Sometimes figuring out a productive pattern can take hours if not days. But when we eventually do figure it out, Bucket mouth can be had by the ‘buckets’. There are many factors to consider when patterning a good day out on the water. Wind, sun, temperature, food, cover, these are just a few parameters in our quest for a Largemouth Bass extravaganza!
First I like to try a process of elimination in my outings. Fishing in the right cover doesn’t mean instant success. Good cover is a good thing, yes, but is there food nearby? How is the temperature? Is it too hot or too cold? Is the water clear or murky? These are all immediate questions that need to be answered before choosing our patterns. Clear water should prompt us to grab the rod and reel combo with the fluorocarbon leader or main line. It should also give us a sure sign of distant casts, especially when the Largemouth are pursued constantly in busy lakes. Obviously, Largemouth Bass that don’t see much hardware are an exception, but believe me, it doesn’t take them long to figure it out. Murky water is a definite sign of accurate casts. Sometimes in stained water Bass need to have that bait placed right in front of their noses before the jaws will open. A noisy pattern in this case might suffice!
Temperature, as usual, is a big part of our Largemouth Bass extravaganza. It is essential to success. You won’t find Salmon in lily pads and you will not find Largemouth in 120 feet of water either. So being Bass smart helps. Patterns used in 71 to 78 degrees will up our odds, but a consistent 74 to 78 degree F. water temperature will increase our chances of an extravaganza immensely.
Bass fishing like any other species fishing is a gamble at times. Even in gambling we can, in time, get good at it. A big part is knowing the ins and outs of a particular game. And like gambling, if you fish with an ‘all or nothing’ attitude you might loose! But then again, we are having fun aren’t we? Speaking of fun, having ‘all your fishing weapons’ lined up helps when quick decision making is necessary. And during a tournament that is paramount. Time wasted tying and retying makes for a long day too, so readiness is important! Fishing for fun or competition, to me there is no difference. I want to keep my successful pattern in the water as long as possible. A pattern figured out doesn’t do much good dangling in mid air!
I strongly feel that it is just as important how we use bait as to what bait we actually use. I also try to imagine where the Bass are in their surrounding cover. Some may think that this is too scientific. To many it’s a matter of ‘just fishing’, but ‘just fishing’ and not catching eventually frustrates even the novice of Bass anglers. I really dissect a particular area I want to fish and by imagining where the Bass would be I pick and choose a pattern that best puts the bait in their strike zone! For example, a drop off is best fished with a crank bait. If the water is murky I will use one that will make a ruckus. In clear conditions, however, I will use a fluorocarbon main line tied directly to the crank bait and I move it quickly as well so that reaction time for the Bass is minimal. That, again, is just common Bass sense.