Welcome to THE PLACE for a wide variety of valuable bass fishing tips from Hank Parker. These articles are packed with information you can start using on the water today. Access these articles to find out what makes Hank Parker a successful bass fisherman. You’ll learn productive tactics for fishing spinnerbaits in the spring, summertime bass fishing, shallow-water bass tactics, proper line choice, easy ways to read your depth finder, Hank Parker’s favorite lakes and how to fish them, best ways to fish softbaits and hardbaits and so much more.
Read through a collection of Hank Parker’s articles for great fishing tips and stories. Hank has been writing articles for more than 20 years and continues to contribute his knowledge and expertise to fishing enthusiasts everywhere!
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1. The transitional period, which occurs when bass move from winter to prespawn patterns, offers an excellent opportunity to catch quality bass.
Unfortunately, it can be short-lived and usually develops before most anglers begin the season.
Timing of the transitional period depends upon where you live. In the Deep South, it could happen as early as January, whereas it occurs later as you move northward.
Water temperature is the key. When shallows first begin to warm and water temperatures rise, bass begin moving from winter locations into shallower feeding areas. However, that doesn’t mean water temperatures must soar into the high 50s or 60s, as some anglers believe.
On my home waters in the Carolinas, bass begin moving up when water temperatures approach 48 degrees. As the water nears 50 degrees, movement peaks. It isn’t uncommon to catch 8 to 10 fish weighing 5 pounds or more in one day.
When you find a hotspot, remember it. Transitional bass may use those places year after year, providing quality fishing for many seasons to come.
2. When facing a clear lake, remember deep water often holds more bass than shallow flats, so spend more time searching for cover around creek bends, main-lake points and submerged hills.
On the other hand, one should never rule out shadow-water areas. I always look for alternatives where water visibility may be reduced, for whatever reason.
For example, drains coming into the lake, especially following a heavy rain, can attract a variety of fish. The water flow might be caused by a drainage ditch or small tributary.
Wind can be an advantage on clear-water lakes. Wave action, by breaking up the outline, allows an angler to move closer to fish. I like to fish the windy side of the lake or bay, especially if the wind has been blowing into a major land point for several days. The pounding waves will cloud the water, thus attracting baitfish and bass.
Remember a clear-water bass still has to eat. If you adjust tactics to its environment, there’s a good chance it will be eating your lures.
3. When I’m targeting big bass exclusively, I rely on a jig-and-pork combination, especially during early spring when the water is cool. I base that on the fact that the majority of my biggest bass have come on a jig. It’s a bait those early migrating fish can’t resist. As the water warms, a big spinnerbait rolled around logs and stumps or a large soft-plastic lure flipped around cover can catch them, too.
It pays to fish heavy cover in shallow water nearest deep water. If it’s grass, then you may need to increase the weight of your bait to penetrate the cover and control the rate of fall with the rod tip. The rate of fall is important, as you don’t want a bait moving too fast in cold water.
When hunting big bass, make sure you’re equipped to handle anything that bites. That means the lure should have a big-bite hook capable of handling monster bass, and the rod and line must be stout enough to play them. If you’re fishing for giant bass with a willowy rod and 8-pound line, you’ll probably get your line – and your heart – broken. That sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?