When you think of the term ‘bass fishing’ you more than likely think of high powered bass boats, trolling motors, large reservoirs, bait casting rods and reels, heavy fishing line, plastic worms, crank baits, etc., but the truth of the matter is that this isn’t the only way to fish for bass. Bass, both small and large mouth, can be caught in rivers and not only ‘rivers’, but the kind of rivers that can be fished while wading, much like you think of when you think of trout fishing.
I grew up fishing for bass (mainly smallmouth bass) on rivers in Central Pennsylvania, and let me tell you something, fishing for and catching bass in this manner can be as enjoyable as fishing gets. If you’ve never had the pleasure of fighting a pound (or heavier) small or large mouth while standing in the flowing waters of a river, I promise you that you are missing out on something special. Fishing for bass in this way can be as enjoyable as the sport of fishing gets.
Below I will outline a few tips for wading and catching bass, so that you can experience more success the next time that you have a chance to hit your local river in search of some bass. The first thing I would say about fishing for bass while wading in rivers is to consider the size of your fishing gear. I have always found that the lighter your gear, the more bites that I receive, which is why I like to use four pound test and an ultralight rod and reel whenever I am river fishing for either small or large mouth bass. If your aren’t doing so already, making the switch to light to ultralight gear and line will have an impact on your bite rates.
Next we have the techniques that you employ while river fishing. While there are many techniques that are effective, in my experience the one that stands out above all the other is drift fishing. Whether you are drift fishing with a live or synthetic worm or even drift fishing with a small spinner or spoon, the technique of “drift fishing” is extremely effective. It involves allowing your bait or lure to drift with the current of the river and as you feel/add action to your bait, hungry bass will readily gobble up your offering.
Finally we have when you are on the river wading for bass. Whether or not you realize it, factors such as the weather and the moon have quite an impact on whether or not the bass that you are fishing for will be actively feeding. Familiarizing yourself with the simple ways in which the weather and moon impact fishing is a great idea, and paying attention to the moon rise and set will pay dividends as well. In fact, just being in the water wading and fishing when the moon is either rising or setting, will in itself result in more bites from hungry bass, believe it or not.
The bottom line is that these simple tips will help virtually anyone catch more bass the next time that he or she is wading in a river in search of either small or large mouth bass. Add one or all of them to your arsenal and start catching more bass today.