Understanding Bass Part-1
By "The Bass
Coach" Roger Lee Brown
fishing is a sport like many others that when it comes to knowledge and the
understanding of the opponent it allows one to become more successful. You
may look at it kind of like deer hunting, the more the hunter understands
the scrapes, trails, food areas, water areas, runs, and habitats of the deer
the more successful the hunter will become at locating them. The same is
true with Bass fishing (Bass angling), the more you understand the Bass
along with the many different circumstances and conditions you run across
the more successful you will be at catching them. So let's talk about a few
key factors when it comes to a better understanding of the bass. The first
one we will look at would be the survival of the bass.
SURVIVAL: A bass needs three elements to survive which are :
If any one of these three elements are not present in a body of water a bass
could not survive, and just by knowing why these three elements are so
important for a bass's survival it will already start to make you a more
The first element we will talk about is FOOD. Contrary to popular belief,
shad is NOT! the primary 1st choice of a bass. Although shad is a very
common food for the bass as well as other natural baits, the number 1 food
choice of a bass is a crawfish (also known as crayfish, crawdads, etc.). A
study was performed several years ago where 100 Crawfish and 100 shad were
tank of water with all species of bass (Smallmouth, Spotted, and
Largemouth), and to much surprise the crawfish were eaten 8 to 2 over the
shad. There are several reasons for this, but the most important one is that
a crawfish is an easy prey for a bass to catch, and they are fairly easy for
a bass to find. And once again contrary to popular belief, studies show that
there are actually more crawfish found in vegetation areas than around rocky
areas (or as some may know as Rip-Rap.)
A bass will eat just about anything at any given time such as: Rats, Mice,
Ducklings, Frogs, Snakes, Salamanders, Worms, Lizards, Grubs, Baitfish,
Insects, Leeches, etc. (Is it any wonder why all the many different tackle
manufacturing companies have so many different shapes and types of
artificial baits on the market today?) but, there are certain types of
artificial baits that bass will usually prefer over the others, and a lot of
these I cover at my 3-day Bass Fishing School.
The next element of the three is OXYGEN. Oxygen is a element that any living
creature needs to survive. The main reason an angler should pay attention to
oxygen is that a bass requires it to survive. By knowing water oxygen
content in various areas an angler will develop a better understanding why a
bass acts the way it does under the many different conditions. When a bass
has a limited supply of oxygen, it tends to get more disoriented and much
slower or lethargic. The "Key" in understanding the rules of oxygenic water
is that the cooler the water, the more oxygen content and on the other side
of the coin the warmer the water the less oxygen content. The more oxygen a
bass can get usually during the warmer months the more active it will be.
Usually during the summer when the water temperature hits the 80 degree mark
or higher, the oxygen in the water will start to diminish.
How does this relate to bass fishing?.... well, a bass will usually do one
of two things in a condition such as this. A bass will drop down (usually
under the thermocline mark) to water that is cooler for a larger supply of
oxygen, or a bass will usually head for vegetation areas because of the
constant producing of oxygen that aquatic plants provide. This is mostly the
case during Spring, Summer, and early Fall.
Here are some areas where ample supplies of oxygen can be found during these
1. Rivers - because of the constant flowing of the water.
2. Mouths of Creeks - again, because of the constant in-flow of fresh water.
3. Deep water areas - remember, the deeper the cooler water a better supply
4. Vegetation areas - constant oxygen producing aquatic plants.
5. Around Trees, Stump, & Log areas - because of the porous wood that will
6. Power Plants - because of the constant discharge of oxygenic water
7. Wind Blown Banks - a constant oxygen source and there are many
The third element we will talk about is COVER. Cover is an extremely
important element when it comes to a bass for many reasons, and I would like
to cover some of the most important ones.
One of these reasons would be for protection. A bass, being known mostly as
a "Ambush Fish" will use cover such as vegetation, rocks, stumps, trees,
fall-downs, docks, structures, holes, etc.... to dart out after it's prey. A
bass really is a lazy-by-nature type of fish and will extend the least
amount of energy for the greatest amount of benefit. Bass are also known as
a territorial fish and will not travel a great amount of distance.
Another reason a bass needs cover is because of it's eyes. A bass does not
have eye lids like you or I and prolonged exposure to the Sun's rays, a bass
will eventually go blind. This is one of God's way of protecting their site.
Take notice next time you see a bass fishing show on television, you will
usually see bass being caught in shaded areas, and in and around cover
areas, these are some of the reasons why.
Now, understanding a bit more about cover and why a bass will usually be
found around it should help you "Key-In" when it comes to "Blue Bird Skys"
(high pressure periods) and "Overcast or Cloudy Days" (low pressure
I teach my students at my 3-day Bass Fishing School a much more in depth
study about the understanding of a bass during the different seasons, daily
conditions, weather fronts, etc. and how they would put a pattern together
under many different circumstances. This article I hope will help you with a
better understanding of a bass to become a more successful angler. If you
have any questions or wish to enroll in my 3-day Bass Fishing School you can
contact me at either of my web sites at:
or you can Email me at:
can call me at (518) 597-4240.
Until Next Time!.....Take Care & God Bless!....."The Bass Coach"..Roger Lee