• Rob Baker

Raise a glass and toast my first bass

It's not just my first bass, it's my first fish of any kind ever caught while fishing! Admittedly I have had to catch carnival gold fish from a bowl alive and dead for my daughter. Mark this date. I am no longer batting 0.000 for freshwater bass.

Rob's first bass


So what worked? Well, let's cover what didn't work first.

1. These lures didn't get much attention over a 4 hour span: gold spoon spinner, panther martin holographic spinner, roostertail jig, Munn baby 1-minus, and DOA shrimp.

2. Slow to very slow retrieves with subtle jigging action in all the right places didn't work.

3. Breaking up the mobile retrieve with a stationary posture didn't work.

4. Working shady areas early in the AM didn't work.

5. Bright lures on a sunny day didn't work.

6. Line weights to drag the lure deeper didn't work.

What did work?

1. Stationary presentation among lily pads and grass mats in sunny areas where the visibility to the bottom was pretty good. I could see them, and they could see me.

2. Texas-rigged dark blue soft-bodied lures with 1/8 oz weight sitting stationary about 6 inches from the bottom. Absolutely no retrieve or swimming action unless a passing boat wake bounced the kayak.

3. I didn't go to the fish. They came swimming by and got interested all on their own. Two strong bites with no hook set led to the third strike that was successful, all within about 20 feet of each other in my last hour of water time.

Interestingly, the bass that I caught (it's a largemouth bass based on the absence of stripes or spots, dark coloring, and dorsal fin shape) didn't give me much of a fight. Honestly, some of the other bites where I wasn't able to set the hook scared me in terms of the power and speed of the fish, and I've questioned the sizing of my rod and line. This one kind of gave up quickly, and on several occasions seemed to play dead. I wasn't stressing it at all, and it would give up and float lifelessly for a few seconds. After I freed the hook, it swam off pleasantly as if nothing had happened.

I spent about 4 hours casting and retrieving lures with no bites that I could feel. In less than an hour of just hanging my lure over the side I had 3 strikes and 1 catch. After I caught this bass I packed up and left for lunch.

I am not sure what my experiences are telling me yet, but I'm going to look deeper into the techniques of using floats and stationary presentations in my local lakes and see if I can find a trend. One catch does not constitute enough data, so to speak, to draw any conclusions.

Ahhh..... I am relieved that a bass finally got hooked. I will toast this milestone event tonite with the girls.

#fishingtactics #tackle #orangecountysportsmansassociation #freshwater #fishing #bassfishing #beginnerbassfishing

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