Whether you work in a corporate cubicle or in a remote office you’ve carved out in your home, there are times where work can be suffocating. You know the ones: where the screen leaves a permanent, blue imprint on your vision and the text starts swimming in jumbled, disassociated order. These may be symptoms of burnout, signs that you need to get away from the hustle and bustle for a while and enter a screen-free environment. To take some time to yourself, drive somewhere outside the grey jungle you’ve been living and working in for so long, and spend some time in the natural world.
But what should you do, and how long should you do it for? Unless you’re of an extremely sedentary bent, picking daisies in the middle of a field probably won’t be an entertaining or relaxing use of your time; and unless you’ve got a few days to kill, you likely won’t want to do something more time-intensive like camping or hiking either. You need something that you can do for as long as you need to, but that won’t cut into the time you need to work: something that perfectly marries action and relaxation, the kind of sport where you can bring a book and read one minute and fight for your life the next.
Enter bass fishing, a sport that provides an entertaining challenge for experienced anglers and casual hobbyists alike. If you’re looking for the kind of sport that offers ample chance for relaxation but also provides rigorous competition when things get real, bass fishing might just be the perfect outdoor sport for you. If you’re interested in looking into the sport, read on to learn the basic knowledge you need to start casting line today.
The Bass Fish: Mean, Lean Fighting Machines
There are anglers who dedicate their entire fishing careers to hunting down bass, as their incredible aggression makes them notoriously fun and challenging prizes to reel in. Largemouth bass are around 15 to 16 inches of pure muscle, and smallmouth bass don’t run much smaller, with a range of around 12 to 16 inches. That being said, it’s not uncommon to find bass that grow much larger, especially the largemouth varieties: the current record for most gigantic largemouth bass is around 40 inches long, meaning that the potential for friendly competition among bass anglers is high.
Bass are also widely available in the US, having habitats in 48 states and being present in both native and non-native fisheries. They are also frequently restocked in non-native fisheries, making them environmentally sustainable targets for anglers looking to take home dinner when the day is done. Moreover, their aggression means that they’re likely to bite at just about anything they perceive as smaller or weaker than themselves, meaning they’ll bite at a variety of baits. Fair warning though: once a bass does bite you’re in for a ride, as their infamous aggression tends to lead to them fighting like hell to get off your hook, flipping in and out of the water, and struggling with every ounce of their muscle.
What You Need to Get Started
Hunting bass is one of the most accessible big-game fishing sports, partially because it’s possible to start hunting bass with a relatively small investment. You’ll likely want a spinning rod and reel if you’re just starting out, along with a bass bait and tackle kit (tailoredtackle.com is a great resource); the spinning rod is a simple, uncomplicated rod for beginners to use easily, and a tackle kit will give you a multitude of possible approaches and hard baits right off the bat. While bass do tend to bite at just about anything, their preferred targets change from season to season and they tend to bite HARD, so having a vast arsenal of hard baits is likely to help you land a significant number of catches.
Get to Casting
Once you have the essential starter equipment, do some research on where bass are found in your local area. Chances are with their widespread availability, there’s a habitat not too far from where you live. After that, it’s just a matter of sitting back, casting your line, and waiting for that first bite.