The bass species is divided into five subgroups: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, Suwannee bass, red-eye bass and spotted (Kentucky) bass. Of these five subgroups, the largemouth bass is the largest. In addition to possessing a large mouth, it has light greenish to brownish sides with a dark lateral line that breaks into blotches toward the tail of the fish. Bass are predator fish with a penchant for clear, non-flowing freshwater. They especially like areas where there is a large amount of vegetation.
Rig Crayfish bait to a monofilament fishing line and fish close to the bottom. If fishing for largemouth bass, rig a large crayfish to your line with a gang hook. Crayfish are sometimes difficult to use, but stick with gang hooks and you should get a strike. If you do not have crayfish and the water is still very cold, use slow moving bait that acts like a crayfish. Remember, when crayfish face a threat, they jump and then swim backward a few feet. Use a jig-and-pig bounce on the lift, then flutter the line on the fall to create this effect. Artificial lure such as Paca Craws or Fat Baby Craw are also effective.
Minnows and Other Bait Fish
Use live or artificial bait fish present in the body of water where you are fishing. Live bait for largemouth bass includes scuds, shad, minnows or shiners and sunfish. Artificial alternatives are also available, including the KickTail Minnow, Smithwick Rogue and the Bomber Model A. Rig your line and drag it along the bottom. Bass will exit from the grass, wild rice and cattails to feed on minnows, especially when schools are feeding heavily. Cast a spinner bait, tinsel tail spinner or surface lure such as a Spook or Hula Popper. Be sure to target weed beds for superior striking action. The best color lures to use are white, black or worm color.
Use frog lures or scum frogs as they are also called to fish thick weed beds and lily pads. Increase striking action by slowing down your retrieve. Bass prefer to ambush prey, rather than chase it down, especially if that prey is fast. Thus, it is important to cast your line, twitch it once or twice, then allow it to sit. After several seconds have passed, repeat this twitching action and wait another 30 to 60 seconds. Remember to allow the frog to sit longer than it appears active in the water.