So okay, it is May and “officially” our Autumn season, but no, I’m not going to start off this column by repeating that oh-so-tired mantra that Autumn is BIG BASS time. Forget it, as far as I am concerned, the entire year is big bass time.
Just to pass the time of day, you see, I did a spot check of all the largemouth bass records in the IGFA record book. There are no fewer than 30 records, from the All Tackle category to the Line Class category, the Tippet category that caters to fly fishers to the latest category, the All Length category – all 30 of them. I was looking for records set during the autumn months, in America and elsewhere in the world. And you know what? I found only one record that was set during Autumn! So where does that “big bass in Autumn” tradition originate?
Our latest national largemouth record – caught by Wayne Naude in Loskop – was also not caught in Autumn, but in the Spring – August – a far cry from Autumn!
So does this mean that from now until Spring we have very little chance of latching on to a new PB? Of course not! Just forget about that (incorrect) belief that now the bass are feeding up to survive the leaner winter months. They are not blue kurper who do, I am led to believe, gorge themselves in the autumn months to build up fat reserves to survive the winter.
All this rambling on about really big bass was prompted by Duncan Murfin’s exclusive interview with arguably one of the bass world’s most famous big bass anglers, Californian Mike Long. Long has spent 45 years chasing bass and has amassed a wealth of knowledge, in the process defining just two key factors for his big bass catching game plan. They are: a stealthy approach and to imitate their forage. You think big bass are smart? No way, he says, “bass only ever do three things: they eat, recover and they spawn, and that’s it!”
For those who are prepared to do things a little out of the ordinary, Senior Writer Guy Paulet delivers an insightful article on finding bass in places that others regard as far too difficult to negotiate, or are loathe to disregard conventional fishing styles such as casting and adapt to unconventional fishing tactics such as flipping. He calls such places “high percentage areas”, and they are indeed out of the way places! As he says, “The single most important aspect of catching bass is to fish in the right spots …the latest and fanciest lures can’t catch the fish if they aren’t there.” How true!
Meanwhile enjoy your bassing and yes, catch your PB, and as always, Take Care!