Bass Fishing Hacks
Simple Hacks and Tips to Help You Catch More Bass
What are the best freshwater fishing lures?
If you ask 10 different bass fishermen about the best freshwater fishing lures, you will probably get 10 different answers but I will give you my opinion on the subject. The bottom line is that you need lures that can cover every part of the water column. During different times of the year the bass are in different areas and depths of the waters where they live. You need a variety of lures to get at those fish all year long.
I am a fishing guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been catching bass in the ponds, lakes and canals all over Florida for more than 40 years. In the article below, I will cover the best lures for fishing the entire water column throughout the different seasons.
Let’s get started.
What are the best freshwater lures for fishing the upper 2 feet of the water column?
Frogs are one of the best top water lures for bass that there is. You can use them in the thickest of cover to get at those bass that would be inaccessible with any other lure. You can also fish frogs all year long in the Southern parts of the United States. Frogs will catch those big bass right in the middle of the day. Often times the best top water bite is morning and sunset but a frog catches fish all day long.
You really only need 3 different frog colors to catch bass. You need a frog with a black belly. You need a frog with a white belly. You also need a frog with a chartreuse belly. The tops of the frogs do not matter. Those are decorated all pretty to catch bass fishermen because the bass never get to see them.
Buzz baits are one the the best top water lures for catching big bass. They just can’t stand those lures swimming over them. They do whatever they can to kill that lure. All that you need is a white one and you are ready to catch some bass.
You will definitely want to add a trailer hook to a buzz bait. You will get lots of short strikes with a buzz bait and that will always increase your hook up ratios. It is just about the easiest lure to fish with. All that you do is cast it out and start reeling as soon as it hits the water. Just keep those blades spinning on the top of the water and you are all set.
Buzz baits come with one or two propellers. I have never used a double propeller buzz bait but the single propellers work great for big bass. The best time to use a buzz bait is Summer and Fall.
Top water lures like a walk-the-dog types of lures are the best for getting some savage bass strikes. Once the water temperature gets over 60 degrees you can use top water very effectively. This is my favorite lure for fishing open water in freshwater and saltwater for big fish. The early morning and the late afternoon are the best times to use a walk-the-dog types of lures.
Popping lures are another great choice for a top water lure for bass. A popper lure is one that has a concave face that cups the water as you chug it on top of the water. This creates a popping sound that the bass just love and that is how these lures got their names.
Spinner baits are another great lures to use in the upper part of the water column. Many bass fishermen see a spinner bait as a bait to fish in the middle or lower parts of the water column but they are great to run just subsurface enough to create a bulge on the water’s surface.
You want to fish it close enough to create that bulge but don’t break the surface because your blades won’t work correctly if you do. Bass love to hit spinner baits near the surface. You really only need white ones but chartreuse and black are good too.
What are the best freshwater lures from the surface to 10 feet down?
Spinner baits will work well from the surface down to 10 feet too. You can work them from the surface all of the way down to the bottom if you want to. They are a very versatile bass fishing lures for sure.
Swim baits come in a couple of different types. There are hard bodied swim baits and soft bodied swim baits. My favorite is the soft plastic swim baits with a paddle tail. The paddle tails really help get the bass to bite these types of lures.
You can fish this with a steady retrieve and catch a lot of bass. BUT you can reel it in with a twitch or two every every now and again to get those finicky bass to eat your lures. It is real important for you to match the hatch with a swim bait. If they are feeding on on 4 inch shad or shiners then get a 4 inch swim bait.
Wacky worms are simply a worm that is symmetrical on both ends with a hook in the center of it. This is the simplest way to fish an entire water column with a worm.
All that you have to do is cast this worm out and let it fall through the water column to the bottom. You do not create any of the action yourself. The wiggle of the worm as it falls is all the action that you need.
Wacky worms work great for clear water and when the bass are being picky about the lures that they want to eat. Remember that you do need to twitch the worm or anything like that. Just cast it and let it sink and then cast is somewhere else.
What are the best freshwater lures for fishing the bottom?
