Happy times are here again for bass anglers

2013-10-26 00:00

THE bass are going berserk as we head out of the spawning season, and an angler could throw just about any lure and be guaranteed of limiting.

Every angler on the dam is in for a great day of fishing and it won’t take much effort to make us all look like the pros that most of us certainly aren’t. If all that you are hoping for is a bit of fun and a few photos to take home to show off, then now is the time to hit the water.

Weightless is a technique best employed as we head into the warmer months. It can turn even the most inexperienced angler into a fishing superstar. Also, the tackle required won’t cost you an arm and a leg. A rod, a spool of quality 8lb fluoro-carbon, a few hooks and a packet or two of plastics will stand any angler in good stead.

So pull that old rod out of the garage and get your feet wet, because now is the time of year to walk the banks. Bass are using structure and hanging close to drop-offs in search of cover. They are moving in and out of the shallower waters, striking at the bait fish that are slowly starting to move closer to the surface. There is lots of movement along the banks, with carp, barbel, bass and tilapia all splashing around as they strive to fill their bellies. Keep your eyes open and learn to recognise the fish that you are targeting. There is nothing quite as sweet as spotting a fish feeding and then successfully luring it onto the end of your line.

Worming requires that the bass sees the lure. Visibility is essential. It is a technique best used in clean to slightly murky water. Remember that light colours work best on clear days and vice versa. This is because dark colours will offer a better profile in the dull conditions.

If you aren’t sure exactly how to go about weightless worming, then try the following technique, but remember that as with all things, practice can only benefit you. Cast the worm past the drop off or structure, and let it sink to the bottom. Reel up the slack, lift your rod to give the lure a bit of action and then real in the slack again. Repeat. Worming is about touch, so keep a finger on your line at all times. When you feel a knock or see your line moving, strike. Always wait for the weight of the fish. This is especially true when you see a fish take your bait. It is easy to become overexcited and strike. However, you want to make sure that the bass has a good grip and that there is no slack in the line. Otherwise, all you might succeed in doing is pulling the lure out its mouth.

If you don’t manage to set your hook the first time, let your lure drop back down. Often a bass will come back and try a second time.

When in doubt, strike. It doesn’t cost you anything and the reward of hooking up is certainly worth the risk of nothing more than a stick being on the end of your line. You don’t want to miss your chance because you were caught unawares.

Similarly, make sure that you have enough plastics. It is easy to go through a whole packet of worms on a good day’s fishing. If the worms don’t fall apart or mysteriously disappear down the fish’s gullet, then chances are that the head of the lure will split from catching all of those fish and you won’t be able to get the lure to sit well on the hook. When this happens, try cutting the head of the lure off and repositioning your hook so that it sits further down the worm. This can be especially useful when you find your supplies running low.

Rather buy more plastics than you think you will need. You won’t want to have to run out in the heat of the moment.

Try using scented baits. They can get a bass to hold on for a few more seconds, but don’t waste your money on salted lures. The salt typically comes off on the first cast anyway. Rather save the salt for the frying pan and let your wife know in advance that she’s in for a romantic evening of beer and deep-fried bass.

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