Catching bass when they won't bite is one of the biggest challenges a fisherman faces. It can be more frustrating than trying to catch fish that aren't biting. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for catching finicky fish consistently, even if you have proven techniques and know precisely how long to leave your bait out and what color to use.
Fishing at the wrong speeds, location, and times of the day will mean that you won't catch fish. Instead, optimize your chances of catching fish by making sure every detail is correct, and you go into your fishing trip with a game plan. Select the correct depth and baits for the time of the year will also help catch finicky bass.
Find the right location at times when you are almost always guaranteed to catch bass. Look for rich underwater vegetation areas and avoid sandy flats, as this is where most predators lurk. The best places will have submerged weeds or rocks on the bottom, which provide suitable hiding spaces for the bass.
This article will teach you how to get bass to bite when they are being finicky.
Why Bass Won't Bite
When bass don't bite, it can be frustrating and challenging. Sometimes no matter what you try, you can't get the fish to bite.
Due to the unpredictable nature of fishing for bass, you can find it hard to know when your next great catch will come from the water. Therefore, you need to understand what can cause your fish not to bite to be ready when this occurs.
If the water temperature gets too cold, it will make your fish slow down and stop eating. When this happens, try using lures that have been proven to work in colder temperatures. This may help get them back.
So it's important to know what to do under the different circumstances you are faced with.
Time of Day
This is one of the most important factors affecting what time of day you should fish. If they aren't biting during the day, try night fishing.
I always have the best success in the mornings, evenings, and nights.
It's important to know when to pick which spot so that your time isn't wasted on the spot when bass won't bite there at certain times of the day.
Time of Year
Another factor to consider is the seasonality of your fish. If you are trying to catch a specific kind, ensure that it's in season for that fishing spot before you start fishing. This goes for both warm water and cold water species.
There are also specific times during these seasons when they will bite more or less. For example, I like catching white bass on my kayak behind my house, but for me to catch them there all summer, I have to find a balance between too early or too late, so larger game fish don't chase them off.
Check with local anglers and tackle shops and ask when the best time to fish is. Talking to local experts and getting some good expert advice will save you time.
This one seems obvious, but many different factors go into deciding where the fish bite. Are they biting in deeper water or shallow water? What kind of structure do they hold up next to? What time of day do they tend to bite in that location? Is it better off the docks or from the shoreline?
If you don't catch bass in the shallows, try to fish deeper or vice versa if the bass won't bite in the deep.
Bass like to chase live baits and small fry. The small prey attracts them to cover. So if you are struggling with finicky bass, find where the cover is and give it a go.
If you know these sorts of things, your success will increase dramatically because you can tailor your fishing around those conditions.
How to Get Bass to Bite
When you are having a bad days fishing, it can be hard to believe that these problems have such simple solutions.
Sometimes all you need is a new outlook and some advice from the experts.
Here are some of the things that help me have a successful days fishing. In addition, these tips will help you with your bass-biting problems.
Take All the Tackle You Will Need
Under packing is the most common angling mistake. Having the incorrect gear while out of the water can ruin a good time. Therefore, you must pack adequately when you are bass fishing, and then more problems can be avoided.
It is always best to have all the tools and tackle you need to make the day run as smoothly as possible.
Remembering to take all your lures and special gear will help you change your fishing style if the bass don't bite.
Helping you succeed in attracting the bass and catch more.
Keep Yourself Organized
Efficiency is critical in fishing, and disorganization is the enemy of efficiency.
Being disorganized can make it harder for you to catch the bass and can lead to wasting time.
Knowing what you have and having everything in easily accessible locations will increase your success by a lot.
I use a good fishing tackle backpack with everything on hand. It makes fishing so much more enjoyable and increases my catching success.
Not finding that special lure because you have lost it due to disorganization could be why you are not getting any bites.
Use the Correct Lure Color and Size (Not too big)
Fish will key in on smaller food, causing smaller baits to perform better than bigger and flashy lures. The bigger fish are lazy, preferring a bigger meal that won't cause them to use a lot of energy.
Try to match the hatch of the bass.
Matching the hatch is a term in fishing that uses lures and baits that closely resemble what the fish are feeding on.
Matching your baits and lures to the hatch can dramatically improve your odds of catching fish.
You can always use bigger lures if you know bigger fish are around.
Experiment with smaller and bigger lures. Try different lure colors as well.
Trying different lure sizes, rig styles, and colors will help you to grab the attention of them finicky bass.
Fish at the Correct Speed
When fishing, you might need to slow down or speed up, depending on many different circumstances.
If bass won't bite, then slow down your approach. Speeding up fishing too fast when they are finicky is a good way to lose more fish.
A lot of fish species will become sluggish during the winter months and will prefer a slower presentation.
When temperatures are high and fish are more active (like in the spawning season), it may be more beneficial to fish faster.
Speed your fishing up to cover more water and to copy the bass's prey.
I always switch it up to find the best technique. Once you grab the bass's attention, you are onto a winner.
Fish at the Correct Depth
Many fish will prefer different depths and can be influenced by the season and the time of the year.
Largemouth bass will typically be found in shallow waters throughout the spring and summer months.
If you aren't sure if the fish will be shallow or deep, move around until you find them.
Bass might not be biting simply because you have not presented the bait to them at the correct depth.
You're Being Too Loud
Fish are scared off if you are loud enough to scare them away. Fish can feel movement and vibrations that will cause them to spook.
Best to be as quiet as you can and sneak up on the fish to keep them from getting scared.
Fish also spook easily if you cast and move a shadow on the water, causing them not to bite.
Try to pick a spot where your shadow is not casting into the water.
The mental side of fishing often gets overlooked and underappreciated.
Keep grinding and be positive, and have some fun out on the water.
This will also help you catch more fish and at the moment. So stay focused and not let things get you down; keep grinding out of the water and have fun while fishing.
There have been days where I have only caught 1 or 2 fish all day. But because I kept a positive mental attitude and spent time with my family. It turned out to be some of my most memorable and fun days fishing.
Try to stay positive and have fun. In the end, that's why we go fishing.
All the factors above are a big part of bass fishing, and I have my own methods that I teach to others. However, the main factor is experimenting with different techniques until you find what works for you.
Many of these ideas work on an instinctive level, but everything has been proven over time in my experience. So try out some new things next time you hit the water, especially if you aren't getting any bites.
Try changing your depth, speed, or lure size until you find what they want.
Fish often move around a lot so spend enough time trying to decide what's working best and try moving onto other spots. Make sure to use lures and baits that will catch the fish's eye when not biting.
When the fish aren't biting, then patience is key. You need a game plan going into each fishing trip if you want any chance of success in catching this elusive creature!
The good news is that there are many ways to catch them when they're not biting. You have to know what works best for your situation and have persistence.
Good luck with your fishing 🙂