Bass fishing

Missouri fishermen can cast their lines into 34,700 miles of rivers and streams, 17 reservoirs, 800 lakes, and over 500,000 ponds. 

Fly and spin fishing for river smallmouths
Bruce Ingram.
Lakeville, Minn. : Ecopress, c2008.
Fly and Spin Fishing for River Smallmouths is a motivating and informative guide for nature lovers of all kinds. The book delves into river smallmouth fishing, thrilling family-friendly river hobbies, and ways everyone can protect the health of our waterways.
Hot bass flies : patterns & tactics from the experts
Deke Meyer.
Portland : Frank Amato, c2003.
Bass thrive from Mexico to Canada, from the East Coast tot the West Coast, in ponds, lakes, creeks, reservoirs, and streams--and fly-fishing for them is hotter than ever. Along with descriptions of the various bass-fly styles, this book shows over 200 fly patterns, each with an individual photo and recipe.
On the run : an angler's journey down the striper coast
David DiBenedetto.
New York, N.Y. : William Morrow, c2003.
Each autumn, one of nature's most magnificent dramas plays out when striped bass undertake a journey from the northeastern United States to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in search of food and warmer seas. As the first schools move south from Maine, their numbers increase until there are 25 million stripers coursing down the coast. This roiling seaside show also attracts bigger predators, swooping seabirds, and a fanatical brotherhood of fishermen. Writer and angler David DiBenedetto followed the fall run, as this great migration is called, for three months in the autumn of 2001. To do so, he lived according to the rhythm of the tides and the stripers' night-owl tendencies. As the fish swam south, the author found himself pursuing them by every means that humans have conceived, from extreme surf casting to free diving.
Knowing bass : the scientific approach to catching more fish
Keith A. Jones ; foreword by Paul Johnson.
Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, c2002.
Bass, especially largemouth bass, are easily the single most popular freshwater gamefish in the United States. Knowing Bass is a book about the science of bass fishing, with particular emphasis on the fish itself: What bass can sense, how they use their senses to feed, how they relate to fishing lures, and ultimately how they interact with anglers. Understanding why bass behave as they do will greatly improve your chances of being a better and more successful angler, no matter your present skill level. And that's the purpose behind this book, to improve everyone's chances of success at catching bass, no matter where or how they fish. Covering largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, redeye, shoal, Suwannee, and Guadalupe bass, this unique volume explains how the latest scientific research can help anglers everywhere to find bass, make them strike, and make the most of their time on the water.
The bass angler's almanac : more than 650 tips and tactics
John Weiss.
Guilford, CT : Lyons Press, c2001.
Loaded with detailed illustrations and photographs that can help any bass fisherman take his share of good-sized fish.

Many of these offer great bass fishing opportunities. Anglers can try their luck for bass at Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock and Hazel Creek lakes or the Meramec and Gasconade rivers. 

Few fish provide more challenge to find, hook and get to the boat than the largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass.  Not many taste as good pan-fried over the campfire or deep-fried or baked at home.

Think you can hold your own against the the best bass fishermen? Travel to a pro-am tournament and find out.

Tournament schedule

The successful angler considers which reel and bait to use, how weather will affect bass behavior, and what water conditions are best. 

Tips from the pros help 'hook the big one'

  • In spring find the warmest water; later in the season when water temperature is over 80 degrees or pressure is high consider cooler water
  • Fish in areas with underwater vegetation that affords cover for the bass
  • Fish the bottom, moving bait or lure with a slow, steady hand
  • Consider fishing just before or after the sun goes down
  • Experiment with different types and colors of lures and baits
  • Bass boats add to the enjoyment, but don't overlook the fun fishing from the shore (bass love to hide underneath docks)
  • Learn catch-and-release techniques
  • Contact Missouri's Department of Conservation to find where the bass are biting
  • Follow restrictions - Bass season is open all year in impoundments, but have opening and closing dates for streams; bag limit is 6 daily

A recent survey found three popular reasons to fish are to relax, catch fish, and get outdoors.  Bass anglers can enjoy all three in Missouri.  Get hooked!

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff