Bedding Bass / Sight Fishing

There are many controversies concerning the taking of bedding bass. I am not a bass professional, nor fisheries biologist and I'm not here to address these controversies. I am a amateur fishing tournaments for the 2nd year and would like to share my experiences or lessons learned during the West Coast Bass, "Don Pedro, Super Pro/AM." I drew Mr. Keith Clow for day one and Mr. Wayne Brezeale for day two. I've fish with Mr. Clow before (FLW Super Pro/AM, 1998) and knew that I would learn from him. But, I have never fished with Mr. Brezeale and did not know what to expect from him (little did I know, just how good a teacher he is). At our pre meeting, we decided on time and place to meet for blast off and Mr. Clow advise me on his strategy for day one. Mr. Brezeale did not say much, so I still had no glue, but his strategy for day 2, will probably be based on his day 2 performance.

Day 1
Mr. Clow and I blast off in position 39. While, waiting for blast off, Mr. Clow advise me on how he wanted me to fish, because we were going to try and bring in a quick limit, then go after large bedding bass. We get our limit by 10AM; I contributed 2 fish throwing a brush hog (pumpkinseed with red flakes). Then off we go for bedding bass.

To locate bedding bass, one must employ polarize sunglass (grey, amber, rose). Mr. Clow begins by explaining that we will use the troll motor set on high to cover as much ground as possible while looking for bass on beds. He invites me onto the his front deck for better vision and to give me theories (instructions) on sight fishing, what beds look like, how to identify old beds, what types of lures to use and how to tease the bedding bass to bite.

We locate a bed with a bass on it and he begins by identifying the bass as cacheable because it did not wander too far from the bed before returning to the bed. He selects a chartreuse grub and explains that the color selection is not for the bass but for the fisherman to see the bite of the bass. He begins by pitching the lure pass the bed and retrieving it on to the bed. The bass moves off and returns looking at the grub on the bed, it nudges the grub but would not eat it. Mr. Clow explains that the bass is not interested and the fisherman must now make it MAD. You can make the bass mad by continually pitching the grub on to the bed. It may take 20 or more pitches to the bed or a long time. One must be patient, when fishing for bedding bass. Unfortunately, we ran out of time with this particular bass. But the theories are lessons learned.

Day 2
Mr. Breazale and I blast off in the 19th position. While awaiting blast off, Mr. Breazale informs me of his game plan and 1st location to fish. We arrive at location 1 and begin casting split shot worms. After 10-15 minutes, I get a strike and into the boat with our 1st fish (approx. 3#). No more strikes from this location. So Mr. Breazale says we are going hunting (Mr. Clow said the same thing). Mr. Breazale invites me onto the front deck to continue my sight and or bed fishing lessons. He begins by pointing out beds that were old or the bass were already removed from them. We locate a bed with a bass and he immediately identify the bass as not cacheable because the bass is moving away from the bed and is making a wide circle to return to the bed. He explains that the bass is very skitage and one would be wasting their time trying to catch this particular bass. So, off we go looking for another bed with bass. While doing this he identifies several lone bass that are just swimming around as roaming bass and these are extremely hard to catch, so don't waste your time trying. Another bed is located with a bass and this time he is excited, he explains that this bass is cacheable because the bass is making a sharp turn to return to the bed. He grabs his rod with a chartreuse grub, explaining that he did not think the club matters to the bass, but the color is important to the fisherman to see the strike from the bass. After a few pitches and missed hook sets, he's upset with himself now, but still explains that the bass is cacheable because the bass continually return to the bed. He finally hooks the fish and brings it into the boat. He continues with his lesson for me and brings in 3 more bass fishing this way. I tried sight fishing with 1 bass, but just could not see the strike to set hook. We have our 5 fish limit and he says we will continue sight fishing, but only for fish that will help our cause. We locate a bass that will help our cause, but Mr. Breazale says this will be a tough one, looks like it was caught before. He begins pitching the chartreuse grub, but the bass only noses up to it. After 10 minutes, the bass strikes and he misses the hook set. The bass returns to the bed, but Mr. Breazale explains that the bass is skites and will be tougher to catch. He makes his pitch with the grub and the bass moves away. This continues to happen, even with a color and lure change (white jig). Mr. Breazale explains that the fish is still cacheable because the bass continually return to the bed. It is just a matter of getting the bass mad. He exclaims "I know what will get the bass mad, they hate these things" (blue gill, softbody lure). As soon as the blue gill lure hits the water the bass immediately turn around and begin watching the lure. As the lure approach the bed the bass darts out and bumps it. Mr. Breazale says, "See the bass is getting mad now." He continues to pitch to the bed and the bass is really agitated and strikes the lure, but he could not get a hook set. Mr. Breazale switches lure (chartreuse grub) and the bass strikes it, the hook is set and the bass makes several jumps and tosses the grub. Mr. Breazale couldn't believe it, he is upset and he sits down to settle himself. After several minutes he gets up and look for the bass on the bed, its there, he couldn't believe it. Mr. Breazale is determined to get this bass now. The game begins again with the teasing (using the blue gill lure) and he finally gets a good hook set and we land the fish. Just like he said, this bass culled a smaller bass.

Professor Clow and Teacher's Assistance Breazale are excellent at teaching theories and hands on lessons regarding bedding bass and sight fishing. Thank you both for being patient with a poor student and thank you WEST COAST BASS the University of Northern California Bass Fishing.