Bay Bass Fishing Overview

For bay areas, the spotted bass is considered to be the most dominant specie in such waters, next to the sand bass and the calico bass which is also known as the kelp. When these fish are caught together, the spotted bass dominates the back bays, with the kelp and the sand bass being found together in great numbers close to the ocean.

Caution is imperative when you handle these fish which is why fishermen recommend a firm thumb grip on the lower jaw is in most cases the best way to grab a fish to remove the fly. Anything less than this usually results in some chafing and in some unfortunate cases, a few cuts on the thumb. A set of needle nose pliers can be used for convincing the fish to open its mouth. Trying to insert the pliers putting a little bit of pressure to the lips should do the job.

In bay locations, probably the ideal areas to fish are eel grass flats in 3-12 feet of water. Large number of fish can be found on edges of the flats but be aware of the fact that they tend to become aggressive during this stage most common, strikes will often be jolting. Although this type of grass can provide the easiest way to fish the bay bass, the visible structures are generally considered to be the most logical as well as obvious fishing spots. Take for example California with its man-made structure of rock retaining walls, jetties, docks, wrecks, moored boats, breakwaters and piers pilings.  Some are efficient while others are not; more often than not they are productive at a certain point during the tidal sequence.

The bay bass fishes are commonly found tight to such structures during the slack water period but when the tide is moving, a bit looser. Fishing around visible structure usually results in the greatest variety of species during an outing, because of the fact that numerous game fish are drawn to the baitfish using it as cover.

Experienced fishermen recommend avoiding fishing where there are rock retaining walls as the rate of efficiency is quite low, making the entire experience a complete waste of time. On the contrary, the deeper retaining walls and the breakwaters along with jetties are a great spot for catching a few bay basses. To the fly fisher, the deeper waters and channels are a real challenge. They can use lead jig heads in order to get the lure down but usually the anglers rely greatly upon sinking lines and drift management in order to obtain some noticeable results.

The best fishing platform in a bay area is without any doubt the boat; any type will do just fine as they provide flexibility and most important, greatest range. Pontoon kick boats or float tubes types can be used in protected waters and are most efficient around marinas. Keep in mind that the float tuber requires aware of boat traffic, tides and of course, wind.

As far as the flies and tackles recommended for bay area fishing, any of the following items will do just fine if used properly: marine worms, crabs, mussels, shrimp, smelt and anchovies. Flies should be chosen in order to perfectly imitate these food items. With the incorporation of some flash, many of the present patterns seem to have an improved efficacy. Regarding the fly size range, they start from 1 inch up to 5 inch long, something in between should be just fine for almost all bay bass fishing situations.

As for the fly delivery issue, fishermen recommend 5-9 weight rods to do the job. For the smaller bass, the five-weight should be just fine. On the contrary, the 9-weight is recommended for the largest bass. A reliable all-around choice would be the seven-weight.

A major advantage of bay fishing is that there is a good chance of catching other species. Take for example the San Diego Bay where fishermen have the possibility to catch other species like: Barracuda, White Croaker, Bonefish, Mackerel and Corbina. Knowing when to fish in bay locations is crucial to the success of any fishermen. It is wise to know that in such areas, the tidal movement plays an important role. The best bay bass fishing usually occurs during the second half of a rising tide and the first half of a failing tide. The better the fishing is when the difference between the high and low is bigger.