The Attraction of Fishing

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The Attraction of Bass Fishing

The attraction of bass fishing in the USA is largely due to the bass being a clever fish, and offering the angler a fight for his money.  Unlike the predominantly sea bass fished in Scotland, the American angler fish the black bass which can be found in creeks, rivers, lakes and other inland waterways.  The black bass offers a challenge to the angler, although the salt water varieties such as the striped bass tend to be larger.

The black sea bass should not be ignored however, since it has been a favorite of sea anglers since time immemorial.  Nevertheless,  the bad news is that, even though this has been a mainstay of offshore winter angling for many years, the National Marine Fisheries Service are believed to be shutting down the fishing of black  sea bass for several weeks from February due to limits being reached. This has been a regular activity of  anglers from December to March and will be sorely missed, particularly since commercial fishing was closed in December last year due to quotas being met and they had little competition for the fish.

However, it may not be a bad thing for bass fishing because it will ensure that stocks are available later on. Conservation of fish stocks is a very important aspect of any form of fishing, and even though you may think that the numbers taken by hobby and competition anglers are tiny in comparison to commercial fishing boats, you would be amazed at the number of fish that are actually taken, many of them undersized which hits future stocks hard.

For now, though, inland fishing has no similar restrictions, although, as you likely know, in competition fishing you get no points for dead fish!  For many, the inland freshwater bass offer a far better challenge, and also a more comfortable bass fishing experience than a rocky boat could ever give them. Fair weather fishing is preferred by many, though for others there is nothing like the tang of salt water spraying up into their face.

However, for now, let's restrict ourselves to inland bass fishing. The largemouth bass are the largest of the species you will find inland, and they are well known for their resistance and fighting ability. That is why they are a favorite among American anglers for recreational fishing. You will find the largemouth preferring to hang around close to cover such as submerged logs or thick weed, and rather than continually strain against the line will take bursts of speed towards their cover. One problem with this fish is that it is tasteless and best returned to the water - it is great for sports fishing but, unlike the sea bass, it is not for the table.

The smallmouth bass, on the other hand, will fight you continually, leaping and fighting to clear itself of the hook. In fact, many use fly fishing tackle for smallmouth bass due to its agility, and it will take a variety of tied flies and bugs.  The majority of bass fishers use bait casting or spinning equipment with live bait or artificial lures together with the tied flies. Another technique used by some bass anglers is to use mimics that reproduce the sound of schools of bait fish, taking advantage of the acute hearing of most species of carp.

One quality that all bass have is intelligence, and they will tend to be wary of bait and will be very aware of any foreign matter such as tobacco shreds due their powerful sense of smell.  Once a bass has been caught, other bass will keep away from the area, so there is little point in fishing the run twice.  You might be lucky sometimes, but only if your second bass has a very low IQ - and few do!

You can seed the run with ground bait to get the fish feeding - but don't try to fish them immediately or you will scare them away. Play it clever, and get them used to feeding in certain places securely - then you can cast and should be able to catch two or three before they decide to eat elsewhere. Bass are very clever fish, and they know when they are being hunted!

So what equipment should you use for bass fishing?  Most people have their own favorite rods, reels and baits, lures and jigs. The tackle is certainly important, but not nearly as important as how you set about outwitting this very intelligent fish. In fact, that is the attraction of bass fishing for many anglers: the battle of wits and the contest between two minds, each clever in its own environment.

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