I have caught bass from Georgia to Wisconsin and west to Missouri. My goal is to catch all species of bass but so far I have landed largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass, redeye bass and shoal bass, five of the eight species recognized by biologists. All species have similarities but all have their own traits, too.
I grew up fishing ponds and creeks for around my house for bass but now mostly fish for bass in lakes. After getting out of college I bought a bass boat and joined two bass clubs. I still fish with both, fishing club tournaments every month of the year here in Georgia. I have done well in club tournaments and have made the state federation's teams five times.
But I will never be a bass pro. I tried fishing bigger tournaments back in the 1980s but after two years realized I was not competing at the level required for them. So now I am happy fishing club tournaments and fishing for bass every chance I get. Writing about fishing for several magazines has given me the opportunity to fish with some of the top bass pros.
Even after fishing with them I can not figure out why the pros are different from weekend fishermen like me. They seem to have an ability to find and catch bigger bass than I will ever be able to do.
I have all the same equipment, from quality rods and reels to plastic worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and most every other kind of lure made. I use high quality line and know how to tie an effective knot. I have my favorites but know you can catch bass on just about any bait made. Confidence plays a big part in catching bass and I tend to use the baits I have the most confidene in, but feel like I can catch bass on anything I use under the right circumstances.
I have owned a series of bass boats and tend to keep them for many years. My current bass boat is old but works well and is plenty fast enough to compete in any tournament. And I have put high quality electonics on it to try to improve my odds.
My biggest largemouth weighed nine pounds, seven ounces and was caught in a club tournament. My biggest spotted bass weighed 4.27 pounds and also came in a club tournament. My biggest smallmouth was caught in Wisconsin and weighed just under four pounds. My goal is a 12 pound largemouth, a seven pound spot and a six pound smallmouth but those are high standards.
I have several bass mounted but will get replicas made if I ever reach my goals of bigger bass. That way I can let them go and hope to catch them when they are even bigger, or at least give someone else a chance to catch them.
Each season of the year has different good and bad aspects for bass fishing. You can overcome most of them when you live in a climate like do in central Georgia, and can even fish for bass through the ice if your waters freeze over. During the winter here I can dress for the cold and stay comfortable enough to fish. In the hot summer I can jump in the lake to cool off or fish at night. But most of the year, from March through May and again from October through December, fishing is relatively comfortable most days