How to catch largemouth bass: season opens June 24

By Guest Blogger: AMFisH Guy

Hello, Island Lake bass fishing enthusiasts!  This blog post is all about how to catch largemouth bass on Island Lake, so if you are looking to up your bass fishing knowledge or are looking to enter this year’s bass fishing tournament at Island Lake, keep reading this article for a lot of great info!

Largemouth bass love hanging around extremely thick weedy areas and any type of structure as they use these areas as ambush points as well as shelter from predator fish. The #1 bait I always recommend to fellow anglers, fishing enthusiasts, and fellow AMFisHers is a chartreuse spinnerbait, with double nickel Colorado blades and a twin tail scented soft plastic trailer(pictured in the image below). I have caught hundreds of largemouth bass on this bait since I was a young kid and spinnerbaits in general are responsible for many thousands of largemouth bass being caught around the world.

With so many baits on the market, it’s not easy to know what will catch fish, as there are a lot of variables that come into play. The baits in this blog post are all key baits when it comes to bass fishing, as they allow you to cover various fishing styles, from using a fast running spinnerbait for aggressive fish right down to flipping a tube jig around docks and getting those subtle bites.

Here is a nice big long and heavy Island Lake largemouth bass I hooked into and landed a while back on a very rainy day and low and behold I caught this beauty on the chartreuse spinnerbait in the above photo, she hit as soon as my bait hit the water!

My top bass baits for catching largemouth on Island Lake are: spinnerbaits, jointed hard body swimbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, lipless crankbaits, short lipped bulky body crankbaits, Texas rigged soft plastic creature baits and flipping jigs with a creature trailer and finally frog baits. It’s hard to go wrong with these baits, as they will allow you to fish various conditions on your outings. Some of them will let you fish the bait deeper if need be and other will allow you to work them shallower when needed, making these all great choices!

Here are some tips on how to fish these baits: spinnerbaits – cast and retrieve these slowly and quickly, all depends on how the fish react. Also, add some pauses in between reeling it back, a split second pause is fine. Jointed swimbaits best retrieve by far is extremely slow, where the reel handle is just slightly turning. Soft plastic swimbaits, same as above extremely slow retrieve with the rod tip way up, this makes the bait look like a very easy target from fish below. Lipless crankbaits – cast and retrieve either slowly or quickly, with bursts of split second pauses. For tough bite days cast these out let them sink then slowly pop the bait up with the rod tip, then let it sink again and repeat. Short lipped bulky crankbaits – cast and retrieve slowly or quickly, the fish will tell you how they want it. You can also retrieve these almost like top water or wake baits, by reeling in very slowly so the bait is just breaking the surface with a ripple. Texas rigged creature baits – fish these around thick weedy areas by flipping the bait into small darker pockets of weeds. Let it sink to the bottom give it two small pops off the bottom and let it sink again. Great to use around all types of structure. Flipping jigs with trailers – same presentation as above, the advantage here is this bulkier bait will produce bigger bass as it is a bigger meal.

The best part of these top bass baits is they are all what a bass would eat, swimming bait fish and crayfish resembling baits. The second best part is these are great baits for starting out with, as you can cover a lot of water with the faster presentation baits then slow it down for the tougher bite days with the slower presentation baits. When it comes to colors I never make it too complicated, matching the hatch with bait fish in your lakes is the first way to go, second thing to do it remember to use lighter brighter colors on sunny days and darker tones on darker cloudier days, two rules that really make a huge difference when it comes to catching more fish.

When it comes to locating largemouth bass on Island Lake there are a lot of great areas to find them, as this lake is quite uniquely structured with sandy bottom, gravel bottom, weedy bottom and a lot of sunken trees and tree stumps, this all makes for great bass habitat. On hot summer days, you will find bass in the shallows sunning themselves and then hanging out in the big shade filled areas along the shorelines. If the water temperature and outside temperature is extremely hot, bass will quickly move to deeper water ranging from 5ft to 10ft as they will seek that cooler water to avoid the heat. Almost always largemouth bass will not be far from their food source, as they do like to keep an eye on what they eat, which also ties into their actual roaming area being a few hundred yards at most.

Depending on what the day presents you on Island Lake, is how I would suggest approaching that fishing day with baits. Example if you get out there and there is a slight wind with a slight wave on the surface of the water, instantly try a spinnerbait or crankbait to locate any active fish. Island Lake is a big spinnerbait lake as the species there do go after spinnerbaits quite hard, so if that is what they start to bite stick with it until the bite stops. Once the fish stop hitting a fast moving bait, this will be the time to slow things down with a soft plastic presentation, like a Texas rigged 6-inch worm, fishing it around thick weeds and dropping it right down into all visible holes along the weeds you are fishing. With bass fishing the important thing is not to overthink things too much, the fish will either be active or non-active and once you identify how they are on that particular outing you approach it with the baits that make the most sense. Active fish will be roaming and in the mood to chase down baits, so spinnerbaits, crankbaits, fast moving swimbaits and inline spinners all make sense at this point. If the bass is not going after anything fast moving, then soft plastic slower presentations make the most sense, like flipping jigs, soft plastic worms, and creature baits, as this situation means you will almost need to drop a simple looking bait right in front of the bass to trigger a strike.

Understanding what largemouth bass feed on in Island Lake is something to focus on as well. It’s a lush habitat with everything from frogs, minnows, and other bait fish, baby small fry species like perch and crappie, mice and other small rodents, birds, lizards and salamanders, as well as a wide variety of insects. What this means is if you are fishing with artificial lures you will want to fish with a bait that matches what you see that day on the water. If you see frogs swimming around use a top water frog bait if you see giant schools of bait fish then cast out a crankbait. By observing the activity in the lake it can help you identify what is active bait wise and you can easily use a bait to match that current forage activity. Fish will always tell us anglers what they want to eat, the size of what they want to eat, when they want to eat it, how much of that they want to eat and for how long them want to eat it, this is where paying attention to when fish start to bite and when they stop biting is critical, as it allow you to identify and build a log of fish activity on that lake.

Island Lake has a good largemouth bass population, with fish ranging from a pound of so right up to 5lb MONSTER’S! I have caught many quality bass at Island Lake over the last several years and by understanding more about how they feed, what habitat they like to hang around in you too can catch some BIG OLD BASS as well!

Hope you found this article helpful and if you have any questions about any of these baits feel free to ask me by getting in touch with me through any of my social media channels.  Also feel free to check my YouTube channel out as I have more videos that cover these baits individually.

Tight lines everyone!

The AMFisH guy…

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