Bass Fishing Tips

The Best Bass Fishing Tips

Welcome to Apex Fishing Tips, this section of our website is dedicated to bass fishing. On this web page you'll learn about bass (specifically black bass species) and bass fishing. It doesn't matter if you have years of fishing experience or have only been fishing a couple of times, our bass fishing tips and tricks will help you catch bigger bass, more often.

Below you'll find 10 bass fishing tips that you can use to improve your chances of catching different species of black bass, specifically largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass. Our bass fishing tips are perfect for both novice and expert anglers. If you have any tips on how to bass and would like to see them listed below, please contact us and share them.

Along with the 10 bass fishing tips we're going to teach you about largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass. We also provide you with the most current up to date world fishing records for bass. If that's not enough, we also provide additional resources on bass fishing and some awesome pictures of anglers who caught some nice bass.

10 Bass Fishing Tips

  1. The best live bait to catch smallmouth and largemouth bass are minnows and crustaceans. Minnow is a common term for many different types of small bait fish, but the most common species among anglers are fatheads, chubs, shiners and suckers. Crustacean is just a fancy scientific word for a crayfish. You can catch smallmouth and largemouth bass using other types of live bait, like leeches, worms, frogs and insects. However, if you're trying to catch bass with live bait you can't fail with minnows and crustaceans.
  2. There is a limitless supply of smallmouth and largemouth lures available on the market. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you use a lures, soft plastics, crankbaits or spoons. The more successful artificial bait will mimic whatever bass are feeding in the water you're fishing. Yes, they will bite on something that is different, but why fight nature? If bass in the place you're fishing feed exclusively on bluegills, then mimicking a bluegill nets the highest chance of success.
  3. When using lures, you'll need to pay attention to what the bass are doing. If the water is still cold and you don't see any activity from bass on or near the surface, you'll need to slowly work the bottom. However, if the water is warm and bass are active on or near the surface, you'll want to work faster near the surface. The hardest part of catching smallmouth and largemouth bass on a lure is finding where they are.
  4. You may want to try one of the five popular bass fishing rigs used by millions of anglers. These fishing rigs do an amazing job at catching both smallmouth and largemouth bass. The five most popular bass fishing rigs are the Drop Shot Rig, the Carolina Rig, the Ned Rig, the Texas Rig and the Wacky Rig. Just Google the fishing rig you're interested in, there are countless articles online explaining how to tie and use these fishing rigs.
  5. If you want to catch bass, you'll need to learn to identify the type of cover they like. Bass are ambush predators; they sit and wait for prey to pass by them. Bass love to use cover to ambush prey. It's important not to confuse cover with structure. Cover is things such as aquatic vegetation, dock pilings, sunken trees or large branches and even shade. Structure on the other hand is drop off points, humps or holes. Find the type of cover bass use to ambush prey and you'll increase your chances at catching them.
  6. Don't just sit in the same spot when trying to catch smallmouth and largemouth bass. You'll want to keep moving and try to find where bass might be lurking. Working with the water is an important tactics for anglers trying to catch bass. Survey the body of water you're fishing. Look for the types of cover and conditions that are favorable to bass. However, you'll want to be smart and test different types of bait presentations, lures and colors before you move on. The secret is to find what bass will hit and then target all the areas likely to contain them.
  7. In the spring months, bass are starting to prepare to spawn. They'll start to migrate from the deeper sections to shallower areas in search of food. As the water warms up, they'll get migrate to shallow waters for spawning. The secret is to target the transition points from deep water to shallow water during the spring. Once the temperature of the water gets above 50 degrees, they'll move to shallow water to prepare to spawn.
  8. In the summer months, larger bass will start to migrate to deeper waters, while smaller bass can be in the shallow water. This is due to young, smaller bass having a higher tolerance for warm water temperatures. You'll here stories of people catching lots of bass in the summer, but they'll all be on the smaller side. If you want to catch big bass in the summer, you'll need to go deep into the cooler waters.
  9. In the fall months, bass fishing can be hit or miss. As the water temperature starts to drop, you'll start to get the same results as you would in the spring months, especially since bass start to forage more aggressively to bulk up for the winter months. However, as the water temperature continues to cool you'll need to start fishing like it's the winter months. Smallmouth and largemouth bass will be deep, less active, and require more effort to get them to bite.
  10. In the winter months, bass are far less active and take a bit more skill to coax a bite. In lakes and ponds, they'll head towards the deepest section of these bodies of water. In rivers, they can be found closer to shore due to the warm water temperatures. Try using smaller live bait and lures, bass will be more likely to go after a small meal, versus a larger meal they require more energy. Slow down your lure movements, you want to give them an easy meal that doesn't require much effort.

About Black Bass (Micropterus)

Largemouth Bass (micropterus salmoides)

Arguably the most popular game fish among anglers are members of the black bass (Micropterus) family. There are 14 species of black bass and the three most popular species sought out by anglers are the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), the smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and the spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus).

Largemouth bass typically are an olive-green and gray color, with a dark horizontal stripe of jagged blotches. Female largemouth bass are bigger than males. Largemouth bass typically feed on bait fish, insects and crustaceans. largemouth bass eat prey that can exceed 50% of their own body weight. Trophy largemouth bass have been observed eating small water birds and baby alligators.

Smallmouth bass are typically brown, with reddish brown eyes and dark vertical blotches on its sides. Female smallmouth bass are larger than males. Smallmouth bass will normally feed on smaller fish, insects, and small crustaceans. There are two recognized subspecies of smallmouth bass and they are Neosho smallmouth bass (M. dolomieui velox) and the Northern smallmouth bass (M. dolomieui dolomieui).

Spotted bass look just like largemouth bass and anglers commonly confuse them with largemouth bass. You can tell the difference between a spotted bass and a largemouth bass by the size of its mouth. The jaw of a spotted bass doesn't extend past its eyes. Spotted bass typically prey on bait, crustaceans and aquatic insects.

Bass Fishing Records

The below International Game Fish Association (IGFA) bass world fishing records are up to date as of 2021.

Bass Fishing Pictures

A largemouth bass caught while fishing

A picture of a largemouth bass (M. salmoides) caught on a fishing trip.
(Credit: Michael Whitacre / Flickr)

A smallmouth bass caught while fishing

A picture of a smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu) caught on a fishing trip.
(Credit: Mike Vanepps / Flickr)

A guadalupe bass caught while fishing

A picture of a guadalupe bass (M. treculii) caught on a fishing trip.
(Credit: B.J. Taylor / Flickr)

Bass Fishing Resources