Only Catching Small Bass

Kayak Bass Fishing is full of images of kayak anglers holding huge bass and being happy anglers. These photos inspire us to hit the water, but we often fall short of those big lunkers. Are you only catching small bass? The following article may help you achieve those lunkers.

Arlie MInton with Big Bass

Kayak Bass Anglers wanting to catch bigger bass should try deeper water, isolated cover, and big lures.

While not all bodies of water are teeming with huge bass, there are some strategies you can add that will increase the odds of you catching bigger bass.

Big Bass Tend to Use Deeper Water

The main word is deeper water, not just deep water.

This is an important factor to keep in mind. When kayak bass anglers hear that big bass use deeper water, they always think of really deep. There are times that are true, but water clarity and weather conditions play a large role in what deep truly is.

In dirty and really stained water conditions, the majority of bass are going to be shallower than in ultra-clear waters. A good starting point is to fish the water where your lure is just out of sight, no matter what the clarity is.

Smaller bass thrives in shallow conditions. There is plenty of cover for them to feel secure and tiny baitfish species around to feed on.

Find Deeper Water to Find Bigger Bass

If you are fishing from a kayak, the easiest strategy is to back off at least one more cast length than you normally would. 

So often, the bigger fish we seek is in the portion of the lake that our boat is sitting over. We beat the bank and keep cruising right over the tops of bass that would make us proud to catch.

Deep Water Bass Fishing

When shore fishing, this means making the absolutely longest cast you can. Using heavier weights and an easier casting line, like a braid with a fluoro leader, can add the yardage you are looking for.

Another solid approach is to focus on the first major depth change leading away from the shoreline. 

Depending on the slope of the lakebed, this may be close to shore, or it may be a hundred yards away. The first place where the lake or river bed pulls down to the depths is key for finding bigger bass.

This tree and vegetation sit in about twenty feet of water. There is a clear edge where the cover stops. Big bass hangs in these types of places.

Deep Water Bass Takes a Commitment

This is mentally tough.

The visible cover of the shoreline calls to us. We want to cast to targets. Bringing our lures through open water is challenging – especially if we have not had much success in the past.

Remember, we are looking for better-quality bass and this is one great way to do it.

It is okay to search, search, search, and then catch. Usually, that last part, the catch, is going to be better bass, and lots of times, there are many of them sitting in one area.

Targeting Isolated Cover for Bigger Bass

Spending many hours filming underwater has taught me a lot about this.

We tend to toss our lures at the most obvious stuff. Things that we can see with our sunglasses from the deck of the boat or the shoreline. 

Isolated Cover for Bass

A weed bed that is the size of a baseball field will draw our attention much sooner than that single patch of vegetation positioned ten yards away from it. Our mindset needs to change.

I have seen and caught so many bigger bass from the most unassuming piece of cover. That lone stick that barely peaks above the surface of the water may branch out below and hold a big fish. That is what we must think about when looking for isolated cover.

Targeting isolated cover and structure has worked for me many times.

The largest bass I ever caught came from huge Zoom Monster Worm in the Canocchee River. I threw the monster worm against a blown down tree and the moster bass took off with it.

The beauty of focusing on the isolated cover is that most other kayak anglers will ignore it altogether. This leaves the bigger bass that lurk there less pressured.

While a dock may seem obvious, this particular dock is standing alone. It is isolated. As a result, it is a magnet for bass and better bass like the one on the left.

Big Baits Catch Bigger Bass

Yes, of course, I have caught big bass on tiny baits. No one will argue that.

But if you are looking for consistently bigger bites from better bass, using upscaled lures is a way to weed out the smaller fish.

Big bass need plenty of calories to survive. They are not interested in losing weight like most of us are. Calories mean survival, and eating larger bait accomplishes that.

Here is the catch, though. The number of bites you are going to get will diminish a lot, but those bites are likely to be big ones that will make your kayak trip worth it.

Daniel with Big Bass

Using big baits, such as swimbaits that are seven plus inches, often results in only a few bites a day. That’s right. You may only get two bites all day, but those two bites could all be from the biggest bass you have ever caught.

This mindset is tough. Really tough. And there are some days when you may choose not to deal with it. Catching smaller bass may be perfect on those days. 

But when you are ready, and you feel that the commitment is one you want to make, it is a proven tactic that will yield you bigger bass. 

Glide baits or big swimbaits are excellent lures for targeting bigger bass.

Catching Bigger Bass

You have probably noticed that twice in this post, I have mentioned mental commitment.

First, when talking about fishing deeper water and then using bigger lures. It is easy as kayak bass anglers to fall back into old habits. There have been days when I hardly get a bite all morning, but the fish I do catch is the best one I have had in the last ten trips. 

It all depends on how you feel on any given day. Enjoy catching the smaller bass on days when they are plentiful, and enjoy that one big bite on days you go searching for big monster bass.

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