Knowing When Little Baits Are Better for Catching Bass...

Looking for Little Drop-Offs for Bass with Larry Nixon

04/20/2017 Comments (0) Bass Fishing

Moving to Big Line Fishing When Everyone Else Is Fishing Light Line for Bass

Editor’s Note: Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Arkansas, has fished competitively for 40 years and has won Angler of the Year on the Bassmaster circuit twice, the Bassmaster Classic in 1983 and numerous other tournaments. According to Nixon, who’s won about $4 million in tournaments plus sponsor money, “Bass don’t have rules like fishermen do. For instance, bass don’t know that they are supposed to bite a certain lure of a certain size and a particular color on a specific day, based on water and weather conditions, and where they are in their spawning cycle. Bass are opportunistic feeders, so many times, if you break the rules that most bass anglers hold near and dear to their hearts, you’ll catch bass that other fishermen won’t catch. This week we’re looking at how, where, why and when I break the rules.”

Many times what defines heavy line is more in the mind of the fisherman than it is in the mind of the fish. For instance when I’m fishing for bedding bass in an extremely-clear lake, I’ll fish a full-grown tube bait with a 3/8-ounce sinker and 17-pound-test line to catch bass. Most anglers will have spinning tackle with 6- to 8- pound-test line with a 2-inch tube and a little bitty sinker trying to catch these same bass. But I’ll be using a 4-inch tube and baitcasting tackle to fish for and catch those bedding bass. With that heavier line, I can get a better, more-solid hook set than a light-line fisherman can. I can present my bait more accurately on baitcasting tackle than other fishermen can on spinning tackle.

And, a big bass in the spawning mode generally will be around some type of cover. When I’m using extra-tough and abrasion-resistant heavy line, I can set the hook harder in the big fish than a light-line fisherman can, and I’ve got the power and the strength in the line to fight the bass out of the cover. Even though the water is clear, and the fishing rule says use light line, I’ll break the rule by going to the heavier 17-pound-test line and consistently catch those bigger bedding bass.

To learn more about bass fishing and get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, print books and audiobook on bass fishing, go to, or for Nook books, visit

Tomorrow: Looking for Little Drop-Offs for Bass with Larry Nixon

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