There is a common thought in bass fishing, if you want to catch bigger fish, use bigger baits. I agree with this, but you typically don’t get as many bites using larger lures. I personally like catching all sizes of bass and hate to throw a bait that I know will only get a few bites.
One large lure that will catch big and small bass alike is a 10″ worm. This bait looks more like a snake in the water than a worm. Don’t let that bother you, it will catch all sizes of bass. I like to use the Berkley 10″ Power Worm. Black is my favorite color. That’s the only color you need. This bait works in clear and murky water.
Huge worms like this seems to work the best in very warm water. Bass get a little lethargic in hot water and like a slow moving meal. They normally will not pass up an opportunity at eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one bite.
One misconception I have heard is you can only use big baits in big lakes and that you must use small baits in small bodies of water. I recently proved that theory wrong. I fished my pond using this lure and caught multiple small and large bass. Think about it, have you ever seen big snakes or bull frogs around small ponds? I know I have. Bass in all sizes of lakes and ponds are used to eating big things. Try this lure and see how it works for you.
The first fish you probably ever caught was a bluegill. Bluegills have been hooking kids on fishing for years. These fish are notorious for being easy to catch, but what do you do when these fish won’t cooperate? Go weightless.
Bluegills go through times when they are very fickle and hard to catch. When I encounter this situation, I go very basic in my rigging and it almost always catches them.
The tackle I use is 6 pound Berkley XL line, a small bobber, and a #4 Aberdeen hook. Wax worms or crickets are my bait of choice when bluegill are in a negative mood and won’t bite anything else. The light line paired with this hook allows the bait to fall very slowly. Bluegill can not resist the slow fall of a wax worm or cricket.
This technique works the best when the fish are located in shallow clear water. The fish need to be able to see the slow fall of the bait in order for it to work. This is also ideal to use in the spring when the fish are spawning.
Bass fisherman talk about “finesse” fishing all the time. This is an ultra “finesse” way to catch bluegill, but I guarantee you it will produce fish when nothing else will.
One of the latest crazes in bass fishing is homemade and custom painted lures. I recently picked up a couple from KMW Lures. KMW offers many different options; from topwater, jerkbaits, and crankbaits in specialized and novelty colors. I was amazed at the detail on these lures.
Crankbaits are known for not running true out of the package. Some cheap lures will run to one side and must be tuned in order to run straight. There was no reason to tune these baits, they ran true out of the package. They also come with 2x Eagle Claw hooks
I got two different lure types and color schemes to try. One was the KMW Green Pumpkin Craw squarebill. The other was a KMW Natural Shad jerkbait. The first place I tried the KMW Green Pumpkin Craw squarebill was in my pond. The bass sure seem to like this color as well as I do. They were absolutely swallowing the bait. I can’t wait to hit the lake and try them.
If you want to upgrade some of your tackle and fish with a lure that the bass have not seen before, I think it is worth your investment to try a couple of hand painted lures. I know I was not disappointed with these KMW Lures.
I enjoy all styles and techniques that catch fish. One style of fishing that I rarely use is fly fishing. Fly fishing catches fish that are easily spooked, and it can be exciting at times. When I do flyfish, I like to use cork poppers for bluegill and bass.
Seeing fish come up behind your popper and explode on it is one of the most exciting strikes you can have. Bluegill usually will sit and look at the lure for quite some time before they strike it. Bass on the other hand will bite it almost immediately when they see it.
When choosing colors I like to mimic the color of grasshoppers or of other insects hovering near the water. I have seen times where fish can be picky and may only nibble at your lure, but once you find the right color, they will swallow the popper.
The little hooks are great for catching small bluegill. If you are tired of using wax worms and night crawlers for bluegill, try this style as another alternative.
Bass fisherman have many “favorite” lures. They change from season to season and year to year, but this lure really is towards the top of my list. The Strike King Fat Baby Finesse Worm is my go-to worm for fishing ponds and busy lakes. It is almost too easy to use and catch fish on. In fact, I caught a bass today on this lure. I love having a pond in the backyard!
There are many different ways to rig this worm, but I stick to three main techniques. I use this worm Texas rigged, on a shakey head, and wacky style.
I like to use this worm Texas rigged when fishing near vegetation and stumps. This style of fishing allows you to fish any structure in the water without getting snagged. I use a 1/0 or 2/0 Owner Twistlock light worm hook.
I will use this worm is on a shakey head or football head too. This technique is great for fishing deep water. The worm will stand almost straight up on this style of jig head. I like to use a 1/8 ounce or 1/4 ounce shakey head most of the time.
Wacky style is the technique I prefer most of the time. I like to use a small wide gap hook through the middle of the worm and let it fall very slowly. This style works very well when you know there is no structure to get hung up on. The exposed hook allows for easy fish hook ups, but also allows the lure to get snagged easily. One trick I like to use is put a very small split shot weight about 8 inches above the hook. This allows the worm to fall just slightly faster.
The Strike King Fat Baby Finesse Worm is also injected with coffee scent and salt. The bass seem to like coffee as much as my wife does.
Ponds and local community lakes can offer great fishing. Some of the fish living in these waters may have never seen a bait.
These type of ponds or lakes will prove to be a hidden gem. Many residents that live on these bodies of water have no interest in fishing. They may have no idea there are fish in them. Almost every pond or community lake has been stocked at some point. Typically they are stocked with bass, bluegill, and catfish at a minimum.
Megabass FX Knuckle Squarebill Crankbait
Bandit Lures Crankbaits Series 100
Here is how I approach fishing ponds and small lakes. You need to start with lures that mimic what the local fish eat, such as minnows, frogs, and insects. Keep it simple; soft plastics, crank baits, and top waters will cover most all situations you will encounter. Choose natural colors like green pumpkin or watermelon when using soft plastics. For top waters and crankbaits, again, keep it natural. The only time I would change this is if the water is dirty with visibility less than a foot. I highly suggest using spinning tackle because you will be using light weight baits. These lures may be difficult to throw using bait casting equipment. I also suggest using 8-10 pound test line for these lures. Spinning tackle typically works better with this light line.
Culprit Original Worm
Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver 3.50
Remember one thing; get permission before you start fishing these areas. Most homeowners will never say a word, but you never know.
What do you have to lose? I know you will be surprised by these great bodies of water in your own back yard.
Two casts, two catfish! Third cast, lesson learned!
Admittedly, I’m not an expert catfisherman so I made a rookie mistake today. I have spent quite a few times fishing for catfish, but have never had this happen to me before.
When catfishing from the bank most people will use a rod holder or at least a Y shaped twig. There are two good reasons for this. First, it is easier to see when you get a strike. Second, they keep your rod from going in the water. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my own advice.
I was fishing in a pond with my son, and I wasn’t using the tip I just mentioned. Sure enough, a catfish dragged my pole straight into the water in a split second! I was sitting right next to it and all of a sudden I heard it scrape across the rocks and into the water. Gone! Just like that, I lost a St. Croix rod and Shimano reel!
The sad thing about this is I did have a broken Y shape twig sitting right next to me. Unfortunatley, I had the rod just laying on the ground. I spent the next hour trying to catch the line with a treble hook and sinker, but no such luck. I couldn’t find it!
So not only did I miss catching 3 fish in 3 casts, I also lost a great rod and reel. So in reality I learned two lessons. One, use a rod holder. Two, don’t use an expensive bass combo while catfishing! I won’t let this happen again!