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Understanding Bass.............

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I fished for many years without a boat. Through the years I finally bought my first boat a 12ft jon with a johnson. I fished out of that for a few years and last year finally made a big purchase, bought my first glass boat. I'm still learning how to fish and understand Bass and their movements throughout the season. There are a few members in here that I would consider pro's and would like to hear input from. (deitz,bassnspears and etc....) I'm a shallow fisherman.

How and where do bass move from april through september?

Where do the big girls hide after the spawn?

What type of structure do I look for during the months of July-August in search of big girls and why?

What is staging and why do they do it?

When and why should someone fish deep?

What is inside/outside weedline?

Sorry for the many questions, I'm slowly learning! Hope someone can chime in.


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Dude, very good questions, however an entire book could be written to answer it. I wrote this article many years ago, but I think it still applies some.. I will try and quickly answer your questions after the article.

My Theory on Bass

Here's my theory on Bass, and I'm sticking to it....

tongue out...*psbrtzst*...a raspberry.

Before I write too many articles on this page, I would like for you to know a little about my mind set when it comes to fishing for bass. I think we over complicate things. I like to compare my fishing mind set with that of a very popular poem by Robert Fulghum "All I really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten." I have learned many valuable lessons in my fishing career, and the more I think I know, the farther away I am getting from the basics. Everything I needed to know, minus a few major things, I learned the first year fishing.

So, this is a back to the basics view of what I think, and how

we as fishermen have over complicated things. Here's my opinion as of

February 1st, 2000 and I'm sticking to it .....*psbrtzst*

Micropterus Salmoides

Sounds complicated. But are they? Few have mastered the art of catching them,

but will we ever? Is it possible, day in and day out to load the boat with monster bucket

jaws of our dreams?

My answer, simply, NO.

What we do know, is that they are a creature of habit. They have to eat, they are curious,

and they don't have fingers or hands. That gives us our "in" to catching them. Do we need

all the high fangled rootin-tootin gadgets that are in so many of our boats? No, but they

sure are a lot of fun.

In the balance of this article I plan to state my opinion on a lot of things.

I have no real scientific back ground to back anything I say up, but I do

have many hours on the water, which is way better than anything I could have

learned in a class room. What I am trying to say hate mail please if

you disagree with me. (Note from web master: This gentleman may be reached here)


Denny Brauer says in his book, "Weather is the most important thing to

consider when it comes to fishing." I can't argue that. However, I don't

think minor weather changes directly affect bass as much as we think they

do. Minor barometric pressure changes affect fishing in that they affect the

lowest end of the food chain. When we are stuck in a high pressure system,

the zoo plankton are less buoyant. Thus they stay on the bottom and are

unavailable for minnows and other bait fish to feed easily on them. If the

barometric pressure falls, the little creatures become more buoyant. They

float up off the weeds and bottom making them easy prey for the minnow and

other creatures. When this happens, the bass follow. Bass are opportunistic

feeders. They feed when its easy, whether they are hungry or not. When the

minnows and other bait are not easily available during high pressure times,

you can still get them to feed, but they are not out looking for food

because they know the food is not out. So, this means you have to go find

them. Conversely, when the pressure is falling and everything is on the

feed, you can throw just about anything in your tackle box and as long as it

ran near the proper depth and is in an area with fish, it would catch fish.

When the pressure is rising, this is the worst time. The fish have ended

their feed and are now like you and I are shortly after our Thanksgiving

feast-- not in any mood to eat, that is for sure. But, like I said, they

will still eat. A major weather change is something different--especially if

its a cold front. Bass are cold blooded, they have no way of regulating body

temperature. When we are hot, we sweat. It's not that easy for them. They

need to adjust, so you might have to work a little harder than normal, but

you can still get them to bite. I think my favorite quote of all is by Kevin

van Damm, he says "If it weren't for weather we would have nothing but

ourselves to blame for a bad day fishing."


Color is merely our perception of reflected light, and above or below water

it is the same. Certain colors can be seen better than others when the light

is low. This is due to the wavelength of the light being perceived. This

holds true for the bass in the water as well. The longer the wavelength that

the color puts off, the better it is seen in low light situations. Long

wavelength colors are violets, blues and greens. Short wavelength colors

need more light to be seen, but are usually brighter. These include reds,

oranges and yellows. This is why some colors work better in stained water

and some better in clear water--match the conditions, and you can't go

wrong. Blues, greens, violets are all good colors in deep clear water, while

whites, grays, greens and light blues work well in shallow clear water. Reds

and yellows work the best for shallow stained water.


A bass will eat anything once, as long as it was easy to catch. They then

decide if it tastes good to them, so they will either reject it or keep it.

I have read that there are certain things that bass truly don't like. These

include: Surfactants (the stuff in hand soap, the fake stuff), the stuff in

sunscreen (cant remember the name), and deet (mosquito spray.) If you have

any of these things on your lure, you better have one heck of a good

reaction time. I use Exude soft plastics whenever I fish soft plastic. They have

a baked in scent that is released in the water. Do I think I get more bites because of

that, I don't know. Do I catch more fish because of that.....You bet! A lure

with scent will be held on to by a bass much longer than a lure that doesn't

taste good to them. Is that to say that a lure without scent won't catch

fish? No, they do, but you have to be a better angler to get those fish.


