Bass fishing has become a multibillion-dollar industry. Professional fishermen are no different than other sports professionals; they are constantly looking for the best gear they can afford. Just like there are numerous tennis rackets and golf clubs to choose from, there is a large selection of rods, lures, reels, lines, and electronic depth and fish-finding instruments. Bass fishermen invest as much as possible in the type of boat they purchase to throw their line over. The industry sells specific boats designed exclusively for bass fishing. If that is too big of a ticket item, many will purchase a kayak with a trolling motor. Kayaks allow the fishermen to fish in places large boats cannot access. Drift boats, canoes, and John boats are also used.
There are different types of bass, but it is the black bass, of which there are several species, that is considered game fish. The largemouth black bass is the most popular freshwater game fish in America. A black bass over 8 inches is classified as a largemouth bass. Insects, baitfish, treadfin shad, gizzard shad, and crawfish make up the main diet of the largemouth bass. The best time to fish for bass is when they feed which is at dawn and at dusk. (Smallmouth bass are under 8 inches and eat insects, baitfish, and crawfish.) Largemouth bass are native to the United States, Canada, and Mexico. They were introduced to Japan in 1925. Since 1925 other countries have imported them; they can now be found in 67 countries.
Bass fishing is a huge sport in North America and other countries. Russia, China, and France (plus Japan) are just a few of the countries where fishing for largemouth bass has become an established sport. Many fishermen still use the old-fashioned plastic worm for bait and it works well. Different fishing techniques are used to catch bass. Dragging is used with spinning and casting gear. The boat moves slowly and the fishermen can cover a lot of territory. This technique works well in deep water. The simple, yet effective, technique other fishermen favor is the drop-shot which can be done using all types of rods and reels. A third technique is called the shaky head. The bait is usually a plastic worm on a jig head with a long shank hook.
The world’s largest tournament-fishing organization is the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW). Its members are made up of the USA, Canada, Portugal, China, Italy, South Korea, and Spain.
Bass tournaments are held in 30 of the original 48 states in the USA. Many of the top bass professional sports fishermen from Japan and other countries travel to America to enter the tournaments there. Tournaments are not only open to professionals; there are tournaments for beginners and youth also. The Bassmaster Classic is a world-wide competition (professional fishermen from Japan and other countries participate) and the winner is honored with the title of World Champion!
If you are just looking for a relaxing day by the water, grab a tree branch, tie a thick string to one end, attach a worm to the other end, and toss it in the water over a river bank. There is nothing better than a day to say, “gone fishing”!
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