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Tips for catching trophy bigmouth and smallmouth bass

Over and over again over the years, I have heard many fishermen and customers express their frustration when trying to catch largemouth bass. Most anglers don’t realize that these fish have their own set of behaviors that distinguish them from largemouth bass. The main differences between a largemouth and largemouth bass are as follows:

If you fish for smallmouth here in the Northeast, especially on the Susquehanna River in Maryland, you will find that smallmouth bass doesn’t stay that tight for cover. This is even more evident in some of our stagnant water tanks. Smallmouth relates much more to a sudden or rapid change in depth than they cover. When we fish largemouth, we are all taught to fish for piles of brush and thick weeds, but smallmouth bass are more likely to be caught on a ledge of rock that falls rapidly six to twelve feet.

When fishing in the reservoirs here, like the Conowingo, or in the rivers like the Susquehanna, the small mouths are sometimes caught shallow, but are rarely more than 10-20 yards away from deep water. The Rapala DT series has had a good bigmouth in these areas.

Wherever we go we see most of the largemouth bass fishermen hitting the shoreline, and since this may work for largemouth bass most of the time, if it is largemouth bass you are looking for, turn around and cast the open sea instead of hitting the shore.

Unlike largemouths, largemouths are often grouped by size. I found that if we were catching smaller fish, in the eleven to fourteen inch range, we rarely caught a large one in the same area. On the other hand, when we caught a smallmouth that weighed more than four or five pounds, many times there were several of that size and even larger swimming alongside them. Largemouth bass are solitary, usually found alone in the best frame piece, while larger smallmouth bass are often grouped together.

There are several things that tell you that smallmouth bass are much better suited to strong currents than largemouth bass. On the one hand, their pointed noses and the sharp angle of their fins are indicators that they are more adapted to the current. They often hide behind a rock or stump and rush to feed. Largemouths can adapt a bit to the current, but are much more comfortable in calm waters.

Locating and then catching the largemouth is a real challenge. This is why it is so much fun. Hopefully by reading some of these methods you have gained a better understanding of where these trophy fish are going and what they are looking for and of course this will allow you to get the fish of your life. Remember, get out early and at the end of the year and brave the elements, hit these main areas with the baits we describe and remember, most of all, you are after a completely different fish! “These are NOT loudmouths!”

There are thousands of small ponds, lakes and rivers that contain “Huge Bass” from Maine to Florida. Over the last 10 years of record keeping, and having caught and released over 600 5-10 pound bass from small waters off the East Coast, and one over 10 pound bass from Delaware, these are the tactics I have found. that produce consistent trophies. every year.

Even in small bodies of water (less than 1000 acres), there will only be a small portion of the water that will contain the largest bass. The most important features to look for are areas where more than two or three different types of vegetation meet in the same area. Now, not all of these areas will host big fish. The biggest fish in the lake will always be in the best coverage and locations. This will be where the various grasses combine near a stream channel in or near the beds and plains, adjacent to the deep water cover.

Generally, this deep water access will also contain another cover, which is not visible without the use and understanding of good electronics, and a good understanding of what you are observing. Sometimes the features on the bottom will be subtle, but they will be the “hot spot” of the area. Small depressions, with rocks or boulders along the slope, if they have a current break, will be prime locations for “Trophy Bass”. When there is no real cover, such as rocks or trees, sometimes depth alone can provide adequate cover against light penetration and produce good results.

In small bodies of water such as Delaware and Maryland, bass are generally found in or very close to the same locations throughout the year. This does not guarantee a trophy in any way. It is rare to catch the largest fish in the lake by conventional means. Many large five- to eight-pound bass are caught with artificials such as spinnerbaits, jigs, frogs, swimbaits, and buzzbaits every year, but as a general rule, true trophies, 9 pounds or more, are caught with specialized techniques and live baits. . Recently, several large bass have been hitting large “saltwater” Rat-L-Traps in the size 3/4 ounce and up in various colors, worked with a quick pump action of the rod and with swimbait tactics employed. down the west coast. fishermen.

The Sebile “Magic Swimmer” and the 4-inch Swimbait Tru-Tungsten have actually produced some large bass in the Northeast. I never believed these baits would work here until I met Bill Seimantel at the Big Bass World Championships at Table Rock Lake in Missouri in 1999, and he convinced me to try them here in the Northeast. Since then, swimbaits of all kinds have produced numerous trophy-class fish.

When fishing true “Trophy Bass”, the best bait to use is the primary piercing in the body of water where you are fishing. This should be investigated in advance by contacting the Department of Fish and Game for the state in which you plan to fish and checking with local tackle stores. You also need to know what is legal to use in each state where you are fishing.

Most of the lakes, ponds, and rivers in the Delaware and Maryland area have golden glows and will actually produce great sea bass. When these are not available, the wild oversized dark circles are the next best option. If you insist on using only artificial products, then a large frog, a large buzzbait, a 12-inch worm, a 3/4 to 1 1/2 ounce Rat-L-Trap, or a “Castaic”, “Sebile” or “Matt” Swim Bait lures are the best options.

You’ll need at least two to three dozen dark circles each time you go, and they should be in a temperature-controlled, chemically treated bait system to make sure they’re alive. This is very important. When using live millroach or polishes on a deep structure, I like to hook them on the back and, for drifting, on the lips. When I work cattails, swamp reeds, and heavy pads, I hook them through the tail and let them swim onto the heavy deck where the bass are. Use sharp 3/0 to 5/0, Daiichi or X-Point hooks. I like to use balloons instead of coils, they work best if you blow them up to the size of a small orange. You can tie them directly on the line and use split shot if you prefer.

The best equipment is a high quality 7-7 1/2 foot heavy action E-glass or S-glass rod such as a G. Loomis or St. Croix. Recently, many rod manufacturers are making composite and graphite rods that are lighter, but stronger, and produce the same characteristics as older E or S glass rods. G. Loomis makes a good one, as does Kistler. I always use a test line of at least seventeen pounds, and most of the time, twenty to thirty pound monofilament. In certain deep water or heavy coverage situations, I use the forty to fifty pound “Stren Super Braid” test, or “Power-Pro line”.

I suggest using a good bait rod, but a spinning rod in heavy action will work too. The reels must be made of sturdy metal, with at least 3 ball bearings and sturdy brass gears or better, in a gear ratio of 5: 1: 1 or 5: 3: 1, or a similar range. It is best for all power and speed levels of these larger fish. Knots are very important. The best knot to use is the Palomar, it has 100% knot strength. You should also learn some other special knots for braids and other super lines.

The best time to go is whenever you can. However, if you only have a few days and have a choice, the solunar charts, weather conditions, and barometer should be considered. They play an important role in the activity of the fish. In early spring, anglers willing to take on the elements will catch the largest bass. These fish attack earlier in the year than most people imagine.

There are some great little waters for Trophy bass in Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, Florida, and of course California, Arizona, and Texas. However, in the Northeast, you can’t go wrong spending your time in Delaware at Noxontown Lake in Middletown, Lums Pond in Bear, Killens in Dover, and Diamond in Milton. The Susquehanna River, Liberty Reservoir, and the Potomac River in Maryland are also home to huge fish where largemouth and largemouth can be caught. These waters, fished with the techniques described in this article, will produce the “Trophy of a lifetime”.

Northeast Bass Fishing for Trophy Bass

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