Bass Fishing Techniques-Splitshotting

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Largemouth Bass Side View and Fins












There are many great bass fishing techniques out there when it comes to increasing your Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass catches. Here are some more which will help you become a better angler and catch more fish in Ontario.


To master bass fishing, you will need to learn this and various other Bass fishing techniques. This wonderful technique can be the difference between an excellent day of catching fish and a long, frustrating and unrewarding boat ride. Bass fishing will be much more productive and fun in cold winter months, if you invest time to practice splitshotting. In highly pressured waters it pays to be as versatile as possible and these techniques are always good to add to your bag of tricks.

If you invest the time and effort, you will be able to learn how you can master the summer and fall bass fishery in Ontario. Your reward will be exceptional smallmouth and largemouth of trophy sizes. You must also conserve your catch through the practice of responsible methods of catch and release, as it takes about 8-10 years for smallmouth bass to attain over 5lbs in weight.

When the colder autumn weather rolls in and the bass are into fall feeding patterns, you can forget about spinner baits, rip baits and also crank baits. It is time to put your finesse gear to use. During this season, splitshotting is among the most commonly used techniques to get the bass to bite. Very little investment is needed in terminal tackle, as it is a rather straightforward technique.

Detecting the bite is the hardest lesson for a bass angler who is learning to splitshot. The bite varies with the activity levels of the fish. At times, they will pop the bait very hard, making you aware instantly that the fish is eating the bait. At other times, there will only be a soft and nearly imperceptible tick and thereafter nothing.

Finally there is the much dreaded pressure bite, which takes two different forms. The first form of pressure bite is where you feel a little bit of resistance to pulling the line forward. It feels like hooking a spongy and soft rubber band. The other type of pressure bite is where contact with the bottom is lost. When a bass fish has picked up the lure and is merely following along with any of your forward movement. It is the reason as to why the maintaining of bottom contact is so important. As soon as you realize that you have lost the sense of the weight against the bottom, and there is no significant change in your depth, then you should get ready to immediately set the hook.

A sweep set is the preferred hook set to be used with this technique. Once you detect a fish holding the bait, drop the tip of the rod towards the bass, reel down till the point where you feel resistance or just short of it and horizontally sweep the rod away from the bass fish.

If your rod loads up well and you are completely sure that you have got the hook in the fish, fight it to the boat. When you have set the hook, but it doesn't feel solid, then you want to probably set the hook again. The drag on the reel is to be set as tight as needed that it does not give on the first hook set. Take care not to set it so tight that bigger fishes cannot take the line when needed.

Other useful techniques to know

Use weedless lures when possible, as weeds and cover are the best places to catch bass. This practice will minimize the expense of lost lures.

Bass tend to exist in a rather wide range of temperatures, but they generally become inactive during the duration of a cold front. Most fish will swim to deeper areas during the sunniest parts of the day. It is often seen that the sun adversely affects bass fishing. It is best to find deeper water with lots of cover or shady spots. Shallower waters are the best on cloudy or overcast days. In cold water, you must retrieve your bait at a slower pace. Fish will react at a slower pace in colder temperatures.

Hopefully with some of these techniques you will be able to adjust to the variables in weather in the northern Ontario climates and adjust your fishing to different situations. Ultimately having a more diverse angle to bass fishing and using different techniques adapting to the conditions will ultimately put more fish in your boat. 


This article was written by the
contributing staff of OFT and its
group of amateur and pro Ontario anglers.

Copyright 2008. Ontario Fish Trips .

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