Retrieve and Cadence in Largemouth Bass Fishing - Mike Gerry

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Fishing for largemouth bass requires constant adjustments to retrieve speed, cadence, and rod tip action. These subtle changes can significantly impact the success of the catch. Anglers should focus on detail, attention to detail, and attention to detail when presenting their bait. Repetition is key to the next bite, and success depends on catching the first bite.

When fishing for largemouth bass, doing the same retrieve the same way does not always get the same results. The problem is that it may or may not be good! If your catching fish well, you can say its working, if not the same result may be frustrating. Most experienced anglers are constantly adjusting their retrieve and making a change as to how they present baits until they find a bite. Constantly changing your retrieve speed, cadence, and rod tip action can make a big difference. There are many ways to change what your doing, although subtle they can be the difference in catching bass or not. You should always be adjusting your retrieve and cadence until you get a bite. Angles, line, rod tip, speed and more all make a difference and if you are constantly looking for that correct movement then you will always have a chance to improve your boat position, your retrieve speed and more.

Customers ask me all the time what and how am I presenting my bait. My standard answer is that I am constantly changing what I do with the bait until I find a presentation the bass react to. Adjustment in your presentation is something every angler should do day after day, cast after cast and when you find a bite remember what you were doing to get that bite, then repeat it. Pay attention to detail, focus on your action and be astutely aware of what and how you are retrieving your bait. If you don't, you cannot repeat it! Repetition when your catching largemouth bass is key to the next bite, but changing when you are not catching is key to the first bite, and in order to be successful you must get the first bite!

Many of the world’s best bass fisherman will talk about cadence as a key to catching fish on many different types of baits. There is no doubt that cadence is especially important while retrieving a bait, but cadence does not mean to do the same thing every time you work a bait. Change your cadence continually with speed variations or pauses, or tip and wrist action. When you do this, you are still creating a cadence it is just changing it until you find a cadence that triggers bass bites. Largemouth bass are creatures of habit, although the way they react or what they react to on a daily basis may be different. The habits they have generally have them doing the same thing. Your job is to get them to react to what you are doing with your bait.

It is also a fact that all rods present a variety of different tip action. If you find that you cannot easily change the action of bait then you might very well be fishing with a rod that might be too stiff in the tip. The rod might be too long or short for your body type, making it hard to make longer swings or fast movements with your wrist. Fishing rods are not all created equally and if you find you cannot present a bait the way you expect, it might be time to find a different rod or tip action or even manufacturer so you can get the desired action you are looking for. I find that thick rods do not work well for me. That is because I have small size hands and that can be a difference maker for you also. Line is also a factor in being able to change your cadence or retrieve action, as all lines are different. Some are thick, many are thin, some have stretch and some do not. Some lines sink and some do not. Line size always makes the bait work differently in the water, so if you are not getting the bait moving how it should, change line size. It could very well be the difference you are looking for in your bass fishing. That old saying “if you’re doing the same thing and getting the same result,” it might be time to change, especially if the results are not what you desire.

Captain Mike Gerry

Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service


Call: 256 759 2270

Mike Gerry In The Spread, Instructor
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