laws about using pan fish for live bait because in many states it is illegal. Shiners are legal to use just about everywhere and a minnow will catch tons of bass too.
Add a small split shot to a live minnow when the bite is down deep and you will be surprised how many bass that you can catch. A minnow with a split shot is a good choice for sight fishing a sandy shoreline for bass. That is really fun way to catch bass from shore.
That was my go to method when I was a kid. I had a cane pole and a bucket of minnows and I would walk the canal across the street from my house sight fishing two and three pound bass with that set up.
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