How To Catch Largemouth Bass On Fly Using Fly Fishing Techniques
Catching Largemouth Bass On Fly In South Africa
The Largemouth Bass (Read more) is a very well respected South African freshwater fish. This predator attacks almost anything that moves, if it looks real or natural enough... Hopefully on this page I will give you some insight and tips on how to hook and land the Largemouth Bass using Fly Fishing methods in South Africa... Catching Largemouth Bass on fly can be tricky and very frustrating, but once you hook that first Bass on fly the adrenaline will keep you going until you land the fish... Below are some tips and advice for Fly fishing for Bass - Largemouth Bass, in South Africa... The same sought of technique can be applied when targeting the Smallmouth Bass I presume but I cant say it does as at the time of writing this article I have not targeted Smallmouth Bass on fly.
Fly Fishing Tackle Needed For Targeting Largemouth Bass
Generally the idea for targeting Largemouth Bass on a fly rod and fly reel is to fish slightly heavier than you would for Rainbow Trout. Normally in South Africa to catch Rainbow Trout you would use between a 4 weight and 6 weight fly rod paired with the appropriate fly fishing reel. In my opinion fishing for Largemouth Bass is no different, it all comes down to personal preference, what size leader you are going to use and how heavy your fly of choice is. Many well respected Bass anglers say that you should use a Fly rod between 7 and 9 weight for Bass... This is understandable because you have to tackle up when targeting Largemouth Bass, but as I mentioned it is all about what you feel comfortable with. I target Largemouth Bass with a 5 weight with floating line and a 7 weight with sinking line. So its up to you but I would say go with a 7 weight.
In terms of leader this again goes back to how heavy the fly you are using is and how heavy the structure is where you are fishing. Largemouth Bass are not as finicky when it comes to being spooked, such as Rainbow Trout are so you can afford to with a heavier leader line... Somewhere between 2 kilograms and 5 kilograms is perfect. On a floating line I would use 2-3 kilogram line with about an 8 foot leader and on a sinking line I would use 3-4 kilogram leader, with a length of 3-4 foot. I find that shorter leaders work a lot better with fast sinking line.
The Best Flies To Use For A Largemouth Bass
The best Flies to use for Largemouth Bass are without a doubt Zonker's, medium to large sized Mrs. Simpson's and the San Juan or Blood Worm imitations. These all imitate a Largemouth Basses natural food items. The Zonker's are bait fish, the Mrs. Simpson's are tadpoles and the other two mentioned above are worms. There are a lot of Bass flies on the market that work well too, but I tend to use the flies that have been catching fish for centuries. So listed below are the best flies for Bass, in my opinion on different lines:
Floating line Flies for targeting Largemouth Bass:
- San Juan Worm (Fished static with the occasional twitch)
- Blood Worm (Fished static with the occasional twitch)
- DDD (Fished static, using dry fly methods)
- GRHE (Fished on the drop then a slow figure of eight retrieve)
- Flashback Nymph (Fished static with the occasional twitch)
- PTN (Fished on the drop then a slow figure of eight retrieve)
- Hoppers (Fished static, using dry fly methods)
- Floating Ant (Fished static, using dry fly methods)
- Adams (Fished static, using dry fly methods)
- Poppers (Fished with a short retrieve and then stop etc.)
Sinking Line Flies For Targeting Largemouth Bass
- Mrs. Simpson
- Zonkers (Any colours and sizes)
- Cat's Whiskers
- Red Eye Damsel (Olive & Black)
- Walkers Killer
- Black Woolly Bugger
- Olive Woolly Bugger
- White Death
How To Fight And Land A Largemouth Bass On Fly Gear
When you hook a Largemouth Bass on fly you will be fighting the fish with "lighter tackle" than a spinning or bait caster set up so it is important not to give the Bass any slack and just let the Bass fight you... The bigger ones will run and take quite a bit of line but do not panic. Play them and tire them out and when you get the chance get the line back... When the Bass jump out of the water keep your rod tip low and your line tension fairly tight.
Landing a Largemouth Bass should be done with a net as you are using smaller hooks and lighter leader and you do not want that personal best Largemouth Bass to snap off and swim away. Wet your hands before touching the fish, take a photo and then release it. When releasing Largemouth Bass or any freshwater fish for the matter it is important to not just throw the fish back, but to revive it. Place the Bass in the water and either face it toward the flow of the water or gently rub your fingers along the side of the fish, thus getting its gills to move and start breathing. It is important not to bring the fish back and forward through the water as this could drown the Bass.
Other Largemouth Bass Tips For Fly Fishing
Always fish around structure, drop offs, inlets or banks... The Largemouth Bass love to inhabit these areas. Winter fly fishing for Largemouth Bass can be quite slow especially if the water is very cold, as Bass are regarded as "warm water fish". You will still catch them in Winter and the chances are that if you do you will catch larger fish. It is just very tough Fly Fishing but persevere and you will get your reward. The best times in Winter to target Largemouth Bass on fly would be when the temperature is at its warmest... Otherwise Spring and Summer are my favourite seasons for catching Largemouth Bass on fly.