As you know, when it comes to Bass fishing, there is much more to it than meets the eye. In order to be a successful Bass fisherman, you need to be familiar with the species itself, different bodies of water, and the different types of angling and fishing equipment and accessories.
Also, you should be familiar with Bass habits, patterns and behavior, preferred foods, and mastering some basic skills like preparation of bait and lures, casting accuracy, and the complexities of casting and retrieval. And this is only the beginning!
Once you have a general knowledge of all of the above, you are indeed ready to fish. The next big hurdle, and probably the most crucial, is learning how to cast properly and effectively.
This is no easy task. Although the pros do in fact make it look easy, it’s actually quite difficult. Some of the more common casting difficulties that beginners wrestle with are:
1. Overcastting – This is when the angler casts with too much power and overshoots the lure. The result can be disastrous, with lures ending up tangled in trees, snapped lines, and line entanglements with other anglers.
2. Light Casting/Early Release – This occurs when a very light lure is being fished and the line is released early with the rod in too high a position. The result of this is what I call a “pop-up”. The lure has a long vertical distance, but not much horizontal distance.
3. Stone Skipping – This cast is really common amongst beginners. It happens when the line is released very late. The lure is projected in a downward angle, hitting the water with a lot of force and often skipping across the water. This type of cast is very noisy and can scare the fish away, along with being ineffective because it lands too close to the angler.
4. Missing The Mark – New anglers seldom have control over their casts. The lure tends to go off-course because it is released at an awkward side angle. The biggest danger of this type of cast is that the lure can fly off to the side of the angler, possibly striking others who are fishing nearby.
In order to avoid these common mistakes, the angler should practice reel and line control, and master the “overhead cast”. If you are experiencing some of the above problems, there is a very simple technique that you can employ to help you with this.
Many pros suggest visualizing your cast using the arms on a clock. Begin your cast by holding your rod out to your side in the two o’clock position. Bring your rod up and back to the 12 o’clock position, and then swerve forward back to the two o’clock position again. Your release will be midway between 12 and 2. You should be coming back into the two o’clock position and ready to release just as your rod begins to enter your peripheral vision again. Your rod tip should be slightly pointed downward and in front of you as the lure hits the water.
In effect, your cast movement is a semi-circle completed in a three-part motion. You start out in the two o’clock position, rear back to 12 o’clock, and finish back at two o’clock again. For most beginners this visualization technique often develops into a good casting motion and becomes second nature. At first, you’ll have to think about what you are doing, but as time goes by and your experience level grows, it will become instinctive.