Published on Thursday, June 22, 2017
My cast was not as accurate as I might have hoped, but at least it hit the water. Several of my casts went a little long on that particular windy, August day. A low pressure cell was bearing down on me from the northwest, making fishing good and casting a real pain. I would very much have liked to fish topwater. That would have been consistent for the summer bass pattern, but that day’s conditions made topwater fruitless. I surveyed what I had to work with and decided on an Excalibur crankbait.
In retrospect, fishing a crankbait was a good idea, because I found I was able to stay with feeding, pre-storm bass. With my Excalibur, I was able to fish right along the top of the aquatic weeds. After a few hours and several keeper-size bass, I moved a little deeper to the weedbed edge. This break-off point was easy to see on my electronic graph.
As I fished the crankbait faster to run it deeper, I varied the speed of my retrieve almost constantly. I wound fast then stopped, jerked the bait a time or two, then retrieved again. This erratic action triggered the strike I had been waiting for all day. It was just at dusk that she hit me. My bait had been inhaled by what tuned out to be a 7 lb. 9 oz. largemouth bass. "Bucketmouth" or "Hawg" or "Monster" or whatever nickname you like to use, they all described her. She was fine.
Using the tips below, I’ve had great success in finding and catching huge bass in the heart of America. (Photo by Zeke Cernia.)
When the topic of catching really big bass comes up, Florida and other deep-south states invariably dominate the conversation. California has monster largemouth as well. But the Midwest is often overlooked when it comes to world-class bass. The next time you plan a trip and are looking to raise your bass bar, do not forget to consider spots like Table Rock Lake, Bullshoals and Truman Lake.
In the Midwest, finding and catching big bass on a regular basis has very little to do with luck. If it did, then I would be considered very lucky. Instead, it is a matter of knowing your quarry, and adjusting your methods to meet the existing conditions. The bass are there every day. They are already home. They have not migrated south to the Gulf. Your job is to find them and figure out what they want to eat.
While I am offten asked how I manage to catch so many big bass, the question I am asked most often is, "What's your best tip for us amateurs?" Below is a list of tips that I think will help you catch bigger bass in America’s heartland, and catch them more often. I hope some or all of these tips make you more successful.
To find and catch bigger bass, you can combine several of these tips. Use your electronics to locate submerged structure, use several different types of lures to find the right depth and color, cast accurately with the right rod, and when you catch bass, mark the location on your map. What could be easier? Good luck lunker huntin'.
Author: Mike Roux
Categories: Outdoors with Mike Roux
Tags: fishing, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, bass fishing, Midwest fishing, bass fishing tips, bass fishing bait