If you are in search of large bass it has long been known that one of the most effective baits is live bait. In this article I will outline some tips for success when bass fishing with live bait. There are many different types of live bait that can be employed for bass, but two stand out for ease of use and effectiveness, the live worm and the live shiner. For the purposes of this article I will focus on these two types of live bait.
The first thing to outline is which type of live bait is most effective for which type of bass fishing. Shiners are most effective when used while fishing for bass, both large and small mouth, in pond or lake situations. In other words still to moderately still water. Live worms on the other hand are most effective when fishing for bass in river and stream situations. In most cases the bass being targeted in river and stream situations are small mouth bass.
Let's begin with bass fishing while using shiners in lake and pond situations. The first key is for the shiners to be as lively as possible. This means storing them in water that is as oxygenated as possible. I like to use fairly large shiners, say in the 3-5 inch range, as well. One of the best techniques for fishing with shiners is to fish them under a float.
Some bass anglers use small balloons as floats, but I suggest using a quality slip bobber. Slip bobbers enable you to easily adjust the depth of the shiner, while still giving you the ability to cast effectively. A balsa wood slip bobber that matches the size of the shiner being used is a great is the best way to go. The shimmer can be rigged by hooking it through the back with a single hook or through the lips with a set of gang hooks. The key is to keep it a 'lively' as possible.
I've always had success fishing live shiners over weed beds. Adjust the depth so that the shiner is swimming right above the weeds, without getting tangled in them. The same rule can be applied while fishing over other underwater structure such as underwater timber and rock piles. Area's where broken rock meets weeds is usually quite productive as well when bass fishing with live bait.
The next bait to discuss for bass fishing with live bait is live worms. As I said, live worms are usually most effective when used for smallmouth bass in river and stream situations. I personally like to fish for smallmouth bass with live worms while wading and the best way to rig said worms is definitely a set of gang hooks. As a matter of fact, when it comes to live bait tips this may be one of the best tips you ever get. Live worms and gang hooks fit together like a hand and a glove. These simple hooks enable live worms to be presented in a totally natural manner.
A live worm rigged on a set of gang hooks and allowed to flow naturally with the current of a river or stream is a very effective live bait fishing technique. When it comes to bass fishing with live bait both of these baits and techniques should be added to your bass fishing repertoire. These tips for success will make anyone a more successful bass angler.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 25 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his five year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country.
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