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“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Largemouth bass fishing tips with seasonal activity, strike and bass rig information.

Bass Seasonal Patterns

Winter - Bass fishing during the winter is hard especially at Lake Gaston. During the winter, bass are very lethargic as the water is super cold. During this time, bass do not feed a lot and are very picky about what they eat. If you are going to bass fish on Gaston during the winter, you must be very SLOW. Fish deeper water, 5 to 10 feet, mostly humps, points and major structure where large pockets of bass may be schooled. Use soft plastics or jigs and work them very slowly as the bass won't move quickly. Use your electronics to pinpoint the exact position of the bass and go at it!

Other species such as white perch, crappie, and striper are much easier to catch during the winter. Perch and crappie tend to follow the bait closely and like to stay in 15 to 30 feet of water. Vertical jigging spoons and jigs or live bait tipped jigs are the best way to catch these fish. Also, schooling near bait are striped bass. They tend to hang in water deeper than 20 feet and near dropoffs and humps. Tactics are similar to perch and crappie except for bigger baits. Like bass, electronics and patience are the keys to success.

Spring - Bass fishing during the spring is by far the best time to go no matter where you are. However, on Lake Gaston, your chances of catching bass are probably 10 times greater. During the spring, bass are moving up into shallow water, looking for food and a good place to build a bed. Female bass, the biggest of the genders, will lay and protect their eggs in the early to mid-spring. The best places to find these bedding sites are in the back of creeks and sandy banks where bass can easily create a crater to hide their eggs. Sandy banks that are close to boat docks, stump fields, fallen timber or points are the best because these places likely hold baitfish. If you find a place where bass have bedded, there is a definite way to catch the bass and in large numbers. When bass are sitting on beds, they are easily spooked and will refuse to bite your bait because they know you are there.

So the first thing to remember is to be quiet and try to avoid directly going over or near the beds. The next thing is the way you fish and what you use. The best baits to use are worms, lizards and jigs. Bass love worms and lizards and will attack viciously if they think they are threatening their nest. The best way to provoke bass into biting is to bring your bait through their bed or very close. However, you have to be very careful when doing this. If you throw your bait directly into the bed, you will spook the bass and the chances for catching it are much less. Therefore, you must throw your bait 5 to 10 feet past the bed and slowly move it back towards the bed. The slow-motion will tempt the bass so bad that the chances of a bite are very high.

Summer - Summer on Lake Gaston is also a very good time to catch bass. Despite the very hot air and water temperatures, the bass are still very easy to catch due to their predictability. Most people don't know that the biggest bass are caught during June and July. After the bass spawn, they start moving into their summer patterns. They move out of shallow, warm spawning pockets and into slightly deeper water that provides good cover, food, and cooler waters. On Lake Gaston, the best places to catch summer bass our boat docks, submerged timber, weed flats, and humps. During the summer, bass feed and congregate in different places. During the early morning, bass move into shallower water chasing pockets of baitfish and enjoy the cooler morning waters. During this time, topwater fishing is the best bet. Popular topwater baits on Gaston include various poppers, Buzzbaits, and my personal favorite, the Zara Spook.

As the sun starts to rise, around 9:00am, the best places to fish are on humps and timber that provide good cover. Once the sun is high, Gaston bass becomes the most predictable. Around noon, the best places to fish are boat docks. Flipping worms, lizards, jigs and tubes under and beside boat docks are the most efficient ways to catch these bass. Complex boat docks that provide a lot of shade and those with nearby weeds, timber and are in the right depth range are the best to fish. Boat docks that seem quiet and are less active also produce more bites. After about 4:00pm, the bass start moving out for there night time feeding. Places that are fished in the morning are also good in the early evening. The night is a very good time to fish but most anglers don't know about this. As bait moves around in the cool, night waters, bass will move to the outer edges of their cover. The best places to fish at night are around lighted boat docks. Any type of light will attract baitfish and bass will be most likely be nearby. If you fish the correct places at the right time, a large number of bass can be taken and there is always a possibility for a very large fish.

Fall – Fall is a very interesting time at Lake Gaston because the bass tend to do several different patterns and are very hard to predict. One thing that is for sure though, when you found one bass, you have likely found a whole school because fall is the time when the bass really get together and feed. Usually, early October is very similar to the summer patterns. Bass can still be found on points schooling and are holding in or around deep water. Fish main lake points, drops, and humps to catch bass with any of the different worm presentations. Also, throwing frogs and flukes around the grass will produce bass. Late October is when the fish start to move into their fall turnover patterns and move shallow to feed and fatten up for the winter. Continue to fish main lake points but also focus on points headed back into the creeks. Continue to look for grass beds because those tend to hold fish through mid-November. Flukes and crankbaits are usually hot baits during the fall as well as spinnerbaits around the grass. Rattle traps are also popular baits this time a year because the bass are focused heavily on the shad. Just remember, when you find one fish, there is often several more lurking in the same spot.

Largemouth bass fishing tips at Lake Gaston

The super five reasons why bass strike.

  • Hunger is the number one reason why bass strike a lure. Hunger based strikes account for about a third of all lure strikes in a year's time.
  • The reflex strike is the second most reason why bass strike. Reflex strikes account for about 25 to 30 percent of the bass we catch.
  • The third most important reason why the bass strike is out of anger. The first cast may not trigger a bite, but several casts near the same fish ofter triggers a strike.
  • Protective instinct accounts for several strikes during the spawning period. For the short time that they are sitting on beds, they will viciously attack anything that comes by.
  • Some bass strike out of pure curiosity. That is why the most random colored baits get strikes because bass are curious about what it could be.

Texas Rig

Largemouth bass texas rig fishing lure

The Texas Rig is the most common way to fish any type of soft plastics along the bottom or on the structure. Its simplicity makes it very easy to assemble. The texas rigged worm or lizard catches thousands of bass on Gaston year-round. It is very productive fished around docks, through weeds and timber, and along rocks and points. It can be fished in clear or murky water and in most depth ranges with make it a very versatile way of worm fishing.

Carolina Rig

Carolina rig largemouth bass fishing lure

The Carolina Rig is also a very effective way to catch bass in Lake Gaston. Many traditional bass anglers use it because of high productivity. The carolina rig is a little more complex, but can pay off for the numerous fish you can catch. It is usually fished on points and humps in open water. If you find a pocket of bass sitting on a point or hump, a carolina rig is most likely your best bait. Like the texas rig, you can put any type of soft plastic on it, depending on what you think works best.

Originally posted by 08/2012