Bass fishing is a game of decisions and small changes can turn a good day on the water into an exceptional day on the water. The problem is that there are so many options that making the correct decision can be a daunting challenge.
Most of us head out on the water with a preset notion of how we expect to catch bass. It can be based on seasonal patterns, weather conditions, our favorite technique or even something as simple as that’s what I already had tied on from the last trip. All of these approaches will work and there’s really no wrong way to go about it. The key is to get that first bite.
The mistake that I see most often, and have been guilty of many times myself, is mistaking that first bite for the best way or perhaps the only way that you can catch them. It’s easy to get locked in on something that’s working and be afraid to make a change for fear of not catching anything. But that first bite is like getting the first two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to fit together, it’s just the first clue in figuring out the puzzle. Rather than looking at it as the total solution, you really need to think about what that bite told you about what the fish are doing and what will trigger even more bites. Making the right adjustment is often as simple as listening to what the fish are telling you when they bite.
This past weekend was a great example of what I’m talking about. I went to the lake fully expecting to have to fish slowly and on the bottom. I knew the fish would be feeding up for winter, but expected the colder night to have knocked them back. Because of this, I started out using a weightless Swim Senko and put my partner on a baby brush hog.
We caught fish right away. In my case, I even caught one on the first cast I made and my partner caught one a couple of cast later. My first thought was, “we’ve got them figured out”. But about 10 minutes into the trip, I got a bite that changed everything. The key was paying attention, listening to what that bite told me and being willing to put down a bait that was working and try something else. I was lucky enough to have the cameras rolling, so check out that bite and some of the incredible action that followed. It’s a day on the water that I won’t soon forget.