Bass fishing is very much a habit forming devotion. There are many bass fishermen who don't bother fishing for anything else. Personally, I love to fish for bass – but I do not automatically throw any other fish back just because it isn't a bass; especially walleye or large bluegills and bream. I guess if it tastes good, I think it belongs somewhere on my dinner plate. I can tell you that I have filleted the smallest pan fish you have ever seen when my grandkids go fishing with me. They even got me a very small filet knife so I could do the best job possible!
But, if you are going to catch bass, you should know the most likely places to find them and fish there. Bass are predators, but generally look for food only. They are not like pike or muskie that will strike at anything near them if it makes them angry. So, the best place to look for them in a lake is where there is some kind of natural cover where they can hide. They love to lie in wait until a small minnow swims by – or in our case, our lure goes by. And then – WHAM – they dash out for dinner – or – my lure if I am at the right place at the right time.
Where do you find this cover? In a lake, it would be under a stump or under a log. In the summer, they do not like bright sunshine and keep back in the shade until the right minnow or lure goes by. What if there are no stumps or logs in the water of the lake you are fishing? Then look for some weedy places in the water. Mr. Bass will hide there also, still protected from the sun and do his thing about dinner. If you are fishing in a lake that has both stumps/logs and weeds, you are probably in a good lake for bass. If you can fish where both are present, be sure to give the lake a sincere effort to find the bass. Fishing an area that proves to be productive is always a good spot to return to again. Bass will often move-in to another bass' spot when the first one leaves (hopefully on your stringer).
If you fish in a river, bass will generally be in the more placid waters. Unlike trout, who love the rapids, they still want cover that will protect them from the sunshine and in water that lets them be a bit lazy until the motivation provided by something to eat comes near. In most rivers, you can find those “pools” or larger sections that are not fast moving. You generally find logs and sometimes stumps in those more quiet areas also. The weedy sections are there too, but not as frequently as in a lake. You can often find the bass just down-river from a big bend. The water will often swing wide there and give a nice quiet area for you. Also, since the water slows in that area, there will often be some logs and stumps for you to fish near.
Above all, it is best to fish from a boat – everywhere you fish for bass, but absolutely essential in a river. Fishing from the bank will get you caught and hung-up many times and you will end up losing a lot of lures.
I hope this tip was helpful for you. There will be more coming and on a variety of topics. In the mean time, great fishing to you.