Crank baits will catch bass in 1 foot of water all the way down to 30 or 40 feet of water. They are one of the best bass lures that exists. They work best when they are bouncing off of the bottom. The vibrations as they run into things on the bottom is what gets the bass to eat your lure.
There are crank baits for every water depth so it pays to have a few that work at the different water depths that you might encounter on the waters that you are fishing. Crank baits can be used year round for catching bass. They are one of the most versatile bass lures that exists.
Jigs are probably the only lure that can beat the crank bait for best all around and year round lure for catching bass. You can fish a jig 365 days a year. You can fish them in heavy vegetation or bounce them off of the bottom in a wide open lake and still catch bass.
It doesn’t matter if the water is in the 50 degree range or the 90 degree range, a jig will still catch bass. It is your best all around lure for bass. If you can master the jig and the crank bait then you can catch bass at any depth all year long.
Texas and Carolina rigged soft plastics are the quintessential rigs for bass lures. Just about everyone who has ever fished for bass has used a plastic worm at one time or another. Purple worms were my go to lures as a kid and they accounted for hundreds of bass.
They are simple to use and more importantly bass love them. The Texas rig is just a worm, lizard, crawdad, creature bait or any other plastic lure with a bullet weight above it. That is all that a Texas rig is.
The simplicity of this rig is its best feature if you ask me. You can drag this lure on the bottom or jig it in underwater structure or vegetation. You can pitch it under docks or among rocks or a sandy beach. This is a great lures for catching bass anywhere that bass are hanging out.
The Carolina rig is simply a weight tied above a swivel that is then followed by a leader to the actual worm or lure at the end. That is really the only difference between the Texas and the Carolina rig. The length of leader depends upon the angler but you usually need 24 inches or less to accomplish your goals.
This is a great technique for fishing hard bottoms. You can also use this technique for fishing bottoms with lots of gunk on them. The worm will often float above the gunk and stay right in the bass’ strike zone.
All that you have to do with a Carolina rig is drag it on the bottom with a pause every now and again to get strikes. What could be easier than that?
Drop shot worms are another way to fish a plastic worm on the bottom. This rig has the worm tied directly to the line a foot or two above a sinker that is at the end of your fishing line. That is really about it for that rig.
This is considered a finesse bass fishing technique because the wiggle of the worm in the water column is really what gets finicky bass to eat. You don’t usually have to put a lot of effort into making the worm move. It moves on its own.
You can just cast this bait out and twitch your rod a few times then move it a few feet and repeat the process in deep water. This worms in shallow water too but you can catch bass down 30 feet with this technique.
What are the best freshwater lures for fishing in thick vegetation and structure?
Jigs are the best all around lure that there is for bass because you can fish them anywhere. BUT where they really shine is in the heavy vegetation or thick tangled underwater branches and trees. Those big bass feel safe in those types of environments and they are very hard to get at with any other lure.
You have to be able to get through the weeds or lily pads or brush and present your lure in the bass’ strike zone or you will not be catching any bass. It is really as simple as that. A jig can go where no other bass lure can go.
You have to punch your way through the grass mats or vegetation so you will need a heavy jig to do that. There are even specific jigs that are called punch jigs that will get you through the thick stuff and at those hard to reach bass.
Once you get into the thick stuff just twitch your rod tip up and down a few times and try another spot. It is called the lift and drop technique and it is simple to do and you can master it in a day.
Texas rigged soft plastics can be used just like a jig if you secure the bullet weight to the line just above the hook. You can do this with a bobber stop or just jam a wooden toothpick in the hole next to the line and break off the tip. The wood will swell up and keep the bullet weight from sliding up and down the line.
Frogs are the best top water lure for getting big bass out of the thick vegetation. They are very weed less and every bass likes to eat a big frog every now and again.
Just work your frog over the vegetation or through it and wait for the bass to demolish it. They are a really fun way to catch big bass. Big bass like to hide in thick cover.
You will need a specialized rod and reel combination to fish for bass in heavy cover. I would suggest that you get yourself a 7 foot heavy fast action rod and a reel with a 7:1 gear ratio. You will want something with at least 10 to 15 pounds of drag and braided line from 50 to 65 pounds of strength.
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