If you're fishing in New England, chances are that you are exploring one of the many natural rivers that flow through states. These rivers are full of fish, especially smallmouth and largemouth bass. Before you hit the water, it's important to prepare for catching these fish and not go into your trip blindly. By preparing your bait and fishing strategies, you can have the best odds of catching a bass and finding locations where the fish are located. The following products and tips work for all types of New England rivers and can be done whether you're fishing from shore, in a boat, or if you're wading through the river itself.
Fishing with plastic worms can help you catch bass and attract the fish to your reel. Purchasing a bulk case of worms from a bait and tackle shop is a great way to have plenty of bait for your whole fishing trip. When trying to catch a bass, it's important to hook the worm in a specific style known as the wacky worm. To rig a wacky worm, you slip the hook directly through the center of the plastic worm so that both sides hang freely off the hook. When floating through the water, the sides of the worm wiggle back and forth. The quick movements attract the bass and have proven effective for both large-mouth and small-mouth species. Purchase plastic worms in a variety of colors, including red and brown. Small pieces of glitter inside the worms also help reflect light and create good visuals in the water.
Another bait option for catching bass is the nightcrawler. The worms have the visuals and scents to attract bass while fishing in rivers. The worms are not durable enough to rig them wacky-style, but you can still hook them to create a visually appealing look for bass. The key is to hook the end of the nightcrawler, wrap it around the hook and hook it again. Repeat this process until a majority of the worm is hooked on. Leave the opposite end dangling off about a half inch. This will help create an attractant for the bass. Along with bass, this hooking method can work with other river fish like dace, perch and suckers. It's easy to quickly go through nightcrawlers, so you should purchase at least two dozen for your trip. Splitting the worms in two and using a half-worm for each hook is a great way to expand the use of the bait.
When fishing for large-mouth bass, you can find a lot of success by looking for large logs or branches that have sunk in the river. The bass love the darkness found in these areas and can often be seen swimming in and around the logs. When rigging your pole for log fishing, it's important to keep the hook moving with quick jolts and slight wiggles. If the hook settles on the log, it can easily become snagged. When this happens, you either have to go to the log and ruin the fishing spot, or snap your line and attach a new hook. Try not to keep the hook exposed and hide the tip in the bait you're using. This is another way to help prevent log snagging.
Along with logs, any shaded areas along the river can create ideal bass fishing spots. Look along the edges of the river for trees that create an overcast. You'll often find bass and other fish species in these areas. Stay out in the light and then cast directly into the shade. Another permanently shaded area you can fish under are road bridges that travel over rivers and create ideal fishing spots. Cast out near the median of the bridge where bass are swimming through the dark and cool waters. Both nightcrawlers and wacky worms can work in these areas.
If you're looking specifically for small-mouth bass, then consider fishing right into the current of a river. Small-mouth bass love to swim against the current and wait for food to flow right towards their mouth. Specifically, look for large rocks in the river. The area in front of the rock where the current flows is a good place to cast. Groups of smallmouth will usually navigate the location and they can be easily caught. This is a great spot to use wacky worms. The current will add extra wiggle to the fish and help you hook multiple fish.
Before heading to your favorite river, stock up on plastic worms and other bait to be fully prepare for catching bass. For more information, contact a company like Wilcox Bait Tackle.