Since its inception in the late 1800s, bass fishing has been an exciting sport that captured the attention of many anglers. In the early part of the 19th century, sport anglers in the United states mostly confined themselves to trout and salmon fishing with fly rods. Bass fishing was mostly done for sustenance at that time, using poles and live bait. Because of this, bass fishing in the United States evolved almost entirely without influence from Europe’s sport fishing tradition.
The working class history of bass fishing shows in the traditional baitcasting reel that is the most popular among bass anglers. These reels store line on a revolving spool, reeling it back up via a handle, usually mounted on the right hand side of the reel. Bait casting reels allow for more delicate placement of bait and lures, but traditionally require more finesse to use because of the danger of overspinning the reel and tangling the line. These reels are also capable of using a heavier line than spinning reels.
While the mention of bass fishing may give you visions of cartons of squirming night crawlers, most bass anglers now use artificial bait. Common artificial baits include buzzbaits (an artificial bait with propeller type blades that churn the water on retrieval), spinner baits (baits similar in shape to an open safety pin with a hook) and plastic or rubber representations of live bait. In the latter case, particular colors may work best on any given day. These artificial baits have the advantage of not needing to be kept alive, or purchased just before a fishing trip. Artificial baits also come in a wide variety of colors to make them more appealing to fish and more difficult to lose.
Beginning bass anglers are recommended to start out in small ponds. These smaller fishing grounds will tend to contain smaller fish, but are excellent practice grounds before moving on to larger lakes. Wherever you fish, you will find that bass love to play hide and seek. They are often found lurking near structures and obstacles in the water, such as boat docks. If these are not available, places where water and plants change, such as the transition between rocky pond bottom and sand, or the transition between types of pond weed, can be good places to look for bass. Time, practice, and luck will land you your perfect bass. Once you hook your first quality bass, you too will catch bass fever.