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Help me catch more fish – how can I up my game?

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I’ve been bass fishing for about 6 months now. Although I really enjoy it, I just feel that I’m not getting any better at it. I have bought a better rod and reel, but I don’t catch more fish. I also don’t feel like I have a ‘fishing strategy’, and I’m never sure if I’m using the right bait. Do you have any general advice that could help me catch more fish?

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4 Answers

  1. Travis Green on Dec 26, 2012 Reply

    One common mistake that people make when they’re fishing with bass is that they get smells that alarm the fish on the bait. Bass are really sensitive to scents on the bait and won’t take it if it doesn’t smell right to them. If you’ve got hand lotion, strong smelling soap, oil from a motor you were working on, or even just the smell of dill pickles from your sandwich on your hands when you set the bait, odds are the bass won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. Wear gloves if you have to in order to avoid getting any unwanted smells on the bait.

    Shad or crayfish and similar live bait is best for bass. But you can often get good results by using realistic lures that move like a live animal, too.

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  2. Liam on Dec 27, 2012 Reply

    Here’s a basic piece of advice that you may already know: bass love to hang out in the reeds. When I stated fishing I would always head for the big, beautiful open waters, the deepest parts of the lake. It took me a while to realize that the fish enjoy the reeds, and will often stick to shallower water.

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  3. Hugh Stevens on Dec 27, 2012 Reply

    This is a bit complicated, but if you can pull it off, you may be able to land more bass. The trick to this method (and there are truly a ton of methods) is to use actual wild baitfish as your lure and trick the bass into taking your lure instead of their prey.

    If there are baitfish like shad schooling, stand by with your bass rig and a Spook lure (one of the ones that rattles). Wait for one of the shad to break the surface, then cast your Spook into the ripples and start reeling it in. You know the shad or other baitfish was probably being chased; so you want to get your Spook in there and make it more attractive to the bass than its original target. Which shouldn’t be too hard, since your Spook will be kicking up a fuss and the actual baitfish will be trying to make a clean getaway.

    That’s just one of many ways, though. And of course, you’ve got to know how and when to find the shad schooling in the first place.

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  4. Ralph on Dec 31, 2012 Reply

    Here’s my short list of great advice – I’m sure you’ll find something of interest here:

    • Practice your casting on a regular basis – even if it’s in your back yard – using different weights.
    • Learn to be patient – fishing is all about patience.
    • Be observant – keep your eyes and ears open. Learn to listen for fish jumping and watch out for birds catching insects – things like this could help you find the perfect spot.
    • Ask questions – fish with people who’ve been fishing longer than you, talk to people in bait shops, keep asking questions wherever you go.
    • If you’re really serious about fishing, keep a record – write down what you catch and what you used.
    • Fish as often as you can

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