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A beginner’s guide to bass fishing

Bass fishing essentially involves angling for North American game fish, or more popularly called as black bass. There are a lot of black species in North America that are considered to be game fish, and these include the smallmouth bass, the largemouth bass, the Kentucky bass (or Spotted bass), Guadalupe bass, and many others. However, while North American game fish are called as bass, they are actually part of the sunfish family. 

Angling defined

Angling is a way of fishing using an angle or a fish hook. The hook is typically attached to a fishing line that is then attached to a rod. Fishing rods are normally fitted with fishing reels that work as a mechanism for paying out, retrieving, and storing the fishing line. It depends on the angler but the hook itself may be dressed with bait or bass fishing lures. Angling is usually used in sport fishing, but there are also commercial fisheries that use angling methods, the most common of which are trolling and long lining. Like many other forms of sport and recreation, angling is also defined by certain laws and regulations. Laws and regulations in place will vary but they are usually set regionally within countries. Laws and regulations usually govern fishing permits, seasons, and quotas on catches. 

The industry bass fishing

Modern bass fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry today, a drastic, drastic change from its beginnings during the late 19th century.  From its simple beginnings,  the black bass fish rose to become the second most sought-after game fish in the US, driving the development of all sorts of fishing gear like lures, lines, reels, rods, electronic fish-finding and depth-finding instruments, float tubes, drift boats, and special bass boats. 


As bass fishing has become very popular, several major competitions have been organized in the US, of which the most dominant are the circuits for the Bass masters and FLW series. The Bass masters Tournament Trail is managed by the B.A.S.S. or the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, founded by the "father" of competitively fishing for bass, Ray Scott. Opening in 1969, the Bass masters Tournament Trail produced household names like Luke Clausen, Rick Clunn, Aaron Martens, Ken Van Dam, and Michael Laconelli. A typical circuit has 12 events with 50 anglers competing. The top prize to be won in a Bass master’s tournament is $500,000. The FLW series, on the other hand, is a circuit named after Forrest L. Wood, famous because of the Ranger Boats. The FLW series has a bigger pot than the Bass masters at $1 million, although both circuits are televised nationally on Fox Sports Net and ESPN. Other news media also extensively cover the circuits as they are a matter of public interest. 

In bass fishing competitions, fish caught are placed in wells and are released once they are weighed by officials. The fish have to be alive otherwise penalties will be imposed for dead fish. In certain cases even, the dead fish will not be weighed. Fish are released at the soonest time possible in order to avoid stress and slime coat injury as much as possible.

Starting out with bass fishing 

It's never too late to learn how to bass fish. Just go out there and learn as much as you can about the sport. Check out clubs. As they are filled with enthusiasts, they are great places for you to get started on getting as many bass fishing tips as you can in order to guide you in fishing for bass. Aside from technical knowledge about fishing, you can also use this chance to acquire first-hand information from the experiences of many anglers before you. As people generally love to share what they love, you shouldn't have any trouble finding someone who would share their fishing wisdom with you.