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Black Bass

Black bass, specifically largemouth bass in the bay area, would require volumes of writing just to cover the basic elements. I'll go over a few simple techniques that excel in the bay area here.

Flippin'
Tackle: 7-7.5 foot med/hvy - hvy baitcast rod with 12-25 lb line
Lures: jig-n-pig, texas-rigged worms, tube baits, and other soft plastics
Location: shoreline cover, logs, tules, weedbeds, brush, docks
Description: This is an exciting way to fish, and also excels at catching larger fish than usual. The idea here is to drop baits into pockets of cover. You have to be quiet and accurate, so you must position yourself close to the target. Say about 15 feet away. To get the bait to the target, flip it there with an underhand motion. Let the bait sink to the bottom on a semi-slack line. Try to get the bait in the absolute thickest cover you can find. Over 90% of the bites you will get will be when the lure is sinking or within a few seconds of it hitting the bottom. It is important to watch your line. It may jump to the side, or suddenly start sinking faster, signaling a bite. If you don't get a bite right away, shake it a few times and flip to another spot. Set the hook with authority when you get a bite, since the bass may have wrapped your line around some piece of cover. The fight will consist of you pulling the bass out as fast as possible.

My favorite lure is a jig. I generally use a 3/8 oz brown jig. It has round rubber skirt and a stout flippin' style hook. I use a variety of trailers. I don't think they matter too much. But they are generally naturally colored. Black red, brown/orange, black/blue, or pumpkinseed are good combinations.

Split Shotting
Tackle: 6-7 foot med/lite spinning rod with 6-8 lb line
Lures: 3-6 inch plastic worms, lizards, and other plastics
Location: all over, but generally in cover-free water 10-30 feet deep
Description: The split shot rig is just a small split shot (bb-3) about 18 inches above a small plastic worm or other soft plastic. This is a very effective way for lots of average sized fish. To fish the rig make a long cast and SLOWLY inch it back. That's it. The slower the better generally. A great way to do this from a float tube or boat is to let out a split shot rig and just drift along with it dragging behind in 20 feet of water or so.

Spinner Baits
Tackle: 6-7 foot med-med/hvy baitcast with 10-20 lb line
Lures: spinnerbaits
Location: anywhere
Description: Spinnerbaits are probably the most versatile bait around today. You can fish them anywhere, any speed, any depth... I do best fishing spinnerbaits in 10 feet or less of water around shoreline cover, however. My favorite bait is a white or chartreuse/white 3/8 oz bait with two small colorodo blades. Throw it against the shoreline and reel it back just fast enough to turn the blades, banging it against any kind of cover along the way. It is also a fantastic bait for night fishing.

Bay Area Hotspots for Black Bass: Calero Reservoir, Anderson Reservoir, Coyote Lake, Shadow Cliffs back ponds, Loch Lomond Reservoir

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