Big Bass Habitat
The thickest weed cover in a lake is the best place to fish for big bass. Fishing these areas from the shore is almost impossible so the angler looking to land a big bass needs access to some sort of boat. Once in the water she should search out those places on a lake or large pond that contain floating vegetation so thick that it covers a large area. An angler that finds such growth then must try to determine if a creek channel runs through the weeds or close by. Any points of land that protrude from the shore near such thick matted weeds are also a desirable setting for big bass. Deep water nearby that bass can flee to when they feel threatened makes such a place a haven for big bass.The combination of shade from the sun, oxygenated water from the weeds and the presence of the edible smaller fish that hang around in such cover will make for the potential of big bass in these places.
Lures and Tactics
Only weedless lures will penetrate such thick weed cover. The Texas rigged plastic worm is a popular choice among those after big hefty bass. A bass angler will drop these lures into the weeds from a short distance away and make them slowly rise and fall, watching their line for any slight indication that a bass has taken it. Tubes rigged weedless also work well in such a weedy place, with the Texas rig tube or a jighead inserted inside a plastic tube able to make its way down through the cover anglers often call "slop." The ideal spot will have some open areas in between the heavy weeds where an angler can cast a buzzbait and then bring it through and over the weeds. Many fishermen will cast a weedless type of lure as close to shore as possible before slowly retrieving it. Big bass frequently stay and hide in these shallows when heavy weed cover is available.
Battling Big Bass
A big bass on the line can cause an angler to panic. This is why it is important to have a plan beforehand on how to fight the fish. The right equipment gives an individual confidence to battle a big bass. This means having a stout medium action rod and a spinning reel rigged with at least 12-pound test braided line. Braided line will not snap when a big bass dives into the slop and wraps around weed stalks. The angler can keep steady pressure on the fish and eventually pull it out with braided line, knowing the force he exerts on the fish will not compromise the line. Once a bass bites on a weedless rig a hard hookset is paramount. Even after the hook is set, it is a good idea to set it again. If possible, bass anglers will steer fish out of the weeds. By flipping the anti-reverse lever to the off position, the angler can allow the bass to take line and still keep the line taut by reeling backwards. The key to landing a big bass is to tire it out. Once the fight leaves the fish, the angler may reel it in and either grab it by the lip or guide it into a waiting net.
Handling Big Bass
To insure the survival of a large bass the angler needs to keep her head after landing the fish. Removing the hook with the bass in the water--either held by the lip or still in the net--makes for a much less stressful experience for the fish. If circumstances dictate that this is not possible then laying the bass on a wet towel or cloth and removing the hook with needle nose pliers or a pistol grip hook remover is preferable. Bass that have swallowed the hook are better off with the angler cutting the line on the hook and not trying to take it out. Anglers should never hold big bass by their stomachs as this could damage vital organs. Holding the bass by the lip for pictures is the accepted method before releasing the fish. Anglers that catch and release these big bass can still take weight and length measurements as well as girth. This will allow them to have a fiberglass replica made that is superior to a stuffed mount by which to remember their accomplishment.