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Fly Fishing for Bass Tips


I’ve written a lot about fly fishing for bass over the years.

What I love about fishing for bass is that they’re everywhere.

They can be found in large lakes and reservoirs, rivers, ponds, even in aqueducts and watering holes.

And you usually don’t have to travel far to get on some nice largemouth bass , which isn’t always the case for trout, which tend to stick to high-mountain, cold-water fisheries. Trout can also be a lot more finicky then bass, which are known to be more reactionary and territorial – hitting any type of bait that comes into their territory.

That said, here are some of my favorite tips and articles about fly fishing for bass:

Topwater Fishing for Bass

If you’re looking to hook up with some massive bass, look no further than what the tournament bass fishermen do: topwater baits.

Many tournament bass fishermen refer to topwater baits as the “10-percent solution,” meaning surface baits can be useless 90 percent of the time, but when the days are longer and things head up, and there’s more surface activity on the surface and the fish start hitting the surface like no other.

As the weather warms, fishermen stay on the lake until dusk, when the topwater bite is just starting to pick up. That’s when topwater becomes the “90-percent solution.”

Fly Fishing for Stripers

One of my favorite types of fish to catch on a fly is the striped bass.

Stripers have been known to bend your rod like a shark at times, giving anglers 5- and even 10- to 15-minute fights from time to time.

Today, the striped bass can not only be found in the ocean, but in lagoons, bays and freshwater reservoirs and rivers.

And landlocked stripers can get as big as their saltwater brethren, growing over 20 pounds in many areas.

Striped bass get their name from the seven or eight horizontal stripes along the width of their bodies. The species is anadromous, migrating from the ocean to coastal bays and rivers where they spawn each spring before returning to the ocean

Largemouth Bass World Records

Did you know the International Game Fish Association holds world records for largemouth bass caught on a fly and on as low as 2-pound tippet. And did you know two of those records are under the 10-pound mark?
That means a world record isn’t out of the question for fly fishers who use light tackle.

The two-pound tippet world record is currently 8 pounds by Herbert Ratner in 2001, while the four-pound tippet record is 9 pounds, 11 ounces by Dennis Ditmars in 1999.

As for the real world record, for the biggest bass ever caught, IGFA recently accepted a world record bass as Japan’s Manabu Kurita tied George Perry’s longstanding mark (22 pounds, 4 ounces) as the all-tackle world record for the largemouth bass.

Long considered the “Holy Grail” of fly fishing records, Kurita’s 22-pound, 4-ounce catch caught on July 2, 2009 was approved for the record on Jan. 8, 2010 -- 77 years after Perry’s unthinkable record was set in Georgia.

Fly Fishing for Spotted Bass

Ever have one of those days when you’ve caught so many fish you lose track?

That’s what it can be like when you’re fishing for spotted bass.

During a trip to Nacimiento Lake, in Bradley, Calif., it took a whole two casts before I hooked up with my first spotted bass. I was fishing from the shore in the mid-afternoon with pleasure boats roaring by left and right, but the spots were still smashing my streamer.

While Nacimiento holds a steady population of spotted bass, the species is not very common in California. The species is more likely to be found in the South from Texas to Florida being native to the East Texas from the Guadalupe River to the Red River.


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