Recently we had a thread on the UltimateBass.com fishing forum asking the question What are the three most important things you would tell a beginner? We had some great responses to this and I would like to take the time to expand on some of them for those of you that are just beginning bass fishing.
One item that kept coming up in various forms was ask questions, this is very important. Bass fishing today has so many different terms and techniques that a beginner can easily be overwhelmed with all the information. If you dont understand something that you read or something that someone told you, ask someone to explain it to you. There are many different places to get information. You already know of one, because you are here, the Internet. The Internet has linked millions of fisherman together and is an endless source of information. Continue to take advantage of it. Use the bass fishing forums that you find. Post and be active on them, soon people will be excited about helping you as you make cross country friends. UltimateBass.com has a very active forum with hundreds of friendly people that are anxious to help a friend new to bass fishing.
Another great source of fishing information is bass clubs. I cannot stress the importance of bass clubs enough. By joining a club you get to fish with others that can teach you new techniques. What better way to learn how to work a Carolina rig than with on the water demonstration and instruction? Plus you get to spend all day with someone and ask as many questions as you want. At the end of the day, listen to what people are saying and ask questions about their patterns. I find it very interesting to hear about all the different patterns that were working then to compare those patterns against the weigh-in totals. You can learn a lot from this, one person may have been fishing brush tops all day and catching a lot of fish but his weight may have not been as heavy as the person fishing boat docks and not catching as many but the ones they caught were better quality. Hum, I wonder if boat docks with brush pile on or under them would have been the ticket? Even the person that wins the B.A.S.S. Masters Classic will still ask questions. If you dont ask questions you are missing a valuable resource. There are so many pieces to the bass fishing puzzle that you cannot possible play with them all in a given weekend, get information from others that were playing with different pieces and add it to what you learned.
Learn from your experiences. Ever trip out will teach you many things if you keep your mind open and pay attention. When you do catch a fish, try to think of every possible condition of that fishs habitat, and then try to repeat it. If it works again you are on your way to a pattern. Things to watch for are wind direction, cover type, structure type, what type of bait fish are present, depth (very important), is there a drop off near by, there are hundreds of conditions try to realize as many as you can. The more you figure out the closer you will be to completing the puzzle. Develop a fishing log, either in your computer or use something as simple as a notebook. The important thing is to log your trip and track as many key factors (pieces to the puzzle) as you can. This will help you remember what factors change a basss behavior. Plus it is great to look back at when you go to the same lake at the same time of year in the future.
Practice, Practice, Practice there is no substitute for time spent on the water, but we dont always have the opportunity to hit the water. Practice your casting, pitching or flipping in your yard or garage. If the weather is to bad, practice tying the various knots, sharpening hooks, playing with your electronics, or use some old soft plastics to see what different color dip and dyes do to baits. There are many different ways and things to practice even with out being on the water, I am sure you can think of a few yourself. Get on the water as much as possible, even if you know the fishing is going to be tough, dont get discouraged get out and go. Those tough days will teach you the most.
Stick to the basics. If you get caught up in all the specialized tackle that is on the market today you will spend a fortune. When it comes to top water baits you should start with three, prop bait, popper type bait, and a stick bait. Pick a basic shad pattern or color. Next you should have a couple crank baits in both shad and crawdad patterns. In those two patterns have a shallow runner and a deep runner. Spinner baits, I would recommend you stick with Indiana (tear drop shape) blade combinations in 3/8 oz. There basically three colors that will cover any water condition you come across, white, white and chartreuse, and straight chartreuse. And finally soft plastics, this can be very overwhelming; there are literally thousands of different soft plastic baits on the market. To start with pick a couple colors that are prominent in your area (talk to the local tackle stores, marinas or the members of that bass club you just joined) and then have those colors in a couple different sizes and styles, a small worm, a large worm and creature bait. (I use small and large only because what is small and what is large is completely relative to the region you live in)
Be prepared; take plenty of drinks and dress for the occasion. You will not enjoy yourself and have your mind ready to learn if you are uncomfortable. Make sure you can concentrate on your fishing and not trying to beat the elements.
These are just a few of the many great tips for beginners found on the Ultimatebass forum. Take a few minutes and visit the thread to learn more ..
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