Catching a monster bass is far more than just throwing the right bait in the right spot. There are many ways you can increase your chances to putting the fish of a lifetime in the boat. Here are my five tips for catching the biggest bass of your life.

1. Sharp hooks improve your hook-to-landing ratio

Check the sharpness of your hooks before you go fishing. Make sure your hooks are sharp and rust-free. If need be, change out your hooks or sharpen them with a file.

2. Using good line is imperative to catching giant bass

I use Gamma Edge fluorocarbon line because I truly believe it is stronger and more abrasion resistant than other lines on the market. No matter what line you choose, make sure it’s a quality product. After all, the line is the only thing between you and the bass of a lifetime.

3. Even with a high-quality line, it is necessary to change your line often

This is especially beneficial when you use fluorocarbon or monofilament line. Old line can lose its strength. Tournament anglers re-spool their reels before every event. You don’t have to re-spool before every trip. If you can’t re-spool, you can still increase your chances of landing a true behemoth by simply stripping off 10 to 15 yards of used line.

4. Have a net and have it ready

Using a net to land a large fish not only improves your chances of getting the fish in the boat, but it can protect your hands from unwanted hooks. This is especially important when fishing baits with more than one treble hook.

5. Use a strong knot

Knots are the weakest point between you and the fish so learn how to tie a good knot. I use a variety of knots including a Palomar, uni-knot, and many others. I suggest practicing off the water. A fun contest you can have with friends will help you find the knot that’s best for you. Here’s how it works: Each of you tie a knot to a hook using a single line. Then each of you pull from the hooks (use pliers) and see whose knot breaks first.

For some good knot instructions search online. There are several websites that give diagrams for a number of different knots.

By being prepared to catch giant fish, you’ll increase your chances of catching one. Check your hooks, use good line, change your line often, have a net and practice your knots and you’ll be ready when the big fish bites.

Image courtesy Luke Clausen

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