• Bass Fishing

    Bassmaster Elite pro Aaron Martens bases his dropshot bait selection on water temperature.

    Drop by design — The ins and outs of dropshotting for bass

    It’s the go-to rig for finessing finicky fish, nudging the cold-weary and lightly probing a variety of hard-cover scenarios from docks to laydowns to bridges.

    January 01 at 7:00am
    Even when the weather cools down at the end of December, you often can catch some very chunky bass at Bogue Homa that weigh 5 to 7 pounds each.

    Bogue Homa’s December bassing

    Bogue Homa’s fishery, with its numerous creek channels, active bass and an abundance of vegetation, is a great December fishery. Early on, you’ll take bass on top; they’ll be along the edges of drop-offs later in the month. Often, bass will concentrate in creek channels all winter, particularly when the air temperature is cold. Generally, December bass and the shad they eat will still be in a late fall pattern. 

    December 18, 2017 at 9:00am
    The Ned rig might not look like much, but bass often smash it when other lures don’t produce a bite.

    You need a Ned rig

    If someone were to give you only one box of lures you could use for the rest of your life, the last thing you might want thrown in would be the relatively boring-looking Ned rig.

    December 18, 2017 at 6:00am
    Pete Ponds said a west-facing riprap bank is a great place to start looking for aggressive bass in December, even on a Bandit 200 crankbait.

    Ponds: 5 Lures to tie on in December

    Bass pro Pete Ponds will always have these five lures tied on when he goes fishing in the late fall and winter in Mississippi.

    December 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    Even on a blue-bird day after a cold front, Pete Ponds feels bass can be aggressive enough to fool on shallow flats using a BooYah Hard Knocker lipless crankbait.

    Chill out, catch more winter bass

    Bass pro Pete Ponds has a very interesting take on cold-weather fishing.

    December 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Bass anglers Derward Maudlin and Mike Damron won a tournament with 20.36 pounds this year, including a 5.96-pound lunker caught on a Delta Lures buzzbait.

    Delta Lures’ buzzbaits

    “Hey, can I borrow one of those?”

    Accomplished Helena, Ark. bass angler Derward Mauldin has heard that question many times before in his boat when he’s fishing with a Delta Lures buzzbait during tournament action in Arkansas, Mississippi or Louisiana. It’s perhaps the ultimate compliment, or endorsement if you will, for any artificial lure manufacturer who puts a product on the market.

    November 29, 2017 at 9:00am
    Rat-L-Traps are not inherently snag-free, but bass pro Cliff Crochet said you can make one simple alteration to throw the lures around hard structure and catch more fish.

    Remove back hook from Rat-L-Trap to catch more fish

    Rat-L-Traps are absolute fish-catchers. There’s just something about the lipless crankbaits that bass and redfish love — or hate, whatever. They will just crunch them.

    November 16, 2017 at 6:00am
    A buzzbait is a very productive bait when bass are in the backs of creeks on visible cover.

    Pickwick Lake’s bass bonanza

    Catching 30 to 50 bass per day is what you can expect in November on Pickwick Lake, which corners Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee and should be one of the hottest lakes in all those states this month. One of the main reasons I’m choosing Pickwick is because the shad will be moving from deep to shallow water and will be schooling on the surface, and there’s a wide variety of ways to catch those bass. 

    November 15, 2017 at 9:00am
    Needle nose and split ring pliers are invaluable for hook change operations.

    Tools and tactics

    Swapping hooks is not a complicated process, but a little know-how facilitates the task. Invariably, the biggest challenge is flexing the split ring enough to remove and add a hook. Split ring pliers, made to separate the metal ring’s overlapping sections simplify the process, while providing a gripping device. However, in a pinch, your fingernail or a pocketknife blade will suffice.

    November 15, 2017 at 6:00am
    A feature on Google Earth allows anglers to go back in time to see features on Okhissa’s lake bottom before the lake was impounded to see potential bass-holding spots.

    Google Earth helps turn back time at Okhissa

    During the construction of Okhissa Lake, several humps were pushed up around the lake bottom, and several rock beds were created with railroad ties and loads of gravel.

    November 15, 2017 at 6:00am
    Bassmaster Elite pro Kevin VanDam likes to add one hook while removing another simultaneously.

    Hooking it up - How to change hard bait hooks

    You buy a bait, remove it from the packaging, tie it to your line and make a cast. Everything should work as expected, right? Yeah, that’s generally how it goes; and as long as you’re selecting reputable products, you should expect reasonable teamwork between the piece that attracts a fish and the piece(s) that make them regret their mistake.

    November 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Lake Okhissa is still a great bass lake, even with its ‘new-car smell’ long gone.

    Okhissa’s ‘Back to the Future’ bass

    The north boat ramp at Okhissa Lake in the Homochitto National Forest was nothing like it was in 2007 when the Bill Dance Signature Lake first opened. Instead of waiting for an endless line of eager anglers to launch their boats, I drove right up to the ramp and had my pick of the best parking spots. 

    November 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Despite its length, you can still connect on the hookset with the Mag 12.

    The Mag 12 Buzz Worm

    That two different professional anglers can fish a new 12-inch worm completely differently — with both catching solid numbers of quality bass — is a testament to the new Mag 12 Buzz Worm from Mister Twister. 

    October 30, 2017 at 9:00am
    Anglers can catch spotted bass, along with largemouths and smallmouths, on different areas in Bay Springs.

    Bay Springs: five rods, two areas

    When I think of Mississippi lakes I like to fish in October, Bay Springs Lake comes to mind. A 9-mile-long reservoir on the Tenn-Tom Waterway northeast of Tupelo, Bay Springs has populations of all three species of black bass: largemouth, smallmouth and spotted. 

    October 18, 2017 at 9:00am
    Football jigs are one of the favorites for probing creek ditches.

    Carolina concepts

    It’s rarely the first choice for modern anglers boasting tackle bags full of the latest-and-greatest, but it’s always a good idea to keep a Carolina rig handy. Now, the slow drag may seem askew compared to more active presentations common to the fall season. But for those times between the craziness — for the dreaded bluebird days following a fall cold front or for those times when you just can’t seem to get ‘em going ­— the old ball and chain can be a straight-up day saver.

    October 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    Pete Ponds uses his own designed Pete Ponds Finesse Swim Jig from Talon to catch bass at Barnett Reservoir when the shad begin to stack in the pad fields.

    Bass chasing shad — that’s a good thing

    Bass fishermen who prowl Mississippi’s biggest waters — from Pickwick Lake to the coastal rivers, from the Tenn-Tom to the Big Muddy — love October.

    October 13, 2017 at 7:00am