Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

February 1, 2014

Gone fishing with Jerry Miller

Understanding the world of bass fishing

JACKSONVILLE —

To consistently catch bass you have to have a basic understanding of seasonal movements, water and weather conditions and how bass react under pressure.

You may have the bass figured out and know where and how to catch them, but when you arrive at your secret locations you soon discover that it’s not that big of a secret. You may see a half dozen bass boats in your prime area.

This is a common scenario today. And it seems to be getting worse. Modern electronics can scan the bottom terrain 360 degrees around the boat. With Down Image you can count the limbs on a tree. This leaves little question about bottom structure, cover and where to look for bass. Simply put, the bass can’t hide anymore.

For years I’ve fished around and behind other boats, but most of the time it didn’t bother me because I would be fishing a lure that was different from theirs. For many, many years I fished a silent crank bait with no rattles. Almost everyone else was fishing rattling baits. The silent bait was different and consistently caught bass.

Bass fishing also requires stealth. Especially in the spring when bass are usually in less than five feet of water, any type of noise will alert the bass to your presence. The secret is to locate an area that is holding some big bass and anchor up. Power Poles can make a huge difference in how many bass you catch in a day’s time. For those like me who can’t afford Power Poles, an anchor will suffice. It’s more work, but it gets the job done.

Heavy angler traffic can also reposition the fish. At times the bass will move out slightly deeper and you need to slow down and adjust.

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