Creating Big Bass Patterns

By Rich Ortiz – Fishin’-Musician

Bass are so easy to catch they say…. They will hit anything you toss at them …

I’ll admit it, unpressured bass can be very easy to catch, especially certain times of year. Most us bass anglers are on public waters with high fishing pressure when the hot days of July and August come. By then, many casts have been made to your favorite visible structure and weed lines. Chances are you will be working hard to regularly catch good bass. This is when you need those resources on your boat, and the most important tool, your logic!

Ok, so you have a bass boat with many bells and whistles; power pole anchor system, latest sonar with structure scan, 6 rods rigged on the deck and endless supplies of plastics and artificials. The real question is what separates you from the rest of the pack? How do you consistently bring in a hefty bag? Can you make the adjustments necessary to reliably catch quality fish, BIG FISH!

In your pursuit of the mighty largemouth you will become an amateur hydro chemist, biologist and meteorologist paying close attention to water temp, water clarity, water levels, current weather patterns, moon phases and natural forage life cycles etc…  All these factors play a major role on the fishing and the quicker you can sum this up, success on the water will follow.

Once on the water, since you are paying attention to the environment trying to put all the clues together. You are keeping confident, expecting a strike, and BINGO! You hook a pretty decent bass…. you get him into the boat.  Here comes the most important part to developing a pattern by remembering as many details as possible. The retrieval speed, depth fish was in. when and how he hit, water temperature, any sort of structural features, weed beds, deep hole, rocky points, breaks. If necessary bring a pen and pad of paper, use the functions on your electronics to expose the clues you are after, attempting to repeat.

Let’s say you catch a decent fish off of a rock ledge that has a 20-foot drop off, but there was one hump on it that came up to 9 feet for 20 yards or so, and that’s where you hooked up. Try and repeat this pattern on other spots that are similar. Breakout you’re sweet Navionics map on your finder and highlight all the areas where there’s rock ledges and look for humps on rock ledges. It sounds simple, but it works. Every chance you can, look for a pattern and fish it. Not every scenario will hold big bass but surely a hand full of these spots will. On lakes with good populations of big bass you can catch multiple trophies on the same spot. When you do make a good catch and you seem to have developed a winning pattern, slow down, fish hard and don’t give up too soon on your successful tactic. Mature bass are just like any mature animal, they have learned to survive and they do things for good reasons! When you make a nice catch, you’re doing something right. Don’t second guess yourself and be as thorough as time allows.

I know most of us bass anglers have the equipment to catch fish but only a few of us have the time to put in long days figuring fish out. Let’s face it, nothing beats time on the water to dial in on the bite. Utilize your time efficiently by collecting the proper data to develop fish patterns. Developing the right pattern and having the confidence to stay with is what will separate you from the pack, hopefully leading to more catching and culling this summer when the fishing gets tough.