If you’re just getting into the sport of fishing, there may be no better fish than bass to get you started. With just a few pieces of basic gear, beginners have a perfect opportunity to learn the skills they need to jump right in and catch some fish.
But slow down! It’s not as simple as grabbing the nearest rod and casting away into your local pond. We suggest familiarizing yourself with the basics before you get out there and test yourself on the water. And when you do finally get out there, remember: practice makes perfect. It’s taken most great anglers years of trial and error to get where they are. So be patient and have some fun!
We’ve put together this PUGS guide so that you, the beginner bass fisherman, can begin your foray into the world of bass fishing with some basic knowledge and confidence. Enjoy the read!
The modern practice of bass fishing took root in the late 18th century when a man named Onesimus Ustonson first introduced his invention: the multiplying reel. This caused a growth in the popularity of fishing, with many new inventions to follow - spinning reels, fiberglass rods, nylon fishing lines, and more. Since the mid-20th century, when pioneering anglers introduced the artificial fly lure, the sport of bass fishing has boomed into a multibillion-dollar industry.
There are many species of bass, but two of the most popular in the angling world are Largemouth and Smallmouth bass. What’s the difference? Well, besides the obvious differences in mouth size, there are some key distinctions between the two species.
Believe it or not, when you go fishing matters just as much as where you go and the gear you use. Different species of fish mature at different times of the year and appear at different times of the day. So when is the best time for bass fishing?
In general, bass begin to feed heavily and move into shallower depths when the water reaches about 60 degrees in temperature. This usually occurs during late winter in the southern parts of the country and late spring in the north. These periods of pre-spawning and spawning are the best times to catch that record-breaking bass!
During these periods you can catch bass successfully nearly all day long. The optimal times are early morning, late afternoon, and night. Bass tend to become scarce during the warmest times of the day - take a cue from the fish and use the early afternoon to catch a break in the shade.
As you can guess, there are countless lakes around the country that can give you the fishing trip of a lifetime. Bassmaster Magazine recently compiled a list of the 12 best bass lakes of 2017. Though it’s now 2018, we can still promise you that these are the best of the best.
Let’s take a closer look at three of the best lakes that cover the spread of the country. No matter where you happen to live in the USA, these lakes are worth the journey!
With the rise in technology, learning methods are changing. You can get a four-year college degree online - so why wouldn’t you be able to learn bass fishing online?
There are quite a few resources for learning how to fish on the internet, but we highly recommend checking out The Bass University (BU) first. Not only does BU offer online video courses available across all digital channels - they also offer classroom courses and on-water immersive training as well.
If you’re looking for a truly comprehensive method of learning bass fishing (and you’re willing to pay for it), you really can’t go wrong with The Bass University!
What better way to learn the basics than from an expert? Joe Thomas is back with another round of Q&A - check out the videos below for advice and insight straight from the man himself!
Needless to say, you won’t be catching any bass without the proper equipment. If you want to fish in the deep end you’ll need a floating vessel (a boat or a kayak, in other words), but the lake shore or a dock work just fine too.
Unless you love the idea of spearfishing, you’ll need a modern-day rod and reel combo to catch your bass. Beginners can’t go wrong with a lightweight, durable rod with a casting reel setup. Check out some of our recommendations right here. For a more detailed look into selecting the right rod and reel combination for you, browse through this guide before you buy.
Selecting the right kind of lure can be the difference between catching a record bass and going home empty-handed. For beginners, we recommend starting with crankbaits - these are lures that resemble baitfish and stay submerged underwater at varying depths. Cast them out as far as you can, then slowly crank them back in.
It’s a good idea to start out with three basic crankbaits - one for shallow depths, one for medium depths, and another for deeper waters. This should cover your bases when it comes to bass. Depending on the lake you’re fishing and the water temperature, the fish tend to hide behind cover at different depths. Test out all of your crankbaits to see which one attracts the most bass.
It’s no secret - anyone who’s spent five minutes on a lake on a cloudless day can tell you the glare from the sun is...well, blinding. And fishing isn’t much fun when you can’t see the fish! Think you can squint hard enough to see them making circles around you? Think again.
What’s the key to beating the sun? Well - besides bringing some high-octane sunscreen - you’re going to need some Pugs polarized sunglasses. Polarized lenses help to filter and block the harmful UV rays that reflect off the water. They also help you see into the depths - and when the bass are hiding in cover, you’ll need as much visibility as possible. Take a look at this post from the Pugs Blog for more information on selecting the right sunglasses for fishing.
We recently brought in pro angler Joe Thomas to design his own line of Pugs glasses - and he didn’t disappoint.
“When we designed the Pugs UMF Premium glasses, there were several things that I wanted to focus on,” Joe says. “I wanted frames that were durable, I wanted to make sure that they had the option to keep the wind out of your face, and finally I wanted a polarized lens that would truly allow me to see in the water and give me different lenses for different situations.”
Check out the following videos for more information about the UMF line straight from Joe:
At this point, you should be feeling comfortable knowing how to start your bass fishing career. As Joe says above, the best thing you can do now is to get out on the lake as often as you can. Bass fishing is a lifelong pursuit for many people - put in the time and the effort, and one day you’ll be casting with the best of them. Good luck out there!
To optimize your chances of success, make sure you bring the right gear with you - check out our high end premium polarized sunglasses available on the online store!