There are a lot of other things that can affect fishing, like line size and

lure size. Its a proven fact that the larger the lure, the less chance you

have of having smaller fish picking on you all the time. They will still

bother you, just not as often. Matching lure size to water temperature can

help as well, but I don't think its a necessary move. I don't think line

size matters as much. I have seen days where a guy used lime green line in

crystal clear water and caught the tar out of bass. I think you can use just

about any kind of line you want, and it won't matter that much to the fish

as long as the action of the lure is not messed up by the stiffness of the



I think that we are getting away from what got us into fishing. I know I am

just as bad as anyone. I cant fit all my stuff into two tackle boxes let

alone one. We need to spend more time learning and mastering a technique

rather than looking for a magic color or lure. My new favorite saying is,

K.I.S.S=Keep It Simple Stupid--I have it posted on my culling board as a

lasting reminder that simple is better.

Deitz Dittrich

How and where do bass move from april through september? In our lakes they can move a ton. In april they will be usually out over deeperwater feeding getting ready for the spawn, when the water temp is right they will move up and spawn, the girls will go back and recover over deep water while the males will stay up and guard the fry., once the spawn is done and fish have recovered, fish will scatter some, some will go deeper some will stay shallow. Once summer is in full roll, fish can be just about anywahere from deep to shallow.. fall starts and many of hte fish will migrate to green weed edges with deep water near by.

Where do the big girls hide after the spawn? Usually suspend or hang out deep, they are VERY VERY hard to catch.. they are just in recovery mode.

What type of structure do I look for during the months of July-August in search of big girls and why? They can be a couple of different places.. Shallow slop is very good this time of the year.. deep weed edges can be good, and deep rock can also produce very good. Why???? they are following the food!

What is staging and why do they do it? Think of it more like getting ready to migrate to thier next spot, and usually its to follow food, or to spawn.

When and why should someone fish deep? When the fish are there... LOL.. sorry.. deep is fun because you can often get on a school of fish, I have caught 30 fish from one spot and never moved the boat.. I cant say I have ever done that shallow.. deep water fish are also less pressured.

What is inside/outside weedline? An inside weedline is just that, many weeds can not grow in ultra shallow water.. they usuually start in about 2' or so, so the inside weed edge would be from the shore to where the weeds start.. and outside weed edge is just that, where the weeds stop going into deep water.. Sometimes you can see a deep weed edge with your eyes, but most of the time you have to use your depthfinder.

Lastly.. I am not a pro, just a guy who gets to fish more than most people.. I am a school teacher.. fisherdude, is only my expensive hobby!

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Thanks for the kind words my friends.

BemidjiBasser, I teach elem(k-3rd) Grade Physical Education Classes for the Chisago Lakes School District. My school is in Chisago City a stones throw away from both Chisago lake and Green.

on a side note I went to college in Bemidji, you have some awesome bass fishing up that way.. untouched bass fisheries!!! My wife is from Bemidji, and my inlaws are still up there. if you ever dine in Bemidji, check out the Peppercorn, my MIL is the general manager there.

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I too am in the profession... High school Biology & Anatomy. My students have a countdown going already Deitz... Something to the effect of 44 more school days left. Crazy to think about a summer off again and nothing but time to fish.... can't wait. Any way, NICE Words of wisdom. Thanks Deitz! I think we all need that reminder from time to time. It is so easy to over think and over complicate Bass fishing. I'm as guilty as anyone. Stick to the basics.... good advice! It is difficult these days though with numerous tempting new lures coming out each year.... All lures and tackle that is tempting (Gotta have) stuff... Media pressure does have a slight negative impact in my opinion there.... Off topic and random but what day is Bass opener for us here? Is it Sat. of memorial weekend?

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Fever- Opener is the 23rd of May.

Dietz- You're right about the good bass fishing around here. Most days I am the only guy fishing bass on the entire lake. Did you ever fish around Park Rapids for smallies? There are some awesome lakes around there that aren't hit that hard too...

What was/ is your favorite lake for bass up here?

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I have been to a couple park rapids lakes and caught a smally or two. Also fished some great potholes up there with the little boat.

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Nothing to add, just another question. Have you found that when the wind is from the east, the fish bite least, and when the wind is from the west, the fish bite best? Personally, I've had horrible luck when the wind is from the east or north. Unfortunately, the majority of the summer, the wind does seem to come from the east.

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Fever- Opener is the 23rd of May.

is it?

LARGEMOUTH May 23, 2009- 6

and SMALLMOUTH Feb. 28, 2010

BASS (either or (May 9, 2009-

combined) Feb. 28, 2010,

north and east of

U.S. Hwy. 53 from

Duluth to International

Falls and

Pelican and Ash

lakes in St. Louis


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Nothing to add, just another question. Have you found that when the wind is from the east, the fish bite least, and when the wind is from the west, the fish bite best? Personally, I've had horrible luck when the wind is from the east or north. Unfortunately, the majority of the summer, the wind does seem to come from the east.

X- its really quite accurate, but maybe not for the reasons people think. Most low pressure systems come in and rotate around an axis at a clockwise direction in our midwest. The jetstream pushes from the north quite a bit in our area, and so as a store comes in we have a west wind here. Pressure is dropping, fishing should be good as the storm approaches. As it leaves, we often get the bluebird sky and winds from the east.

I have had a few times where east winds have been great, but its usually when a high pressure system stalls over wisconsin, and we have stable weather for a few days.

On a side note, if I ever see a storm coming from the NE and have an east wind.. I GET OFF THE LAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those are usually not so good and I will sacrifice a few fish and not risk it.

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"Largemouth Bass; an In-Fisherman handbook of Strategies" is a great book to read. I have learned so much from this book. If anyone wants to learn more about Bass, you should read this book !


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bass fishing isnt very hard once you have the right lure at the right time of year and you fish the right spots

sled, thats my problem! hahaha! Its going to be an exciting year, hope the SI will help with all of this!

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