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Getting Started with Largemouth Bass Fishing

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Getting Started with Largemouth Bass Fishing

There are so many incredible fishing opportunities in British Columbia, whether it’s fly fishing on our interior lakes for massive rainbows, trolling for salmon on our tidal waters or catching the prehistoric monster sturgeon on the Fraser River. We truly are fortunate to have so many different options close to home.

One fishery that is often overlooked is our amazing largemouth bass fishery. Largemouth bass inhabit many sloughs and lakes within the Fraser Valley. Their aggressive behaviour has attracted the attention of local anglers. Whether it’s flipping a jig under structures or walking a frog through lily pads, there are so many ways to catch these aggressive predators.

Seasonal Largemouth Bass Behaviours

Bass will act and respond differently depending on the time of year, water temperature and food sources readily available.

Springtime Bass Fishing

Pre-spawn

After spending most of the winter in deep water, bass will begin to move to shallow water once the water temperature hits around 45 degrees in early spring. It might be worth going out when the first warm rain of the year hits, as water temperatures will rapidly increase. Slowly retrieving a spinnerbait, jigs with craw trailers or crankbaits near the first emerging weeds will usually catch a fish or two.

Pre-Spawn Lures

Spawn

Around mid-spring when temperatures start to rise between 55-65 degrees, bass will seek out shallow protected areas to prepare for spawning. This is the best time of year to catch monster bass.

First the smaller male bass will look for an area that is easy to protect like fallen logs, patches or lily pads and large boulders to build their beds around. Beds can be easily identified as a small area void of vegetation and will appear as either white or black patches (depending on the make-up of the bottom). Once the beds are complete, large female bass will choose a bed to occupy and defend which, when fished, will result in the biggest and most consistent bites of the year.

Topwater baits work well at this time of year near the edges of reedbeds. Frogs, poppers and whooper ploppers are all good topwater options. Fishing on the beds is best with either a lipless crankbait to disrupt the structure on the bed, or soft plastics (either Texas or wacky rigged) like stick worms or craw imitations.

Simply cast past the bed and slowly move the plastic onto the bed, and soon enough an unhappy bass will come to take it off. Shaky-head presented worms can often be the key when the bass are particularly finicky so make sure to have a few Shaky Heads jigs in your box.

Spawn Hard Baits

Spawn Soft-Plastics                                                         

Post-Spawn

After bass have completed their spawning cycle, they will vacate the beds they occupied and can be found suspended within the drop off. Fishing is quite tough this time of year as bass won’t be feeding for about 2 weeks after spawn to recuperate from the stress. Once they begin feeding again, walking topwater baits like the Berkley J-Walker will have enough action to entice a suspended bass up to the surface. Try twitching jerk baits near structures or using a swim jig with either a craw or paddle tail trailer.

Bass

Post-Spawn Lures

Summertime Bass Fishing

Unlike our native trout and char, bass aren’t as susceptible to the heat of the summer being a warm water species. When temperatures exceed 80 degrees, bass will move around less and seek heavy cover to ambush prey. Target heavy weed lines and undercover rock points.

During the summer, largemouth are heavily focused on feeding so there is an endless number of options you can use to target these guys. Spinnerbaits, buzz baits, topwater baits, crankbaits, tube jigs, finesse baits, swimbaits, glide baits and big worms are great options this time of year.

Bass fishing

Be sure you dress appropriately for Summer conditions with the right sun protection clothing from Patagonia and Simms Fishing Gear.

Summertime Hard Baits

Summertime Soft-Plastics

Setup

When it comes to gear choices in bass fishing you’ll need a variety of different rods, reels and line choices depending on the situation. Here in the lower mainland bass usually inhabit dense vegetation so braided line is the best choice. Having zero-stretch gives you the ability to feel when bass strike your lures and also the strength to cut through heavy vegetation.

Largemouth

Casting Rods

Casting Reels

Spinning Rods

Lines

  • (Topwater) 40-65lb Suffix 832 or Power Pro Braid In heavy cover
  • (Finesse) 20-30LB Suffix 832 Braid with a Fluorocarbon Leader

The aggressive nature of largemouth bass is what makes this fishery so much fun. We hope you have found this blog post informative.

Always make sure you check the regulations before you venture out.

casey

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below, email us at the searun2013@gmail.com, call us at 604-931-5044 or stop by the shop at #110-1140 Austin Avenue in Coquitlam.

Good luck on the water.

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1 comment

  • by Bob Carver

    Great article!!!

    Where can you fish for Bass in the lower mainland?

    Thank you.

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