Greg Hackney: How to Catch a Really Big Bass

Video how to catch big largemouth bass

big bass

Yes, you can get lucky and catch a big bass in many different places. However, the most consistent spot to find and catch a large bass is where no one else is fishing, and possibly where no one ever has cast a lure. These types of places may not be as remote as you may think. For instance, if you identify structure where many anglers will be afraid to put expensive lures in that spot, then that’s where you need to fish. If you’re more concerned about how you’ll get a bass out of structure than you are about a bass biting, that’s where you need to fish.

When I was a youngster, one of the biggest bass I ever caught was out of the center of a giant cypress stump. I’m sure that plenty of other anglers had cast lures all around the sides, the back and the front of that stump. However, I doubt that anyone had ever fished a lure right in the center of that stump. This underwater stump had a hole in the top and the bottom of it. From the surface, this stump looked like it might have been solid below the water. But for some unknown reason, I threw a red and shad-colored worm right in the center of the stump and caught a 7-1/2-pound largemouth. This was how I learned to fish weird places for big bass.

Greg HackneyWhen I tell this story, the first question I’m usually asked is, “How did you get that bass out of that stump?” I pulled the boat right up next to the stump, got the bass close to the surface and then reached down in the stump and grabbed that bass by the jaw. That stump was as big as the hood of my truck, and I couldn’t believe it was hollow all the way to the bottom. I could just about guarantee that no one else was dumb enough to fish a lure right in the center of that underwater stump. That was probably why that bass lived long enough to grow as big as it was. And, more than likely, no one else ever fished the center of that stump after I caught that big bass. What made this stump even more special was that it was right out in front of the boat launch. So more than likely, thousands of bass fishermen had put their boats in there and driven past that stump holding the big bass without ever fishing the hole in the stump.

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I fish a number of places and structure that many other anglers also fish for bass. But I try to fish these regions in a different way or with a different lure or present my lure in a way other fishermen won’t present their lures.

The biggest bass I ever caught in a tournament was in Lake Amistad in Texas, and that fish weighed 11 pounds, 11 ounces. I caught it on a Strike King Shadalicious, a swim bait. That fish was holding in the top of an underwater tree in about 25 feet of water. I slow-rolled that swim bait through the top of that tree. Once that bass took the bait, the fish got hung-up in the tree. But the water was very clear, and when I looked down, I could see the bass was upside down and hung in that tree. At first glance, I thought the bass was about an 8-pounder.

Once I finally worked the bass out of the tree, it came to the surface and jumped. In the air, that fish looked like a 13-pounder. I’d never seen a bass that big in my entire life. That same year I caught an 11-pound, 7-ounce bass at Falcon Lake, also in Texas. So, I caught two bass weighing over 11 pounds in the same year in professional bass tournaments. I finished 6th in the Lake Amistad tournament, and I won the tournament at Falcon. In that event, I caught 15 bass that weighed a total of 110 pounds. At one time, I held the record for catching the most pounds of bass in a 3- or a 4-day tournament on the FLW circuit. I learned that fishing weird places with various tactics that others weren’t using could pay off with big bass.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>