How Can You Become A Better Bass Fisherman?

BassHoles know the trick to becoming a better bass (or any other) fisherman is to:

Keep On Larnin’!

graduateThere are many ways to further your bass fishing education, and I urge you to take advantage of them all! I wasn’t able to fish for most of last season, and so invested (not wasted!) my time learning everything I could about bass fishing, so I’d be ready to catch some big lunkers when I venture out this year.

Here are my tips on how to learn more about catching big (or not-so-big) bass.

1. Watch instructive fishing shows and videos

Note “instructive.”

When I worked at Orvis in San Francisco, we used to distinguish between instructive fishing shows and what we called “fishing porn.” The latter had a lot of exciting shots of the host(s) catching big fish, BUT there was never any information on HOW they did it!big smallie

So look for the following when you’re watching shows, DVDs, or online videos:

  • Conditions: water temperature, time of year, weather patterns (especially any fronts: past, present, or future!), time of day.
  • Gear: rod make, model, length, and why!
  • Line: Yup, even the line can be important!
    • Fluorocarbon sinks — is that a necessary element?
    • Braided line has no stretch — is that an advantage?
    • What’s the pound test?
    • Is it a colored line?
  • Lure: Duh. What’s the host using? Color? Size? Weight?
  • Technique: How is the host fishing the lure?
    • Steady retrieve?
    • Stop and Go action (and what intervals?
    • Cast and wait (wait how long? HOW LONG?)?
    • Jerk
    • Twitch
    • How did the host choose the action? Experience? Trial and error?
  • Tips: Any advanced advice you can get from a fishing show host is bound to be helpful!

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

I discovered Bassmaster Academy during my recovery from patella tendon surgery. It’s a great resource for learning bass fishing techniques.lecture

The Academy has 2 levels: Free & Paid. You get a lot more videos if you become a subscriber (paid membership), but there are videos available for free.

TIP: Sign up for the free videos. What happened with me was, once I signed up, I started receiving offers from Bassmaster Academy to become a subscriber. I declined. UNTIL I was offered a special price of just $10 for a year! I got that offer while Brenda, my internet bride, was pushing me around Walt Disney World in a wheelchair. And for 10 bucks, I joined!

The premium videos are awesome. Check it out!

There are plenty of great videos available on YouTube, but not all videos are created equal!

Some are just videos of someone catching bass. That’s why I use “How to” or “Bass Pro on” to focus my search. And you can also use “Review of” to get other BassHole’s opinion before you spend the bucks on new gear.

AND they can be a lot of fun!

Read Bass Articles

In addition to the Bassmaster Academy, offers videos on their website as well. Plus you can follow the tournament schedule, enter sweepstakes, and participate in Fantasy Fishing.stack mag

If you join Bassmaster, you receive some pretty nice gear (I got 5 bass lures!). And their magazine. (For the younger readers, a “magazine” is like a website, only printed on paper and delivered to your home through the U.S. Postal Service, or “snail mail.”)

The magazine is chock-a-block full of great information and glossy photos!

Again, I waited for a $10 per year offer, and then bit like a big ole BassHole.

Check it out!

  • The World Wide Web

You can find a TON of material on the internet. It’s fun to compare what different folks have to say about the same topic!

Simply Google what you want to learn about, and start reading!

Here are a couple of MY favorite sites:

Bass Fishing Resource Guide

Ultimate Bass: Everything Bass Fishing


Be sure and share YOUR favorites as well!

Listen to Professional Bass Fishermen (and women?)

The Bass Pros is sponsored by BassPro Shops, an awesome resource (and retailer) for any BassHole.

The program’s stated goal is:

“To be the best, most informative show on bass fishing found anywhere today.”

It does a good job reaching that goal! It features lots of actual bass fishing pros, including Mr. Kevin Van Dam!Pro KVD

The downside is it airs on the Outdoor Channel, which is great if you fish AND hunt, but at least in my area it is mostly hunting shows. Still, it’s a great program. AND you can watch some episodes by using the link above.

Watch and Learn!

Speaking of KVD, you can learn a ton from the “#1 Angler in the World.”

At his website, select “Media” and you can listed to audios, or view videos. Some are more instructional than others, but here’s one I liked about Cold Water Power Fishing with KVD:

You can also find KVD (and other pros! There are plenty of great bass fisherman out there!) on YouTube: simply search for “KVD bass fishing tips,” or a specific technique, “KVD on Red Eye Shad.” Here’s a link to my review of the Red Eye Shad.

There’s a lot to learn on KVD’s website, so check it out! And I can see now I’ll have to check out the other BassPro’s sites as well! Share your favorites in the comments below!

Talk to people!

  • Other BassHoles

Wet fishermanIt’s possible you DON’T know everything. So talking to your fellow fisherfolk helps educate you to techniques, lures, areas, lakes, and so forth, that you hitherto were unaware of.

I LOVE talking to the fishing crew at my local BassPro Shop. They steer me away from the most expensive gear to the very reliable and durable equipment they use themselves. So it’s fun AND it saves me some money!

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! And be ready to learn something.

Teach your own self

  • Yourself!

Enhance your fishing expertise by learning from your own experience.

Start a fishing log. Record water temp and clarity, weather conditions, time of day, techniques, baits, and colors used. Not just what worked, but what didn’t?

Record your best catches with a selfie, or if you are fishing with another BassHole, and him take the photo. It’s a great way to “capture the moment”!

Write a blog. Share your knowledge with other BassHoles (that’s what I’m doing!) and ask for their feedback. You’ll become a member of a bass catching community, and maybe even make a few new friends along the way!

Self-Education is it’s own rewardgirl large mouth

It’s fun to learn more about something you already love. And it will actually make you love it even more. PLUS, you’ll develop the knowledge and skills to catch even MORE big bass!

Just, PLEASE!, be sure and share your knowledge with us here at!

Tight lines,

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

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