The most misunderstood phenomena of largemouth bass are the feeding patterns. They move into a specific cover, lake location or feeding pattern, and the reason for this behavior is seldom understood.
If you don’t know what I am talking about, let me give you an example: On Lake Granbury, Texas, once I was there, I fished the points, the inside the creek banks, the downwind banks, the edges of cover, the timber areas and cattails. And on the last pattern — cattails — I found them. Amazingly enough, I could move about the lake and wherever I found a stand of cattails, I would find feeding largemouth. I could fish other areas, other cover, but with no consistency. But, for that day, the largemouth were feeding off the edges of cattails with no discrimination of lure selection. Just put something out there, and they would bite it. The next day, they were still there. After the tournament, I told a buddy who lived near there to go and fish the cattails on Granbury. Two weeks later, he went out and caught nothing. Not a single bass off the cattails. But he did find a bass on every laydown tree he came across.
An employee of mine was fishing at my ranch lake in Sulphur, Okla. He was fishing the windy bank side of the lake. He pitched his spinnerbait next to submerged weeds, rocks, timber, bulrushes, and finally, lay down trees where the whole tree is in the water. He went down the bank time after time and caught a bass off the lay down trees that were floating. It was mysterious. But that is where the bass preferred to be.
To find a pattern, just go fishing — simple as that. Pay attention as to where you are catching bass and where you don’t get a strike. By a process of elimination, you will narrow your fishing areas down to one or two that consistency produce a strike. There is no rhyme or reason as to why. I will tell you that patterns are usually indigenous to size, too. My employee caught only 2- to 3-lb. bass off the trees. Other areas produced little 10- to 12-inch bass, which traditionally can be anywhere. But consistently, the 18-inch bass came off the trees. The next day, they were gone to another pattern. I don’t even try to figure it out. I know it has to be related to food or oxygen. But I really don’t know.
So the next time you go out, try to pattern your catch. You may not do it the first time out, but eventually, you will get a knack to it, and your catch numbers will improve.
by Jimmy Houston